Tag Archive | "Signs"

7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough

It’s easy to envision that other people’s paths (career or otherwise) are somehow smoother than yours. Have you ever had thoughts like that? Notions that everyone else who has some form of success achieved it by taking smart, consecutive steps that always led them forward, while you: Take two steps forward, one step back Stop
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Google Update Signs From Trackers But The Community Is Quiet

We are living in a weird time – typically when I see the community begin talking about a potential Google update and it is real – the trackers, such as Mozcast and others, will light up the next day with signs as well…

Search Engine Roundtable

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4 Signs That You Belong at a Digital Marketing Agency

digital marketing agency career

Think back to when you were a child, teenager or young adult. When someone asked you “What do you want to be?”, how did you respond? Scientist, superhero, actor or rockstar may come to mind for many of you.

When I was younger, I always knew that I wanted to do something creative. As a child I drove my parents crazy coming up with new ways to create art, often out of things that weren’t art supplies. It didn’t matter if I was sewing clothes for my dolls or painting a “masterpiece”, I loved art.

Fortunately, I have been able to find a career that has allowed me to hone and develop my creative side, in a way that can be measured. I’ve worked many “jobs” but have never found any position as satisfying as working at Toprank Online Marketing. I get to work with a group of incredibly talented people that are constantly pushing me to be better.

Working at a digital marketing agency isn’t a fit for everyone. However, once you’ve been bitten by the agency bug, you’re hooked. If any of the signs below resonate with you, chances are you might be a fit for agency life.

#1 – You Like a Fast-Paced Environment

Working at a digital agency offers the opportunity to work with many types of clients, all at different stages in their digital marketing journey.

A good digital agency (and the employees that work there) are agile and can adapt to client needs. When clients determine that their priorities shift, that often means that yours shift as well.

If you embrace the challenge, you will be able to show significant value to your clients and colleagues by adapting to their needs while still following a set of digital marketing best practices.

#2 – You Crave Collaboration

Have you ever been stuck on a project or had an idea on the tip of your tongue but just couldn’t communicate it effectively?

One of the benefits of working at a digital agency is that you’re surrounded by other marketing minds that can help you through the process. You are fortunate to have a team of people that have been through similar experiences and can come together to help you brainstorm content ideas or help determine why client programs aren’t performing as well as you would like them to.

At the end of the day, you have a group of people that you can rely on to help you come up with the best solution to help your clients be successful.

#3 – You Are Creative Person

What do Account Managers, Copywriters, Social Media Strategists and SEO Specialists all have in common? They are all creative problem solvers.

At a digital marketing agency, all members of the team are enabled to take a creative approach to solving problems for clients, and internal team members. There are also opportunities to take a creative approach to any service area, no matter your position.

Always remember that adhering to best practices doesn’t mean that you’re limited in how you approach content marketing topics, tactics and ideas.

#4 – You’re Obsessed With Learning

If you think you know everything there is to know, chances are that working at an agency might not be right for you.

Successful digital marketers are always on the hunt for new ideas that can improve how they deliver results. No matter how much you know, there are always opportunities to learn from other intelligent marketers.

You can self-educate by keeping a pulse on relevant resources, meeting with internal team members and attending industry events to keep up with the quickly evolving digital landscape.

Currently On the Hunt for the RIGHT Agency?

If you think that the signs above describe you, you are likely a fit for agency life. Now comes the daunting task of finding an agency with the the right culture, pace and offering for you.

TopRank Marketing is currently searching for some new marketing mavericks to join our smart, creative and results driven digital marketing agency. Click on any of the positions below to see if they might be right for you:

Content Marketing Lead: Do you love the idea of taking a concept from research all the way through social amplification to reach a wider audience? Are you a stickler for grammar, spelling, and attention to detail? If so, explore the details of this position.

SEO Copywriter: Like being the ultimate seeker in a game of hide-and-seek, this person would help our clients’ content get found by paying attention to the details that make a difference. Does that sound like you?

Account Manager: For this position, leadership, digital marketing creativity, organization and problem solving skills are second nature right along with the ability to provide both strategic direction and development of tactical marketing plans for clients. Success in this position means being comfortable providing guidance and consulting to the Fortune 500 companies we serve as well as TopRank Marketing team members.

Associate Account Manager: The perfect person for this position is looking to make a difference for our clients. In working side-by-side with our Account Managers, you will help shape our clients’ programs by developing communications strategies and managing tactical plans for an integrated and measurable mix of tactics.

For a complete list of our current openings, visit our Careers page.

Maybe you’re not looking for a digital marketing position, but would like to have a team like TopRank Marketing in your back pocket. If so, we’d love to chat! Contact us to see if we may be a fit for your organization.



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The post 4 Signs That You Belong at a Digital Marketing Agency appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

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Lead Generation Strategy: 5 signs you’re selling like it’s 1992

Too many organizations are still selling like it’s 1992. You can no longer reach quota by sending some direct mail, making a few phone calls, and scheduling a few meetings. Read on to learn five day-to-day behaviors and attitudes that keep sales and marketing organizations stuck in a time warp with their lead generation strategies.
MarketingSherpa Blog

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7 signs that you’re overvaluing search engine optimization

With so much focus on SEO from every marketing blog on the Google-powered Web, we thought it might be worth your while to question if you’re overvaluing SEO. See if any of these seven reasons that you’re a little too obsessed with search engine optimization resonate with you …
Marketingsherpa Blog

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21 Warning Signs You’re Becoming a Social Media Snob

image of social media snob

Ever think you might be starting to take social media a little too seriously?

Sure, it started out innocently enough.

You were hanging out with family and friends, cracking jokes, sharing cool ideas, and having some good old-fashioned fun on Farmville. You know, pretty much like everyone else online.

Without even realizing it though, your perspective began to shift.

The more time you spent on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and YouTube, the more it sucked you in, and after spending literally thousands of hours involved in online communities, one day it hits you:

Somehow, somewhere, you got… serious.

You started counting your retweets.

You worried about your engagement score on Facebook.

You sneered at companies who abused your attention with gimmicky marketing campaigns.

Not because you’re against advertising, necessarily, but because that’s not what social media is about. It’s about connection and authenticity and building movements of people who genuinely love your brand.

Some people don’t get it. They’re so frantic to make a buck they pervert everything social media is supposed to be.

And so, without even realizing it, your perspective shifts again.

It becomes a battle of us versus them

On one side, you have the few people (like you) who “get it.” On the other side, you have the masses who don’t.

Not that you would say this publicly, of course. You scorn the legions of clowns who call themselves social media experts, and you believe anyone who sets themselves up as superior to anyone else is an asshat.

But secretly, you feel superior.

You’re not a better person or a smarter marketer or anything like that. You’ve just been around, and you understand what’s going on.

What’s more, you enjoy hanging around other people who “get it” too. You enjoy talking about what’s next. You enjoy being one of those people who pushes the frontier of social media forward.

And anyone who disagrees with you is a moron.

Does any of this sound familiar?

If it does, I have news for you. You might be on your way to becoming a genuine Social Media Snob.

I know this, because I’m one too. So are most of my friends.

And frankly, it worries me.

You could argue “us versus them” thinking is natural. You could argue it’s necessary. You could even argue it’s smart, especially if you’re one of the leaders of “us.”

But it’s also dangerous, because often without even realizing it, you become disconnected from “them.” You stop understanding their perspectives. You see the world in a completely different way.

And in this case, “them” is the majority. There are hundreds of millions of people who don’t “get” social media, and there are only a few tens of thousands who do.

Whenever the minority gets disconnected from the majority, problems happen

Just look at the U.S. Congress, who has the lowest approval ratings in the history of the country.

They think they get it, but they don’t. They live in a reality distortion field called Washington DC.

What worries me is that we’re building our own reality distortion field, and one day, we’ll be just as out of touch. With some of the leaders in social media, I think it’s already happening.

And I think we need to be very, very careful.

In our industry, you don’t just lose your swanky office on Capitol Hill when you get it wrong. People vote with their check books, and the ones who get voted out go bankrupt.

Snobbery may be natural, but it’s also dangerous. If we want to stick around, I believe we need to guard ourselves against it.

So, how can you tell for sure if you’re a social media snob?

Well, you can’t, but there are warning signs.

Here are a few that immediately come to mind. No single warning sign damns you on its own, but if you find yourself nodding to many or even all of these, you may be in trouble.

  1. You can quote your traffic stats, but not your bank balance
  2. You’ve spent more than 5 minutes trying to think of something witty to say on twitter
  3. You know your Klout score by heart
  4. You talk about cool things, but you never seem to do cool things
  5. You worry about how the use of emoticons reflects on your personal brand
  6. You refuse to promote affiliate links, even for products you love
  7. You know how percent feedback is calculated on Facebook
  8. You are annoyed that LinkedIn doesn’t display your true number of connections
  9. You unfollow your friends because they don’t tweet your posts
  10. You share quotes just to get a little attention
  11. You’re so inundated with email you’ve started to ignore people you don’t know
  12. You write posts about social media snobs (oops)
  13. You are so angry with one of the social networks that you are rooting for it to fail
  14. You have nothing for sale, and you look down upon those who do
  15. You only comment on the Facebook walls of celebrities in your niche
  16. You refuse interviews because they don’t have enough followers/fans/subscribers
  17. You spend more money on redesigning your profiles than you do on advertising
  18. You no longer read your blog comments
  19. You believe information wants to be free
  20. You ignore the endless, silly questions from beginners
  21. You can’t remember the last time you thanked your fans

So, what’s your score?

Personally, I’m guilty of 11. Not exactly the King of Social Media Snobs, but I’m definitely a member of the club.

But here’s the thing:

Once you’re aware of your snobbery, you can take steps to counteract it. I don’t believe you can get rid of it, per se, because some people (like me) will always be a little bit snobbish.

You can stop it from becoming a problem, though. Because you see, social media snobbery is only dangerous when it’s not accompanied by an equal degree of empathy.

And therein lies the solution.

The antidote to snobbery is empathy

Or, more specifically, empathizing with the people who annoy you the most.

Irritated by a popular blogger in your niche who posts advice you know is rubbish?

Subscribe to their feed. Read every post they write. Do your best to understand exactly where they’re coming from, and why they believe the way they do.

Getting a little tired of beginners asking you the same questions over and over again?

Tough. Schedule two Q&A calls per month, and force yourself to listen.

Feel like everyone else in your niche is selling crappy products?

Buy a few. Go through them, and ask yourself what can be improved and why. Even better, go into customer forums and listen to what they are saying.

Don’t just complain. Make your niche better.

The big lesson here isn’t just to listen. It’s also to care. You have to want to understand.

Here’s why:

The marketer with the most accurate thinking wins

You want to be the top dog in your market?

It’s not about having more subscribers. It’s not about your engagement score. It’s not everything that changed this week on your Facebook page.

It’s about understanding your market better than everyone else.

You have to understand your audience. You have to understand your competitors. You have to understand your own position.

The greater your understanding, the more accurate your thinking, and the more accurate your thinking, the more power you have.

That doesn’t excuse you to ignore other fundamentals like building relationships, publishing great content, or building a quality product. Those are still essential.

But all other things being equal, the marketer with the most accurate thinking wins.

And you know what?

That’s good news.

You can ignore all the stupid stuff that doesn’t matter

You might’ve heard the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.”

Well, that’s mostly true.

In business, there’s only one thing I’ve found that really and truly matters:

Helping people.

The more people whose lives you change with what you’re doing, the better off you are. So, focus on the things that help you help people.

Like building an email list, for instance. That’s important, because it allows you to follow up and continue helping people over time.

Promoting products you believe in is a good idea too. Sure, recommending crap to earn a quick commission is wrong, but if the product is awesome, and it would genuinely help your list, then you are doing everyone a disfavor by not promoting it.

The same goes for selling your own products and services. Yes, you could give it all away for free, but ultimately, your ability to help people is dependent upon having enough money to pay your bills.

In fact, the more money you have, the more you can expand, and the more you expand, the more people you can help. By that logic, refusing to charge for your products and services is hurting not only you but all of the people who will never know about you because you’re freaking broke.

Is this making sense?

I hope so, because the truth is, I’m really and truly concerned with where social media is headed.

Folks are getting so self-righteous. They sit there with their iPads and lecture the world about the proper way to use social media, and most of what they’re saying has no basis whatsoever in reality. It’s just smoke and bullshit.

As the small minority who “gets it,” we owe our audiences more than that.

They deserve to be listened to.

They deserve to be cared about.

And most of all, they deserve to be given advice based on solid evidence.

In other words, we owe it to them to be real.

If that makes me a snob, then so be it. I’ll hang my flag high.

So, I guess that leaves only one question …

Who’s with me?

About the Author: In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging.



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5 Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Client

Posted by jsturgeon

I just walked away from a lot of money.

After two months of research, proposals, and negotiations I turned down a deal that would have brought my freelance income to a new level. But I would have been miserable.

My prospective client had no shortage of funds. There was nothing shady about their business. I just didn’t want to deal with them.

I used to say "yes" to everything. I took on any client that would sign on the dotted line. In my zealousness to build a business, I neglected to find the "right" clients and settled for anyone who would cut a check. This led to sleepless nights, wasted time, and poor results. In my opinion, a successful business deal isn’t just getting paid. Success is when both parties (client and consultant) can agree on realistic goals; once those goals are met, both are satisfied with the results.

You are the professional. You know what will work and what won’t work. If you give the client whatever they ask for, it’s not going to help their business in the end. Learn how to balance input from the client about their industry and business goals with a reasonable plan of action that you produce.

Value your time…and the client’s. In my recent experience, I made the mistake of conducting keyword research and competitive analysis for free. I did this as an act of good faith, since there was a lot of business on the table. But without any skin in the game, the prospective client was indecisive and nit-picky over just about everything.

TAKEAWAY: If you are in negotiations and want to sweeten the deal, charge for your research upfront. If the client signs, then you can credit a percentage of that fee towards the first month of their bill. Treat it like a deposit. Essentially, my prospective client wanted me to act as an SEO machine, where he remained firmly at the controls. He wanted a puppet that he could manipulate based on tips he’s read online (but never actually implemented). Not a road I wanted to take. In spite of this lost opportunity (or avoided disaster depending on how you see it), I have come away with a short list of red flags, which I’m hoping will protect you from getting involved with clients who will waste your time and energy. Seriously, sometimes the paycheck really isn’t worth the blood, sweat and tears you will invest.

5 Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Client:

  1. They name-drop books, blogs, and other SEO-related materials in nearly every conversation.
  2. They insist on web design gimmicks that detract from the user experience.
  3. They demand results on an unrealistic time table.
  4. They protest your rates on the basis that there are, "tons of SEO software options available on ClickBank for $ 97".
  5. They ask for keyword research and then override your findings with their "sense" of what their firm should rank for.

Looking forward to hearing your additions to this list!

p.s. from Rand: This post got a lot of positive reactions, and has some great comments, too, so we’re sending it to the main blog. I can empathize here myself, having run a barely-scraping-by consulting business for the first 6 years of my career (1999-2005).

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SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

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