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SES Session: So You Want to Be A Search Marketer?

By TopRank Online Marketing     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

So You Want to Be A Search Marketer, SES Chicago Attendees?

Well, do you?

If you’re reading this, and you’re not a relative or friend of mine trying to figure out just what it is I do, the answer is probably affirmative.

A more accurate question could read, “Should You Want to Be a Search Marketer?”

The answer could be found in this aptly labeled “Just For Fun” track on Day 4 of SES Chicago.

The panel, moderated by Kevin Ryan, included:

  • Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk
  • David Wallace, CEO and Founder of SearchRank
  • Nicole St. Martin, Search Marketing Analyst for HotGigs
  • David Hoffman, from Search Smart Marketing

So should you?

Of course, per St. Martin. Search marketing, as it stands is new to the point that demand for talent is greater than supply of talent. Unlike other disciplines, such as engineering or anything else tech related, there is no graduate pool to compete with yearly. In fact, a college degree is not required to succeed in this position as most degree programs will not even include study of search. Oh , yeah – the money’s good too. :)

So why would you not want to work in this industry?

The reasons for not wanting a job in search can luckily be determined solely in your soul. For instance:

  • Are you the type of personality who tries to be everything to everyone?
    In search, this is simply impossible. There is too much for any one individual to master – and, as Davies described – nothing will ruin your reputation faster than trying to do so.
  • Are you intimidated by working with those, or hiring those smarter than you?
    Self-taught individuals, by nature, will often have as their downfall a stubbornness when it comes to accepting the counsel of those bearing more intelligence – and as a result, will surround themselves with subordinates. This will not work in search. There will always be someone who is smarter than you in one or more areas. If you cannot celebrate this, you cannot do this job.

  • How are your soft skills?
    You can design a website, quickly develop strategies for increasing rankings and stand on a pedestal for your peers who view you as a resource. But is your pedestal accessible to all? Are you willing and able to step down to counsel those who do not yet realize the power of this industry and cannot begin to articulate what it even means? If your mother was a client, could you explain what you do?

By no means should anyone answer an easy “yes” to any of the questions above, and by no means should anyone think these are the only three questions. These concerns and more should be pondered – deeply – before diving in to this industry – and should be reviewed consistently to help ensure success.

As this session was in the track titled “Just For Fun”, let’s close by focusing on a fun question asked by an attendee and alluded to above – “How do you explain to your mother what you do?” Ryan began by proclaiming if you can explain it in thirteen words or less – you’re doing pretty well. So how does your blogger, and our panel, attempt to answer this softest of soft skills questions?

  • Mike Yanke: “Help the right firms get found by the right people for the right reasons”
    • (Thinking: “If she asks how, we could be here awhile”)
  • Nicole St. Martin: “I help companies perform better in search engines”
    • (Thinking: “My mom thinks AOL is the Internet”)
  • Dave Davies: “I rank sites on Google”
    • (Thinking: “Anything beyond will cause eyes to go glassy”)
  • David Wallace: “I’m a magician”
    • (Thinking: “I’m a magician”)

So you want to be a search marketer…how would you answer this?

All mothers of speakers and attendees are encouraged to see more of their loving children live at SES Chicago.


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