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So a freelancer walks into a job as SEM manager for a startup, What do you do on day one?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by scottledeuce, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. scottledeuce

    scottledeuce Junior Member

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    After a few years of working as a one man shop, developing niche sites and doing everything myself you land a role as all round SEO/marketing manager for a startup. you know your stuff but you are not used to working with a team that includes developers on one side and marketing staff on the other.

    You walk in one day one and want to make a good impression, what do you do to prepare beforehand and where do you start on day one?

    This might seem like a simple question but after years of being on my own I'm not really sure and I hope maybe discussion on the topic might be able to help others in the same boat in future.

    For starters do you begin by speaking to the developers, getting a look at what analytics (if any) that have so far.

    My thought process so far is something like the following

    1. meet and greet, ask a few questions about if they have done paid campaigns before, where they hope to begin and so on.
    2. Get an idea of what frameworks the site is built on, check out how they are tracking analytics up until now, have a look at the what keywords they are targeting and what people are searching for when it comes to their product
    3. Speak to marketing about where they see the site going, who and what keywords and demographics they hope to target, who they are talking to to get exposure and backlinks, tell them what people are searching and finding their product and rival products via based on step two. Talk with them about how they are creating content with SEO best practice in mind or figure out is it my job to review that with them.
    4. With an idea of what they want in mind, start analyzing what their competitors are doing, how they are ranked and where we are in comparison to where we need to be.
    5. Speak to developers about implementing best fit analytic suite, possible future seo plugins and so on.
    6. Get to work

    Interested to hear what ya'll think
     
  2. cloudyseo

    cloudyseo Junior Member

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    You have to take it more easy for day one. The steps you mentioned are very good, but you need to take it easy, be flexible. Depending on the guys' mood or some other priorities such as work load or whatever, you may reach step 6 or only step 3.

    I made a similar plan for my first job in a marketing team. I managed in day one to only get to step 2 (from your list).

    IMPORTANT: Be relaxed and friendly...make the guys feel like you are a cool guy to work with.

    Good luck and keep us updated :)
     
  3. scottledeuce

    scottledeuce Junior Member

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    Yea I'd imagine most of what I outlined wont get done on day one but it would be nice to have a bulletpoint idea of the whole process completely down in my head when talking to the boss about what I need/hope to get done because I really don't want to get flustered and lose track of what comes naturally to me but might not come so naturally in an environment where I'm not in complete control.

    I guess you could call it something like reading over your powerpoint slides before you go and give a presentation so it all comes naturally on the day.

    I'm looking over the source code of the basic site they have now and can see it's built on wordpress, they have google analytics and yoast installed so that's something to check out first and I guess someone knows their basics.

    I'll be sure to update the OP with my findings and best practice anyway. This site pretty much got me in the role I'm in now so it's the least I can give back
     
  4. JamesConway

    JamesConway Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    A verybsmart women once told me, when you start anew job, don't change ANYTHING for 30 days. Simply observe and get a good idea for how the company operates.

    After the 30 days, start making changes you see fit.
     
  5. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    I've never seen marketing and development get along in business. Better not to upset the developers. You will most likely work with project managers and business analysts if they aren't too small. Developers don't like an open-door policy, but you can get chummy with them to help get your projects through more easily. Devs tend to avoid the marketing and sales types of people.

    If you're the marketing guy, the devs will blow you off if you start reviewing code and you won't likely be in charge of telling them what changes need to be done. You'll need to go through change management and approvals.

    If you are, I would bet there is a high turnover in that place. Marketing people are horrible dev managers.

    It would be better to look at analytics and identify anything that could be improved overall. In any real company, you won't have access to the code base either.
     
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  6. cloudyseo

    cloudyseo Junior Member

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    Great advice! I was in this exact situation...leading a marketing team and working with developers was a PAIN. We were totally not on the same wave.
     
  7. McPatrick

    McPatrick Regular Member

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    Don't be hasty. Explain your managers that you will need some time to observe workflow, find out who is best at what etc.
    Nothing worst than energetic guy that comes in and try to do a revolution in day one while bothering every manager around him thinking anyone cares.
    If you need to report to anyone - make it straight to the point. Act professional, chances are if you take more than ten minutes of their time in a day, you are wasting their time unless they requested it.
    Just try to figure out who is doing what. Let the developers come out with ideas how to handle the project technical wise. Be a medium between development team and marketing, not dictator. If you are a good bridge, your work will be successful.
     
  8. Avid Learner

    Avid Learner Regular Member

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    Treat it like you are hired as an outside consultant, only that you get free access to their people, documents and tools 24/7.

    If you have direct reports, have a sit down with them ask them to help bring you up to speed. Make a list of what you want/need to know about and ask them who is best to walk you through it. Get access to documentation on their strategy, regular reports, KPIs, etc. and get set up for access to any tools they use. If you don't, talk to your hiring boss who can help you, and where you can get this stuff.

    Your first meetings with marketing and management is more get to know you, and what their expectations are, what their pain points are, etc., and a chance to sell yourself and what you bring to the table.

    Don't rush into a plan and direction right away. Get a lay of the land.

    Asking "the right" questions along the way will be enough demonstration that you know what you are doing, and are making progress.

    They will want to know you are familiar with everything before you make big changes. You will have to figure out who to please and make sure they are on board with what you eventually figure out to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  9. bigzila

    bigzila Newbie

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    Get an idea what the company is about first before starting to make so radical changes.