Just leave SEO and Inbound Marketing girl – they will never change !!

Posted by Chris on June 21st, 2011

I recently came across this post on another blog site:

” I do the SEO for a healthcare company, and I have these exact problems. ( a lack of respect due to … 1. Poor communication, 2. Department mentality, 3. Being seen to be opiniated )  The good news is that they are trying to improve their marketing. I have lots of knowledge, good ideas and excitement and I really want to help them reach their goals. The bad news- lack of understanding of my role, lack of coordination between the various types of marketing, because I am not being told about all the company goals, even if I ask.
In addition, nepotism and the boys’ bonding club is another thing I have to deal with. To make things worse, I am expected to train the web designer about what I do instead of doing my work, and I have to convince him that what I do is worthwhile (since he is design-oriented), so that we can design from a marketing and SEO perspective, all alone and without back-up from my boss (they are really chummy). This means projects are taking longer than they should, deadlines are unrealistic (the graphic/web designer calls the shots of when he is done and he is taking his time), and I can’t really show what I can do, nor can I do anything about it- since I have to keep my mouth shut (I have already been assigned the labels you mentioned in the article).
So, instead of marketing like crazy and getting the results- which is extremely fun for me and good for the company- I have to deal with things such as the ones mentioned, plus I have to do other things that I should not be doing and I get no support. So, yes, I get no respect. I did try to do the team work thing, but it seems to me that educating people about everything is a really a time-consuming task, and it needs to be a two-way street.
I think that companies need to educate themselves better on the roles of marketers and give them more support, instead of just expecting them to be “friendly” with everyone and being submissive and quiet, so that they would fit in. All these cookie-cutter ideas of how people should be all be the same are old and outdated. Part of being a marketer means being bold, free, more independent,creative, outspoken, taking chances, thinking outside of the box, being daring, competitive, a little rebellious and result-oriented. This is what I want my boss to support, because that is what gets him the results. “

and it really touched a raw nerve with me – perhaps because another marketer that I know was experiencing some similarish issues.

I told her:

1. To plot her exit

2. To screw ( use ) them whilst she did it

3. To be happy ( doing it )

Well – like I say it touched a raw nerve !!!!

SEO and more recently Inbound Marketing people are THE FUTURE but they will inevitably be held back by ” the old guard ” – traditional marketers, web designers and other ” established ” marketing and non-marketing functions.

Now this young lady may think she is frustrated but I can tell her that it is even more frustrating being an investor in a company that still has these attitudes and policies.

Remember, as an investor, you may sit on the Board ( or not ) but you will probably not have control ( which resides with the management team ) so you can actually only influence.

As an investor in this company I can imagine myself sitting in a Board meeting while they whinge about the fact that they are not going to hit their numbers.

Trying to ignore this fact slightly you ask why and they make some excuse about market conditions; failing salespeople etc etc

” How is your Internet Marketing going ? ” you ask, innocently. What are you getting from that ??

Oh we don’t get any actual business, they say.

Do you get visitors you ask ??

Well we do but don’t know how many.

Is the website being found ???

We think so.

What is it being found for ????

We don’t know.

Well, you’ve got an SEO specialist right ??


So what have you told her to SEO the website for then ???

( Blank looks all around )

o.k. So listen – if the SEO specialist does not know what you need to be found for she will be guessing. So you need to think about it and discuss it with her and then allow her to make changes to the website to ensure that it gets found. Your design guy isn’t going to be able to help you in this.

You also need to think about giving the SEO specialist the tools to measure if her work is having an effect on visitor numbers and leads generated.

Of course by now you have ruffled LOADS of feathers – but hey – they are playing with your money !!!!!

I could make this a much longer blog !!

Ten key hooks for investors in early stage businesses

Posted by Chris on March 20th, 2010

Written by Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurship at Smith & Williamson


Family and friends are a great source of funding for start ups and early stage businesses, but raising money from external investors or business angels is challenging.

Here are ten of the key issues that investors will be considering when they meet you or read your business plan.

1. First impressions

First impressions are critical. Most investors will decide not to proceed within the first 30 seconds of any discussion, or within a minute or two of picking up your business plan. Think about your approach, test in on your friends and practise it to perfection. Don’t fall at the first fence.

2. Demonstrable need

Where is the pain and what exactly is the need for your particular product or service? Most businesses offer ‘me too’ opportunities which are not obviously exciting to an investor. Make sure it’s clear how and why yours is different. Is it better, faster, cheaper or is there some other reason why you will succeed when many others fail?

3. Existing Revenues

Raising money for a business with pre-existing revenues is far easier as demand for your product or service has already been partially proven. The fact that you have already established the beginnings of a customer base will carry huge weight in any discussions.

4. Strategy

You may have a great idea, and you may have existing revenues, but what is the future for your business? Do you have a vision? If so, is it realistic or just “pie in the sky”? We have all seen those hockey stick shaped graphs showing an embarrassment of riches only a year or two down the track. Don’t be tempted to over-promise and under-deliver. It’s normally transparent from the start.

5. Business plan

The credibility of your proposal will be reflected in the quality of your business plan. A poorly presented, badly researched plan will kill your proposal before it has a chance. An idea may be good enough to gain the backing of family and friends, but it won’t cut the mustard with any serious investors.

6. Business model

Your business model will determine how and where you make your profits and how you will build long term value in your business. A model that requires huge revenues to deliver small profits is inherently unattractive, whereas a business in a niche market with high barriers to entry will be of interest to potential investors.

7. You

Are you credible in the eyes of the investor? What is your track record and what experience do you have of your business? Most successful entrepreneurs “stick to the knitting”, creating businesses based on their passion (ie something they know and understand), personal knowledge or experience. If this is limited, get the support of a mentor or partner. This will demonstrate maturity in the eyes of your investor.

8. Financials

Businesses go bust because they run out of cash, so be sure to demonstrate a good understanding of your financials. Margins and overheads will be part of the discussion, as well as working capital and cash flow. Remember that small businesses are normally cash constrained and prone to overtrading, so the investor will need to understand how you will manage this.

9. Pricing

Don’t be tempted to overvalue your business. We are a long way from the heady dotcom days when investors were persuaded to part with large amounts of cash based on little more than an idea. Nothing will put an investor off more quickly than an excessive or unsupportable valuation. The more you need, the more you will have to give away, so be realistic, cut your cloth and take in as little external funding as possible.

10. Exit

It’s very easy for an investor to put money into your business, but how will he get it back? A vague idea that you would like to buy his shares back at some future date is unlikely to be attractive. Taking in external funds means that you need to “begin at the end” in terms of thinking about exit, having a clear strategy and plan. This may change as the business grows, but you need that stake in the ground.

These are just some of the issues an investor will be thinking about, often subconsciously, in the short time that he focuses on your business. If you’ve thought it all out beforehand and you can tick all the boxes, you will have a strong chance of success.

Good luck!

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