John is the founder of Credo , a marketplace that connects marketers, freelancers, consultants, and agencies with companies. In this quick Q&A, John shares his experience and thoughts on SEO and his current status with Credo.
1. Hey John, thanks for doing the Q&A. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been working on?
Hey Wil, thanks for asking me! I am a Denver, Colorado based entrepreneur and SEO consultant. For the last two years, I’ve been working on GetCredo.com which is a service to connect businesses with digital marketing agencies and consultants. I also have two SEO consulting clients of my own, both very large content websites.
2. Out of all the topics on business, why does SEO interest you the most?
SEO is where I started and while I’ve worked across the gammut of inbound marketing, it’s the one I keep coming back to because it’s constantly changing. While I firmly believe that you really see success when you get the basics right, I really enjoy knowing the basics like the back of my hand and being able to think creatively from there about problems. At the end of the day, SEO is just problem solving which makes it fun for me.
3. Building a marketplace is extremely tough and most people run into the chicken and egg problem. How are you filling both sides of the marketplace?
You nailed it with the chicken and egg problem, though after running one I’ve learned that this problem usually only exists in the theoretical world. Most marketplaces find it easy to acquire one side, but then realize it is very hard to retain that side of the marketplace while you build the other side. Unless you have deep VC funded pockets and very patient investors, it’s going to take you time to get liquidity in your marketplace to the point where it self-sustains. In my company, I have a very easy time acquiring agencies/consultants who are looking for more projects, but finding the high-quality projects to send their way that will actually close into clients is the challenge.
4. What’s in your sales stack now and what’s your favorite sales tool?
My sales stack is super lightweight. I basically have a home-rolled system passing data between Gravity Forms, Trello, and HubSpot’s CRM, coupled with Calendly for scheduling, UberConference for calls/demos, and Drift for live chat.
My stack is cobbled together because I do not have multiple sales people, so this set up will definitely be changing over time!
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5. What’s a typical day in life for you?
No day is the same in the life of an entrepreneur. I try to get up at a decent time (usually before 7am), grab some coffee, and get straight into the most important tasks for my day. I find that if I can avoid my inbox and most social media for a couple hours, I can get a lot of work done early in the day which sets the rest up for success as well.
I try to step away from my computer by 5pm so I can have time with my wife, go to the gym, and get a bit of margin in my life.
6. When it comes to SEO, what’s the number one mistake newbies make?
Too many newbies try to start with advanced tactics without first getting a base in the best practices and learning the business reasons for doing SEO in the first place. It can then be very hard to transition into being an important stakeholder for your clients, your own business, or the business where you work inhouse.
I definitely recommend that all new SEOs get a good base in technical, content, and link acquisition first. Then you can specialize and go where you find most intriguing, but learning the various kinds of SEO first can help you make the right decisions for your career moving forward.
7. Are there any new user acquisition strategies now? Tell us about it!
One user acquisition that has come back into vogue is using platforms like Quora to really build your name as an authority in your space by answering questions completely, basically as full blog posts. If you’re smart about and reference your company/content when it makes sense, you can drive quite a bit of traffic that has a high likelihood of converting.
8. Are there any books that you would recommend to the fellow readers?
Most of my reading these days is around entrepreneurship and finance, but when it comes to marketing the ones I’d read are:
9. Any annual goals before the end of 2017?
I used to be a big proponent of creating annual goals so that you know where you are heading with your business, but in the last months I’ve realized that these can put unnecessary pressure on you to grow your business without a purpose. Thus, my main goal for the rest of this year is to get better at running a marketplace, sort out some business model issues, and continue turning my business into automated processes so that I get more of my time back.
10. How can readers reach you?
You can find me in four main places:
- Twitter — twitter.com/dohertyjf
- My new side project — singlegeared.com
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