I am a recent follower of Chad Pollitt and have found myself checking out more and more of his work as of late. I was intrigued to find out that not only is Chad an SEO / inbound marketing professional, but he is also an Army National Guard Commander and Iraq War Veteran. Chad was willing to take the time to participate in an interview I prepared to ask him about the two careers. Below are the questions and answers:
I would like to start by asking you why you chose to get into the SEO or what you are recently referring to as the inbound marketing field and when that happened?
This process can be best described as an evolution. To be more specific, the evolution of a virus which I caught clear back in 1996 as a business undergraduate student at Indiana University. It started with a rudimentary HTML class. Soon after, I entered a business plan contest sponsored and judged by a real local company. My plan? I pitched an email marketing campaign as the foundation of the business plan. They loved it and I beat out over 700 students for the victory! In hindsight, it was nothing more than a spam plan before anyone knew what spam was.
From that point on I was hooked on Internet marketing. After college I worked for a couple of large companies in sales (Internet jobs for non-programmers and non-designers where unheard of at the time). Throughout my sales career I worked on several freelance projects involving the deployment of websites (really bad websites). It wasn’t until I left big corporate America in 2006 to work in sales for a small boutique web shop that I was exposed to the idea of SEO as a marketing function.
After that I pursued every Internet marketing challenge I could find, both freelance and professionally. I knew I hit pay-dirt when one of my SEO projects alone grew sales by more than 10 million dollars for a client. I went from working in sales for a small boutique web shop to being an Internet marketing manager for a top-flight development agency called Digital Hill. In 2008 I enrolled in the University of San Francisco’s Internet Marketing Master’s program and was able to learn under some of the greatest minds in Internet marketing in the world. This led to helping launch a wildly popular Facebook app call TabSite.
Seeking even greater challenges, I landed in Cleveland, OH in 2010 to work with Kuno Creative and became a Certified HubSpot Partner. I’m happy to say that everyday represents a new marketing challenge and that I’m one of the lucky few. I get paid to do my passion and what I love to do. It doesn’t even feel like work.
Following up on your webinar from 1/30/2012 titled “Inbound Marketing is the New SEO”, you compared “traditional SEO” to “inbound marketing” and what you feel is necessary to succeed. Your recommended number of blog posts per week nearly tripled. On an annual level, white papers are 6X higher and webinar and video are both included into the mix.
With all of this content, where do you turn for new ideas and do you feel it is necessary to staff content marketers / creators more heavily?
The great thing about the Internet is that there’s very few ideas that someone else hasn’t come up with in some fashion somewhere. New ideas are harvested almost every day from Twitter, Facebook, Google and beyond. We’re not trying to create the new buzz phrase or format like an infographic, podcast or whitepaper. The formulas for success are tried and true. We just duplicate them with unique problem solving content. It’s not 100% necessary to staff content creators if the current staff has the talent and throughput. However, once a certain threshold is met outsourcing becomes a great way to offset content throughput limitations. One of my favorite sources for content outsourcing is Zerys.com. Having journalists and writers on staff to manage the outsourcing and conduct interviews is valuable as well. A mix of all of the above is the approach we take here at Kuno.
How do you feel about Search Plus Your World (SPYW) and do you think it’s a positive change to the way Google displays results to searchers? Do you think it is here to stay?
I’m pretty neutral when it comes to SPYW and don’t personally use it, nor do I plan too. The most positive part of the deployment is what I believe they call a “tell” in poker. It’s a signal to people like us as to what Google wants to do in the future and how they plan on doing it. My gut tells me that after the J.C. Penney black hat link building fiasco Google wishes to minimize the PageRank algorithm in favor of some type of social rank algorithm. This is Google’s way of testing the waters. However, unless they can find a way to more robustly include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in their SPYW results they’ll be stuck with mediocre SERPs unless Google+ experiences massive adoption and use. I’m not sure if SPYW in its current form is here to stay. It will probably eventually get swallowed into their regular SERPs. Having to toggle between the two doesn’t seem like the best sustainable strategy. However, I’ve been wrong before…
Chad, with both a military career and your career with Kuno Creative, what drives you to stay motivated?
It’s simple – I’m always looking for the next big challenge and revel in the opportunity to overcome. I also know that my success or lack thereof is going to directly affect my two year old twin daughters. Lastly, it is my desire to be a part of the best Internet marketing team in the world. These are the things that motivate me.
What do you enjoy most about your military career? What about your marketing career?
The Army provides me with the leadership training and experience no MBA program in the world could possibly provide. I get to command, lead, mentor, motivate and work with honorable young soldiers every month. During the month I get to work with many career military brass that lead and mentor me. These experiences build the best constitution for being the best Internet marketer I can be.
Looking at the traffic, leads and customers’ trend line over 12 months in an analytics package pointing northward is what I enjoy the most about my marketing career.
Thank you again to Chad Pollitt for taking the time to answer these questions. I would also like to personally thank Chad and his soldiers for their ongoing service to our country.
Check out the slides from Chad’s webinar: