Interview with Damon Burton – The Basics of SEO & The Benefits of Writing a Book – Episode #19

Damon Burton is the owner of an international search engine marketing company, SEO National. After founding the company 14 years ago, he has worked with NBA teams, Inc 5000 companies, and Shark Tank featured businesses. As a search engine marketing expert, Damon writes for Forbes, has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, BuzzFeed, and USA Weekly. He is also the author of the book Outrank: Your Guide to Making More Online by Showing Up Higher on Search Engines and Outranking Your Competition.

In this episode, we talk about how he got into marketing, his experience as the owner of an SEO company, the usefulness and advantages of SEO, how to hire an SEO agency, his process for implementing an SEO strategy, and much more.

 

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto  0:00  

Pretty good. We are now recording in five or three. Hello everyone and welcome to Kenny Soto’s Digital Marketing podcast. Again, last always I like to start off with a note of gratitude to you the listener. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We are now recording episode 19. And today’s guest is an amazing person. His name is Damon Burton. He is the owner of an international search engine marketing company called SEO national. 

After founding the company 14 years ago, he has worked with NBA teams, Inc 5000 companies, and companies that have also been featured in Shark Tank. As a search engine marketing expert Damon writes for Forbes has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Buzzfeed and USA weekly. He is also the author of the book out rank your guide to making more online by showing up higher on search engines and outranking your competition. And considering he is he is a search engine marketing expert. It is very exciting to have him on the podcast. Welcome Damon. 

 

Damon Burton  1:06  

What’s up, Kenny, thanks for having me. 

 

Kenny Soto  1:09  

So I there’s a lot of things I want to ask you. But as always, I think the best way to start not only for myself, but also for the listeners is to ask a very simple question. And that question is what got you into digital marketing?

 

Damon Burton  1:25  

Man, do you want the short version or the really amazing theatrical? Long answer? 

 

Kenny Soto  1:31  

If there’s a combination of the two, I’ll take it.

 

Damon Burton  1:34  

Okay, I’ll try and do the middle ground. Alright, so I started a website in 2000-2001, called Li Li writes. And it was a car enthusiast website so that I still own the domain. But I just kind of archived it since then. So elite rides was, you know, in my early 20s, of course, I’m into cars. 

And so if you think that kind of fast and furious before it actually came out, I started my my site before Fast, Furious came out. And so that actually kind of fuel that a little bit. But what I would do is I would modify my car, you know, I put a turbo on I had a Honda Civic, that the usual kind of thing, wheels and all this and that. And so I would drive around. And when I would see other cars that were modified, I’d be like, Hey, I flagged them down. 

And I’d be like, rolled out anyway, no, hey, can you pull over for a second? And and I just tell the I’d ask these strangers to pull over for a second I say, Hey, I like your car, how many cars? You know, that sounds obviously balloon it, you know, kind of like a lunatic. So maybe it’s I just got lucky because I we can tell that we’re both into cars. And so most people pull over? And I’d say, Look, I got this website, can I take a couple pictures. And I would keep these little bio sheets in my car, where they could write down their name and what kind of car they had and what kind of modifications they’ve done to it. 

They said, I want to feature your car. And so I built up this little car enthusiast website, and it started to grow a decent sized audience in my local area. And I got thinking, How do I how do I grow this further? And so that got me into web design more. And then as it continued to grow, I said, How do I monetize this. 

And so that got me into marketing. So I kind of after that, it was kind of the usual story that a lot of other people have done, where I did web design on the side, and went through that process of sucking. And so I you know, wasn’t very good for a while and I figured out how to get better and but I was cool with that, like I was okay, knowing I wasn’t the best and and so as I did those side projects, so it’d be very transparent about what I could deliver was what sort of value and that really helped establish relationships and, and, you know, 14 years later, that’s one thing, I still really cherishes the relationships that I’ve built. 

And I still have probably half a dozen of my clients from day 114 years ago. And what’s ironic is for being a marketing agency, we don’t do any marketing at all. So here I am, we’ve sold millions of dollars in SEO. And I’ve never paid $1 for paid ads. I mean, I threw I threw some money at funnels about a year or two ago just as an experiment. But it wasn’t, it was more for my personal side, it wasn’t directly tied to the company. And but other than that, yeah, we’ve like I could probably connect the dots on nearly every single continent, maybe like 90% of our clients as either a referral from another client, or you know, Kenny, you and I met on LinkedIn. Or another large percentage of those clients come from me just giving away free advice on LinkedIn. So that’s that’s kind of the Crash Course. Middle Ground answer.

 

Kenny Soto  4:35  

And can you describe for the listeners, what is it that you do now? What does your daily work look like?

 

Damon Burton  4:42  

Yeah, so I own a company called SEO national we do SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to have your website show up higher on search engines, but without paying for ads. So my daily routine, I could probably answer it two ways my routine now I was a little bit different than it was couple years ago, with the exception of last night, I told you I did a late night. But I don’t really do super long days, well, I guess that’s relative, I still usually do 12 hour days, I usually wake up at 5am. 

I’m not a morning person, if I could stay up late I would prefer to, but I like getting a head start on the world. And I’ve really found that that sets the moat, the sets the pace for the day. For me, if I sleep into 7,8,9 o’clock, I feel like I’ve just lost so much opportunity, which kind of slows down my momentum for the day. The other reason is, you know, I have three kids and I like, I like going to bed with them and my wife and and feel like I get that time with them or even before bed like we hang out. 

And so in the morning, they’re going to always be asleep. So I feel like that’s where I can squeeze in extra time without sacrificing any of my time with my family. So I usually wake up for two or three hours before the whole crew wakes up. And then I’ll hang out for an hour, my kids have breakfast, hang out, just do whatever. And then they’ll go to school, my wife will do her thing. 

And then the kids will come, they get out around three 330. And as long as it’s warm weather during the summer, I’ll usually walk up and walk back with the kids. So I block off you and I talked about like Calendly and acuity, these different calendar things, I blocked that time off so that way. If it’s a decent opportunity with the weather, then I can walk up and walk the kids back home from school, and just get in that extra 20 minutes with them during the day. And then around five o’clock. 

I call it a day. And so five I shut things down and hang out the family don’t work weekends. Yesterday, yesterday did late night because everybody passed out early. So I said why don’t we squeeze in some more time. But that’s what I did. That’s kind of the routine now, you know, 10 years ago, being in my early 20s and mid 20s. And before we had kids, dude, I would just I would just work out hustled out because I knew I would have a family one day and I didn’t want to do that when I had kids. And so now I’ve been able to accomplish that goal. And so I kind of embrace that time with my family.

 

Kenny Soto  7:05  

Now, there are a variety of professions that the audience has where some of them do social media marketing. Some of them are already in SEO. Others are strictly copywriters, strictly graphic designers. Now from the SEO standpoint, what advantages and disadvantages this SEO brain as far as a strategy perspective is concerned, compared to all the other elements that a business can use in their marketing?

 

Damon Burton  7:36  

Yeah, that’s a good question. First of all, I’m not one of those people, a lot of the these other marketers are like, funnels are the only way and everything else sucks. And paid ads are the only way and everything else sucks. So I’m not that guy. I think that there’s an opportunity for all different types of marketing for different types of products and services, some work for others, some don’t work for others. 

So if they’re all profitable, then do them all. But the the kind of general advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of SEO is that it usually has the biggest return. The other nice thing is that you have kind of a fixed budget. So when you end up figuring out how competitive your space is, and you get your rate from your SEO agency. Now one thing that kind of like to emphasize on a side comment is, don’t choose a package. Because with packages, the agency is either going to oversell you on more than you need, or you are going to choose the cheaper option, and you’re going to delete your own progress. So really try to negotiate and discuss or, or if hopefully, the the agency that you go with approaches that that way and they audit your website, and they look your competition and say you have very specific needs. 

And those needs are going to take this time, which costs this much money. If they don’t take that approach. They try and sell you on a package try and open up that discussion that says, you know, I don’t want to overpay but I also don’t want to get under delivered. So like, can you we better fine tune this to be specific, specific to my circumstances. 

So the the only downside to SEO is that it takes time, like you’re building a reputation and relationship between your website and Google. And, you know, kind of the the average timelines it takes for us to launch a campaign, you know, weeks one through two, like we are just staging things, we’re loading the account into our platforms, we’re starting to do competitive analysis, we’re starting to do keyword research. 

Then weeks two through three, we’re kind of presenting that data to the customer and saying, Hey, look, here’s what we found. And here’s why we think we should take this approach versus that approach. And then there’s a week or two where we go back and forth and we find the happy medium. Once we finalize that all that research I mean we’re a month plus into it already and we haven’t even really started producing assets. 

So once that’s done, you know it’s really important to front load your efforts because unlike paid ads, paid ads, you can turn off and on SEO you really shouldn’t because if you get six months down a path, and you change direction, you just basically burn that time and money for six months, you can’t nimbly pivot. And so you really want to put in a lot of good time to make sure you are going to pick the words you can monetize. Now, once you figure out what those words are, then you have to start building content assets that support those targets. 

So now you got to do a whole other research phase where you’re like, okay, not only, you know, I don’t want to throw mud at the wall and just guess at topics, you go to these websites, and they’re like, the same generic crap over and over and over about their industry. 

So what you want to figure out is, what’s the buyer intent? And actually tap into the questions that your consumers directly are already asking or the problems they have? And then answer that those questions and solve those problems. So now we’re like two, two and a half months into it, we’re just barely starting to write create assets, then you have to distribute it. And then you have to wait for Google to find it. And you have to wait for Google to digest it and then shuffle the rankings around. 

So you’re playing catch up a little bit, depending on your industry and how far ahead your competitors are. So the fact that a lot of SEO say, it takes a year. You know, for me, I really tried to get people to manually commit to a year not to lock them in or anything. But I want them to make sure that they have a enough cash flow and runway to comfortably support this because I don’t want to take food off anybody’s table. But be that they also have the patience to give ser enough time to prove its worth because once it kicks in, like it’s really hard to screw it up. And unlike paid ads, you know, paid ads are the opposite paid ads are a lot quicker. 

But you always have a budget associated with it, your competitors are always getting heavier. And so the cost per acquisition is going up the cost per ad spend is going up. But with SEO, once you negotiate that rate, for the most part, it stays the same, you might have to tweak it, you know, every year or two, but you’re not turning it off and on and changing things on a monthly basis. So time and cost are the advantages and disadvantages.

 

Kenny Soto  12:00  

And you mentioned earlier when answering the question that a client really needs to think about the packages, and negotiating something where it makes sense. And they’re not just picking the cheapest option that an agency is offering. Let’s say I’m an entrepreneur, and I either want to learn SEO myself, or I want to train someone in house within my team. What resources do you currently use and or recommend to someone in that particular situation?

 

Damon Burton  12:37  

Two options come to mind moz, moz.com is a pretty well known trusted outlet industry. And they have like I think it’s called like Seo 101. And they have a pretty lengthy guide that goes over it. Another option if I can throw out a link of mine is I wrote a book this year called outrank, and it is exactly what you described, I had two types of readers in mind. 

One was the little guys that can’t afford SEO, but they still should have a fighting chance. So it’s 130-40 page book that gets a book book. It’s not just like a short PDF download. So if you go to freeSEObook.com, you can get a free PDF download. It’s on Amazon if you want a physical copy. But reader number one was that like help the little guys out because there are so many outdated resources or shady agencies that just have really good sales guys. 

But the the the second reader is the bigger agency or the bigger companies where they don’t they know SEO is the answer, but they don’t want to spend the time on it. But like you said, they don’t know what questions to answer to ask they don’t know how to qualify the right agency, they don’t know who to trust. And so I wrote, you know, more than there’s a whole chapter dedicated just to questions to ask to qualify and find the right agency.

 

Kenny Soto  13:58  

Amazing. And I know that there’s been a lot of changes in digital marketing overall, and all aspects of digital marketing, and especially this year. So my question to you now is, what immediate changes have you seen with SEO going into pre COVID? And now COVID error era? Excuse me, And what changes do you suspect might occur in 2021 When it comes to SEO?

 

Damon Burton  14:30  

The only thing that’s really changed, I think is the demand, obviously, I mean, the online marketplace is always been growing but understandably COVID accelerated it. As far as strategically, I don’t think it’s really changed that much. And not just because of COVID but I get this question pretty regularly even before COVID You know what’s changed over the last couple of years? What’s coming in the future? Nothing.

And that really surprises a lot of people and the reason why is because everything that comes along with new strategies or Variables are opportunities of things to work with within the scope of SEO, back into like a core pillar of SEO. So what I mean is, you know, mobile devices come along couple of years ago, great, it’s still just an element of good design. the voice comes along. Great. 

It’s still just an element of good content. Like I’m not over here, and me and my team aren’t recording like little sound bites on our on our computers and loading into websites to give Siri and Google answers. What happens is, you know, voice is a great example of this. What happens is, when you ask Google or Siri a question, it is giving the answer from a website that a it can access, the quickest B has the cleanest content that it can read quickly. 

And see has a good structure and it trusts what is being presented to the search engine, so it can digest it and send it back to the user instantaneously. So I think that’s actually a big fall of a lot of people, they get caught up in the new shiny objects, and oh, there’s this new thing. And let’s just go all in on it. I’ve always taken a well rounded approach, and just backed anything into just really standard core pillars of SEO. And it’s always worked really well, as these new algorithms come along. We’ve never had any client with a penalty. So brick and nothing, Kenny.

 

Kenny Soto  16:19  

And if you were going to hire a new teammate, or hire an SEO, quote, unquote, expert for a friend, what criteria would you be looking for? What kind of questions would you be asking them to evaluate their expertise and their skills?

 

Damon Burton  16:38  

I would start with the basics, I’d say, Hey, tell me what areas of opportunity there are to improve my website. Anytime you approach an agency or an SEO, the first thing they should do is, uh, at least what we do is we audit two things. So we audit what’s called on page, so we audit your website structure. And then we added what’s called off page, which is your external credibility when other websites link to you and other websites talk about you or your brand. 

And a lot of agencies will charge to do these audits, which I kind of understand. But the reason why I think they should do a free anyway, is because you how can you give a rate or a quote or know what you’re walking into unless you audit and see what the competitive landscape is and see how good or bad the website is? I mean, there’s some clients that we take on and you know, SEO kind of, primarily has two categories. 

There’s lots of things go into those categories with first categories. Like we said, what do you do on your website listing categories? What do you do externally to your website. So there’s some clients where their website structure is a total mess. And there, there’s often times where I say, look, there’s a lot of opportunity there for you on search engines. But you got to, you got to redesign this, like the design, the design, aesthetically, and cosmetically is fine. But the structure is a mess, you need to have the street coded, you need to have this load quicker, we can keep the same branding, we keep the same imagery, but we need to get you on a cleaner, faster back end. 

So there’s some times where it’s the opposite of that, and the website structure is awesome. And so we don’t know, until we actually look at it and run reports. Are we going to charge them three grand on month one to launch the account? Are we gonna charge them 10 grand? Because we got to wreck their site and rebuild it from the ground up? Are we gonna charge them 20 grand? Because whatever. 

And so you really have to, I would ask kind of like an open ended question and see if they if they proactively bring you solutions, or if they just gave you like some generic bullcrap like, Well, what I do is proprietary, or they don’t give you specifics, if anybody says proprietary, just freaking run, because with proprietary, the problem with the word proprietary, and the scope of SEO, or internet marketing in general, is that we all use the same damn tools. It’s just who knows how to use them better, and who knows how to analyze the data better, and who knows how to combine the data from different resources better. 

So the chances of somebody actually having proprietary tools, especially if it’s like a solopreneur, or small agency, they do not have anything proprietary. Maybe if it’s a big agency, they might have something but at the end of the day, it still does the same thing that all these other tools do. So look for honesty, look for transparent answers, that’s, that’s going to be number one, when you approach an agency, because you’re you’re going to engage in long term relationship with them. 

And so you need to be willing to pay them month over month for a long time before you’re gonna get any that returned back. And so you really have to feel comfortable with what you’re about to engage in.

 

Kenny Soto  19:40  

And you mentioned tools, can you give us examples of free and paid software that marketers should be using?

 

Damon Burton  19:51  

Yeah, there’s my favorite paid solutions we often use. It’s called SEO Power Suite. It’s from link hyphen asst.com. And they have four or five tools that come in a bundle. We’ll use three of them. We use their site auditor, maybe two of them, their site auditor, and they have which will analyze the site structure like we talked about mine broken links, find little SEO things that search engines read that are missing. 

Then we also use a program that they have called Spyglass SEO Spyglass, which will analyze your backlink portfolio. But then some free ones like what if you want to look at backlinks, there’s a website called Web meet up.com. And you can kind of quantify how many links you have. So we’ll often use that as a quick tool to just look at how competitive a backlink portfolio is of a lead versus their competitor and see how big that gap of backlink quantities is we need to close Seo profiler.org is another tool that’s free used to be able to just punch in the domain and scan your backlinks without registering now you have to register but it’s still free and they have a paid account as well. 

Same with web me up they have paid account. H refs hr tfs.com is a popular one a lot of people will be familiar with backlink analysis tool. on the content side a lot of people don’t talk about some content tools there. I like to use Grammarly and so I have six copywriters and they all use grammerly. And then there’s other tools, one’s called Hemingway Hemingway app.

And Hemingway will try to the difference between Grammarly and Hemingway is Grammarly takes a very structured approach and says, okay, the you know, you could swap this out for a synonym for it to read better, or there’s a spelling mistake here a grammar mistake here. 

Hemingway is not quite that Hemingway is actually uniquely different. Hemingway will analyze how it reads and kind of tell you like, hey, this content is a little too smart. It’s too hard to read for a general audience. Or you could sound more casual by adjusting this. So it’ll kind of help you align your voice with who you’re trying to present your content to.

 

Kenny Soto  21:58  

My favorite author Malcolm Gladwell, has mentioned Hemingway app as well in the past. And he says that shooting for eighth grade reading level was usually the best, especially because when someone’s reading anything, first things first, being able to get someone to read a webpage is a great accomplishment. 

And most people don’t read the entire webpage, they’ll skim through a page, look at subheadings trying to get their answer as soon as possible. So really finding a way to make every single part of your copy as simplified as possible. Definitely helps. And I’m glad you mentioned both Grammarly and Hemingway app. Speaking of writing, why did you write your ebook? And how’s it personally affected your business growth?

 

Damon Burton  22:48  

Yeah, thanks for asking in the book. Before I jump into that, let me let me elaborate one more thing. It’s interesting that that person mentioned eighth grade, a lot of the stuff that I read is, is closer to fifth grade.

But I think there’s definitely a purpose for eighth grade. So kind of the difference is that fifth grade is, is obviously easier to read than eighth grade. And to your point, people don’t usually read the entire page. And so because they skim when it’s on a fifth grade level, it’s easier to read, when you start getting a higher grade reading level, then it’s harder to scan because there’s bigger words and bigger sentences. 

But I think there’s also value depending on your industry, to intentionally disqualify some of your readers and do more in depth content at an eighth grade level, or college degree level or whatever. Because depending on what your industry is, you don’t want those people reading like they’re not your customer. 

And so you want to scare them away. So just that was interesting that they mentioned eighth grade, as far as my book. So my book, I didn’t mention the name it was called outrank. And it took about two years to write writing was an interesting experience. I write a lot, but I’ve never written a book before. And what was interesting about writing a book is it over the two year process, it probably took about 789 months to actually write. 

And then editing took way longer, because you when you start the book, you have all these, at least for me, I have all these things I can talk about with my experience that I’ve acquired over the years. It’s like a what do I want to talk about and said, like, split that all out and figure out what are the potential topics, then I had to align him and say, Okay, here’s kind of the flow, or here’s kind of the, the approach I can take. 

And then after I do that, then I have to go fill in the blanks and actually write the content. Well, after you write the content, well then Holy crap, now I got 137 page book, I gotta read a frickin 137 page book. And so then you have to go through and read it. And then as you read it, you go, Okay, well, now I understand the flow is a little bit different. 

This, you know, chapter seven would be better as chapter two and chapter four would be better is chapter 10. And so then you rearrange the flow, and then you go, Holy crap. Now I gotta read a whole frickin book again, because you just totally changed the whole the whole flow of it. So you have to make sure it’s reads good. 

And so you go from like rearranging entire chapters to rearranging entire pages to rearranging paragraphs to sentences to words. And that took a long time. So after you write it, you get burned out a little bit. And so I took a little pause. And then I resumed editing. And then after reading 137, page book 57 times, and on top of running a business on top of being a dad, then, you know, it’s just, it was a long process for me, but I didn’t want to have acid. 

And we see a lot of other books, especially in digital marketing, where it’s just like, spit out a book as fast as possible, and then just like, vomited everywhere on the internet. And I didn’t want to do that I wanted to actually bring a book that had value and and I know it’s not going to be evergreen, because SEO is going to change but that it will last as long as possible. And so it was a long process as far as its help business. 

One thing that’s important for listeners to understand is, books don’t make any money, like you are going to spend a crap ton of money. I mean, I’m probably in my book, 30 grand, but it’s paid for itself already. And so the way you make your money on books is unless you’re like doing, you know, science fiction, or something, where people buy it for the intent of reading for entertainment, you know, most books, I look at it as a as an expensive business card. 

So anytime I have a lead, I sent him the book. Anytime I have a new client, I put it in her welcome kit. Anytime I meet somebody new, just I was talking to a guy on LinkedIn right for you. And I jumped on, guess who’s getting the book? So what happens is it It emphasizes your credibility, because not everybody writes a book, especially a legit book, you know, not just a four page PDF download. 

So it’s really cool to be able to go, Hey, can I send you a book like, here it is on Amazon, so you can check it out? Wink, wink, humblebrag, but I’ll send it to you for free. And then and then they can see on Amazon that it’s a legit book, they can see all the positive reviews. And then it really underscores your credibility. 

And so one good example of how you monetize it is I had a client that was referred over by somebody I met on LinkedIn. And they were introduced on Friday. And then somewhere between Friday and Monday, the person that referred us must have told him that I also had a book, because by the time I had an appointment with him on Monday, the first thing that she said on the phone call was I read your book over the weekend, I don’t want to do all that crap, how much is it going to cost. 

And so like, it’s just like, it helps quality, it helps educate your readers, or your audience, at least for me. Like I said, I’m very morally driven. And so I want to make sure it’s a right engagement. And so it’s been really nice to educate the readers because not only, not only does it help qualify if it’s a right fit, but then they can now help me help them better because they understand the process, they understand how time intensive it is they understand the type of assets are going to create and distribute. So it’s you have to leverage it as a source of credibility, you’re not going to make money on it directly. But indirectly, absolutely, you can make a ton of money.

 

Kenny Soto  28:00  

And my final question is more on the hypothetical slash reflection of your career so far. So imagining here that we have like some awesome power to go back in time and start all over again. But you have all of the lessons that you’ve accrued throughout the years? How would you 10x your career path in terms of speed? What would you do differently to get where you are today, but just faster?

 

Damon Burton  28:34  

I kind of want to answer this and I kind of don’t so the reason why don’t, I would change. I will give you one thing I will change following me saying I won’t change anything. I want you to think Dude, my career’s been awesome. And the older I get, the more I’m appreciative of that and in the most humble way, can I swear? I am super fucking proud of myself. 

And I don’t realize until in years in recent years, how uniquely my my how unique my journey has been in the ability to care for my family and protect them while still growing my business and networking and meeting people like Kenny and meeting people with other, you know, meeting other cool people. 

I have no problem whatsoever. Giving without expecting anything in return. Because what happens is like the most amazing things pay back later, tenfold to what you wouldn’t have even expected. Like I know the listeners can’t see but Kenny like you can see on this wall right here. Like I got all these cool plaques and things. 

And there’s big thing on the top is something I got a couple weeks ago. It’s a four page magazine spread in the centerfold of like this marketing magazine. I had no idea that was coming. I just somebody asked if I could chime in and give some opinion on marketing. And they ended up making it the centerpiece of a magazine If that is printed physically to 27,000 recipients and online, I have no idea how many people read it online. And here I get the center spread on this widely distributed magazine, just because I help somebody out. And I was like, yeah, here’s some, here’s some answers to SEO,

 

Kenny Soto  30:15  

Which magazine is that? sorry to interrupt.

 

Damon Burton  30:20  

Scotsman Guide. So I would be super hesitant to change anything. But, you know, if I had to give an answer, what I would do is I would hire, I would hire team members quicker, I would, I would document processes quicker. So what happened is I’ve always been very process driven. But you know, eight, 910 years ago, it was like, half of the processes were in my head, and some are on excuse me, some are on a sheet somewhere over here. And so what happened was a perfect storm, I had three things happen. 

One was I had a VC company reach out, say, Hey, we’re buying this other marketing company, they don’t do SEO. So we’re thinking about, you know, would you be interested and we can acquire you both, we can merge it together. And then we had like this mega company. And at the time, I was a lot smaller, but I, you know, proven our model to be successful. And when I went into that meeting, I ended up declining the offer, because it was just super sketchy. And, excuse me, there was just a super sketchy, kind of shady engage, and just Something didn’t feel right. 

And so I declined. But what I learned in that process was the buyers want two things. One is they want to have a turnkey operation. So they want to if they buy you, they want to take the keys and run. And then the other thing is they want to know where the fire is your leads, so they can pour more fuel on that fire. 

And that really encouraged me to document the process as well, while reading while going through that I was also reading listening on audible to Four Hour Workweek and E Myth Revisited. And I didn’t take a lot away from four hour workweek, because a lot of things I was already doing. 

But one thing I one thing I really asked myself like immediately was Why do I only have one or two bas. And I hesitate to say the A’s only say that just so the audience can relate to to the skill set. But I say team member more than bas or employees because my team is freaking awesome. 

You know, that melee that’s like a whole other conversation about the team loyalty and their culture we built. But I, at the time, we only had one or two Bas and so within two months, three months, I don’t know, I had like six or seven or eight. And we’ve just continued to grow. And so now I have 20 team members. 

And so when I when I listened to it to four hour workweek, I realized I should scale more. But to scale more, you had document processes. And that’s what E Myth Revisited contributed to and the discussion with the BC company. And so after that I took like an hour or two every other day for a year to document all our processes, and it sucked. 

But it was like the best thing ever. Because now when we have a new new account, I just go and push a button and literally 200 tasks get assigned to the appropriate individual team members with perfect documentation. So now when they hire a team member, I don’t have to worry about quality control, what I do is I first qualify their skill set, obviously, depending on what job role they need to fulfill. But then after that I trust my gut, I hire way more on a gut feel and will they will they integrate well into our company culture, will they maintain team morale, because I don’t have to worry about quality control. 

If I know they can do the thing that they need to do. That’s great, I can find a million of those people. But what I need to know is that they’re going to fit within the group and maintain that positive environment that we’ve built. And so with the with the tasks and documented now all I need to do is go okay, do I trust them? And then can they read? And can they follow directions. And then by day number one when I bought a new team member, it’s like hey, welcome to the team. 

Here’s a project you’re working on day number two is here’s our CRM today. Number three is like goodbye. Like I don’t want to micromanage most of the conversations to have my with my team or personnel. It’s like how are you doing? How are things going? Anything I can support you with and they’ll reach out if I can advise or help them with something in so I really spend my time fostering relationships with them more than micromanaging them because everything else is documented.

 

Kenny Soto  34:21  

Amazing. And I will add both of those books and your book into the show notes. With all of this being said it’s a lot to take in and I would definitely love to have you on for another episode just to talk about managing teams. So now all I have left to ask you is when if someone wants to connect with you online, where can they find you?

 

Damon Burton  34:45  

I’m most active on LinkedIn. You can just search my name Damon Burton, and I’m fairly active on Facebook as well. You can find me on Instagram and other places but that’s my team. They’re just repurposing my content. so, if you want to have an actual conversation, then hit me up on Facebook or LinkedIn. Seo national.com is the company website, Damon burton.com. I talked about a lot of these things we discussed today. And then the last thing is if you want to snag that free book, it’s free SEO book.com.

 

Kenny Soto  35:16  

Perfect. Thank you so much for your time. And for the listener. Again, I asked this in the previous episode, so I’ll just ask again, we are interviewing people who work in SEO, artificial intelligence, public relations, graphic design, copywriting, you name it, we are interviewing experts on those subjects. So I want to hear from you. 

Please let us know at Kennysoto.com forward slash contact or at Kenny Soto on Instagram for any topics, questions or specific people you would like to have on the podcast. Again, my name is Kenny Soto, you just listened to another amazing episode of my Digital Marketing podcast. And again, just thank you for your time. Have a great week and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks

Share This