How we accomplished (big) goals with content & social media marketing (in just 10 months)

I printed this off of one of Rand Fishkin’s decks at the beginning of 2012. It’s the analytics from the Everywhereist’s site. It shows her journey over a span of two years. It’s been hanging in my office as a source of inspiration.

And now we have our own:

This is the lift in Mack Web’s traffic between April of 2012 (when we started using content and social media marketing for our company) and January of 2013 (when we started seeing some really big results). That’s just a 10 month period.

Sure, we’re in a web savvy industry. And yes, we are in fact marketers so some of this stuff may come more naturally to us. But we’re no different than many companies out there. We have limited resources (a team of 4). We have a small budget for this (ok, more like no budget). We have a whole lot of other things that do in fact take priority. But we still made the commitment and did the work.

And it’s paying off.

Both personally (in my career), and at Mack Web, we have experienced a tremendous number of victories in less than a year. But none of them have come without effort. We have pushed harder in the last 10 months than in the last 10 years, but these efforts have catapulted us to another level. And that’s pretty awesome.

What follows is a narrative of the steps we’ve taken, the things we’ve done, and the mindset we cultivated to move us forward. And we think what happened is a pretty marvelous case study of what can happen when you put in the effort, when you persist in the face of underwhelming results, and – most importantly – when you pursue your passion.

It started like this:

The turning point

We decided that if we were going to tell our clients that they had to do something, we had to do it too. Lead by example. If we test this stuff out on us, we would have first-hand knowledge of how it may work for our clients. Granted, it’s different for every company (especially those in industries that are not as savvy as ours) but we at least had to take the lead in paving the way.

We’re always telling our clients that in order to get results, you have to be committed to (and passionate about) doing the work. So, in April of 2012, we made ourselves a client and started doing stuff on a regular basis in order to work toward our goal.

We started experimenting on us.

We set a goal

Back in March of 2012, Mack Web set a (5 year) goal during a visioning retreat:

BE THE GO-TO EXPERT FOR WEB MARKETING IN THE WEST

We’re kind of an ambitious bunch and we knew this was a lofty goal, but we had 5 years to get there so we were dreaming big. At a higher level, this is how we were going to work toward getting there:

Brand Awareness
   
Constantly work on our brand awareness through our blog (posting one valuable piece each week), PR (getting out in our community), seeking speaking engagements, and attending conferences.

Mentorship

Find mentors in the industry. How did they get where they are now? Why are they doing what they’re doing? What wisdom do they have that could help us with where we’re going?

Idols

Explore other companies we aspire to be like (not just in the SEO industry). What is their culture like? What kinds of cool things do they do? Borrow those things and make them our own.

Knowledge

Invest time in on-going training & knowledge. Participate in online tutorials, watch webinars, read, engage in our community, and attend conferences.

We created a strategy

Our small (but mighty) team had our work cut out for us, but we were up for the challenge. We wrote a strategy and assigned the appropriate actionables. We determined that we were going to use SEO, social media, content, and email marketing as our tools.

In a nutshell, my initial responsibility was to be the face of Mack Web. I would go to conferences and also speak if we were asked.

As the CEO, I was also going to take on finding additional mentorship and making friends (and forging strategic partnerships) with other companies that we respected (both locally and globally) in the industry. 

The entire team was going to be responsible for content on the Mack Web blog and I was going to seek guest blogging opportunities to pull in more exposure from a larger and more diverse audience.

Lastly, we all were going to be held accountable for investing time in our individual and collective knowledge base (to benefit our clients and the company). We were going to commit time individually each day, and then also once a week for more in-depth training.

We knew we’d need to set aside the time to dedicate to getting these efforts done, so we created Innovation Friday. Every Friday, without fail, we would spend five hours on us. No client work. Just Mack Web.

We were on our way.

We learned stuff
(and reached out in real life)


In addition to setting goals and having a strategy, we invested a TON in knowledge. But more than that, we actually applied the stuff we were learning.

There are many ways to learn things these days: go to meetups, tradeshows, or conferences, watch webinars or videos, listen to podcasts, read blog posts and books. Hands down though, going to conferences has, by far, been the most powerful catalyst for us in the last 10 months.

I went to three conferences last year: In April, LinkLove, in July, MozCon, and then in November, SearchLove.

Mack Web’s growth in the last year has everything to do with these conferences for two very different and important reasons. First, I made new friends and strengthened existing relationships with people who have been a tremendous help and inspiration. (No matter how impressive your prowess in your industry, never ever underestimate the human element).

Just as important, I assimilated and applied what I had learned. Over a series of weeks, I would pass the wealth of knowledge on to the team and we would use Innovation Friday to watch videos, chat about key takeaways, and implement any necessary training. Then I would evaluate our systems, processes and approach, and we’d integrate the new information. 

Once I took the plunge and started going to these conferences, I found them — exhausting though they were —absolutely addictive. There was a huge rush of energy and an overwhelming tide of new and exciting and information. And when I realized the kind of momentum the company was getting from it, I knew I was hooked.

That conference attendance, paired with the voracious amount of reading we were doing, allowed us to change old routines and do what was best for the client, making all of the difference in our success.

I started working toward a focus
(in my guest blogging)

When I was at MozCon, I had breakfast with Jon Henshaw  and he gave me a piece of advice that has been a major contributor to all of the good fortune I’ve experienced in my own career in the last 10 months:

Find your focus. Decide what you want to be known for in the industry. 

Don’t just write blog posts, write with intention. Post less frequently if that’s what it takes. Instead, collect your ideas. When you do write, make those posts epic.



I’m telling you. This works.

It took me a while (5 months to be exact) to figure out my focus. It wasn’t until the end of the year, after I had gone to all three conferences that I finally realized what I wanted to be known for. By this time, Mack Web had pretty much made it through our internal transformation. There’s still more work to be done (there always is), but we had made it through the hardest part. This gave me a ton of clarity and I had finally figured out what I wanted to focus on. It was all of the stuff we were experimenting with on ourselves and doing for our clients. This is where I found my passion.

I scrapped an off-topic Moz post that I had spent more than 8 hours on over the holidays and began the year with Building Community with Value. It was a relief that I had finally found my groove.



In those 10 months, I wrote more than 25 posts. 7 of those for SEOmoz, 5 as a guest on select industry blogs, and the rest on the Mack Web blog. It’s really only been in the last 3 posts that I feel like I’m starting to gain traction. All because (at least it seems) I have an intention.

After I figured out what I wanted to focus on, I wrote a strategy for myself (ironic, I know). I know exactly what I’m going to blog about and when. I know whether to say yes or no (or soon) when somebody asks me to guest blog, or speak, or help them with a side project. I don’t have as much anxiety when I’m with my family or that nagging worry that I’m getting behind. It’s all mapped out for me (for the next few months at least). I have peace of mind.

We measured the results

You’ll be delighted to know that we are now super famous. I am an overnight success. 

Oh, and also a millionaire. Every night I go swimming in my vault of gold, like Scrooge McDuck.

And I didn’t even have to write a book.



Although it would be pretty exciting if all those things were true, here’s the more realistic (yet very awesome) truth of my individual and our collective efforts as a team:

We increased our traffic by 168%


In just 10 months, we’ve increased the traffic to our website by 168%. But more importantly, we are experiencing results doing something that we are very passionate about and that adds value to our company and our community.

Even though Mack Web has been around for 10 years, last year felt like our first. It was the first time in 10 years where I felt that not only were we really helping people build their businesses, we were also adding value to our own.

It really feels like we matter now. Like we’re making a difference. This may have been the hardest we’ve ever worked, but it’s also the most satisfaction we’ve ever experienced. This is what keeps us pushing ahead.

I’ve been asked to speak at some big conferences

I can hardly believe that I’m actually writing this, but this year, I’m speaking at both SearchLove Boston in May, and MozCon in Seattle in July, two of the top conferences in our industry. 

The fact that I’m speaking at even one of these conferences (the same ones that I attended wide-eyed and awe-struck last year) is an honor, and with two, I think I’m going to have to just pack it all in — it can’t get any better than this.



To grow into being considered among the top industry experts who will appear on that stage (especially within a 10 month window) is a huge accomplishment. For me, the experience is reward enough, but yes, I do anticipate it will contribute to Mack Web’s growth this year.

I became an SEOmoz Associate & we’ve signed some clients

Another exciting result of all this hard work is being asked to be an SEOmoz Associate. Carrying this title is an incredible honor and accolade (that, and they have a tremendous following: more than 200,000 on Twitter; 100,000 on Facebook, and 31,000 on Google+). I am proud to represent Moz each month when I write for their blog.



SEOmoz is an amazing company and community. They are admirably passionate about educating and being helpful and I can’t say enough about how they’ve contributed to our growth.

In the last few months, we have been receiving (qualified) leads from my posts on SEOmoz. This is not only flattering, but it is especially exciting because we spend so much time educating and qualifying our clients. To acquire potential clients that are not only avid SEOmozzers, but avid SEOmozzers who have read and resonate with what I’ve written, we’re definitely heading in the right direction.

Update: Mack Web has now signed clients off of our content marketing efforts on Moz. That’s all I have to say about that.

How to make all of this work for your business

Over the last 10 months, we’ve figured some stuff out (through good old fashioned trial and error). If you decide to take the plunge with SEO, social media, and content marketing to build your business, here’s a few things that may help smooth out the road ahead:

Have a goal and break it down
Make some lofty goals, but then make sure that you also break them down into baby steps; actionable, chewable pieces that you can digest and actually work on along your journey.



Share the responsibility for your goals with your whole team. Even if you’re a small company, don’t let the burden rest on just one person (like the founder or CEO) or you won’t get very far. Everyone can be accountable and take responsibility for a part of the plan. (You may, however, have one person who is assigned to managing or facilitating the strategy so that accountability is maintained).

Be sure to assign specific tasks and deadlines or they won’t happen. Just as if you were your own client, create an execution calendar. Have weekly meetings to keep each other on track. This will allow everyone to communicate and if someone has hit a roadblock or has a challenge they’re struggling with it can be solved instead of completely derailing all of your efforts.

Keep in mind that you may not ever get to your actual end goal, but that doesn’t really matter (if you’re doing the work). You’re going to have some great things happen along the way that may even lead to bigger and better things that you hadn’t foreseen or originally intended.

And don’t forget to celebrate. You’re going to be working hard and it’s important to bask in even the smallest victories.

Go to conferences (or other places where there is learning and people)

Don’t just learn digitally. Get in there. Learn first hand and meet people face-to-face. It’s called relationships. It’s what makes things great. It’s also what manifests serendipity.

There’s something that happens when you’re in the moment, wading around in the palpable energy of all of those great people at conferences that kind of just puts things into motion. Social media does not work without the human element. You’ve got to put yourself out there and be with people.

So, do that, and then read. Read a lot. (We may have mentioned this once or twice). Read stuff from people inside of your industry, and read stuff you’re interested in outside of your industry. Read everything you can get your hands on. Read until your eyes bug out of your head. Do it. Make it part of your routine. Since we made learning a priority as a team, everything improved: creativity, innovation, productivity, and delivery.

When you read, pay attention to who you’re reading and curate their stuff. Share it on social media, and, if you’re writing, integrate it into your blog posts. Create a little group of people that you think are awesome and keep tabs on the people you respect. Maybe someday you’ll go to a conference and you’ll get to have a beer and be friends in real life.

That’s the best part.

Find your groove

Bottom line, set some goals and have a strategy. It works.

But above everything else, and especially if you’re thinking of using content as a tool to reach your goals, think first about what you’re passionate about. If you choose something to focus on and write (and even speak) about, it better be something you really love.

But before you just select your focus based on your passion, do some research. Is there someone already out there writing and speaking about the topic that you’re passionate about? If so, how can you be unique? What can you add to the conversation? In your writing especially, you want to be generating stuff that is better than what’s already out there. Not only for your audience, but also so that your content has a nice cozy little place in Google’s index.

For me, I just got out there and started writing about the stuff I knew and had experienced with our clients. In the end, ruminating on my journey in my company brought me clarity on where I wanted my focus to be. It may be that way for you too. Just be strategic about it because when you have intent, the (positive) results seem to come more naturally.

Being passionate is more important than any other tool, tip, or technique

This last year hasn’t been about the web marketing that we’ve done for Mack Web. On a personal level, this last year has been all about discovering my passion for building this company into something remarkable. This passion that I feel about Mack Web comes from the same passion I feel for the culmination of SEO, social media, and content marketing (all the tools we’ve used to build our community and experience these results). This is something I wish I could instill in everyone who wants to take this web marketing journey.

If you read this and think, “ok, so what you’re saying is I have to write exactly 25 blog posts, and go to three conferences (which ones were those again?), and get really focused,” then you’re completely missing the point.

There isn’t an exact formula. There isn’t a magic path to take. The truth of it is that you could do all of these same things that I just described and not experience any of the success. You’ve got to be passionate, care about your business and your community, and keep doing the work.

Here’s to working toward big goals

So we haven’t received the Best Web Marketing Company in the West award (I’m pretty sure Ryan Seacrest will be contacting us directly any day now), but, as you can see, the ‘smaller‘ victories we experienced in those 10 months have more than compensated.

We may never reach our five year goal, but this journey is pretty sweet. I think we’ll stick with it.

70 Responses to “How we accomplished (big) goals with content & social media marketing (in just 10 months)”

  1. Congratulations on a job very well done Mack, to you and your team.

    Having the foresight and conviction to set a road map in place, with clear and measurable goals, takes commitment and gusto that separated a good agency from the great ones.

    It has been a pleasure getting to know you over the past year (even if only virtually at this point) and watch you and your company break out to become a highly respected and sought after brand in this industry.

    *Cheers* to your accomplishments, I look forward to where you will go in the next 10 months.

    • Thank you Nick. I value your friendship and appreciate your kind words. Still not sure about the “highly respected and sought after brand in this industry” but I certainly like the sound of it.

      Our team has made all the difference in how far we’ve come in such a short time. I’m proud of them for sure.

      See you in Seattle.

  2. Great job Mack, super post with useful advice throughout. I wish I had a vault of gold to swim in too :-)

    Love the “Innovation Friday” thing. Brilliant!

  3. David Konigsberg March 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm Reply

    I love the transparency -Keep up the amazing work i can really say that i have really gained by reading the contributions you offer to the industry. Lots of luck

  4. This is a story that sits comfortably with my personal experiences in the last year or so (in fact, moreso the last six months). The things you write about here are things I have seen elsewhere.

    The realisation that there *is no magic formula* was perhaps the biggest epiphany I have experienced in all my time working in this industry. The fact that *I* (and therefore by extrapolation the hundreds of others of greater ability than me looking for guidance) could actually do this and do it well.

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your long-awaited overnight success come to fruition. I’ve enjoyed speaking with you and others in your team and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys continuing to make a splash in the months ahead.

    Congrats.

    • Thank you Iain. You’ve been a big supporter of ours from the very ‘beginning’ and I can’t say enough of a thanks for that. Hope you get over to the US for MozCon. Will ‘see’ you soon online.

  5. Great writeup; this is the first time I’ve come across your blog, but the quality of this article is a testament to the exact approach you outline… making posts on topic, and more importantly, epic.

    • Thanks Brian and welcome! Mack Web has some fun on this blog. I hope you’ll come back and visit us.

      Thanks for your kind words.

  6. I love these open and honest posts you do Mack – there is nothing better than reading about amazing things that companies have actually done.

    I agree with everything you said, and in particular the thing about writing with a focus.

    I am not entirely sure how, but I remember reading ‘Building Community with Value’ and thinking – yep, this is what Mack is all about. I think that is testament to the passion and commitment that is so evident in your writing.

    Congrats on what you’ve achieved so far, and keep going!

    • Thank you Patrick. It’s so refreshing to hear all of these great comments from people in the industry who I admire greatly. Hope to meet you in person some day. Cheers.

  7. This is fantastic! Congratulations Mackenzie!

  8. Love your story and your approach: quality over quantity and giving back work. Best wishes. I’m sure you will reach your goals

    • Thanks Sara. Yes, it does work. It’s just the long (and hard) way to go about it. I’m hoping this will inspire businesses to commit to it and make the investment.

  9. What, one comment on this? ONE!? Pathetic. So here I am, number two.

    As somebody in a company trying to make exactly this transition, there are some fun – and some hard – lessons here. Some need for some personal reflection. Some need for evaluating if my “focus” to this point has been more detrimental than good.

    But beyond that, this is real world shit. This is a company that decided what it wanted to be and then made a strategy to do it. In an industry where strategy is oft-said and seldom-executed, that means a lot.

    In all of your hard work, stress, tiredness, whatever, I am amazed that you have taken the time to be so connected to other people in such a genuine way. You’re one of my favorite people in the industry and an ever-ready ear. Can’t say there’s anybody else I’d be more happy to see finding success.

    Kudos, Mack – and here’s to bright futures.

    • Thank you Joel. You’re a good guy and I like you a lot (even though you’re friends with Bill Sebald).

      Thank you for the encouragement. Means a great deal.

  10. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing this encouragement with the rest of us.

    I love the idea of “Innovation Fridays” and I have great respect for how deeply invested you and your team must have been over the past ten months. Now I feel inspired to revisit our own strategies, taking notes from what you’ve learned.

    I’m curious–who were your mentors? Do you have any advice for reaching out to potential mentors?

    Thanks again for the great post! I think I’ll go curate it :)

    • Mack Web Solutions March 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply

      Hi Brent. Innovation Friday has made all the difference. You’ve got to let go of the “billable hours” mentality and let the value of your efforts during that time be enough.

      I have many local mentors here in Fort Collins who have helped me for years. There are also so many people in this industry that could be considered mentors. As companies, both Distilled and SEOmoz have been great mentors, but there are many more than that. Will Critchlow, Paddy Moogan, John Doherty, Duncan Morris, Ron Garrett, Sara Bird, AJ Kohn, Jon Henshaw, and so many others have been kind enough to answer questions and provide guidance. I can’t say enough about all the people who have been willing to help.

      The thing about getting mentors is that you just have to ask. Find someone in the industry who has a strength that you don’t and ask them to help you. If you are working hard and are willing to apply the advice they give you, I’m sure they will mentor you.

      Good luck!

  11. Hey Mack,

    Great post and really good to see the story behind your raise to rock stardom! You’re doing some great things all over the place at the moment and are getting the rewards. Well done :)

    • Thank you Gaz. Always love to see your smiling face on Twitter and the support you send my way. Hope to meet you in person some day soon.

  12. Mack, I think you’re going to have to get yourself a speaking gig over here in the UK so we can all meet you.

    Maybe you can you make that one of your goals for 2013??

    • Sounds like a plan to me! I love the UK and have so enjoyed making UK friends :) Maybe I can get Distilled to invite me to SearchLove London next year!

  13. I really appreciate how specific the advice and information in your posts are. Both this one, and the post over at SEOmoz on growing a valuable following, do such a good job of providing readers the information they need to make up an actionable plan to accomplish their goals.

    So many posts (probably too many of mine, at this point, while I’m still figuring things out) speak about what you should be doing for success in more general terms. It’s usually not bad advice, and it’s usually not inaccurate, it’s just hard to turn into action. Thanks for taking the time to spell it all out!

    • My pleasure Kristen. I have yet to master the succinct post that is valuable but brief :)

      My passion is in educating about all of this good stuff, so I feel obligated to make things actionable. Glad to hear that it helps.

      Thanks for reading and I appreciate your feedback.

  14. I love this, Mack.

    After reading your post, I had a renewed sense of hope and determination for the strategy that I’ve been using at my job. So I pulled out Google analytics and starting finding trends, just like you did. One incredibly long email to the leadership team later…we’re all feeling lighter and determined.

    So thank you. It was a fantastic gift for a Friday.

    • That’s so great to hear Caitlin. It’s been nice seeing you in Max Impact. Good luck to you and your team and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  15. Mack……how impressive to read your story and transformation. It is truly inspirational. Making the change took a lot of courage and we can all learn a lot from it. Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing your continued growth!

  16. Congratulations Mack on your growing success. It was a great read to say the least.

    I have never been to those conferences, I think it’s time to go to one :)

    I’ve picked up some great advice and tips, thanks again for your honesty and support.

    Danny Howard

  17. Well, if this doesn’t give hope to all those out there working their socks off, I don’t know what will!

    Thank you Mack for such an inspirational, open, transparent and honest account of your journey – you guys deserve to reap everything that you have sown, and I look forward to keeping an eye out for your Moz posts.

    In a sense, it’s really reassuring to see so many successful people/companies saying that they actually worked pretty damn hard to get to where they are. Whilst so many people are looking for that magic “lottery win” or huge client to fall into their laps, the constant hope without action just leads to disappointment and eventually packing it all in to chase after the next “money maker”.

    Here’s to quality, commitment and passion always triumphing over short-sightedness, shortcuts and those who care not for the long term goal.

    May your message be spread far and wide :)

  18. Mack,

    Thanks very much for this inspirational post. I don’t work in the SEO world, but rather run a sustainably focused adventure travel company offering trips in Latin America. Your post was exactly what I needed to read today. We’ve been in business for awhile and we are ready to make the jump to being a

    We are good at what we do and customers love us, but we have been so busy with our day to day work we have ignored some important steps to really becoming relevant in our industry. We haven’t taken the time to share with customers and others in our industry what we have learned through experience about the industry, such as explaining some of the little understood aspects of why certain trips are beneficial, and others are potentially harmful, for local destinations. At the same time we have spent very little time learning from others in our industry at conferences and by reading what they write. We need to change, and your post is just the inspiration for this change. Tomorrow we are having a staff meeting to begin to set long-term, audacious goals (5 years sounds about right) and to create the strategy and various steps to meet the goal. Your suggestions of continuous learning and Inspiration Fridays are fabulous – those will be basic tenets of our plan. We need to work on us! Thanks for sharing this to help motivate us to be all we can (sorry, couldn’t help that one).

    Greg Findley, Detour

  19. Oops, I copied and pasted my reply from Word and it looks like I cut off part of the first paragraph. It should say “We’ve been in business for awhile and we are ready to make the jump to being a more relevant and influential player in our industry.”

  20. Having been in a meeting over the past few days discussing these exact issues, this post really is resonating with me!

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey Mack!

    I hope many others can take inspiration from this and make content marketing work for their business. It really is fantastic when you get it right!

  21. Hey Mack

    Very interesting journey you guys have gone through and very similar to what we are currently going through. It’s great to read about other agencies, the challenges they’ve faced along the way and also the success.

    Thanks for sharing!
    David Beharall

  22. Wow! What an inspiration you are. This is my first visit to your blog and definitely not the last. You have some good “stuff” going on. An awesome find! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Saundra

  23. This is a great post – thanks. I love the positive changes that came from a plan, a strategy and a whole lot of hard work. And especially that it’s paying off. Time for our team to sit down and map out some of those plans and commitments too!

  24. I couldn’t help but notice some key words (not keywords) in your subheads:

    - Goal
    - Strategy
    - Focus
    - Measured
    - Passionate

    They often are the same words used by other successful businesses.

  25. Hi Mac, interesting piece. 100% on the passionate part. Passion drives things better than other stuff, even money. On the goal part, as I started reading, was kind of skeptical but then you clarified on the small steps, and that I do agree on also. I was recommended to read your article by a friend of mine, and he was right on suggesting it to me. Thanks a lot. Greetings from Costa Rica.

  26. Great write up Mack – especially passing along the nugget about finding focus, and specializing.

  27. Helpful advice! Great motivation! Glad that I found this via SEO Moz’s Top 10. I’m never really a ‘people person’ and hardly attend any conferences or exhibitions. But that’s going to change!

    Thanks and congratulations!

  28. Seems like yet another ad for seomoz… What can I say

  29. Awesome and congratulations. It was a really inspiring post, and wishing all the best to became the best web marketing company :)

  30. Hey Mack, great post – this is the first time I’ve come across your company so I guess that’s another indicator the strategy’s working!

    Quick question – I really like the point about finding a focus. I think I’ve been dancing around this for a while now, but can never quite tie it down in such a wide ranging and ever -changing industry. Would you mind jotting down a summary of your focus as an example of the level of detail, and how specific such a thing should be? Would be much appreciated.

    Look forward to reading more from you!

    Thanks
    Colin

    • Hi Colin. Welcome to our blog and thanks for reading.

      I really don’t have anything in writing. It’s more so a clarity in my mind about what I am passionate about teaching through my writing. I want to teach businesses how to build an online community around their companies, but even more important, I want to teach them that this is done by becoming the best business possible.

      Hope that helps. Sometimes you’ve got to marinate on it a while and write some stuff before you figure it out. And of course it will change. Just be consistent and passionate.

      Good luck to you!

  31. Physically being somewhere is the hardest for me because there is NO TIME!!! But I started this month to change this and now every week I meet somebody new, today I have lunch with a fellow graphic designer and tomorrow I’ll have a SEO meeting in Vienna – basically drinking beer and chatting.
    As the rest of my strategy I will need to reread this post and find out what I will do in the next week in order to reach my goals.
    So thanks for the push :-)

  32. I absolutely loved it! The way you told the story with such passion, warmth and honesty is simply beautiful.

    And to be honest, I felt a little bit proud to see that the team is all formed by pretty girls :D That is a great job you did. Congratulations!

  33. Pretty much exactly what I needed to hear :-)

    How did you handle the social media end of things? We’re a small team as well and we end up posting socially as an after thought which is, of course, completely counter productive. I’ve toyed with the idea of assigning one profile to each member of my team as a sort of “profile advocate” but I’m afraid that will limit the information available on each profile…

    Any suggestions?

    • I would suggest that you use social media as authentically as possible. It needs to be integrated into your strategy and provide value for your customers. We would recommend a single community manager who leads all social media efforts, but certainly your entire team can contribute in some way. Good luck to you!

  34. I can relate our own strategy with that of yours although we haven’t been that “lucky” with the traffic as of yet. Hopefully we will begin getting some as we are still into the 6th month or so of our content strategy implementation, Would love to hear your suggestions if any for our site.

    PS: Thanks for sharing your progress … it really helped us stay focused !!!

  35. Fantastic read! Reading this was like chugging a cup of coffee, im wired and ready to get to work. On point with the “do as you preach” factor, I myself tend to tell all to clients and not follow through with everything myself. Thank you for this post.

  36. Mack – this post ranks right up there with Pat Flynn’s epic “The Backlinking Strategy That Works.” In other words, a completely transparent how-to that can really be a tremendous service to others.

    I discovered your blog via John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire, and I will be sure to follow you now!

    Congrats on your success – and on being a great role model and mentor yourself!

  37. You have hit the nail on the head. It was my head actually and it hurt! Just kidding. You really helped clarify what I knew we need to do, but otherwise would successfully find a million reasons to do avoid. Set goals! We are growing faster than we can keep up now, yet I know if we do not take the time to plan our results, our pace alone will be our downfall. Congratulations on your success and thanks for the clarity even if it cost me a little knot on the head!

  38. Congratulations :) !!! Your growth has been methodical and explosive … a credit to your hard work and planning.

    Keep posting great articles.

  39. Mack –

    Thanks for sharing your journey! I love your sentiment regarding working hard at something you are passionate about.

    I appreciated you sharing how you discovered your stride after writing about your experience with your client’s. This is a practical way to produce content that others will find value in, and at the same time a great way to process through your experiences and learn from them.

    I’m also a big fan of the way you set up Innovation Friday! To not only set aside a day for learning & growth, but then coming together as a team and talking about it, seems like an excellent way to develop individually and corporately.

  40. Hi Mack

    You have just gained one reader from France.

    What an exceptionnal and thorough analyses you have given to us.

    It’s almost a motivational post, well it is a motivational post !

    You’re so lucky to work with great companies as SeoMOZ.

    I wish you all the best.

  41. Hey Mack,
    Great piece! I love it. The passion, the innovation Fridays, pushing yourselve’s beyond your comfort zone, going BIG all the way! Congratulations!
    We are just lauching our goals for the year and reading your post just confirms the hard work and focus required. Don’t give in to those that think your vision is too big or the work is too hard!

    We at RLE are HUGE fans of Mack Web. You’ve done great things for our company and we’re only at month 7 with you!!!

    Cheers, Chris

    • Thank you Chris. We believe in RLE and the transformation you’re making as a company. Glad to have you on this journey with us.

  42. Thanks for the inspiration. A couple evenings ago I told the girl I’m dating my goals while explaining why I am so busy over a lovely candlelit dinner. This article parallels the amount of time I put in training and what I am trying to achieve. During our conversation I only gave myself a year to achieve my goals though so maybe I should rethink it and give myself 2 years.

  43. This was such an inspiring post – I’m so glad I came across it! I am at a similar crossroads with my business, and this was exactly the concrete, actionable advice that I needed to help me plan for the future. Thank you so much for sharing, and I look forward to reading about your future journeys!

  44. Hi Mack,

    I stumbled across your post and I must say this is great information, simply because I have decided to set similar goals for myself and am watching to see how things play out. It’s great that I have you to look to as a great example.

    Thanks for sharing!

  45. Hi Mack,

    What a fantastic post. I loved “building communities with values” on SEOmoz from a couple of months back and I’m so glad to see that you’re continuing on this awesome journey.

    I head up the in-house dev / content / marketing team for our South Africa based travel company — we were the folks that coerced Rand to bring the mozzers all the way to Africa earlier this year a la http://www.mozcapetown.com :) — and I feel like I’ve set myself personal (and team) goals for 2013 that match your last 10-month’s trajectory.

    I will certainly keep an eye on your writing and hopefully make my way over to one of the US conferences for the ever-valuable facetime with the industry I’ve adopted (or maybe that’s the other way around…?).

    Anyway, so basically I just wanted to say hi, well done and keep at it.

  46. Thanks for writing this! Happy to see you break down your whole process.

    Made plenty of notes and will try to implement a few things to find the focus for my own company.

  47. Great post, Mack! The ‘find your focus’ bit stroke a particular cord.

    Which conferences are you going to this year:)?

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