I’ve been in this industry for more than 9 years now. Time sure has flown.
I never had the intention of doing what I do for a living. I literally fell into it.
My background was more medical prior to my involvement with local search. I used to be an EMT and wanted to become a paramedic/firefighter.
In January of 2007 I decided to put my focus back on school to get to where I wanted to go. I got a job doing data entry for a company that sold Local SEO. The only reason I got the job was because I could type fast.
I didn’t really have any experience with local SEO. I was semi-proficient with Windows, and had never worked on a Mac.
Within 6 months of working for this company I got promoted and became a production manager.
Back in those days “local SEO” consisted of what most would call pure spam today. But it usually worked. Maybe not in the time frame customers wanted, but it did.
One of the biggest things implemented would be to add a keyword rich business name to help get rankings. Categories and keyword rich descriptions were also important, but the “secret sauce” was the keyword rich business name in Google Local.
The biggest source of new clients came from telemarketing.
There were about a dozen of us in production, and more than 50 telemarketers hitting the phones each and every day.
Client retention wasn’t very good to say the least.
Clients get sold from a sales rep that they will get oogles amounts of business that they will need to hire additional staff, and it should all start to happen within the first 30 days.
Even though the spammy tactics worked, it usually took at least 3-4 months before the results actually started to happen.
About a year and a half into my employment at this company, I had developed a strong desire to learn Google AdWords.
I got the opportunity to go to Mountain View (Google’s main campus) and go to training there for 2 days. It was called START, I don’t think they offer it anymore. It was a really cool experience.
When we came back I ran the pay per click division for 6 months before I left to start RicketyRoo.
Prior to founding my company, Twitter was starting to pick up. I started to engage and tweet pretty regularly, and started making connections. This is also the time the company I worked for started to get some pretty bad reviews written about them. I didn’t want to have my name attached to them anymore.
I had a pretty long talk with my dad about how to start a business. He guided me and encouraged me to go out on my own. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made (except for asking the love of my life to marry me).
I started RicketyRoo during the peak of the recession. I just had faith that everything would work out.
For the last 6 1/2 years it has! I have always enjoyed helping people, and I get to do that every single day. I have found that the more transparent I am with clients the more they trust us to do the work we do with them.
One of the biggest things I have learned over the years is to remain teachable. I will never claim to be an expert, guru, maven, or any other ego feeding title. I like helping people, plain and simple. I don’t need the self-annointed title to make me feel good about myself.
I’m not trying to say people that claim to be these are, but for my own personal belief system it just doesn’t agree with me. Something like that would go to my head.
One thing I know for certain is that I really do not like writing about myself. I can think of a dozen other things I would rather do than right about myself.
A lot of business owners that I come into contact with have a similar story. They kind of fell into doing what they do, and they enjoy doing it. If you have a similar story, share it in the comments!
Blake is the President & Founder of RicketyRoo Inc. He has more than 12 years of local SEO and paid search marketing experience working with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses. He’s a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors and speaks at digital marketing conferences about local SEO.
Take Us For A Test Drive
2 different products that pack a ton of value and won’t empty your wallet.