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Thursday, April 04, 2013


At some point in your marketing career, you need to take stock.  

Are you happy with what you're doing?  Are you feeling fulfilled and satisfied? Late last year, I started asking myself these questions and more as my responsibilities grew beyond my capacity. And if you're anything like me, you'd probably start with the basics - what you're good at followed by what you like to do.  Whether I have the order correct or not, I firmly believe that if you're not good at something you probably won't enjoy it.  

After thinking about my marketing and online marketing career, I naturally migrated towards my experience with Search Engine Optimization.  Ever since I published SEO Made Simple (now in its 3rd edition), I've had a natural curiosity with regard to Google, organic rankings, and doing business online.  Some may even say that I've had an unhealthy obsession!

But the problem is that SEO has become somewhat commoditized.  Although coming out of this industry I can honestly say that the number of SEO's who really know what they are talking about gets smaller and smaller each year and with each change to the Google algorithm.  In the past this wasn't an issue but now that Google has begun penalizing sites for seemingly innocuous link building tactics, doing SEO on the cheap can have negative, long-term implications for you and your website.

So this is where online reputation management comes in.  With a little introspection, I decided that I still wanted SEO in my life and career, but not exclusively.  As I thought about all of the different ways I could apply search engine optimization and help those in need, the idea of helping people, companies and brands improve their online calling card got me excited.  I had thought about this path at some point a couple of years ago, but something clicked.

If I could bring my level of knowledge and understanding to a tangential field (online reputation management), that would give me the diversification I was looking for and at the same time help me build a business I would be passionate about - so that's what I did.  I launched a company called Upward SEO consulting and have started to grow both locally and nationally.  It's a welcome change and an exciting time to be helping others with their online reputation.

I think this is a great lesson for anyone who may be unhappy with their current marketing career - you don't have to start from scratch.  In fact, there's a good chance that happiness is just a short trip down the roach or around the next corner. Start thinking of new ways to apply your existing skills.  It's a great strategy and one I had to unfortunately discover on my own.

Are you taking stock?

Has your marketing career taken shape the way you had anticipated or are you now focusing on some other aspect of marketing that you never anticipated?  Now that Q1 has ended, it's probably a good time to take stock in your career and think about next steps.

It took me a very long time to decide what it was I truly wanted to do.  And I'd argue that many people probably never find something that genuinely interests them or becomes a passion. For me it was probably 15 years in the making.  But I always say, better late than never.

Share your story with us here on the Marketing Blog.  I know that I'm not the only one who's been searching for marketing fulfillment. Now that I've had an epiphany, there's a lot of work to do, but I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!


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