Episode 02: SEO with Jensen Hendriks

Episode 02: SEO with Jensen Hendriks

In this episode we are talking to Jensen Hendriks from Candor Digital Media. We chatted about SEO, leadership, and personal marketing.


Jensen Hendriks

Strategic Ops

Candor Digital media

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jensenhendriks/

Instagram: @jensenhendriks

email: [email protected]

website: https://www.candordm.com/

Garage Weights and Business Takes:

http://gwbtpodcast.podbean.com/


0:23 - Opening

1:58 - What is SEO?

3:30 - Can traditional IT do SEO?

6:19 - What are the top 5 items leaders should know about SEO?

10:22 - Why would an organization care about SEO?

12:51  - How does Candor help your clients?

15:00 - Do Organizations currently have an SEO strategy?

18:00 - How are you translating the ROI of SEO?

20:17 - You can't possibly understand our business.

22:51 - Should companies have blogs?

26:00 - Is there a rule of thumb to blog posting?

29:10 - Should you blog on a personal level?

31:51 - What things should you consider when you are marketing yourself?

34:20 - When marketing yourself, what should you consider from an SEO perspective?

36:04 - What is servant leadership?

39:27 - Have you used Executive coaching?

41:50 - How do you mentor your lower level l staff?

45:20 - What policies do you have for sending staff to networking events?

48:46 - What can IT leaders do to help with marketing teams with SEO?

55:40 - What books do you recommend?

59:05 - Closing


Books:

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World : Rand Fishkin

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Founder-Painfully-Honest-Startup/dp/0735213321

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

https://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Inc-Overcoming-Unseen-Inspiration/dp/0812993012

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

By Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

https://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Ownership-U-S-Navy-SEALs/dp/1250183863


Podcast mentioned:

Marketing School:

https://marketingschool.io/

Garage Weights and Business Takes:

http://gwbtpodcast.podbean.com/


Hosted By:

Brian Comerford

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briancomerford/

Nick Lozano

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-lozano-97356621/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickLLozano

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Show Transcript

Nick Lozano  0:04
Alright, welcome everyone to another someone to lead.exe, hosted by me, Nicholas Lozano, and Brian Comerford and today with me I have Jensen Hendriks, who is from Candor Digital Media, who specializes in strategic ops. And we brought him on here today to talk a little bit about SEO. Welcome to the show. Jensen.

Jensen Hendriks  0:22
Thank you, sir. Glad to be here for sure.

Brian Comerford  0:24
Thanks for joining us today.

Nick Lozano  0:25
Thanks for joining us.

Jensen Hendriks  0:26
Yeah!

Alright. So before I got into SEO, I was a professor at Full Sail University where I taught front end web development and front end web development is what kind of springboard me into the strategy and the actual action of search engine optimization. While I was teaching the front end web development my son was taking He was in middle school at the time. And he was taking a web development class in middle school. And I was like, Oh my gosh, she's gonna put me out of a job. So that's when I started to write really immerse myself into search engines in the marketing side of things. Because as long as Google and Bing are changing their algorithms, and as long as Facebook is changing, there's and you got other browsers like duck, duck go and Firefox as long as they're changing stuff, I'll always have some strategic type of planning to do on behalf of my clients. So that's kind of how I got like, really, like, immersed and settled into SEO. After after leaving education for a little while, I then started my own agency where we do specifically digital marketing and search engine optimization. So that's kind of where I'm at right now.

Nick Lozano  1:53
No, Perfect, thanks. Thanks for that. quick rundown. I just kind of want to ask you in general, what is search engine optimization? You know, I kind of always hear about it in terms from a, you know, a marketing team on marketing folks. And when I think of search engine optimization, I always think of blogs and blog posting of what tags are in WordPress, you know. So I think from that, that perspective, could you just give us a short rundown of what search engine optimization actually is?

Jensen Hendriks  2:20
Absolutely. So there's guys like me, and we have magic wands behind the scenes and we do it all and we don't tell anybody because you don't want anybody taking our work.

Nick Lozano  2:29
No, me and Brian are the same, right?

Jensen Hendriks  2:33
So SEO search engine optimization is really exactly that it's optimizing the content that is available on the search engine and it's really like honing in on with the users needs. We can all day claim that you know someone is going to search this term or that term, but we have to do a lot of strategy and research prior to any work on the website based on, the demographic of the client because if that clients demographic is using certain terms, we really have to, you know, shed light on those terms through the content on the client's website or on their blog, like you said, Now there's a lot of tools to do it, but it's really enhancing the content. So the clients work is found easier for that matter to get better rankings on the search page, the search engine results page.

Brian Comerford  3:27
Yeah, so this leads me to you know, my first question Jensen for certain organizations, you know, of varying sizes, they might have a more mature marketing communications division where they feel like they've got the capabilities to tackle this kind of stuff themselves. But for a lot of smaller organizations, you know, they may actually be looking to their technology departments to solve this issue and its traditional I.T. that you're going to submit a ticket and say, hey improve our SEO chances are it's not going to be done to the full extent?

Nick Lozano  4:05
You know lot a lot of our expertise is turning things on and off again!

Jensen Hendriks  4:08
Yeah that's that's that's tough because they're completely different fields it's kind of like when I was in front end web development people would ask me to Jensen Can you fix my printer and I'm like no I can't fix your printer but I could code your website about printers, SEO and I.T. are completely like, that's apples and oranges you know we have to completely different education's different expertise. so I could imagine how frustrated you might get when you get when you have that support ticket in front of you. What I can say is that those larger organizations that have in house marketing departments, they might have an SEO on staff that could do it for them. The smaller organizations that don't a lot of times can't afford financially, to bring someone on board in pay them as a staff employee to do that work. One you get what you pay for when it comes to that, and then two the company also has to consider you know, the paid time off they have to consider the insurance and all the taxes that come with having a new employee on staff. So usually, you know, agencies whether that's mine or somebody else's can be a big benefit to those mid to small sized companies because you're usually getting a flat rate you know, usually an annual account or an annual contract and you don't have to worry about PTO you don't have to worry about sick days and things like that. So at the end of the day, it's really beneficial for the medium to small sized companies to consider that role in not try to pawn that responsibility off on another person or an executive admin for that matter when they're basically just doing homework, googling stuff like, Oh, this is how you do SEO, and then they do one thing, but really, there's so much to it. So that's a big pain point for you. I could assume.

Brian Comerford  6:16
Well, and in particular, I'm curious about, you know, what are the questions that leaders should be equipped with, to even understand to ask? You know, from a business persons perspective, you know, websites, servers, laptops, it's all technology. And so if I have a technology challenge, I'm going to a tech guy. And so again, that, you know, the nuances between, you know, who might be more of a digital media specialist versus someone who's an IT professional, that distinction might not be clear to many leaders. So I'm kind of curious from your perspective, what are kind of those top five things that every leader should be equipped to understand, when they're kind of stepping into your domain.

Jensen Hendriks  7:02
So I think the first thing that comes to my head is you need to know your audience. So you're not doing SEO for yourself, you're not doing SEO for your team, you're not doing SEO because you think it's the right thing to do. You're doing SEO for your audience, for your consumer or for your clients. It's never about you and a lot of leadership, they don't want to let go of the control a lot of leadership, they're like, No, we helped build this website. We have a lot of time involved in it. You know, this is what I think is best. Well, unless you have an education in this stuff, you don't know what's best, you know, so you're really hard, you're catering to your clients, your user your your potential lead. So if leadership comes to you and I.T. and they're like, Hey, we need SEO done. It's a matter of like, Hey, I could give you a ton of information about You know, all these servers that we have, I could give you, you know, information about the cloud solutions that we use. I could give you information about cyber security, but I can't tell you who our clients are, right? I don't, I could tell you who our clients are, because I co uld look it up in the database that is, you know, being saved on our server, but I don't know who they are as people. I don't know how they're using the internet. And that's where someone an SEO someone such as myself or anybody else that's in the field. We do that we do that research. So we look and we see who is searching for these type of businesses, and what terms are they using when they search, you know, we have the outlets to sort out those demographics, your job is not people demographics, your job is technology demographics and SEO is always about the people using the platform. That's I think the biggest thing that people get confused is they think that they know exactly what is needed. Until they realize that their clients are searching something completely different. You know, for example, building a website and doing SEO for an attorney. Well, when I need copy from them and content from them, they give me a bunch of attorney speak like a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo release.

Nick Lozano  9:19
Leagl ease right?

Jensen Hendriks  9:19
Yeah. And then I go back to them and be like, we can't use this, we're going to have to revise it. Do you have time I could spend a few hours with you and they look at me like I'm crazy. And I have to explain to them like your, your potential client isn't going to type in any words that you just used. Your you're talking to other attorneys, you have to talk to guys like me, you know, so we essentially have to, you know, simplify what they're saying. So when people search the proper terms, they're finding this attorneys website. So to answer your question, Brian, that was really a tailed off tangent. Sorry about that because it's very common that happens. And it's important for leadership to understand that the IT professionals, the facility managers, the people that are all helping operations run at that business don't necessarily know who the client or the user is. If you don't know who that is, you're not going to do an accurate and quality job when it comes to SEO.

Nick Lozano  10:26
And that that brings me to one of my questions is you know, you deal with a lot of organizations and may be they are a business to business type entity, why would they care about search engine optimization when you know, maybe they're in the insurance space and their broker and you know, they're not dealing with end to end customers you know, because when we think a search engine optimization we always think of someone finding an end customer like an Amazon or like a Facebook?

Jensen Hendriks  10:55
Because nowadays in order to get handshake you have to be found. Right. So we, we essentially optimized for the handshake. We live in a world of self education, we no longer have to call people to get information. I don't have to open up the phone book to get the experts phone number, I will go on to Google. And I will search said expert. And I will see what value they have on their website, or what value in the consistent activity they have on their social media. And I will immediately make a judgment call if they are the expert that I need. So if I land on your website, and there's minimal value in the content that you're providing, I'm going to go to the next person in line on the search engine On the results page and what value is there, and then then I will go to that business connection as opposed to that product that I searched right. I will be able to determine that this company is providing me more value through their blog. Their website, their videos, their podcasts, so on and so forth, that I want to talk to them, then I'll take the action step of either emailing or or giving that phone call in a business to business sense. It doesn't have to always be about, you know, searching the newest running shoe, you know, or the newest baseball bat or what have you. If I want to search an insurance broker, and I type that in if their websites outdated if it doesn't work on my phone, things like that it's going to play a role. And I'm going to determine like, wow, are they taking things serious or not. So it's still plays a role in B2B on a big scale, because you're even dealing with more dollar transfers in B2B or B2C. So to be updated like that, and to show you're the authority in your field by the content that you provide on your website, which should be optimized. That's how B2B is going to benefit from SEO.

Brian Comerford  12:56
So it sounds like that's part of your service offering when you  become engaged with your clients. It's it's not just about the SEO itself, it's really about let's do a thorough review of your content so that we can understand top to bottom, how are you representing yourself how current is all the information that's publicly on display and helping to educate the internal workforce around some of those things?

Jensen Hendriks  13:20
100% for every client of mine, not even clients, for potential clients. For people that just simply have interest, we do a competitor analysis and I hope every other SEO agency does as well because then that's proof in their own quality, right. But, um, we'll do a competitive analysis up to five competitors. So we'll do an analysis on your website and your social media in regards to your frequency and the quality of copy that you have and will do the same on four to five of your competitors, whether that be national or local competitors, and we'll be able to give you a side by side comparison of Okay, You want to compete with, say, the big dogs in your industry. And they're posting three times a day, seven days a week. And they're averaging three videos a week about how to do something, and you're inconsistently posting, you know, three times a week. So if you want to, if you want to play in the same in the same league as them, we have to up the ante. So we break it all down. And then we kind of let the client determine how far they want to jump in. So they want to start off slow, get their feet wet and ramp up to it, because some companies don't have the bandwidth to come up with that much copy or that much content. So, you know, we do that breakdown and then we kind of see what the client wants to do in regards to getting started if they want to ease in or if they have the bandwidth, like let's just go after him right away, then it's like full steam ahead on the SEO and the optimization of all their content.

Brian Comerford  14:54
So Jensen, it sounds to me like a lot of your initial engagement is sort of managing up to an Organizations leadership, helping to educate and inform them, you know, get their, their perspectives oriented in the right way. Going the other direction, how many organizations tend to approach you were many of the things that you've already described are already inherent part of their strategy and may also be part of the intent of the organizational leadership that they know that they've, they've already kind of gone partway with what they can do with SEO and web presence and now they really want to drive it from a leadership perspective with an inherent underlying strategy?

Jensen Hendriks  15:42
Not a lot not a lot of companies have approached us in regards to like, Hey, we got this far can you help us you know, break that plateau. And I think the reason why is that you know what, we're two decades into the internet like really being like wide wide use that's really it's still in his birthing stage, you know, we really haven't even touched the surface of what the capabilities are. And even if we have tapped the surface, a lot of these major corporations, mid sized corporations even have lasted the past, you know, decade and a half on previously existing ways, protocols and systems and they haven't needed marketing like we've been doing great for 50 years and we've never had to hire a marketer like why do we need you now, why do we need Seo? We've been doing this for this long and it's a matter of sitting down and doing that competitor analysis and saying, Well, you've been in business for 15 years, this company has been in business for 10 years and they're toasting you you know, because they hopped on that SEO or that digital marketing train right away. The harder part is dealing with senior leadership. Those owners that have had their nose in the books for a really long time that aren't web or tech savvy. That's that's where a lot of the education does come into play. Just because they're unfamiliar, they're unfamiliar. And it's actually scary for them. They're like, we have to trust our, you know, 30 to 50 year old company in the hands of, you know, social media engagement. That's crazy. So, education is tough. It's a lot of meetings, and it's a lot of dedicated time and understanding that the people that we're talking to, they've never had the budget for an SEO person or they've never heard of the budget for a digital marketer and they don't understand how engagement on social media can attract people in search engine result pages. They don't understand that stuff. So walking them through and simplifying it for them. So it doesn't seem so daunting but I'm not a lot of people come to us that kind of got the ball rolling and need us to carry the rest of the way, usually they're coming to us. And it's just like, Look, we need someone to do it, can you? And then it's and then it's explaining like, yes, we can, and then they get scared. And then they see the proposal costs and they don't understand why it costs so much. And then you explain and it's it's quite a nurturing of that relationship and the education space.

Brian Comerford  18:22
How much of your process includes trying to translate that into some type of ROI model so that there are some clear indicators for decision makers and leadership, who they're going to be on the hook for a price tag that they may not have been prepared to stomach and want to know what the return on values going be for the engagement.

Jensen Hendriks  18:44
Yeah, that's, that's it. That's always a tough one, too, because the sticker shock is sometimes crazy. But then when we have that conversation that's already we've already nurtured the relationship but we've gone through the education portion and we've given them case studies and we've done the competitor analysis. And then when they're finally ready to like, commit and be like, okay, we really want to talk about budget, let's talk about this contract you have and they look at the price and they're like, what they're like, I could hire someone to do it for me. And then it's just a matter of explaining like, no, not really, because what we're doing for you is, is the SEO and you know the distribution. So if you want, you can hire a CMO chief marketing officer. Now chief marketing officer is going to need to delegate the SEO stuff to a person that does SEO and then the person that does SEO when they're done they have to let the social media strategist take over for distribution. And I mean, the ball just keeps rolling. By the time you're done. you're hiring five people, you know, so it's a lot easier for those those companies to just be like, Can you guys just do it all? It's a matter of those companies, to be honest, like some companies, they'll be like, yes, we can do it all and figured out as they go. There's some companies that are staffed and equiped to handle it. So, but that's a tough Brian that's a tough conversation that we always end up having with with leadership because again, a lot of times they've never had to do this before. So they're really it's it's a very scary rabbit hole for them.

Nick Lozano  20:16
Now I'm curious, ask you a question because, you know, we we kind of get this lot and it it's, you know you'll you'll bring up the topic about some new technology or some new thing how much pushback you get? You know when you're talking to new clients from there like you don't understand our business. It's a very difficult, complicated business. You couldn't possibly apply this SEO technology to our business because it's just too complex and to regulated it's not possible.

Jensen Hendriks  20:41
Yeah,

Yeah, so I have gotten that before and those are tough conversations also because I just want to be like, bro, really, it's research but you can't do that you have to kind of respect the hierarchy there but it's it's a matter of assuring them of that. You're not just providing a service, but you're maintaining a relationship. I tell almost all of my clients with the exception of the ones that are just like Jensen, can you please just do it? I don't like talk to me in 30 days with the report and we're good otherwise, majority of my clients, it's we're having conversations, the more you can educate me about your field, the better I can be of service to you. At the end of the day, I'm a servant leader, I empower My team and I empower my clients and businesses pivot, you know, when maybe 10 years ago, everything was like hardcore Dell servers. And now, you know, people are looking at Microsoft Azure, you know, for their cloud solutions. So as businesses pivot, I have to be agile enough to pivot with them. So I really pride myself, my team prides themselves on the relationships we have with the clients and the fact that like, Look, if you're stressed out at 11 o'clock at night, you want to send me a text message might not answer it till the morning. But I want you to feel confident, comfortable enough to say, hey Jensen, I know we I know I approve those five blog posts already, but I don't publish them yet. I want to look over and one more time. And that's cool. Like, we understand the changes of things. And as long as our clients know that you assume that we can't figure it out, and we can't do the optimization on your website. Well, we can, if you're willing to work with us, you know, it's more of a partnership than just were a service provider. So that's kind of how we get through to the, the tougher clients that you know, insist that nobody can do it, but them it's really it's a relationship. It's a partnership.

Yeah,

Nick Lozano  22:44
I can totally believe it. And I have one question for you. You brought up a good point you said something about a company blog. I've heard conflicting things about whether you should have a blog whether it should be on the same website or should be on a subdomain. I mean, are we seeing companies actually, you know, post content and blog posts where it's not just kind of marketing spiel? Are you seeing anything like that?

Jensen Hendriks  23:12
So

So blogs are super important. Still to this day, every search engine looks for fresh and new content. You figure if they crawl your website 100 times, but none of the content changed. But you have five competitors that's always adding new information of value. Well, all your competitors are going to get better rankings because they're always adding value, whether it's on a subdomain or it's on the same domain. It's still necessary. There's conflicting beliefs that one is better than the other. At the end of the day. You just need a blog. Like you need a blog where you're either adding stuff about company culture, because if you're just blogging about company culture, you're more desired by potential employees. That make other businesses wonder why people want to work for you and not them. And all of a sudden, you're getting attention from other businesses, if you're in the B2B space to blog about your, the business itself, or the services you provide is important as well, and back linking and linking to authority sites is important to Google recognizes that. So if you're working with cloud solutions, and you link over to AWS, Google is going to read the content on that blog post. And they're going to see that you're talking about the, you know, web services, cloud solutions, and they're going to see that you linked out to Amazon. So it's going to be like, oh, wow, okay. So not only are they talking about it, but they link to it. So it must be important. All of a sudden, you get authority on that.

Brian Comerford  24:51
I thought you were about to say that Google automatically demoed that sir because it's not funding Google Cloud services.

Jensen Hendriks  24:57
I know right! No because as much as you think that Google would like like kind of shiesty and kind of keep you on all of their products, they they build their algorithm based on the user. We can, we could bad mouth, the dark side all day in regards to that stuff. But at the end of the day, it really is all about the user. If Google did a really crappy job and only direct people to their own products, they would lose users, you know, so they're, they're, they're pretty fair when it comes to that that stuff.

Brian Comerford  25:33
I was just being snarky when I said that. But I appreciate your answer.

answer?

Jensen Hendriks  25:37
Yeah, well, I mean, a lot of people have that assumption, even though you know, I got you're geist in it. A lot of people have that assumption. And they wonder if they could actually trust those results. Knowing that at the end of the day, it's always about the user when it comes to the search. It's it's safe to say that they're going to find authority content in a very legitimate manner.

Brian Comerford  25:58
Let me ask you a question about rules of thumb around blog posts so frequency length, you know, I think I've seen leaders in the past to the idea of publishing to a blog is they're writing an essay and that might be at the speed of a certain age demographic, but kind of curious on your take for to that rule of thumb?

Jensen Hendriks  26:22
Yeah, sure. Um, so rule of thumb on blog posts. Consistency is probably the most important thing whether you're blogging at 400 words or 1400 words it just has to be consistent know that you're going to publish on every Wednesday or you're going to publish on the first in the 15th of every month you know, has to be consistent because once you develop a following as soon as you miss a week or two weeks or a month you're forgotten, you know when even if you only have 100 followers on social media platform if you don't post and they're posting like five times a day. Whether it's hamburger pictures or not, they're going to forget about you because you're going to be so covered up by everything else. So it's important when you start blogging, that you're consistent, blogging, blogging, podcasting, whatever, it's important that you're publishing consistently as much as you can on the same days of the week, or of the month. So you have that I know I can log onto your website every Wednesday and get new content that's important to me. The length is really determined by your strategy. And this is where like the strategic ops thing comes into role. When I'm on LinkedIn, you have to have a strategy you can't just blog posts for the sake of blog posting. If you're if you're wanting to blog about cloud solutions, you should have your main topic cloud solutions and essentially, you know, five or six supporting topics Okay, so if you do you know 600 to 1200 word blog posts about those supporting topics, then you can put all of them together and make one longer blog posts or one longer white paper. So essentially, then all seven the six blog posts in the white paper, the six blog posts in the long post all can link to each other. So when Google looks at one, and it links to the next one, and links to the next one, links to the next one, it seemed that they're all related. Therefore, they're all sharing value to the person reading them on that main topic. So consistency strategy in the topics and making sure they all have synergy with each other is like really rule of thumb number one, two, and three that way in keeping that pattern. So if you've done all that about cloud solutions, and then you want to go into security, the same thing come up with the six sub topics write about them, link them together. Create the white paper, you're adding value in topic clusters. And Google is going to crawl those topic clusters.

Nick Lozano  29:07
To note, since we're on the topic of blogging, I just had kind of an interesting question here. Just want to pick your brain, you know, as a technology professional, you see different people with technology backgrounds, that kind of startup blog. And there's kind of different beliefs, like should should you blog on a personal level, should you create kind of some of your own brand so that you show up in Google more than just kind of on a, you know, corporate page this is Joe Smith and Joe Smith us, you know, information architecture, you know, or should they be blogging more on a personal level?

Brian Comerford  29:39
I

Jensen Hendriks  29:40
I think that depends on the goal of that person in their career. If that person is super comfortable at their job, maybe they're at a C level or or even a managerial or director level and they're happy there and they don't plan on going anywhere but they would like to expand into like getting on the speaker circuit and maybe speaking at, you know, tech world in you know, cyber world and all this stuff. Then they can build their personal brand which would only benefit the company they work for can also hurt the company they work for if they stink at it though, so they have to be careful, right? Um. But yeah for your question, it really depends on the person's goal. I don't blog personally, you know, everything I do is based on my business. I like to be behind the scenes more than anything else and not an extrovert. I like tinkering you know, in helping the client without people knowing that I'm there some people do like to be the face of things and if that's the case then to have a blog and put yourself out there then it might be worth that you know, it was really up to the individual Nick. You know, I'm I committed to writing a book so I'm going to have to start putting myself out there if I want people to read my book! So, and that's the hardest thing for me. Like, I'm like writing. I'm crazy, but I'm not really. Oh my gosh. So this is the first time I really told anybody about it other than my wife and a couple of colleagues. So, you know, I'm just kind of screwed myself.

Nick Lozano  31:17
Yeah.

Jensen Hendriks  31:17
So it's just like, I'm going to have to start becoming more extroverted and putting myself out there more. And I'm not good at that. So I guess it depends on where you are in your career. And some companies might not want people to do it. No, they might be like, Look, if you're doing that, you know, and you put us at risk because you are representing our company, you know, when you put yourself out there, they might not like that they a lot of companies may disapprove.

Brian Comerford  31:43
This brings up a really good point I'm curious on your thoughts about that's marketing yourself. You know, LinkedIn has really become a professional go to, you know, the 21st century version of your resume as well as, your, you know, professional socialized centralization points. So when it comes to marketing yourself kind of where where do you need to be cautious in terms of how that might create some friction with your existing employer versus what you're trying to do to build your own network?

Jensen Hendriks  32:19
Sure. Good question. And a tough question to answer. I think any just just out of saving face and respecting the company that you work for, and that your career is in that should be a conversation between the individual and their management. Simply out of respect, you know, if, if you're out there and you're you're building your LinkedIn and you're building this personal brand is your company in fear that you're going to leave or they empowering you to do so in building that brand. That's there's I guess there's a real gray area there in regards to how some companies would perceive that however, I, I empower my team to put themselves out there. I give them ownership in their in their projects. If they come to me with an idea, I'll never shoot it down. I may have a rebuttal and I may ask them to do more research and bring more proof to me, but I'll never shoot it down. I'll let them figure that out. And we might try it for a client. Or we might try it on behalf of the Candor brand to see if it works. I believe in empowering the team and I would hope a lot of other employers would as well. However, if you're unsure about that in your own workspace environment, you might want to talk first. Like Hey boss, I'm going to be putting out a video blog on LinkedIn probably going to do it once a month and I want to talk about this I promise there's not going to be any conflict of interest. I absolutely love my job, but this is something I want to do just to build my professional network. They might be great. Okay, go for it. Thank you for bringing it up. I respect the fact that you did. So just to kind of see ya, right? You just want to be careful. You don't want to burn bridges. So personal brands and business brands are tough, especially when you're wanting to do it on your own. It's kind of difficult.

Brian Comerford  34:18
That's great. The next part to my question, Jensen, let's say you get the green light from your boss and now you want to take some of your own principles that you shared with us on SEO and apply it to something like LinkedIn what are some of those tips and tricks for someone who is trying to market themselves?

Jensen Hendriks  34:35
Plan, plan, plan, you can't just jump on there and start selfie video in yourself talking to the LinkedIn world

Nick Lozano  34:44
Oh man, there goes my plan.

Jensen Hendriks  34:47
Nick, you and I, we could we could talk sidebar later.

Nick Lozano  34:50
I'm going to do you know 360 cam everything.

Jensen Hendriks  34:53
Um, so my my suggestion would be you need to have a list of Talking Points like the topic clusters for blogging, you need to have that for what you're going to put he putting out on LinkedIn, whether that's a video or whatnot, and then you have to strategize. You know how that's going to flow as you post. So what what I would mean Katie we're doing with our podcasts we would record like six of them before we published one that way if she's sick one day or I'm sick one day we still have backups, right? So if you just jumped speed in first and you're like, Hey, everybody, look at me, this is what I do. And I'm going to be sending you to a whole bunch of great stuff, follow me on LinkedIn. And then two weeks later, you're not posting anything. Well, you kind of just hurt yourself. So it's important to have a game plan and have a calendar, you know, know that outlook is going to ping you every time that you have to publish something or use a tool that publishes for you, but it's really important that it's premeditated. It's very intentional, it can't be very spontaneous. Not if you want success because you'll lose consistency

Nick Lozano  35:56
Consistency is key.

Jensen Hendriks  36:00
Yes. 100%.

Brian Comerford  36:03
I want to go back to something that you touched on a little earlier. And one of your comments.

I want to go back to something that you touched on a little earlier and one of your comments. So you characterize yourself as a servant leader. I'd like to know some more about your perspective on what servant leadership is?

more about your perspective on what servant leadership is. Sure.

Jensen Hendriks  36:19
So

Sure. So for me, you know, one, it's our job to serve our clients, our clients, you know, it's always about them. And for the clients, it should be about their user or their or their clients. So it's important that we serve them to the best of our ability, build a relationship and not just make assumptions, but be educated and what we're doing so we do our best for them in regards to being a business owner and working with a team. I believe that's about empowerment, I believe, you know, trusting if you're if you hired somebody that you're not willing to, let them take ownership in something, maybe you should have hired them. I really believe that the team that I have, I can 100% trust to make decisions, understanding that there's going to be failure. But failure can be rectified. It can be fixed, it can be learned from and I think that's, that's really important. So if if one of my team they need a little bit more education and something I want to be able to serve them, I want to be able to provide them with that education or an outlet to do so if one of my team wants to leave because they see greener pastures and they want to try something else, I'm going to help them do so I'm going to either you know, help pave the road or or making it easier for them to do so. I really believe when when you can serve and you can help people better themselves, you become a better person for it. I mean, it's, it's kind of just how I've been living, you know, my life is is if there's room for all of us to be successful Brian. There's enough people in this in this world there's no businesses in this world that everybody can be successful. Why not help them be successful? You know if somebody in my company wants to go and start their own company? Well yeah, like let's go I'll go down to the courthouse with you and we'll get the LLC papers like don't fumble over yourself if I can help you do it I just I've always lived my life that way you know just we could all be successful I think being a servant leader is a way to help people do so.

Brian Comerford  38:38
Great thank you. Yeah

Nick Lozano  38:42
That's that's an awesome quote. I know I've known you for a while too and I guess we haven't spoken up and quite a number of years but I know you're you're pretty serial entrepreneur here.

Jensen Hendriks  38:53
Yeah. You know I I've had a couple businesses this has been the one I've had the most conviction in and it's actually allowed me to be more of that leader than the other businesses and in that there's a lot of passion behind that. So I think that's why I've had more success with Candor Digital, then, you know, in the past, I had to hone in on that and and helped falling down, making mistakes, getting help getting back up, and then finding passion in what I do also, obviously plays a role in the success of things.

Brian Comerford  39:27
Have you utilized any kind of executive coaching along the way?

Jensen Hendriks  39:31
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, but so a lot of people think that you have to go out and like hire a mentor, or you have to pay to be in this mentor group or that mentor group, and I'm sure there's value in that. So I'm not taking away from people that do nor am I taking away from people that do charge for their time because time is important. We use time we pay you know our time multiple places throughout our lives. So I'm not taking away from the people, that either make money as mentors or people that pay money for mentors. I found myself in a very fortunate position to be surrounded by some really great people. And when I started my business and still, my business is still fairly new. I'll reach out to old friends or people from the gym that I know are successful and be like, Hey, I know you're busy. But if you have 30 minutes that I could maybe you know, buy you a coffee, I would love to just pick your brain. For example, I am meeting with a friend who's a dentist because I think we have a good value proposition for people in that industry. And I'm not pitching him. I want to know what would rebuttals be when I approach other people in the industry I want to know like what is the best way to approach someone like that without being intrusive I want to I want people to welcome me into their office I don't have to I don't want to have to pry the door open. So by being very vulnerable and honest in my approach to, you know, people that I know in, in different mentor asked positions has put me in a spot where I was able to build my business around that. So if I didn't have the guidance of some business mentors, I wouldn't be as far along with Candor is that I as I am, so I think having an executive leadership, even a board of directors that you meet with once a month that are shooting down ideas and giving you like the most brutally honest feedback ever. I think it's important because you'd rather hear it from professionals behind closed doors then here in public on social media because you butchered that bad, you know, so why not tap into those with more knowledge?

Brian Comerford  41:47
Sounds Great.

Jensen Hendriks  41:49
Yeah.

Nick Lozano  41:50
I just have a question for you to like as we're talking about mentor-ship and everything, you know, as you have lower level staff members working for you to do anything to kind of help lift them up, give it more responsibility, kind of mentor them to to go to the next level whether it's even either with you or to move on to a new role added another organization?

Jensen Hendriks  42:10
Yes, absolutely. So, um, one of my normal practices, when somebody comes on or or somebody that's working for me provide them with the responsibility of things with somebody. So a senior person in my company where they coach the new person, almost like job shadow and then we're not going to hand you five accounts. We're going to give you one account, one account, we want you to knock it out of the park do better than we were doing before, but we don't want to talk to you for the rest of the day. Like go like fly. A little birdie fly, right? Like we hired you because you can do your job. We didn't hire you because we want to hover over your desk and make sure you're hitting the right button so we kind of coach them let them fly, bring them back to the nest review, coach them, let them fly, bring them back to the nest until they are so self sufficient that they come in high five, sit down and knock it out of the park all day. So that's kind of like in house as we're working. When it comes to getting out there and meeting more people here in Orlando, there's tons there's more networking events than I could remember. It's kind of absurd how many networking events there are right now. And I just don't want to go to all of them. It's, I have a family, you know, and as is Come on, so it's just like, okay, does anybody want to go right? And then, um, I got your parking, I got your entrance. I got all this. Go represent the company meet whoever you can meet, you know, and then, you know, there are some people that are more introverted, such as myself, so awesome people and teams, because it's always good to have a wingman. So you have two people go that way. If they're super awkward, they could just hang with each other, right? But at least there was a presence at the networking event. And they got exposed to meeting more people. That's their opportunity. Yes, they're representing Candor Digital. But at the same time, that's an opportunity for them to shine a little bit. It's an opportunity for them to take the spotlight. They're the ones representing the company companies. Don't just send anybody companies send people strategically to impress those other people at these events. I'll send everybody like, go, this is your opportunity. I know you're not gonna let me down because you're not gonna want to let yourself down. This is your opportunity to take that spotlight. So we definitely mentor in house we want everybody to grow. We want everybody to be able to take a senior role at some point in their career, whether that's with us or that's with somebody else. Again, we want everybody to be successful. And we also want everybody to be comfortable being uncomfortable, go to that networking event and bring me back you know, a couple of contacts. It doesn't even matter if they're potential clients or not just like I want to know you how it went and who you talk to. You know, and give them an opportunity to, you know, try that out with no expectation when you go into it with no expectation, you usually pleasantly surprised, you know, so I don't expect to get a whole lot of networking events even when I go but at the same time, it's always nice when they come back and be like, man, it was really great. The met the person who set up the networking event, they introduced me to three people before, you know what, they had a good time they're way more comfortable next time.

Brian Comerford  45:24
I'm curious from, you know, data is something that you've touched on is a critical factor in your line of business. I'm kind of curious from from what you just described, you know, really empowering your staff members, are there specific policies or requirements that you put around sending them out to those types of events? Like is there any, you know, if you're going to a networking event, I want to make sure that you've met with three people you come back with, you know, three critical things

Nick Lozano  45:57
And you take it easy on the alcohol.

Brian Comerford  45:59
Yeah, Don't End up on YouTube.

Jensen Hendriks  46:01
Yeah, no kidding when there's free booze. So I know who not to say to.

Nick Lozano  46:08
Don't be for that SEO.

Jensen Hendriks  46:15
So our our KPIs, when it comes to networking events, and for those listening, like Key Performance Index, right. So they're really vague, because I feel like if you if you tighten the reins, too much, people are going to be too apprehensive and too protective over what they say in maybe not put across a more personal impression. And, you know, if you're, in my opinion, I'm not speaking for anybody else, but myself. But if the rains are too tight, they're going to be too scared to say the wrong thing. It might not say anything. So what I tell everybody that goes to a networking event on our behalf is I want you to go I want you to survey the room, I want you to tell me who is in the room. And the next time you go, I want you to go with the goal of eventually being a keynote speaker at the event go in. Who is the audience? Tell me who the audience is. Right? Are they younger millennials? Are they C suite executives? You know, is it is it more gender based, you know, it's so different, the ones that we have the opportunities to go to, but I want everybody to know that the end goal is I want you to be the expert at that event. I want you to be able to take ownership, whether it's now or a year from now. I want you to be the guest speaker, you know, so know the audience, can you cater to the audience, if not, when you come back, who at candor can cater to that audience and let's make sure they have that opportunity. So knowing the knowing the target market is important and having a goal if you're going just to collect business cards and like you said, have a couple beers was kind of silly because you might get business card for that. Doesn't mean that you're going to get them as a lead. You might be their lead. So that doesn't mean anything to me.

Nick Lozano  48:06
That's true.

Jensen Hendriks  48:06
Right. What, That doesn't mean anything to me what means something to me is that you become the expert. So every time you go, you're like, Oh, hey Sue, how are you doing? How's everything over a candor? You know, you always talking about you the other day, because someone had a question about SEO, I'll be sure to connect you with them. That's what I want. I want them to have such a brand presence. So they become the authority and if I put too many constraints on that, there'll be too apprehensive to do so. So that's that's our goal with networking events and who we send.

Brian Comerford  48:35
That's great thank you for that.

Nick Lozano  48:38
Let me let me just a real us back in here for one second to back to SEO. Yeah. Just so let's take a second here on the left and you know kind of over the years as you know marketing's kind of evolved and you know things have come along like Salesforce and HubSpot and Pardot and Marketo. IT leaders have kind of been Merging closer and closer to working more and more with you know the chief marketing officer. Or you know digital strategist or however we want to term that we find ourselves working with those individuals more and more. Is there anything, that you think you know that people as IT leaders can do to kind of help you know the chief marketing officer or digital strategist kind of prepare and you know get the CRM in order to get Pardot sending out marketing automation needed to kind of help that be successful?

Jensen Hendriks  49:32
I would My first suggestion there would be be educated in like the top five to 10 platforms know what you would potentially be working with. Just because you're using Salesforce now doesn't mean that the next CMO is going to be like none and we're moving HubSpot. Right I would say it doesn't have to be super in depth but I think anybody in say the IT field when people are coming in wanting to implement these type of platforms, those of you all in the IT field should at least know what the heck they're talking about like HubSpot. What? So you should at least be educated at that 30,000 foot level of what this is and what it does, you should know that it can automate and database inbound as well as outbound. You know, if somebody fills out the form, you should know what information is being saved, and you should know, is it like super private? Is it HIPAA compliant? You know, depending on your industry, there's things like that in the financial world like FINRA and stuff like that you there's a lot of compliance there that you have to be concerned about, because of the SEC. So you know, it's really important that you understand the platforms and their capabilities. You don't have to know it from scratch, like you built it yourself, which you have to be able to communicate with the people that are pitching it to the company or the people that want to implement it, you have to know what the risks are, you have to know what the benefits are. And if you if you could do that you'll have a much better relationship for the CMOS or with the CMOS that are trying to bring these platforms into the company because you're going to get CMOS that are super stubborn, and they're like no, I grew up on HubSpot. I knew about HubSpot. When I had a pacifier. We're using HubSpot. And you might be like no Marketo, I want to use this and they're like, nope, this is how it is they put me in the C suite position. You have no option, buddy. We're doing it. So it's important that you understand if there are risks, what they are, how to circumvent those risks, how to protect those risks, things like that. I think being intelligent enough on those platforms to communicate and have a good working relationship is important. There's no doubt you're going to be experiencing a multitude of platforms like that and marketing to being educated in those top five to 10 that you're going to have to encounter eventually is going to be super important. Absolutely. And that's as easy as like, just taking the time carving now, you know 30 minutes a day going on to their website, whether that's reading their blog, or watching their how to or their educational videos on their platform. Or even signing up for a webinar that they may have about their platform. Or scheduling a 30 minute phone conversation with someone on their sales team and explaining to them be like, Hey, I'm in IT. You know, somebody was talking to me about your platform. I want to know more about it. In case it comes my way, they'll give you 30 minutes because you're still a lead. I mean, they'll going to bombard you with emails. But I mean, honestly, I'll take 10 emails from you. If it's going to educate me more on your platform. So be it, you know, it's worth it. And it will, you'll be more prepared. So research,

Nick Lozano  52:52
Perfect point.

Jensen Hendriks  52:52
Research.

Nick Lozano  52:56
That's, that's what we always kind of have to try and tell people, from our perspective,

Jensen Hendriks  53:01
I'm sure

Nick Lozano  53:02
Now they want the new shiny thing. And, you know, fortunately, you know, like, technology has become so consumerized with Apple. And, you know, Microsoft and Google iterating. Now you see point in time where you went to work, and that was the best computer you had, and the best internet you could get. Now, it's kind of slowly going the other way where people come in, and they're like, you know, I'm trying to login. Why does this take 45 seconds?

Jensen Hendriks  53:23
Curse you 45 seconds.

Nick Lozano  53:26
You know, like, because we're running an antivirus for mapping printers. When you login, it's trying to figure out where you are, you know, so, so I can understand that from that perspective, as well.

Jensen Hendriks  53:34
In regards to that question to if I may, one more thing. I never, I never give a definitive when when asked. I always wait, we need to do this. We need to do this. Now. I never agree Yes or no. Or agree or disagree. Right then in there. I always feel like I have to buy myself time to be more educated for that answer. And there's no shame in doing that. So in in an IT manager or IT you know field answering a question like hey, we want to go to Marketo, when can we make this happen. So matter of like, okay, that's great. And I already know why you want to because I'm kind of familiar with Marketo and its benefits. But because I'm responsible for the security of this entire organization, you need to give me some time to do my research. Before we commit to anything, let's set up a meeting, you know, a week from now, that way I can take the time and I can determine you know what that's going to do to the entire computer infrastructure of our company, if anybody shoots you down, or gives you lip because you simply want to protect your company's best interest, you're gonna you're in for a rocky road regardless, but that person is bringing you should respect the fact that you are concerned about the company, it's in your best interest and you're willing to do the research to have a longer more detailed conversation. And I think that goes for any, any industry I think if you're if you're ever unsure of something, simply ask for the time to do the research. And you'll gain respect from the person with the request because they know you want to be more educated. I think that goes a long way. So sorry, I wanted to revisit that because yeah, because it play a major role. Yeah.

Nick Lozano  55:34
So just going to ask one question I've kind of been asking everyone we've been interviewing here This has nothing to do with SEO but are there any books that you've read or any piece of media that's had kind of a big influence on you that you'd want to share with us?

Jensen Hendriks  55:49
Oh wow that's a good question. I didn't see that one coming. I'm books that I've read it's funny because that's gonna be a book or just see you next so audio audio book guy right so like audio book and I'll listen to that on my drive or podcast on my drive and stuff let's see there's a book called Lost and founder by Rand Fishkin he was the CEO of Moz. So anybody looking to like get into SEO or do some self research MOZ.com. I have no affiliation with them it is just like a wealth of knowledge when you log on to their website he was the CEO and he has since left mas and started his own company called spark Toro he published a book called Lost and founder it's worth the read for anybody whether you're interested in SEO or just business or agency work fabulous. Another person that I listened to a lot and read his books is Jocko Wilink

Nick Lozano  56:56
I kind of got that sense from you when you're talking

Jensen Hendriks  56:59
Extreeme Ownership is is huge I mean I can't speak enough about his his books and he's he

Nick Lozano  57:06
See Brian you need to read that. I bought Brian that book I. I don't know if you read it yet?

Jensen Hendriks  57:09
Oh my gosh, Brian get on it. After you read it will have to have another like one of these. And if it does not a podcast, that's okay. But we have have another phone call after you read it game changer. So that and there's a podcast called marketing school. And it's by Eric Sue and Neil Patel. They're like six minute podcasts. So if you know you have a 15 minute drive, you could break through three of them and get out of your car. Like, Oh, my gosh, I got to revisit all of that knowledge. So those are I think those are my three off the top of my head. The Lost and Founder is the most recent read of mine. Jocko's, I revisit that quite often, you know, I dog ear places and I'll go back to some things that he's he said. And I listened to the marketing school podcast all the time for me, you know, I've been an SEO for quite some time now. And it's just like, it's easy to forget something that's just fundamentally sound, and I'll hear it on there. And it's just like, right is like, wake me up and be like, Oh, my gosh, I need to put that into my system. You know, so it's like, if I'm doing ABC and D, I need to include this as well. All those are really great outlets for people just to gain a little bit more knowledge and information for sure.

Nick Lozano  58:25
That's good stuff. I'll give you another recommendation here for your Lost and Founder there's a book called Creativity Inc.

Jensen Hendriks  58:32
Yes.

Nick Lozano  58:32
By Ed Catmull, I don't know if you've read that?

Jensen Hendriks  58:35
Yeah, I have.

Nick Lozano  58:35
But that's that's a very good book because that's the

Jensen Hendriks  58:38
one with Buzz Lightyear like silhouette on the front and he's doing this thing, right.

Nick Lozano  58:42
Oh, yeah. And he goes all the way through from, you know, randomly. Being a PhD student to being at Skywalker Ranch or random and it all seems like it was just random.

Jensen Hendriks  58:51
Like, what kind of life are you living bro? Yeah, that's a great book for sure. Yeah, yeah. So yeah.

Nick Lozano  58:59
Do you have anymore questions Brian?

Brian Comerford  59:01
No, I really appreciate the time that you spent with this. Jensen. I I think we've touched on a lot of really cool topics here. And yeah, I think we're due for some conversation outside of the podcast.

Jensen Hendriks  59:15
Absolutely. Man. I'm really grateful that you guys contacted me Nick. It's been a long time and man I know.

Nick Lozano  59:20
No problem and I remember from the Muay Thai days. Man I still got that shirt. So yes, kind of small now.

Jensen Hendriks  59:27
Great. I still teach it. I still teach it. Um.

Nick Lozano  59:30
I know next time I am in Orlando I'll have to get down there and come see me I trained Jiu Jitsu mostly now but we know you're a Gracie Barra. Yeah, and Brian's wife is actually Thai so he knows a little bit about Muay Thai there.

Jensen Hendriks  59:42
Yes. Awesome.

But uh, but uh, yeah, man. I'm really grateful. And y'all are probably going to go back and listen to this and be like, Wow, he talks a mile a minute he doesn't use punctuation is just like one run on sentence sorry about that

Nick Lozano  1:00:01
you're you're completely fine. So if people are looking for you to reach out to you How can they find you?

Jensen Hendriks  1:00:10
Super simple usually so Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, it's like @jensenhendriks you just got to make sure your spelling My name right

Nick Lozano  1:00:17
yeah, I know I'm guilty of not spelling it correctly.

Jensen Hendriks  1:00:19
Everybody does it's either Jason Justin Jansen. They never get my first name right and if they get my first name right they don't get my last name right so but it's at Jensen Hendrix if you want to look at my company's website to see if it's as crazy as I am talking. It's candordm.com for digital media candordm.com and my email address is J just the letter [email protected]. So you could email me if you want, like, Hey, I'm spelling your name wrong. I can't find you online anywhere. So email me.

Nick Lozano  1:00:50
Well, hopefully your your SEO is up to date. And, you know, you just start typing, right? It's like learning and you mean

Jensen Hendriks  1:00:55
honestly wrote Nick. I'm telling you, man. It's like the cobbler shoes. You know, like the cobbler can like fix everybody shoes in the entire town. But his own are like, tattered and torn. So it's like, I'm looking at my own website. I'm like, Oh, I'm slacking so bad. But all my all my clients are on point. So it's just like, Ah, so frustrating. But hopefully, hopefully people will find me though. Yeah,

Brian Comerford  1:01:21
Sounds like you got an internal Apollo project for some of your younger team members. Maybe?

Jensen Hendriks  1:01:26
Well, it's funny because I just revisited the podcast with Katie. And we are sitting on probably 20 blog posts to publish because, again, it's consistency. So we've been writing SEO blog posts and topic clusters. And you know, I'm scheduling them to publish on the same day, every week every month. So we're basically two months ahead on our repository on blog posts. So then by the time we're done with those two months of blog post being published, we have two months more so yeah, it was a bit so last month I sat down with my team and I'm like guys like we're doing all this for our clients we need to do it for ourselves. So everybody kind of took a top of cluster and they owned it and I basically just do the proofing and we're going to start launching March everything's going to be going live

Nick Lozano  1:02:17
Awesome and your your podcast again that's Garage Weights and Business Takes

Jensen Hendriks  1:02:20
Yes we have such a good time Yeah, Garage Weights and Business Takes me and Katie workout with each other we completely drain our our energy and we sit down usually on the floor on a bench exhausted and talk about how our businesses has been going and what we could do to improve it and what's working and what's not yeah it's good

Nick Lozano  1:02:42
Well next time I swing down that way I'll probably have to stop by and make a guest on your podcast

Jensen Hendriks  1:02:47
You know you can't be on our podcast unless you work out with us.

Nick Lozano  1:02:50
Oh I can work out I can I can do that on

Jensen Hendriks  1:02:52
done alright guys, thank you so much for having me on. I really am grateful it's been awesome.

Brian Comerford  1:02:57
Same right back at you

Nick Lozano  1:02:58
Awesome. Appreciate it. Thank

Jensen Hendriks  1:02:59
You got it. Thank you.

About Nick Lozano

Co-host of the > Lead.exe_ Podcast and owner/consultant at CornerStack, LLC.

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