The Secret of our Re-Birth

What Shade Tree Marketing looked like when it was littleWe’ve been very closed mouthed as of late, and that’s not like me. It’s hard to explain how all this came about, but I’ll try.. let’s just say for the last 2 years Brian and I had our focus ‘Shifted’. We were going to launch a great big SEO / SEM SaaS company over at shift.com but; best laid plans of mice and men…(*I’m omitting the rest of the story until I can legally let it all out) – now that we’re back Brian and I had to take a long look at what had become of our Firm.

Re-Branding:

We love our logo, and the story behind the Shade Tree (obviously) we also believe it’s ‘brandable’. We still love Word Press… however over the last few years it seems that anyone and everyone has the ability to push a button and create a WP site. We’re a marketing company and we want to set ourselves apart from the crowd a little – not necessarily a ‘purple cow’ but it is HTML5 Validated! (I know it’s not that big a deal – just let me have my geek moment).

Re-documenting :

We’re sticking with our Logo – we’ve plastered it on EVERYTHING… and we now have standardized questionnaire’s (to help us pin point clients needs / wants / & goals), Standardized bids for our packages (yes a one-size-fits-all sort of), Standardized reporting for ALL clients (the propritary software that Brian built is kickass to put it bluntly) – we’re using all the right API’s and are now able to scale quickly. Basically we’ve revamped our entire document structure.

Over the years we’ve had several clients in several verticals, all with different needs and different contracts. There was never a one-size-fits-all campaign at Shade Tree. We felt it was time that we lined out exactly what we’re doing and document it all!  A lot of SEO agency’s are SO vague that – even I can’t figure out what the hell they’re doing or offering to do! I realize that some of our tactics need to be held close to the chest… not so Matt Cutts doesn’t find out about them. But because there are too many spammers that will take a good idea and bastardize it until it’s no longer effective for the rest of us.

Re-Thinking:

The process we used in the past was odd sometimes… Some clients would have us on retainer and talk to us once every 6 months. Others would be on the phone daily. This was NOT the way to do business. I’ve always been a fan of the ‘Work Smarter Not Harder’ mantra so… One paradigm shift later and we’ve instituted a much SMARTER program. One where every client has a meeting, every Monday or Tuesday (on a set schedule) – where, get this, we go over your previous weeks Analytics on a GoToMeeting! (where Brian’s SitePwn software has run it’s cycle each and every week)

We also discuss:

  1. Benchmarks (are we getting where we want to be?)
  2. Goals (What work has been accomplished to achieve our goals?)
  3. Progress (Where are all of the team’s involved, what’s finished? What’s not?)
  4. Answer questions (That’s what we’re here for – it’s your time with us, make it count!)
  5. *Discuss Industry news (probably the most important)

*side note here – Not SEO industry news (although very exciting to me, probably not so much for you). We discuss YOUR industry, what’s new, what’s exciting, what should we have our authors crafting for you this week? And how do we tie that back to your site? How does that work into our goals & benchmarks? If we can’t tie it back is this something we want to expand into? (this is extremely important to us – too many times we see other link builders say ‘it doesn’t matter… you just need more links, I can write about anything in your industry- just get the links‘). People – if you’re thinking this way, you can’t see the forest for the trees! Step back look at it as a whole </rambling>.

Re-purposing :

As if the whole re-birthing process wasn’t enough we decided to start the SEO 101 podcast up again, and launch our first product! The SEO 101 Training videos (which I’ll cover in a different blog post) I’ll just say that doing all of this has been a very humbling experience, Brian and I may have been doing this for what seems like for-evvvvvver now… but we still had a lot to learn, and still have a lot of growing to do.

So with that, and if you had the patience to read all the way through my blathering, we’ve decided to offer our services for free… Yup, that’s right…. not a typo! Just head over here and leave me your name, email, phone number, and the main concern for your site (be as descriptive as you can). You may be saying “But David… why are you doing this?” (okay maybe not) I may just be a little rusty, maybe Brian and I need the practice… And it’s like my *underwater basket weaving instructor always used to say…”Practice makes perfect!” Really, what it boils down to is I’m a HUGE Zig Ziglar fan, and I truly believe that you can get everything in life that you want, if you just help enough others get what they want.

*funny side story – I signed up for an elective class called “Underwater basket weaving”. Because I thought everyone was going to be at the bottom of the pool in scuba gear, making baskets…. I was wrong, only your hands & arms went under the water to weave the baskets… It went from being a kick ass class where you got to learn to scuba and make baskets to – wth? I don’t want no stinking baskets, and why am I the only dude here with a bunch of old ladies? #Lesson = Perception is EVERYTHING!



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