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Career Day with Michael King: How a hip-hop music producer and rapper became a Google SEO expert

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Episode Overview

Top SEO and sought-after speaker, Michael King’s roots are in computer science and music—balancing his creative and professional lives. Learn about his life path to success working with top brands like Ralph Lauren, LG, Genentech, Citibank, and more.

  • How Mr. King combines his extensive background in software and web development with his proclivity for creative solutions
  • Contributor to leading industry blog Moz, learn how Mike ushers in ideas that shift the paradigm of SEO, inbound marketing, and owned media
  • How did he become an international conference speaker from Australia to Israel, with many stops between

GUESTS & RESOURCES:

Episode Transcript

Ben:                 Welcome to Career Day on the Voices of Search Podcast. Today we’re going to learn about the skills accumulated and lessons learned from a great SEO throughout the various stops on his career. Joining us for Career Day is a hip hop recording artists turned SEO. Mike King is the Founder and Managing Director of iPullRank, which is a digital marketing studio that produces great results for their clients through a strategy first approach to content marketing, analytics, social media, search engine optimization and a host of other marketing services.

Ben:                Mike and his team have worked on a number of high profile SEO projects, including Ralph Lauren, ADT, State Farm, Hawaiian Airlines and Citibank. We’re excited to hear his story today. But before we hear from Mike King, I want to remind you that this podcast is brought to you by the marketing team at Searchmetrics. We’re an SEO and content marketing platform that helps enterprise scale businesses, monitor their online presence and make data driven decisions.

Ben:               As part of our ranking factors month, which we’re having this month, we’d like to welcome you our loyal podcast listeners to an upcoming webinar where we’ll discuss the evolution of custom ranking factors with machine learning. The event is happening on April 25th. To join our discussion about how a new generation of machine learning technology is evolving to provide on demand and demand specific ranking factors that are shaping the future of SEO. You can register for the Custom Ranking Factors webinar by going to searchmetrics.com/webinar.

Ben:               Okay, here is our interview with Founder and Managing Director of iPullRank, Mike King. Mike, welcome to the Voices Of Search Podcast.

Mike King:        Thanks for having me. I really appreciate being here.

Ben:                 Very excited to have you here and hear your story about transitioning from a life working, producing music in the hip hop industry, to being an SEO. Seems like two different fields to me. But we’re also working together on an event that Searchmetrics is hosting, a mixer for anybody that’s in the Bay Area, that I just want to mention. You and I are going to get together on May 9th to meet some of the local SEOs here in the Bay Area and talk about our skills and experience. So, very excited to meet you and have you on the show.

Mike King:        Yeah, I’m excited to be there too. I don’t make it out to the Bay that often. So, it’s always good when I do and very excited that it’s going to be for Searchmetrics event.

Ben:               Yeah. We’re happy to host, happy to have you. Let’s talk a little bit about your career. You started off in a dramatically different industry. You were a hip hop recording artist. First off, tell us about how you got into hip hop.

Mike King:       There’s a lot of similarities between the two. But how did I got into hip hop? I very much have like a Fresh Prince story, in that my parents moved me to prep school in Connecticut from Philadelphia for high school. It was very important to me that I did things to feel connected to the urban environment that I was from. So, I just got really into all things hip hop, like graffiti, DJing and of course, you know, actually making music in the rapping side of it, and also break-dancing. I did all the things.

Ben:                Sorry to interrupt you, but I think that we’re going to have to break out some of those break-dancing moves when we get together in our event. I’m going to put you on the spot.

Mike King:         I’m getting old. I don’t know if I can move like that anymore. But nevertheless, it was all about staying connected. Over time, I just realized that you can only be really great at one of those things. There’s a lot of people that are decent at multiple parts of that. But I wanted to be really great at something. I felt like, what I was best at was rapping.

Mike King:         I did that, but at the same time, again, this is me being 14. Prior to that, I’d been really interested in programming and things like that. It was like my skill set in both things emerged around the same time. When it was time to go to college, I went to school for computer science, but, I just didn’t really feel like I was learning anything because I was like a self-taught coder and it was like everything they were teaching me was stuff that I had already learned.

Mike King:         Aside from math, I wish I had spent more time with the math and statistics and things like that. But nevertheless, I decided I can go to school until I’m 50 but I can only rap till I’m probably like 30. I just decided to make music as my full-time thing. I toured all over the states, toured all over Europe. Toured in Australia, even playing a couple of shows in Africa. Released a bunch of records and it was a great time.

Ben:                Tell me about the transition. You clearly were a successful recording artists, you’re making it around the world sharing your music. How’d you make the transition to getting into SEO? It seems like you walked away from that lifestyle. Why did you decide to get back into the technical side of things?

Mike King:        There was some overlap, because I think it was 2006 I got into a bike accident and there was no Obamacare then. So, I didn’t have health insurance. I had to get a job to pay the medical bills. The first place to hire me was an SEO agency because of the fact that I had a development background. They were like, oh, okay, well, you can code stuff, you can figure this out.

Mike King:        In 2006, it was pretty simple. It was meta tags, H1, bolding keywords, and-

Ben:                White keywords on white background.

Mike King:        Yeah. All the link building was like whatever your keyword was plus add URL. You search for that, and you submit your site. So, wherever. It was pretty simple back then. I was pretty good at it. I didn’t really take it seriously at first. It was just like, okay, I’m going to keep this job until it’s time to go back on tour. But what happened was, my boss at the time, I was really hesitant to tell him because I actually liked my job. My days, were just flying by so fast. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to have to quit because I’m going to go back on tour.” He’s like, “Wait, what do you mean you got to quit? You can work from the road.” I was like, “What?” That just changed my whole life right there. Because it’s like, wait, I can work from home while I’m on tour. That sounds amazing.

Mike King:         Basically, that’s what I did. When I worked in SEO at that point, the companies that we worked with, they just gave us their websites. They’re like, here, here are the keys, make whatever changes to the code you need to and what have you. I was responsible for everything. I can just download the site and then get on the train, do all the changes I needed to do, and then upload it when I would get to the hotel wherever I was going.

Mike King:        I kept that job for a while. Basically, I would continue the cycle where I would have a job in SEO until my boss would just really pissed me off, and then I would quit and go on tour, and then I would run out of money and then I would do it again.

Ben:                I got to ask you, how many of the … I’m going to sound like an old guy. I want to call them rap songs, but I guess they’re just raps. I got to ask you, how many raps are about getting frustrated with your boss who was an SEO manager?

Mike King:         There’s only one verse where I talk about that, actually. That was actually more recently after the last job I had before I started iPullRank. I kept that out of my music. I had other things to be angsty about back then.

Ben:               I can just see all stuff your keywords, anyway. Tell me about eventually, you go through a series of jobs, you’re also becoming a recording artist, you’re traveling around the world. When did you decide to make the transition to focusing on SEO as your primary, if not full time job? I know that you still have a little hip hop thing going on. It looks like that’s, I’m assuming more of a side project because you’re running an SEO agency at this point.

Mike King:         Sure.

Ben:                When did you make the transition?

Mike King:         What happened was, things were starting to wind down on the music side. I was signed to a label that was distributed by the indie subsidiary of Sony. I thought I was going to really blow up then. I didn’t. There’s only so many times I can play like six countries in Europe and so on and so forth. I applied for a job at Razorfish.

Mike King:         At this point, because I hadn’t worked anywhere big, I didn’t really understand the magnitude of what I was applying for. But I did and then I told one of my friends and they’re like, “Wow, you’re applying for Razorfish? That’s crazy.” Then I did more research and I was like, oh, wow, this place is huge. It’s like-

Ben:                I should really pay attention to this.

Mike King:         Yeah, it’s like, okay, this is a big ad agency. This is a game changer. Look at these clients we work with. Ultimately, I did get the job. I was like, hey, if I stick with this, I could probably make some real money. I was working with really smart people, some awesome brands, and just doing really awesome stuff. At this point, they just hired me as a contractor rather than an FTA.

Mike King:      I was just putting in so much effort and staying late, staying hours they weren’t paying me for. Building tools and things. I was like, yes, I really want this job. Ultimately, they didn’t offer me the full-time job. What I did is I just condensed my hours to be Tuesday through Thursday because they only give me 24 hours a week. I could still basically tour on long weekends.

Mike King:         I was doing a lot of that. On one of the tours, one of my best friends, his name is Daniel Musick, we used to tour together.

Ben:               That cannot be his real name.

Mike King:         Not Music, it’s Musick. We’re on the train, I think we’re in Sweden somewhere. He’s like, “Hey, Mike, I know you’re doing the SEO thing. My cousin, he owns this software company in Seattle.” I’m like, “Who’s your cousin?” He’s like, “Yeah, my cousin Rand.” I was like, “What?” My best friend from rap is Rand Fishkin’s cousin. In fact, the last thing Musick, that’s the same last name that his mother Jillian Musick has. I’d always wondered about that. I was like, “Hey, are they related?” I was like, “There’s no way.” But anyway, long story short, I was working in Razorfish, did not get the full-time job. I was like, “Well, I’ll go to another publicist agency and get an offer from them, bring it back to Razorfish and Razorfish will have to hire me. I did that, and ultimately they still couldn’t hire me. I shifted to an agency in New York called Publicis Modem.

Ben:              Let me ask you a question. At this point, you’re basically managing two careers. You’re still a part-time musician, and you’re developing a career and starting to focus more on SEO. Talk to me about managing the two separate lives and what that experience was like.

Mike King:         Sure. At first when I would get jobs, I never really talked about the fact that I made music. It was like, there’d be these gaps in my resume, and I would explain them like, “Oh, yeah, I was freelancing, or I was traveling or whatever.” Because no one wants to hear that you’re a musician because then you’re inherently flaky.

Mike King:        It was really up until I got her Razorfish where I didn’t really talk about it, but because I was a freelancer at Razorfish, I figured it didn’t matter what I was doing in my free time. I would let people know and things like that. But it was actually really easy to manage as compared to trying to manage things now. Because I was just a person that showed up, did work and went home. Whereas, now, being an entrepreneur, I work at least 80 hours every week. It’d be very difficult to manage these things.

Mike King:       I was just getting my stuff done at work because the work is easy. There’s not really too many secrets in how a big agency like that does things. It’s a lot of wash, rinse, repeat.

Ben:              That’s interesting to me. You say that the work is easy and you’re working for a large agency, what was the responsibilities you had? What was the process that you were wash, rinsing and repeating?

Mike King:       Sure. When you work in a big agency, a lot of things are very templated. You’re really just going through the process of looking through the site. Because at this point we didn’t have … I think Screaming Frog came out while I was at Razorfish. The crawlers were like … What’s the Xeno links which is not a great tool? And then the stuff that Microsoft has built into IIS for SEO?

Mike King:       It was largely physically just looking at every single page at this point and using toolbar tools. As far as when we put together site audits, because that was the core thing that I did. I did site audits, I did tactical recommendations. If you’re building a new site, and you have a very specific problem you want to be solved for SEO, we would put together the recommendations there. I would do reporting.

Mike King:        Of course, I would work across the team for things like looking at keyword research, looking at constant optimizations and things like that. But a lot of the work was very much like the same over and over.

Ben:                So, a little bit of a brute force approach.

Mike King:        To some degree. It was the same in that it was very process driven. There was a master document where you could pull the descriptions of issues and things like that, and you would just tailor that document to the situation. The work is not like what I do now where it’s very much like okay, these are unique situations that we have to look at in new ways every time or we have to use a different set of tools for everything. A lot of it was pretty much already defined. It was just like, okay, does this site have this issue? Let me pull in this chunk, let me grab these screenshots, let me put together a recommendation.

Mike King:         It wasn’t difficult work. There’s just a lot of it. It was pretty easy. Once they trained me up, because again, like I said, my previous experience was like, here’s a website, fix it. In this case, it was like writing about fixing websites and then working with a team so that they can do the consulting part with the clients. Because I wasn’t client facing at this point. I was just somebody that did stuff.

Ben:               Yeah. Okay. You’re essentially doing research and evaluation of the website, not being client facing. Eventually you’d move on from the large agency. Tell me what your role was when you went to, what was it, Publicis Modem?

Mike King:         Yeah, that’s another large agency. I was the only SEO person. Modem was more like a creative and media shop, so was Razorfish as well. But at Razorfish, we had a big SEO team. At Modem, I was the only SEO person. It was a really rocky onboarding because the person that hired me had quit by the time I got there, and then his boss that I then reported to get fired the week that I started. And then I got moved to the Strategy Team.

Mike King:        I sat amongst the strategy and analytics folks. Just helped them build strategy with SEO as a key component of it. Still large brands. My main client, there was LG. We worked with a lot of CPG brands. I worked on a project for Fiber One, where is this magic brownie adventure with Cheech and Chong. It was this video. In hindsight, I have no idea how we got that pitch through. But it’s a really funny project that we ended up working on.

Ben:               Got a little aggressive for the times.

Mike King:        Yeah. This is like 2011, 2012. It was remarkable that that actually happened. I think it’s been taken offline since then. That job was very interesting because it gave me a lot more marketing context, a lot more advertising context. Throughout my career, my thought leadership, I’ve added a lot of that to it. It’s actually positioned us at iPullRank to land a lot of large clients on the back of that, because we speak their language a lot better.

Ben:                Right. You moved from a large agency where you’re working as an operator, now you’re moving to another large agency, but the one that doesn’t have an SEO function built into it. You’re starting to get more into the strategy component.

Mike King:         Yeah.

Ben:                Where did you go from there?

Mike King:         From there, that’s when I started getting involved in the thought leadership, started speaking. At that point, just my life at my job versus my life at the SEO industry, there was a just no parity and it just wasn’t making sense. At that point, I was like, okay, let’s see what else is out there. I basically got offers from most agencies in New York, a lot of software companies.

Ben:             I’m assuming the music businesses on the backburner at this point.

Mike King:        Yeah, at that point, it was more just like, hey, I’ll show up and support my friends when they’re doing things. I wasn’t really releasing records. I guest appear on people’s records. But I haven’t released an album myself since 2009. I was very much on the back burner at that point. But one of the things that I did start to do was when I have a speaking engagement somewhere, those are typically during the day, I would get a rap show at night so I could still at least do something that’s fun for me.

Mike King:        From there, ultimately, I ended up at iAcquire. I was their director of inbound marketing. iAcquire was primarily a sales driven organization,. Just cold calling and they built a strong revenue base, and they wanted to go the next level by having marketing and such. What they wanted to do is capitalize on what I had built for my personal brand to help them further generate leads and things like that.

Ben:               Yeah. They’re looking for an additional source of customer acquisition outside of just banging the phones.

Mike King:       Right. Initially when they brought me on, I think the plan was like, hey, let’s have this guys be in the streets and at all the conferences representing us. Frankly, I didn’t realize that they were just primarily a link broker. Because when I talked to them … in my roles, I wasn’t acquiring links, aside from the previous roles where I talked about where I was like building links, myself. I wasn’t … At Razorfish, we use Conductor because Conductor was a link broker at that point.

Mike King:       I would review the links that we bought from them. But I wasn’t the one buying links. I didn’t know who the link brokers were. iAcquire, they told me they’re like, “Hey, well, we do some gray hat stuff, but it’s mostly white hat.”

Ben:               We’re only mildly shady.

Mike King:        Right. I took the job. They had offered me the job that I had wanted. I wanted a job where I could be actively doing stuff and piloting new stuff and also doing more speaking and using that to bring in business. It seemed like the dream job.

Ben:                You wanted the balance of being an operator as well as being a consultant.

Mike King:         Exactly. Two months after I started, somebody like Rice’s Expo on iAcquire and it’s linking practices and its shell websites that it uses and all this. Basically, we got de-indexed in Google two months after I started.

Ben:                Fun.

Mike King:       Yeah. It was a great learning experience. Because a lot of people had attributed what they had been doing to me because I had quickly become the face of the company. It’s like I have no control over what these people are doing. It was the first time I experienced crazy backlash from the community. It’s just a really interesting experience.

Ben:              You’re only there for a couple of months, you realize there’s some kind of shady practices going on. The company gets de-indexed, and the spotlight gets put on you. How did that affect you in terms of your network and career? And how did it affect you personally?

Mike King:        My network and my career was fine. I think anyone who was actually discerning understood that I had nothing to do with that. In fact-

Ben:               I just got here.

Mike King:       Yeah. In fact, when I talked to Matt Cutts about it, he was like, “I actually feel bad for you taking the brunt of this.” My career continued to grow because I continue to have things to say in thought leadership. In fact, at iAcquire itself, there was just a lot of opportunity for us to be doing what I wanted to do because it was a big scramble. Like, what do we do? How do we keep this business afloat if we can’t do link buying?

Mike King:       I was like, hey, let’s do these white hat things. Hey, let’s do more strategic work, more on-page stuff, more market research and social media. Ultimately, I ended up building a team around me of 10 people. We did both the marketing for iAcquire, and strategy work for clients. There was just more … We introduced additional revenue streams and building this team around marketing, we were able to ramp up the lead acquisition, and then us trying to change this narrative just kept me speaking at more events.

Mike King:        It was actually great for my career and great for my networking. It was just personally, I was real salty at the industry for how they reacted to me because of the fact that I was doing nothing but trying to foster goodwill and share everything I’m discovering and all this. And then at the drop of a hat, these people just come at me over something that I actually had nothing to do with. It definitely made me look at the industry a lot differently because at that point, it was all like Candyland to me.

Ben:               You have this experience at iAcquire, where you have this negative PR blitz that’s pointed at you, but you’re able to successfully transition the business from some of the gray hat, link building strategies to more consulting and analytics and social media. You pivot the business and eventually you leave, and you start your own thing. Talk to me about the reason for leaving the agencies that you had worked at, and why did you decide to branch out on your own?

Mike King:        I think with the iAcquire thing, it was very difficult for me to trust the owners of the organization. Because, in a lot of ways, I felt like I was left out to dry during that whole thing. Because I’m fielding all this communication and then there was days where iAcquire didn’t make a statement. I’m like, “Hey, guys, we need to act fast, we need to move this way.” They’re just deliberating and not making a move. Also, not saying like, hey, this isn’t Mike, this was us.

Mike King:      It just left a really bad taste in my mouth over time. There was just other things that happened that loss of trust compounded. There are things that I may have seen things, and I’m assuming the worst, because I just can’t really trust these guys. I just broke the relationship.

Ben:              You don’t have to worry about trusting the founders of the company, if you’re the founder of the company.

Mike King:         Right. Just after working at so many different agencies, I was like, if these people that I’ve worked for who I don’t feel have anything more special about them than I do? I’m sure I can give this a try, and maybe it’ll work. So far, I’m not wrong.

Ben:                 Clearly. You’ve been doing iPullRank for five years. Tell me a little bit about the early days of that business. Where did you start? And then how has it grown to what it is today?

Mike King:         Yeah. It’s definitely not been as easy as I had imagined. The biggest problem is that I’m not a process oriented person. I’ve never worked in an organization where it was like, hey, Mike, here’s our process, aside from the Razorfish thing. Here’s our process, here’s how we build a process. Here’s how we augment process. I’ve always just been somebody who’s like, hey, let’s figure out how to do this. I may do the same thing different ways every time.

Mike King:         That obviously doesn’t work across an organization. People need to be aligned in how we do things so that we can have the same effective product every time. So, yeah, that’s been the biggest difficulty. I started it, I was just like, I’m going to do my own thing. A couple of leads came in and I was just like, cool, I’m going to handle these. I put like five Gs in a bank account and just kept going with it.

Mike King:         The thing that’s lucky for me is that because I built a personal brand, a lot of people were excited to hear that I had gone on my own. They’re like, yeah, we have just been waiting for this so we can work together. They would reach out to me and it just continued the snowball from there. And then after the first nine months, I was like, okay, I think I can probably hire people. I did that, and just kept it moving.

Ben:               Yeah. Tell me a little bit about the value that you’ve provided. You mentioned that you’re starting to build more process as the business expanded from you being a sole operator to managing a team. The thing that sticks out to me with your description of iPullRank is your host of services. I’ll read the list here; digital marketing and consulting, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, content marketing, strategy, social media management, measurement, CRO, user experience, solution architecture, SEO, paid media across PPC, social and display advertising.

Ben:               You are covering an incredible amount of marketing functions. Your background is primarily in SEO. Did you start off by offering all those? Did you start off by just working on SEOs? How have you expanded the businesses’ service offering over time?

Mike King:         Sure. We started out largely in SEO, content strategy and content marketing. And then, just by building that trust with our clients, they’ve been like, “Hey, you want to try doing our PPC?” Or, “Hey, can do conversion rate optimization?” And then effectively, we just expand our existing process to support that. Of course, you get an actual expert for PPC. But our general process is the same. We’re starting from understanding your business goals, figuring out who the audience is, figuring out what the content strategy is, making sure the site is configured to support it from a technical perspective, launching something, promoting it, measuring it, optimizing it and keep going in the cycle.

Mike King:        Our process is the same across all those channels. It’s just the specifics of how the channels work that need to be brought in by having a person that actually does it that allows us to be able to be effective at each of those things.

Ben:               The irony is that when you started working on the projects, and you’re the sole proprietor, you’re doing bespoke work, and now the reason why you’re able to expand to multiple different functions of marketing is because you’ve built processes that are applicable across different channels.

Mike King:         Yeah.

Ben:              As it turns out, your core value is the process you’ve built, not the bespoke work, although I’m sure you’re thinking about your customers’ needs and designing solutions for them that are custom.

Mike King:         Absolutely. Again, we have the process, but within that process, we’re looking for opportunities to be creative. No one wants to sit around and just do the same thing every day. We’re always trying to challenge ourselves and seeing what else is going on with competitors or what’s going on in other verticals that can be applied. It’s not as like paying by numbers, as it might sound. It’s definitely us looking for opportunities to do interesting things so that we’re not bored too.

Ben:               As you decided to go out on your own, what’s interesting to me is you developed a personal brand that essentially became more valuable to you than the brands of the agencies that you’re working on. Which is why you were able to feel comfortable, I’m assuming while you were able to feel comfortable branching out and starting your own thing. You knew that you had a reputation within the industry. Talk to me about your philosophy for developing a personal brand.

Mike King:         My core is I don’t want to bore anybody, and I always want to be doing new and interesting things. There’s a direct parallel between how I would do my shows, and also how I built a personal brand here. One of the things I would do at my shows and there’s videos of this on YouTube, is I would blindfold myself and people will hand me objects and I would freestyle about them and identify them and things like that.

Mike King:       I was always looking for opportunities to do something different, in most cases, a little more advanced or technical even in the frame of how I rhymed. I always wanted to be doing something that was interesting. If any time you saw me, even if you didn’t like my music, you were like, wow, what was that?

Mike King:       The same thing applies to my personal brand and marketing. I’m always trying to identify something about search or about marketing in general that other people have not really thought about or they’ve forgotten about because people just keep moving on things rather than looking for how all this stuff can tie together. I always look for ways that two things that don’t go together to put them together to make it more interesting.

Mike King:       My earlier blog post, I would talk about personas and use Smurfs to explain like what personas are. Or I’m talking about crawling and using Pac Man to show like the different types of crawlers. Just making things more palatable, but also more interesting. I think that’s what helped me stand out and build the brand.

Ben:              Yeah, it makes sense that having a background as an entertainer, and coming up with interesting ways to engage an audience has helped you to develop a personal brand professionally. You’re also getting back into hip hop. I noticed that on your LinkedIn profile, you’re the owner and managing director of a 20 year old eCommerce site called undergroundhiphop.com. Tell me about what that is, and how does it relate to your career?

Mike King:         Yeah. Undergroundhiphop.com has been around, obviously, for about 23 years now. It was one of the core sites that everybody congregated on in the indie rap space. They actually got hit by Panda in 2011 and never recovered. And then two years ago, they were about to shut down. I was like, “Hey, I can do something about this.”

Mike King:         Me and a couple of my partners got together and we purchased it. It’s a fun project. We’re working to revitalize it. It’s a good testing ground for SEO stuff and also general marketing things that we want to do. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good way to materially get back into that space, because it’s very difficult for me to make time for music when it doesn’t really make money. But if I have this business that is giving back to the community, and also is a revenue generating thing, there’s a reason for me to spend some time in the music space. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun. It’s also very difficult.

Ben:               I’m sure there’s plenty of legacy code built in there. The interesting thing to me, as you tell us your career story is the parallels and experience that you’ve taken from being an entertainer. How that’s helped you develop a personal brand and how you made the transition slowly over time from being a recording artist to starting a successful career and running a successful agency.

Ben:              As we wrap up the podcast, I just love for you to take a second and reflect on the journey that you had, what advice do you have for the SEOs who have diverse backgrounds, diverse interests. How can they develop a career like you have to have their cake and eat it too. Be something like a recording artist, or whatever their interest is, while also developing your career on the technical side?

Mike King:        I would say don’t shy away from combining those things. Like I said before, I was always scared to let people know, like, hey, I do music, too. I definitely hid them. I had two different Twitter profiles and the whole thing. There’s no reason that you can’t combine your interests. If you’re an actor, or whatever you do, there’s no reason you can’t bring more of that into your professional life. That’s just going to set you apart. We’re doing marketing and that’s like a core part of marketing. How do you stand out? What makes you unique? What’s your unique selling proposition?

Mike King:         The more that you can incorporate what you actually care about outside of your job, the more interesting you’re going to seem and the more what you do is going to resonate with people.

Ben:               I think the marketing lesson here is differentiation. Even on the personal branding side is what helps people remember who you are, and really has value as you start to develop your career. Mike’s a great example of somebody who had a lot of different experiences from the traditional SEO, and was able to parlay those into building a successful personal brand, and then a successful agency. So Mike, congratulations on your success.

Mike King:         Thank you.

Ben:           I’m going to go check out that YouTube video and appreciate you joining the show.

Mike King:         Thanks for having me. Okay, that wraps up this episode of The Voices Of Search Podcast. Thank you for listening to my conversation with Mike King, the Founder and Managing Director of iPullRank. If you’d like to learn more about Mike, you can find a link to his LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can send him a tweet at iPullRank or you can visit his company’s website which is ipullrank.com.

Mike King:        If you have general marketing questions or if you’d like to talk about this podcast, you can find my contact information in the show notes, or you can send me a tweet @benjshap. If you’re interested in attending our Custom Ranking Factors webinar on April 25th, head over to searchmetrics.com/webinar. If you’re in the Bay Area and you want to meet me and Mike in person, head over to searchmetrics.com/mixer to register for our Bay Area SEO mix and mingle event which is happening on May 9th.

Mike King:         If you liked this podcast and you want a regular stream of SEO and content marketing insights in your podcast feed, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app, and we’ll be back in your feed next week. Lastly, if you’ve enjoyed this podcast and you’re feeling generous, we’d love for you to leave us review in the Apple iTunes Store or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Okay, that’s it for today. But until next time, remember the answers are always in the data.