We ask the tough questions of Karen Dauncey, Blue Cherry Online Marketing
You’ve got a free half hour during your work day. What do you do?
Go for a walk on the beach, it’s five minutes down the road (but I think a free half hour when you run an agency business is a myth!)
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
When I had my first baby I knew I couldn’t work in an office full-time as I didn’t want my daughter in daycare full-time. I thought I would just set up an SEO consultancy, get a few clients and just stop at that. However word quickly got out in Perth and my business grew organically through referrals and partnering through advertising agencies which was a really good marketing strategy for me at the start.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt this year?
I have learnt that I can’t do it all myself! I committed at the beginning of the year to write and launch an e-course this year as an alternative offering to potential clients who can’t afford an SEO consultant. It has been a massive challenge for me to pull this altogether and I have outsourced as much of this project as possible (apart from writing it of course!) and am hoping to launch before the end of the year.
What’s the best bit of feedback you’ve ever had?
From an old boss in a previous role, I had to do a presentation to the board of directors and he sent me a text that evening to say what a great job I had done. I kept that text for years.
What’s your proudest moment?
Probably being called up by Google and being invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Sydney to attend a business coaching course. It was amazing to be noticed by them and to attend such a top notch business coaching course with a fantastic coach.
What’s your number one way to wind down?
Swimming in my pool on a hot summer evening or walking on the beach in winter, I find the sea so calming.
What’s your favourite film and album?
My favourite album is ‘A Brief History’ by the Waifs
What’s the smartest bit of marketing you’ve ever done?
Not sure if doing my marketing diploma can be considered the smartest marketing I’ve ever done but it did help me come to the decision to target advertising agencies as a market. This has some advantages in that there is less client management as the agencies tend to handle this but this can be frustrating also as it is easier when I have a direct relationship with the client.
What’s the one resource you’d never be without?
Google of course!
What’s the most obscure business request you’ve ever had?
A clients’ competitor once phoned me and asked me to stop working on my clients’ online marketing campaign as I was affecting her business so much!
What or who has the most grounding influence on you?
Definitely my partner Clive, he keeps my feet on the ground, he is my board of directors for all the big decisions.
What’s the biggest challenge you face at work?
Time, always time. There is so much reading to do to keep up to date with the latest research, managing clients, answering emails, supporting my staff, attending meetings, going to sales meetings, writing proposals, creating content for my blog, writing my E-Course and monitoring clients results. I guess this is a similar challenge to a lot of other business owners.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
The recent Google business coaching program was full of fantastic business advice, they suggested we kept a page free in our notebooks for key learnings, mine ended up being 3 pages. One phrase that sticks in my mind was ‘Trust is the competitive advantage’. I think this is especially true in the SEO industry when there are so many agencies that appear to be doing good work, are in reality still doing really bad unsustainable SEO.
Where and when do you have your best ideas?
My brain has a magic way of popping ideas into my head when I least expect it so this can be in the pool, in the car or cooking the dinner! It tends not to be when I’m at work and concentrating on an individual task.
What would be your advice to aspiring soloists?
That running a business isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work, time and commitment to succeed.
What website do you visit every day?
Google and Facebook.
What talent do you most wish you possessed?
To be able to sing!
What would your mum say is your greatest strength? And weakness?
I work too hard. I guess it can be both a strength and a weakness. I work hard to get the results in my business and for my clients but I am not very good at switching off and chilling out.
What’s one thing about you few people know?
I travelled overland by train and bus from London to Ho Chi Minh City. I did the trans-Mongolian train from Russia through to Beijing with a stop off in Siberia and Mongolia, it was an amazing trip.
What inspires you most about your work?
Getting great results for clients, I get really excited when I see their rankings improve or they start to get a big increase in traffic. I want them to get massive ROI from working with me.
What do you wear to work?
Depends if I have meetings or not, if I am working at home and not doing the school drop off then definitely my pj’s and my Uggs, I’m sure they help me concentrate!! If I have no clients coming into the office then just casual wear. If I’m out and about then smart casual and proper hair!
What do you love most about running your own business?
The flexibility of being my own boss especially having flexible holidays and flexible hours. I have a virtual team so this gives me a lot of flexibility to work anywhere in the world.
And now comes the plug for Karen Dauncey, Blue Cherry Online Marketing!
What do you do? Who for? And how does it benefit them?
I work with small and medium-sized businesses to help them get more business from their website. This is through getting them an online presence on Google, primarily through SEO, Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. I am also using my experience to write an E-Course for businesses who want to do their own SEO- www.localseoresults.com
And where can we find out more about Karen Dauncey, Blue Cherry Online Marketing?
- Flying Solo Directory: www.flyingsolo.com.au/profile/blue-cherry-online-marketing
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bluecherryseo
- Twitter: twitter.com/_bluecherry
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/bluecherryau
- Google +: plus.google.com/u/0/b/102488169290355918658/+BluecherryAu/posts
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bluecherryau/
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/bluecherryonline
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