My Story

My introduction to SEO is not the usual story. I've never looked at SEO as boring, manipulative, evil, or something to skip over as unimportant. 

The first time I heard a detailed explanation of search optimization, I was working at Google. I was interviewing subject matter experts for the online training program I had been hired to create. Even though I had an extensive background in sales and marketing, listening to the engineers at Google explain how their search engine worked sorta blew my mind. I was completely fascinated as they explained the origins of Google search and the way search retrieval works.

That was in 2007. In the fall of 2008, I started my own consultancy and while search optimization wasn't my focus, I always considered it an important aspect. 

The fear misunderstood

When I started working with clients on search related issues, I shied away from using the term "SEO." I was fearful of being put in a box and that my work would be misunderstood. It was a legit fear. There are more misconceptions about SEO than about any other marketing discipline. SEO involves various specialties and approaches. There's technical, analytic, strategic, local, and global search engine optimization; each requires a different skill set. I specialize in strategic SEO, with the foundation in search behavior. 

Here's another part of my story, one I don't talk about much. I try to live my life as a human being, not as an expert, a mother, a sister, or any identification that takes me out of the ability to have a direct experience with life. I have a story just like you do. I've experienced the lowest of lows and corresponding joys. People are surprised when they hear my back story because I rarely talk about the hardships of my path. My experiences have shaped me, but they don't define me. I'm not my story. 

What I Value

A friend asked me if I had rules -- hard line boundaries in my life -- and this question stopped me in my tracks. I don't have rules. Hard boundaries. Exacts. I do have aspirations. I know what this is about for me now. I know what I value. 

Here are the 7 things I want you to to know (and what I would tell you if we could meet personally): 

1. Don't try to find or define yourself through what you do. Instead, find out who you really are and express it through what you do.

2. "Remarkable" doesn't mean big or grand. It just means remarkable. Notice how remarkable you are.

3. Give yourself space to grow. Allow space around your ideas, thoughts, and beliefs; realize your beliefs may not be true and they may be limiting.

4. Find a sense of inner stability. Inner stability comes from connection to what is real and true for us. It allows us to act creatively and effectively.

5. No longer fall for the idea that happiness will come when things are different. My favorite Marcus Aurelius quote: "Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?"

6. Start where you are with what you have.

7. Life is the plan. It is asking you to show up completely and authentically. In all situations. Right here and now.

As the Creative Director of a small copywriting and branding agency, I used to have a process for optimizing a client's web copy based on best-bet keywords. 

My well-thought-out strategy went out the window when I met Tami Smith. First, I was sold on Tami's impressive street cred (Google, for goshsakes), but secondly (and most importantly), the intimacy of search engine optimization, as she teaches it, resonated 100% with my brainy idealist's perspective on helping my clients get business. 

She understands the way real human beings with real needs and challenges use the web when they're searching for a solution like yours -- whether you sell handcrafted furniture, high ticket consulting services, or haircuts. 

Tami is the only SEO specialist I refer Voice Bureau clients to. And we most certainly use her empathetic approaches in-house, too.

Abby Kerr
Creative Director
The Voice Bureau

How is it that you can send me a screencast about SEO keywords and I can finish watching it and feel like someone just gave me a 3-minute hug?

Never, never forget that you deliver results and your expertise and your smarts but it's also the EXPERIENCE. 

This is one more to-do that should stress me out because my plate is full and you go and make it zen. 

~ Such a rare gift 

Carrie Klassen, Owner & Creatrix
Pink Elephant Creative