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Search Influence layoffs make March 28th the worst day of the year

28 Mar


Search Influence laid off 5 full-time employees today and eliminated 2 part-time jobs.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint” they say. Except they don’t tell you it’s a marathon through a battlefield. That at mile 12 you might get shot. And at mile 19 the bridge might be out and at mile 25 — I don’t know. I’ll tell you when we get there.

Don’t get me wrong, there are great days too — when you see the business you helped your clients build, when you see your teammates grow, professionally and personally, and when you have the opportunity to give back to the community.

It’s not the easy days that test a business, it’s the hard days.

This is one of those days.

Today is one of the hardest days since Angie and I started of Search Influence. For the first time, ever, the loss of a client — really the change of a client relationship in which they’ve decided to take our work in house (see “SEO/SMO strategy team” note) — is causing us to eliminate jobs. Lay people off. Let people go.

In other words, today we say goodbye to some teammates who had little, if anything, to do with the cause of their exit.

Could we have made different choices along the way? Yes.

Could we have had put fewer eggs in more baskets? Maybe.

But we didn’t. And today that means we’ve got to let some people go.

And it sucks.

And I’m sorry.

And we’ll do everything we can to avoid having it happen again.

For tomorrow, though, we’re going to be rebuilding and re-engineering as we go. We’ve learned a lot as a leadership team and we’re continuing to learn.

As a company we feel great about the results we’ve delivered, the jobs we’ve created and the careers we’ve launched.

We intend to keep doing all of those things. We intend to do them better.

And most importantly, we intend to control our own destiny by being among the best at finding opportunities and developing strategies and optimizing the potential of our customers and our team.

If you see chatter about Search Influence layoffs, please be charitable in your assessment of both those who were laid off and the managers who had to make the hard decisions. If you’ve never had to contemplate such a thing count yourself lucky.

And to the team at Search Influence who helps, every day, to grow the businesses of our customers — still greater than 65 strong — thank you!

We don’t take our responsibility to you lightly and we couldn’t do it without you.


And now I’m Inbound Sales Certified, too

8 Jan

I figured since I was here I might as well do the sales certification, too.

That’s right, sucker – I’m Inbound Certified

8 Jan

We recently signed up with HubSpot to use their marketing automation and sales tools so I thought it would be a good idea to go through their certification process.
This is really great educational stuff and at the end they give you a cool badge 🙂

I love you all and thanks!

16 Oct

I’ve been struggling with how to start this.

So I’ll start it with “I love you all and thanks”!

Two years ago today I was in the hospital having open heart surgery.

At the tender age of 44 years old I had allowed myself to become sedentary stressed out overweight and it caught up with me all of a sudden. At this point I know that had I seen a doctor anywhere in my 30s they would have prescribed me statin drugs which would have prevented the worst of it.

Some of you may recall my post about it when I had to miss Pubcon. Great news, I made it to Pubcon this year.


Thanks for the great pictures, Mat!

In the time since I’ve made a number of changes. But the fact is, drugs or no drugs, I was not living the life I should have been.

As I was coming to the realization that I had a problem, I started reading Dean Ornish. Dr. Ornish talks in his work about the importance of anger, And particularly chronic anger as it exacerbates her of heart disease.

I came to realize in my reading that, throughout my life, my first response to negative stimulus is anger. Interestingly as I think back about my father, this seems to have been his first response as well. No wonder that I followed in his footsteps toward early heart disease.

I’ve made a number of changes over the last two years. I no longer smoke, even occasionally. I now exercise 4 to 6 times a week. And when I can, I ride my bike to work. In New Orleans this can be a particularly sweaty pastime.

Most of all, however, I’ve been working hard to reframe my responses around the lesson from my old boss, Bill Hammack. When Bill and I worked together I was responsible for some of our most frustrating partner relationships. As a person with a tendency toward anger, my response to that frustration was sometimes excessive outbursts.

Hammack, Himself a heart patient, would tell me “don’t get mad, get what you need”. He’s a pretty smart guy who I wish I saw more of today.

So really, what does this all mean?

The short story is that I’ve been doing all the right things and I’m feeling great. My cardiologist is even impressed.

What’s different?

First, I’m much more present for my family. I’m working hard to keep anger from being my first response. I’m also trying to get both of my sons to focus on exercise as an integral part of their lives.

I’m working on Anger at work, too. Don’t get me wrong, I still take it really personally — you have to as a bootstrapped founder who’s got it all on the line. I’m unapologetic about my defense of the company, but I’m working on seeing others’ perspectives much more.

We’re working more on employee development and trying to assure our team are set up for great careers, even if they don’t stay with us forever.

I exercise — a lot! I’ve done one triathlon and plan to do more.

But most of all, I’m grateful for every day, every person, and the fact that I get to continue giving all I’ve got.

Like I said at the opener, I love you all and thanks! Most especially, Angie, Caleb, Joseph, our family and friends and our great team at Search Influence.

P. S. A couple pics of the old Will. If you see that pudgy bastard again, tell him to get his shit together.

SMX East - Mike Blumenthal, Will Scott, David Mihm

With Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm at SMX East 2013.

Will Scott speaks at SEMpdx SearchFest 2010

At SEMPDX SearchFest.

The Sun is Up Somewhere

15 Jun

This is among my favorite quotes of all time. I read it originally in Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat”.

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.

It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up.

It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.

When the sun comes up, you better start running.


Why I’m Voting for James Perry

6 Feb

I’ve made a decision. I’m voting for James Perry.

James Perry - Casual PictureUp until now, since Leslie dropped out, I’ve been just coasting waiting for someone to inspire me as she did.

And, the fact is, there’s someone who inspired me almost as much as she did. And, he made a personal appeal to me early in the race which I rebuffed thinking he didn’t have the chops to make it in City Hall.

Here’s the thing. I still think he doesn’t have the chops to make it in City Hall (yet) but I think he’s the smartest most honest and most authentically civically engaged candidate we’ve got and that’s worth my vote. When James and I spoke, he had great answers to all my questions. He recognized the challenges of City Hall and the need for a measured approach. But, as he’s shown in the campaign, he doesn’t yet know how to build a team that will make him “the man”.

To be clear, I’m a fan of Mitch Landrieu. He and his family have done great things for this city and the state as a whole and he has my respect. When he’s mayor (which everybody now believes inevitable) he’ll have my full and unwavering support and I will do all I can to help.

But today, I’m voting for James Perry because I want him to stay in politics and help us make a better New Orleans.

And James, next time you run for office call me. I want to help you build that team!

— heading to the polls.

Thanks to Karen Apricot for the photo from Flickr.

Political Season Disclaimer

2 Dec

UPDATE: Leslie is no longer in the race.

To avoid any perception of impropriety I feel the need to make a political season disclaimer.

Will Scott Headshot

Will Scott - Headshot taken for Search Marketing Expo

I, Will Scott, am a New Orleanian and have been living here since fall of 1987 when I came to school at Tulane University. I have lived here ever since then minus 4 years in Southern California as a U.S. Marine and 3 years that my family lived in Mandeville, during which we were still very active in New Orleans culture.

This is my home and I’m proud and happy to be here, paying taxes and contributing to my community.

I live Uptown near Tulane and Loyola with my wife and children and we enjoy walking to various locations around my neighborhood. I am engaged in various civic activities.

I am a parent. My sons go to Lusher Elementary and University Montessori School.

I am the proprieter of a local Internet and Social Media Marketing company called Search Influence with nearly a dozen New Orleans area team members on full-time payroll.

I, personally, am a fervent supporter of Leslie Jacobs in the mayoral race and am working aggressively on her behalf. My company Search Influence is doing some work in support of the Leslie Jacobs for Mayor web presence.

Any opinion I express online relative to the mayoral campaign is my personal opinion. Though my company is being paid by the campaign, my expressed opinion is my own.

I have been a New Orleanian, an Uptowner and a lover and supporter of New Orleans much longer than I’ve been a supporter of Leslie Jacobs. I will post a longer post explaining all the reasons for my support later.

My opinions on the mayor’s race and any posts, comments or commentary I make are my own opinions, not paid for.

I am a partisan – I support Leslie Jacobs wholeheartedly and this will likely be apparent in my commentary.

This post is my attempt to be completely above board in that support and my motivations.

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