The Beal Deal with Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord)
We’re back with another Beal Deal interview.
With this one, I’m going to have to insist that you grab a cup of your favorite coffee while you read along. Not that it matters to me, but our guest this week would likely be dismayed that you read her awesome answers without a cup of java in one hand. Of course, I am talking about SEOmoz’s evangelist and fashionista–heck, let’s just call her an evangelista–Joanna Lord.
So, let’s learn about her proudest moment, her biggest setback, how she likes to work, and…how she almost joined the circus!
Q1. What’s been your proudest moment in your career and what has been your biggest setback?
…I think my proudest moment will be coming in the next few months when SEOmoz executes on something we’ve been working on for a while.
I think my biggest setback was when YourJobStop.com didn’t work out the way me and my partner had hoped. We put a lot of time and a hell of a lot of heart into that startup. We jumped in head first, and after just under two years, we called it.
A failed startup is never easy, you let people down, you let yourself down, and oftentimes you lose a lot of confidence along the way. I certainly had to gut check after that adventure. Low and behold I realized I still love startups and I wanted to find another one to commit to. My biggest setback taught me more in two years than I could have imagined and it’s all come in very useful these past 4 years.
My proudest moment? Probably right now. What the team at SEOmoz is doing is amazing. I’m really proud to be part of this team. I’m honored to work with these people, on this problem, in this industry, and I’m really proud of the way we do marketing. Its fun, it’s valuable, and it’s bold.
It might sound cliché, but I think my proudest moment will be coming in the next few months when SEOmoz executes on something we’ve been working on for a while. It was just a seed of an idea a year ago, and we are ready to throw it out there for the world to use. Can’t say anymore on that, stay tuned 😉
Q2. What’s something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I was recruited for the circus as a kid. Yup, that’s true.
Q3. You’re currently the VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz. What does a typical day look like for you?
It changes so drastically from day to day. Some days I roll in and I’m wall to wall meetings about new products, new site experiences, and new campaigns to plan. Other days I spend sipping coffee with my awesome co-workers and brain sharing. I travel a lot to conferences to evangelize the Moz mission, and I still spend a great deal of time creating. It’s a great balance of tactical work and strategic work. Honestly, the most constant things you’ll find in a day at SEOmoz would be cupcakes, dogs in the office, lots of laughter and an email sent to all staff full of cat photos. I’m not even kidding on that.
Q4. When do you work at your best? When you’re alone or when you’re working in a team?
I think I do my best work in a team because big ideas never happen in a vacuum.
With that said, I do love to execute independently. I like feeling accountability, and seeing head’s down progress. These days I try to keep a balance of the two. I set aside time for both team collaboration and “me-time.”
Crowd-funding is a really different beast.
The funny part is only then does the real work start – the follow-through. I feel accountable to the 72 people that donated money to ISITaYES. Over the past six months there were times I was overwhelmed with other commitments, but the community of donators reminded me that I owed them this. They are excited about this app and it offers a whole new level of support. Beyond the money, the tweets, emails, and questions have been a huge help in keeping the momentum going.
This experience has also taught me just how “possible” any idea is. People out there want to invest in cool things. They want to support people. They want to contribute to the startup ecosystem, if only with a ten-dollar bill. It’s been really inspiring to be a part of.
Q6. You’re a coffee drinking fashionista. What would scare you the most? Going a week without coffee or going a week without a mirror?
Ha! Definitely coffee. Just reading that gave me the chills. I have found myself lately thinking about my morning iced coffee…the night before as I fall asleep! What?! Yeah, it’s a little out of control.
Thank goodness I live in Seattle, I’m surrounded by coffee beans. It’s heaven up here.
Thanks Joanna! Barnum’s loss is SEOmoz’s gain!