The Beal Deal Interview Channel

The Beal Deal Interview channel is sponsored by Trackur.

The Beal Deal with Janet Driscoll Miller (@janetdmiller)



What is up with this weather?

The midwest is getting snow and here in Raleigh, NC, I had to turn the heating back on! Come on Spring, get with the routine, or you’re fired!

Janet Driscoll MillerNow I’ve got that off my chest, let’s turn to this week’s Beal Deal interview. You’re probably sick of me gushing about each guest, but I really am fortunate that they are all great people, and great friends. Janet Driscoll Miller, CEO of Search Mojo, is no exception!

I’ve known Janet for many years and I even sit on her advisory board–and her company is also a valuable Trackur partner! Janet is laser focused on building her business, but not at the expense of having a fun time. She’ll teach you something important one minute, then have you cracking up the next.

So, with that, let’s jump into this week’s questions!

Q1. You started Search Mojo in 2005. What was your vision for the company then and how does it compare to today? 

Our industry and business technology changes rapidly, and we’ve had to evolve with it.

Wow. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. When I started back then, I really wasn’t sure how large we would become, and I certainly never envisioned having multiple offices. I was just speaking with someone the other day about business plans, and I remarked how my business plan has been ever-evolving – ever dynamic. It’s not as if I can put a five-year plan together per se. Our industry and business technology changes rapidly, and we’ve had to evolve with it.

Q2. You work with your husband, Tad. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with your spouse?

In the end, our personal relationship must come first and our business relationship second.

First, I was fortunate enough to marry someone who can be comfortable working with me. Not every relationship can handle what we do, and that’s key to our success in marriage. This month we’ll celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!

One of the definite advantages of working with your spouse is that we see each other every day. With two small kids at home and busy lives, it can be tough to have time to spend together and to find time to communicate. I’m fortunate enough to have lunch with my husband every day – it’s like getting to have a little date every day.

However, the toughest part about working together is management. It can be difficult to manage each other at the office – both as employee managing boss and boss managing employee. We try to lay communication ground rules and be very respectful of one another. In the end, our personal relationship must come first and our business relationship second.

Q3. You’ve moved into the reputation management space. Was that a steep learning curve or a natural compliment to  the existing services you offer?

But in reality, SEO and ORM aren’t really the same beast.

Ironically, we had many people calling us for about a year asking us for online reputation services, but they would typically call us and tell us, “I have a Google problem.” Their immediate assumption was an SEO firm could help them with the problem. But in reality, SEO and ORM aren’t really the same beast. ORM has a different goal but similar tactics. Since we already knew SEO so well and I have a background in public relations and crisis management, we thought it would be a good extension to our services.

Q4. What’s the reputation by which you’d personally like to be known?

I’d like to think I’ve built a reputation as an honest search marketer with an honest, hard-working company.

I strive to be a respected member of the search marketing community. I’d like to think I’ve built a reputation as an honest search marketer with an honest, hard-working company. Part of the reason I started Search Mojo was because I felt that, while there are many people I respect in the industry, there were so many unscrupulous people in the industry too. I felt (and still do) that our practices are above-board, when sometimes others resort to underhanded tactics just for quick wins. I never want to be that person. I want to be respected by my peers, my colleagues and my clients. I think that’s the part of my reputation that is most important to me.

Q5. Tell us about your involvement with the Girl Scouts and are there any business lessons that the group has taught you?

I want to help the girls understand the many different types of careers that are available to them, including search marketing!

Oh thank you so much for asking this question! I began Girl Scouting way back as a Brownie myself. I really credit Girl Scouts with helping me develop key leadership skills as I matured. Now that I have two daughters of my own, I decided to become a Girl Scout leader, and I currently have a Brownie troop of my own. I want to help the girls understand the many different types of careers that are available to them, including search marketing! Just last week, we worked on the “Computer Expert” badge, and I got to share with the girls what I do for a living and teach them how to use a search engine to find information. The girls also learned about graphic design recently.

I also like being a role model for them – to show them that women can be entrepreneurs and run a business. They like to hear about my travels for conferences and they get excited about it too. I hope it helps open their eyes to the possibilities before them.

Q6. Austin Powers comes to you for reputation help; he’s lost his reputation mojo. How would you help him get it back? :-)

Haha! How did you know I love Austin Powers?

Austin Powers

Austin Powers

Austin Powers

Austin Powers

Groovy Janet, very groovy!

  • http://twitter.com/lookadoo Dana Lookadoo

    I enjoyed getting to know Janet a little better, especially her involvement mentoring some Girl Scouts. What a great way to empower and open their minds to opportunities!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.boris Cynthia Boris

    Also excited to read how Janet is helping Girl Scouts learn to work on the web. Very nice