Jordan is an SEO Manager here at Three Whiskey, helping our clients to navigate the ever-changing search landscape in a strategic, forward thinking way.
We decided to sit down with him for a quick (Zoom!) chat, to talk about his role and how he’s found the experience of managing a team during lockdown.
Hi Jordan, great to talk to you! So, to start with, where are you working from at the moment?
I’m surrounded by plants, at our dining table. Plenty of light coming in from outside – and pretty handy for the kitchen!
A manager should be able to give guidance and remove any blockers to getting work done, but should also be able to connect with their team on a more human level.
First thing’s first - how long have you been here at Three Whiskey?
I’ve been at Three Whiskey for 3 ½ years now. In that time, I’ve worked with a wide range of clients but mostly those in the pharma and estate agency industries.
Were you hired as a Manager or did you work your way up?
No, I was hired as a mid-level SEO Analyst and worked my way up. After my first year, I was promoted to a Senior SEO Analyst. This is where I began to take on more responsibility. Another year after that, I became SEO Manager, which is the role I’m in today.
How do you see a Manager’s role within a team?
I think the role of a manager is to support the team and make sure everyone feels confident in their duties. A manager should be able to give guidance and remove any blockers to getting work done, but should also be able to connect with their team on a more human level. I think this is something that’s particularly important at the moment, during lockdown, when the way we connect with each other has changed so much.
When you’re in the office, it’s easy to just lean over to give and receive immediate feedback. The pandemic has made it more difficult to fully connect with the team and answer any concerns as and when they come up, so this has been a challenge.
We’ve found that starting the day with a morning check-in makes it feel like you’ve arrived at the office and had those important human interactions before you settle down to work. This is also a good opportunity for team problem solving and generally making sure that everybody’s day ahead is achievable and can be completed on time to keep our clients happy.
The pandemic has made it more difficult to fully connect with the team and answer any concerns as and when they come up, so this has been a challenge.
How easy have you found it to adapt to a Manager position?
In the beginning, I struggled with the authority. I’ve always wanted to be people’s friend but, as a manager, you need to hold yourself in a slightly different way. This was all a learning curve for me, but support from others on the Three Whiskey team really helped with the transition. Three Whiskey also runs a comprehensive internal management training programme that was very useful in preparing me for the role.
By attending this, taking advice from seniors, and also using our training budget for a 2-day external management training course, I felt much more prepared and comfortable taking on my new responsibilities than I thought I would have.
Where did your interest in SEO begin?
My interest in SEO began at University. I studied Marketing and, within the course, there was one module called ‘digital marketing’. Within *that* was SEO – which shows how far SEO has come in the past few years!
As part of my degree, I went on a placement year. Around this time, I was reading a lot of material to do with SEO and was struck with how democratic it was. Companies didn’t need big budgets to improve their SEO, just strategic thinking. The potential of this felt really exciting to me.
What’s your favourite thing about having a career in SEO?
For me, the best thing about working in SEO is the results. Being able to say, we’ve done ‘x’ and can see the results in ‘y’, and this is the direct impact it’s had on the company – that’s very gratifying.
This was all a learning curve for me, but support from others on the Three Whiskey team really helped with the transition.
What is it that you hope to accomplish at Three Whiskey?
I think there are two main angles: People and strategic.
For ‘people’ I want to use my role as a manager to help shape the careers of my colleagues, supporting them and giving them everything they need to thrive. For ‘strategic’, my goal is to continue to help our clients reach their objectives, in any way I can.
What I love about working at Three Whiskey is the ability to be really hands on with clients and have a level of responsibility that’s rare at other agencies. There’s no real template for the work we do, which makes it feel more diverse and engaging. It’s like a puzzle. One that evolves and requires a new solution every day.
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash