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Thursday 19th September 2019

Digital Marketing Meetup #5

Sheffield Tap

Carrie Rose & Abi Golland

Following a late-summer hiatus, Sheffield DM returned with aplomb on 19th September. With two fantastic speakers in attendance, the break was soon forgotten.

The fifth edition of the event once again took place at the Sheffield Tap, with one of our strongest attendances to date. This was understandable given the two brilliant talks on offer:

  • Abi Golland, Co-Founder at Street Food Chef: The Brand We Built By Accident
  • Carrie Rose, Creative Director at Rise at Seven: The Secret to Securing Top-Tier Links for Unknown Brands

The Brand Built by Accident

Proceedings began with the inspiring story of how Abi Golland and her husband Richard grew their business from a fast food start-up into a Steel City institution. Abi’s reflection back on how Street Food Chef evolved was honest, insightful and inspiring for any budding business owner.

Abi began by sharing the origins of the Street Food Chef, including what they did, why they chose Mexican street food, and how they got everything started.

“You have to knock on lots of doors; you don’t know which is going to open.”

The key to their initial growth, in Abi’s words, was being ready to take action whenever an opportunity arises, while staying true to your personal and company values.

Next came growth management. Abi stressed the importance of listening to all customers, learning when and how to delegate tasks, and how to promote your business further (because nobody else will!).

She moved on to choosing the right staff to ensure sustainable growth, as well as building and nurturing local partnerships within your industry.

Abi also told us how, more recently, they have been getting involved in more issues outside of their immediate area of business. One great example of this was the Go Naked promotion, in which customers get 25p off their order when they bring their own cup or food container when ordering takeaway food.

An Insight Into Securing Top-Tier Links

Next up was a fascinating talk from Carrie Rose, Creative Director at Sheffield-based Rise at Seven. Fresh from her great presentation at BrightonSEO, she was back up north to share insight into the link building approach and methodology she adopts with her team.

Carrie’s presentation focused on showing how you can apply a series of tried-and-tested strategies to great effect, no matter the size of the brand you’re working with.

The talk began by highlighting some vital statistics that anyone conducting outreach needs to know:

  • Top-tier journalists get 600 emails from PR professionals each day
  • There were 83,000 digital PRs vs 64,000 journalists in 2016
  • With more and more cuts being made in the world of journalism, these numbers have since become even more extreme
  • Journalists have an average of an hour to write a story

Having raised eyebrows with some of these facts, Carrie went on to share her knowledge around what you can do to ensure you stand out amongst the noise and get the links you need.

Core to this was the need to think like a PR, but act like an SEO. Rather than relying on building relationships with journalists and churning out infographics, Carrie argued that you should instead be focusing on the creation of stories.

Carrie spoke about how stories give journalists something they want to talk about and link to. She also explained some of the many constraints they work under and referenced how you can help them tackle those constraints with imagery, video content and more.

After showing a couple of examples of content she’d created to stand out, Carrie then went on to offer tips around how to finesse your outreach approach. Highlights included:

  • The best times of day to conduct outreach
  • Avoiding press releases in some cases
  • Avoiding attachments
  • Keeping things concise

Those in attendance certainly weren’t left short of ideas to take away with them and apply on their own SEO campaigns.

Join Us in November for Another Double-Header!

After the success of the latest event, we’re delighted to say that we’ll once again be playing host to two fantastic speakers in November. The talks will come courtesy of Edd Wilson, Senior Technical SEO Specialist at Impression; and Ahrefs’ Head of Content Josh Hardwick.

You can find full details of the event - which will take place at the Sheffield Tap on 21st November at 6pm - and register your attendance via Eventbrite here. Full details can also be found just below.

Our event is free to all but we ask that you register online so we have an idea of numbers for the venue. We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions for future events on Twitter; or through the #SheffieldDM channel on the Sheffield Digital Slack account.