Episode 100: Lee Odden, Top Rank Marketing on SEO and Social Media Public Relations

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This is the 100th Episode of DishyMix on the Personal Life Media network and to celebrate, I had one of my personal favorites on the show for you - Lee Odden. I am an avid reader of Lee’s Top Rank Online Marketing blog and interviewed him at SXSW for the #CommunityPowered series I produced with Aaron Strout.

The minute I met Lee I fell in love. Sure, he’s gorgeous, sweet and super smart, and he distinguishes himself by the amount of strategic thinking he gives away so freely in his blog and in public speaking.

Lee and I decided on a theme of “the intersection of PR, social media and SEO.” On the show, Lee shares his experienced results of many client projects by discussing:

  • SEO PR
  • Social Media PR
  • Direct to Consumer PR
  • Push and Pull PR
  • Digital Asset Optimization
  • eWire and Alternate Syndication
  • Keyword Glossaries
  • Using Anchor Text
  • Title Tags

If you are involved in radiating news and product information online, this is a must-listen show full of practical advice and deep detail.

I hope you’ll get as much out of it as I did and that you’ll agree with me that Lee Odden is one of the best in the biz!


Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. And on today’s show, which is my 100th episode, you are going to get to meet Lee Odden. Lee is the CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing. Lee and I developed a long distance relationship over Twitter and email for many, many years, and I got to meet him most recently at South By Southwest. I got to interview him as part of my Powered Community series, it’s on Dishy Mix blog, so you can get more, more, more Lee. And I’ll tell you that you’re going to want more Lee after you hear this interview. I’m so excited for this to be my 100th episode, and I actually worked it so it could be with Lee. We got the schedules all lined up. It’s my 100th episode of being on the Personal Life Media network. I’ve done a lot of episodes before that in my long history of doing Web Master Radio, Ad Tech Connect, but if feels really good to have a hundred episodes in the can on Personal Life Media. It feels like a great thing, and I’m so glad that Lee is here to share this fun milestone with us. I want to bring him on and tell you just a little bit about Lee before we get him on the show and we get started. He’s the CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing, and they’re a digital marketing and PR firm, which is what I like. They actually combine, they call it a holistic mix, I love that, of online marketing expertise that includes search engine and social media marketing, business blog consulting and online PR. So when you get a stew of PR blogging, SEO and all that good stuff all mixed together, that’s my sweet spot, and Lee is definitely in it. So lets get him on the show. Welcome Lee.

Lee Odden: Well thanks Susan. Congratulations on 100 shows. That’s amazing.

Susan Bratton: It’s fun. It’s pure pleasure. You know it, Lee.

Lee Odden: You know, what we need to do is pop a little virtual champagne.

Susan Bratton: Oh, I like that. Ooh, you’ve got some audio effects, sweet.

Lee Odden: There we go. Hey, multitasking, multitalented.

Susan Bratton: That’s fantastic. So Lee and I have cooked up a great show for you. We’re going to, basically we’re going to talk about radiating news. We’re going to talk about SEO PR, social media PR, direct to consumer PR, push and pull PR, digital asset optimization and alternative syndication, and it’s all going to get wrapped up in the fabulous stew of our conversation. Are you ready Lee?

Lee Odden: I’m ready. Lets go.

Susan Bratton: Alright. So lets talk first about your idea of push and pull, because that’s really the kind of, consumers as are as important as the business press these days, so tell us the story of push and pull, which by the way is all documented on the Top Rank Online blog, which is a fantastic resource. So tell us the story Lee.

Lee Odden: Well thanks. Yeah, we do have an abundance of content on all the things that we’re going to talk about today. So the sort of push and pull model that we’ve been using for the last couple of years is a way to help people in the PR industry and in the search marketing industry, how they can converge. With push PR, you know, we’re talking about a lot of traditional public relations tactics, where you’re pushing out messages via wire service distribution of press releases, just by email to your own personal lists, or you’re even pitching efforts that might happen by phone, real world networking, maybe even RSS distribution. So it’s a bit interruptive maybe, but the direction is outgoing in a push fashion, whereas with pull what we’re doing there is we’re optimizing content. And we’re optimizing content that’s news focused, that’s consumer focused. People in the public relations, the media relations business, are responsible for generating or managing certain kinds of content, and that content can be very useful for journalists, analysts or reporters doing research to source stories, subject matter experts, that sort of thing. And we’ve done some research, as have others, into the search habits of folks that work in the media and found a very substantial number, you know, use search to do their job. They use search to find past press releases, media coverage, research topics and find individuals. So the push, or the pull, excuse me, has to do with optimizing text and other digital assets to basically make it easy for a company that has a unique story, that has a good story to tell, to be easy to find where people in the media are looking.

Susan Bratton: Alright, so tell us about pull PR. What are the things that we need to do to create this?

Lee Odden: Well, if you’re in, it depends on who’s shoes your in… I mean if you’re in SEO’s shoes or if you’re in a public relations person’s shoes and they think you know, focus on the PR person, we want to take inventory of what it is they have to work with in terms of content and digital assets.

Susan Bratton: This is your DAO, your Digital Assets Optimization…

Lee Odden: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Good, weave that in.

Lee Odden: You know, the notion there is that if it, something can be searched on, then it can be optimized. And there’s 70 different types of search engines that are niche, vertical, media specific types of search. There’s standard search of course, like Google.com or Yahoo, which bring in not only web pages into the results, but they may, depending on the popularity of the search phrase, they might bring in images or videos or blog posts or news items within the standard search results. So, you know, there’s a lot of credibility that comes from being visible in those places. So the first step is to find out, well what do you have to work with? I mean, you know, most people in the PR biz are, do have press releases to work with, but… Blogs are another asset a corporate blog or maybe an online newsroom and the different types of content that’s stored there. White papers, case studies, archived webinars, even archived newsletters, anything that can lend credibility and provide factual information to help a journalist write that story. Even aggregated content and resources can be helpful.

Susan Bratton: Photos. I think we really underestimate the value of posting images on Flickr around our businesses.

Lee Odden: Absolutely. Optimizing for other media is very, very important. A lot of, anyone who’s been in a media relations situation on the interviewee end has been asked for high res photos, either of products, glamour shots or products, or even of people. And a lot of times journalists will do research, and maybe they’ve done an interview with a person, now they’re looking for an image, or maybe they’re just doing, using image search to find a unique angle. Well, you know, it’s important, not only that you rank highly on the keywords of relevance within standard search or blog search or other text, excuse me, text-based search, but it makes sense to have your images rank well on, not only on Flickr, but also on Google Image Search or other types of media search. The same thing with video or even audio.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, I’m actually going to do a show coming up with Mark Robertson. He runs a web blog called Real SEO, and he is becoming an expert in the whole SEO meets video world, and so we’re really, I’m taking readers questions and we’re going to kind of dissect the exact steps to fully optimizing your video for search.

Lee Odden: Yeah, Reel, r-e-e-l, seo.com (reelseo.com), I believe it is…

Susan Bratton: R-e-e-l, yeah.

Lee Odden: It’s an excellent resource on video, video optimization.

Susan Bratton: So you’ve got all these contents, you take an inventory of your digital assets, and you optimize them by tagging them, putting them up online and putting them maybe in a social media press release, whatever it is, you try to get as much content and tag it right so that it has search. What do you do with it? Do you just put it on your, in your newsroom? Are you trying to blast it out all over the web? How much time should you put into it? What really pays off? Where’s the sweet spot?

Lee Odden: Well, you know, like any other type of content marketing effort, you know, you want to have a particular strategy, and that’s your game plan. Who is it that you’re trying to reach? If you’re, you know, so there’s the distinction between maybe, you know, b to c and b to b audiences, a distinction between direct to consumer and people in the media or maybe even bloggers. So some decisions about the audience and the game plan for reaching that audience, the strategy is pretty important. In terms of managing things and where to spend your time, you’ve obviously got to put some content in play. And it’s important that in taking inventory of different things you have to work with, also to have processes in place. I mean most companies have processes for press release distribution or adding content to the website, that sort of thing. In order to get it maximum value, leveraging SEO for content creation, you’ve got to make it part of the processes. So in the, what we do with companies is, you know, those organizations that are publishing content, I mean not everyone does but some companies do publish content on a regular basis, we help identify in those processes where to leverage keyword glossaries for example. You know, research lists of keyword phrases relevant to their product mix, service mix and target audience, and…

Susan Bratton: Okay, wait. Right there, keyword glossary. What’s that?

Lee Odden: Yeah. So keyword glossary is really one of the first steps in an SEO campaign, and actually I’ve been writing a series of posts on online PR that people can find at toprankblog.com that talks about this, but identifying the keywords is really a critical step. A lot of folks will start with keywords that they think of that are common in their industry that are used in their marketing materials or PR materials, part of their messaging, and they’ll optimize for those things. Well there may be a significant disconnect between what the company thinks is accurate or relevant for keywords and what their end audience, their target audience actually uses when they sit down on Google and type a phrase into that box. So creating a keyword glossary’s a process of first brainstorming different phrases that are relevant and accurate, and then popping them into some keyword research tools. And those keyword research tools will come back with lists of what people are actually searching on, how popular they are, and depending on the tool you use, you can also get information about how competitive the phrase is, you can also get an idea of, a forecast of how popular it will be in a, in the future, and there’s some other things you can do to identify… You know, we give, our keyword glossary is a list of metrics per phrase; popularity, competitiveness and relevance. And understanding what phrases are most popular, least competitive and most relevant helps us make the best choices in what phrases we actually use to optimize content. And the keyword glossary is basically a list that any content creator can reference in making decisions about how to title things, what words to use within body copy, knowing that if they do that they’ll increase the chances of attracting visitors, attracting traffic via search.

Susan Bratton: Okay, so you have your keywords and you have your assets and you’ve tagged your assets, what do you do next? If you have a press announcement of some kind, you’ve got a, lets just make it a really simple one…

Lee Odden: Sure.

Susan Bratton: Here’s a new product, do a new product press announcement…

Lee Odden: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: and I have a keyword glossary that I’ve at least taken a first stab at, what do I do next?

Lee Odden: So you have a press release and you use a keyword glossary, or basically the essence of the press release is related to a topic, so you want to focus on one or two maybe, or targeting one or two keyword phrases for that document in five-six hundred words, and you would optimize for that and hopefully have other assets you can include like an image or video or a short audio interview with someone relevant to that product and include that, and I’m not talking necessarily about a social media press release exactly, but in the testing we’ve done with different wire services we found that when you include more media you increase your distribution opportunity. In fact we, Top Rank, my agency, is doing SEO of PR Web, which is a wire service, so we’re actually working with PR Web to help people who use PR Web as a wire service get more SEO value out of those press releases that they distribute. So it’s kind of important to use what you have available to you and making that press release something that people will want to pass around, and if it’s just all text it can be quite boring. If it includes other media, then it may stimulate people who would respond more to an image or interactive or something, you know, a little more visually engaging. And by having different media it gives you other distribution channels, so we have this press release, we’ve optimized it for keywords, we’ve included, lets say, just an image and a downloadable white paper or something like that, and lets now, we’re going to post it to our newsroom first.

Susan Bratton: But wait, how did you optimize it for keywords?

Lee Odden: Well we use keywords in the title and think high and to the left. You want to use your most important keyword phrases early in the headline of the press release. You want to use it somewhere in the subheading of the press release. You might use two, three or four times as an exact match phrase within the body of the press release of a five or six hundred word document. You’ll also want, if you’re, the intention of the press release, the goal of the press release, lets say, in this product announcement, is to not only announce the product, but hopefully increase the rankings of the products own webpage, then we’d want to use keywords as anchor texts, that blue underline, or in your case green underline text that people can click on, and it delivers them to another webpage. Well the text we use there, it’s called anchor text, and we’d want to make sure that we have anchor text using keywords within the press release pointing to the actual product page on the company website. And those are some fundamental things you can do as far as press release optimization. The post, we just put up today at toprankblog.com, you can just type in ‘press release optimization’ on Google and we have three or four of the top ten listings. So there’s lots of advice about it. So optimizing the press release that you send out through the wire service has a little bit less flexibility because you’re dealing with someone else’s content management system, but you do what you can, compared to the press release you put up on your newsroom. The press release you put up on your newsroom may also use a content management system, but it’s yours. I mean typically you own it or your company owns it. So you may have a little more flexibility in doing things like making sure that the title tag is very keyword rich, and the title tag of course is that text that appears in the very, very top of your browser and it’s also used whenever you bookmark something, to describe what you’ve bookmarked. So if, lets say you want to be clever, ironic or use a pun, or metaphor in your press release title, well you can be keyword rich and literal in your title tag as you post this release to your own newsroom and then have a, you know, your clever or ironic non-literal title actually as the on-page title, which is a different thing…

Susan Bratton: Can you give us an example of that?

Lee Odden: So an example of where, you know, someone might use a title that’s a pun or basically just not literal that’s meaningful to people would be this one I’m looking at, it’s “Bald Eagle erectors always faithful.” Well if you don’t know what that means, it’s a little confusing. I mean it could be misinterpreted, right? Where Bald Eagle is the name of a company, a construction company and erectors is describing what they do and always faithful is also describing something meaningful within the story itself, a search engine will look at that and, I mean basically we’re optimizing for the phrase ‘Bald Eagle’. So we would use our, you know, our non-literal title as the on-page title you see on the press release webpage, the large font at the top of the press release, but in the actual title tag we’d want to use words that are more literal like ‘New York construction company Bald Eagle, comma, develops property in Schenectady, New York’, or something like that.

Susan Bratton: Got it.

Lee Odden: You can be more literal and that’s what you would actually use in the title tag, so the title tag is the most important place for you to have your keywords in any kind of a document.

Susan Bratton: Okay. So when you put it out over PR Web. You upload as many assets as you can. You try to make it think high and to the left with your keyword or key phrase and density of the actual copy. Then you put your press release on your newsroom with a title tag that’s keyword rich, as well as all your assets. But say you are really trying to get people to go to a certain page on your website with the product or you’re trying to get them to buy something or take an action or whatever it might be, this press release is just the thing that announces it, there’s actually some place else you want to go. We’re going to go to a break, and when we come back I want you to explain how that works all together. Does that sound good?

Lee Odden: Sounds great.

Susan Bratton: Excellent. You get two minutes to, you get one minute to take a rest, and I’ve got more questions for you Lee Odden. So we’re with Lee Odden, Top Rank Online Marketing, Top Rank Blog, and I’m your host Susan Bratton. Take a listen to my sponsors. They’ve got good stuff. I hand select these people for you. These are the people you should be supporting so we can have this much fun. So stay tuned and we’ll be right back.

Susan Bratton: We’re back with Lee Odden, and we’re learning about the intricacies of SEO, PR, social media and how we can get some traffic, which is the bottom line. We’re trying to probably for the most part drive some sales. So Lee, I’ve got this release over the wire, I’ve got my pressroom, but I really want you to go to my sales page of some kind. How does it all work?

Lee Odden: You know Susan, I’m so excited that this is the hundredth episode…

Susan Bratton: Woo hoo!

Lee Odden: Oh my god!

Susan Bratton: Oh my god!

Lee Odden: I’m excited, lets make some money, okay?

Susan Bratton: I just can’t get over it.

Lee Odden: So the way it all fits together I guess is, you know, you’ve got your press release optimize if you want to drive traffic to a particular landing page. If it’s that kind of release then we want to make sure that we have URL’s within the press release. We want to include links within the press release itself. And with your own newsroom you might have a little more flexibility to put in a graphic that’s very explicit in it’s call to action, for example. But within the press release that you might send out through the news wire service, you may be limited to either an anchor text link, as we’ve discussed where it says, you know, lets say the product is red widgets hypothetically, then the words ‘red widgets’ are what’s going to be underlined by the anchor text, or by the HTML, to prompt someone to click on it, and then that would deliver the person to a landing page that’s all about red widgets, or a product page that’s all about red widgets. Now for tracking purposes it’s important, it’s essential, to include a tracking code or a unique URL in that link from the underlined text ‘red widget’ over to your landing page, that will allow you web analytics to actually determine whether you’ve had conversions as a direct result of the press release or not.

Susan Bratton: Got it. That makes sense. Now, take that to the next level and tell me about other ways… We were talking, I got to give a shout out here. Greg Jarbo, SEO PR, you and he and I were having a conversation about both the importance of creating great headlines and the value of syndication and other wire services. So lets just say we use PR Web as our main, you know, our main wire service. That’s what I use. That’s what you use obviously. There are other options, not as good. And how do we then use other things? Like I used one, I think it was called Media e-Wire or something like that. It was quote/unquote, “Free press release service”, although it cost me forty bucks to join. I love that, by the way. I don’t mind, you know what, if you’re going to get me that way I’ll pay you. So how, what are all these other wire services and syndication things that we can do, because ultimately what you’re saying is lets get all those inbound links out on the web and as many places as possible back to that landing page that drives the revenue.

Lee Odden: The most important thing you can do to attract links is to optimize for people. A compelling provocative press release will get picked up by people and linked to by bloggers or even by people who are simply copying RSS feeds according to certain industry categories. So there’s a certain amount of syndication that’s going to happen because of the feeds that are published via the wire services, or even from your own newsroom. And you’ll want to then include the anchor text we talked about, link, but we’ll also want to include at least one full URL link in that press release. Most of the time I recommend putting those in the footer or the boiler plate at the bottom, where it’s http://www.yourcompany.com, whatever product page, because some of the content management systems that will syndicate or copy your press release as content for themselves will not maintain or retain the anchor text links that you put in there in the first place. But the full URL will be imported as text, but many of the content management systems will actually then convert that to a hyperlink, and that can count as a link to whatever it is that you’re pointing to.

Susan Bratton: But it will be included in the boilerplate? Does it have to be down that low? Is that how it escapes something?

Lee Odden: Right, so about our company, our company does this and we do that…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lee Odden: and yada yada yada, and then you include a link at the, within that or at the bottom of that in the way that you would link to a, you know, for more resources on this release, you know, click on a company page, come click on the actual product page, it’ll be a full URL.

Susan Bratton: Right, I understand spelling out the URL instead of incorporating it as a hyperlink, which is what, anchor text is essentially a hyperlink in a press release, it just has a different name, which is stupid. I don’t like that, but I can’t change that. But what you’re saying is put the full typed out URL in your boilerplate to that page that you want people to go…

Lee Odden: Yes.

Susan Bratton: and that won’t necessarily get scraped by the content management systems and the RSS feeder.

Lee Odden: So what’ll happen is lets say in my press release I have, I’m promoting a red widget, and I have the words ‘red widget’ linked to my red widget landing page, and via RSS lets say some blog somewhere copies my press release. The chances are pretty good that when they copy that press release, what I had linked as the words ‘red widget’ will not be retained, I will be turned into just regular text. And now even though another website has copied my press release, I’ve lost a link, I’ve lost that as a link opportunity, unless you include a full URL to that red widget webpage. Now this doesn’t happen all the time, but lets say we’re going to get picked up by a thousand websites, you know, certain percentage of them are going to strip out all the links because that’s what their software does, they want to horde all the link popularity to themselves and not link out. But you can, I hate to say this, trick them by linking back to you if you include a full URL.

Susan Bratton: Got it. What…

Lee Odden: There’s also evidence that some people respond more favorably to seeing a full URL because they realize it’s a link that they can click on, and they, and this is from a direct consumers standpoint, and that they might miss or not be motivated to click on hyperlinks.

Susan Bratton: Going back to this additional syndication, what do you think about free press release services? Should you put it over PR Web and try to put it on some free press release services? What other ways can you syndicate things? ‘Cause I’ll tell you that I’m doing a lot of press releases, and they’re not getting picked up by a thousand places.

Lee Odden: Oh well, it depends on, you know, the content of the release itself and who you’re targeting. If you’re going to use other distribution channels, especially free wire services, I would do some testing. I wouldn’t submit the exact same title in those press releases though. I would create some variations, and then I would track those variations and set up Google alerts or some other monitoring service to see which variations of those titles, which services I distributed them through, get the most traction.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Lee Odden: And continue to test and refine that way.

Susan Bratton: Are there any other alternative syndication opportunities besides the free press release services?

Lee Odden: Well sure, I mean if, you know, if you’re archive, if you’re putting press releases, for example, up to a blog then there’s an RSS feed for that blog or that newsroom, if you’re using blog software to manage the newsroom. So that RSS feed can be submitted to, you know, to RSS directories and search engines and that sort of thing. They can be registered with Technorati and even create some additional distribution opportunities that way. The other thing is if you have other assets, then, if you’re including an image for example, then go ahead and put it up on different image sharing services, and in the comments or in the description of the image, as it’s hosted with Flickr, lets say, or some of the other image hosting services, then make sure you link back to your press release or to your landing page from that description. Now services like Flickr specifically have a ‘no follow’ attribute on the link, so it’s not going to pass any search engine link popularity, but it could be found via search, via image search, and of course it can, you know, people that see it can click on it and be delivered to your landing page, but there are other image hosting services that don’t have this ‘no follow’ instruction on the link and do allow search engines to count it for SEO benefit, lets say.

Susan Bratton: What are those? What are those other services?

Lee Odden: I would direct you to toprankblog.com and look for ‘image optimization’…

Susan Bratton: Okay.

Lee Odden: And we’ve got a aggregated list of image hosting services that do offer follow links.

Susan Bratton: Ooh, that sounds like a really good tip. Last question about all of this, and then I have a few more “Lee” kinds of questions… You’re worried already, aren’t you? You’re like, “Hmm, hmm”, that’s very…

Lee Odden: I do that, “Mm ha, ha, ha” in the background.

Susan Bratton: It’s my hundredth episode, we’re going to bust you wide open. Oh god, what was my question? Oh yeah, yeah, I know what it was. So this is perfect timing for me, and I’ve been entirely selfish on behalf of my Dishy Mix listeners, but I’m working on the press launch for my Talk Show Tips product, which is my new, my new system for teaching people how to do great interviews, how to book great guests, how to conduct an interview, and then how to use social media to radiate their content so they can grow their audience. And I think what I’m going to do is do a couple of different versions of the release, and I love your idea of putting them over different wire services or syndication services and then tracking back and seeing which headlines get the best responses, or which releases get the best responses, ‘cause when you and I and Greg Jarbo were having our little email lovefest a couple weeks ago getting ready for this show, it seemed like he was really keyed into the value of a great headline, and you said right things for people, make it interesting to people. And so a lot of times I think we get caught, you know, we get twisted up in our own underwear around all this SEO optimization, keyword density, blah, blah, blah, when in reality we forget it’s actually people were trying to appeal to not just Google’s algorithms, right?

Lee Odden: Exactly. It’s, you know, it’s the compelling, truly interesting press release that’s going to travel, that’s going to passed around and that people might be motivated to link to. Something that reads as optimized, there’s really no reason to link to something like that.

Susan Bratton: Makes total sense. So I want to change subjects, and I want to talk about your favorite book, the book you love and that you give to friends, and it’s Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Now you’re an entrepreneur. You are, like Tim and I, a husband and wife team at Top Rank Online Marketing. And obviously you’re building a fantastic business; you’re out there in the market, you’re working on growing rich with your great thinking. What is it, what’s the story of Napoleon Hill? I haven’t read it, so tell us why you love that.

Lee Odden: Well it’s a book I read a really long time ago, and it, there’re just some principles that kind of stuck with me, you know, within it. It’s basically, oh god, maybe it’s 80 years old, something like that. Basically it’s, Napoleon Hill had gone and interviewed a number of people to basically understand success principles. And so this notion of think and grow rich was a result of this sort of aggregation of the types of, you know, attitudes, behaviors that successful people illustrated. It’s kind of like seven habits of highly successful people or whatever, but circa 1919 or something like that. But amazingly they’re still true, you know. They still hold true as far as something that is meaningful for people today, you know. And so I guess just the notion of things like having a mastermind group, you know, having a network of people that share your vision, your goal, you know, just the ability that you need to surround yourself with people that will support you in the goals you’re trying to reach, right, as opposed to just being random about it. Picking people specifically to be part of that mastermind group is a critical thing, you know, it’s a long-term thing, and you give value before you get value. And, you know, that alone, when you look at social media and how things work in that realm, it’s really a bit telling, you know, this notion of give to get. You know, you give value before you expect any value back, and being useful to people is pretty, pretty critical on the social web. And, you know, there’s other concepts like that, that it, you know, again, just been kind of, you know, value of integrity and professionals, I mean just fundamental things like that that have been instrumental I think for me in developing business relationships and client relationships and relationships with our team members and that sort of thing.

Susan Bratton: It’s interesting because Laurie Thomas from Web Marketing Therapy is, has been on the show just recently. We did a whole situation around give to get for marketers, for online marketers, and I just came back from Ebon Pagan’s Guru Mastermind Management class, and it seems like that is really a core component of his business, his teaching people how to be in a mastermind group. Do you have your own mastermind group now?

Lee Odden: There are a couple of people that I do rely on for certain things and that I would qualify as that. Not as much as I would probably like to, but in, yes. It’s sort of a reluctant yes, but yes I do. I mean, there’s certainly people that I draw upon and that I give to in that way, yes.

Susan Bratton: It’s not as, it’s not an established group, it’s more like chosen mentor/mentee kind of a relationship.

Lee Odden: Yeah, I’ve had, personally I have not had as much, I’ve really not had for example a mentor. I mean there are people I’ve looked up to and there’s people who’ve, you know, people who are original thinkers that I really respect and that I’ve been able to learn a lot from, but as far as having the opportunity to work directly with someone in a mentoring scenario, I personally haven’t had that, but I highly recommend it. I like to do that when I can, you know, for other people.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

Lee Odden: Definitely.

Susan Bratton: I have a couple people who I consider to be part of my mastermind group…

Lee Odden: Awesome.

Susan Bratton: And I rely on them, and what I find for me that’s really important is that a lot of times they are ahead of me in the work that they’re doing, and I’m going, I’m kind of going behind them and learning that work. But a lot of times it’s the people who have a combination, a real level of creativity about business. I like the people who blow their minds wide open where anything is a possibility, the people who take information from everywhere and anywhere at any moment and integrate it into new ways, and I like to surround myself, and I don’t, it’s not really surround myself, it’s like one or two people here and there that at any given time are providing me with some level of a, they’re a catalyst for me…

Lee Odden: Right.

Susan Bratton: There are two people I’m connected to right now that I’m, I actively, I call them up, I ask them, I email them, “What do you think about this? Can you help me with this?”, and I’ll tell you, they, they don’t say no, and it’s, I’m really lucky to have them in my life because they blast me through the door into the next big room, you know. I love that.

Lee Odden: That’s fantastic that you’re in that situation. That really is amazing.

Susan Bratton: And I don’t think I provide that for them really. But I probably provide that for somebody else in a different way, you know. And there are moments when people really need you, and you’ve just got to be really present for them and help them, and then that moment is over and you’re asking for the help the next time. It doesn’t have to be reciprocal, and that’s why I asked you if you had a specific mastermind group, because I was wondering if you had this kind of… It almost seems like it would be a naturally, a group that would have natural reciprocity if it was a mastermind group, and I know that when Ebon sets them up he does create groups where, you know, they start an ning site and they support each other in getting their businesses to the next level.

Lee Odden: Yeah, definitely, and it’s critical. And it’s like, you know, you become who your surround yourself with.

Susan Bratton: Well that’s what he says too, absolutely.

Lee Odden: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Well fantastic. Well I am so happy to have surrounded myself with you for the last half hour, especially on the one hundredth anniversary celebration.

Lee Odden: Yay!

Susan Bratton: It feels great to have a hundred shows done. Here’s to our next hundred. Maybe Lee, will you come back on the two hundredth episode?

Lee Odden: I’ll be there. It’s on my calendar.

Susan Bratton: As a matter of fact, we’ll be doing that one in person, don’t you think?

Lee Odden: That’d be fantastic.

Susan Bratton: With champagne.

Lee Odden: Absolutely.

Susan Bratton: Done, done and done. I love it. Lee, thanks for sharing your wisdom about the intersection of SEO, social, PR, la li la, all our favorite stuff…

Lee Odden: Thank you Susan. It was a pleasure. It was a pleasure talking about this with you and congratulations on an absolutely awesome podcast.

Susan Bratton: Thank you Lee. Oh well, that’s right, oh my god. Online Top Rank Blog says, “Dishy Mix is the number one social media podcast.

Lee Odden: Absolutely, that’s right.

Susan Bratton: That happened over the Christmas holidays, I remember that. That’s great. Thanks for doing the run off, and I was, I felt honored to win that. So Lee it’s been great to get to know you. I know everybody’s going to be rushing to Top Rank Blog to suck up all this great information that you are giving so freely. Thank you for doing that and to your amazing expertise. I will let you get back to running your business. I am your host Susan Bratton. You have gotten to know Lee Odden. I hope you had fun, and thank you so much for being a part of my one hundredth episode. I really, really love that you listened. Have a great day.