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Chris Boggs on Setting Up Internal Agency Teams for Success [PODCAST]

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

In this Marketing Nerds episode, SEJ Founder Loren Baker was joined by Chris Boggs, Founder of Web Traffic Advisors and Vice President of Education at SEMPO.

Building a Successful Team concept in word tag cloud on white background

Let’s talk about the work you do for internal agency team building. What are you brought in to do and how do you merge different divisions to get work done?

Chris: One of the first big projects I got was sort of a structured training. I was able to set up 12 courses, which I virtually presented to groups from around the world. Primarily IT, marketing, PR, some branding, and some legal for some of the discussions and topics.

This was in the life sciences industry. As you can imagine it’s a very unique space. If you want to train them on something, you need to be talking in their language. Then I was able to act as a coach offline or via Skype or email to follow up on these classes. They were structured in a way that I was able to train this organization in SEO so they could ultimately run it themselves. It became a best decision for them to take it in-house and create a de facto agency internally.

I was able to help, for example, the IT team better understand the goals of the SEO strategist when it comes to site speed or canonicalization or stuff like that. The idea was to train people to be able to speak both geek and marketing as well as know the right people to connect with, the right people to meet with on a monthly basis. The idea was that they would form a steering committee internally.

Loren: What I like about that system is that you’re not coming on to be an SEO consultant to do all of the work, then a year from now or two years from now the company makes a decision to maybe go a different direction, hire internally, whatever. It can be a much more sustainable style process for you to come in, set everyone up for success across the board. Possibly even help with the hiring or talent acquisition to make sure that they’re the right person that fit within that correct system that’s been set up. Then you’re able to come on and continually train, advise, et cetera, as the industry changes, as new things happen to keep those clients all ahead of the curve.

There’s that initial training: getting the team set up, doing some of the work to fill in patches or holes across the board, education, get everyone working together. Then there’s helping fine tune that system that you’ve helped to create. It makes you much more of a utility in the grand scheme of things.

Chris: I do want the ongoing coaching. I want to be able to stay involved. I’ve been involved in setting the strategy on a specific client. I can then meet with them a few hours a month and make sure everything’s still moving forward. I think you hit it on the head. It’s teaching the village to fish. It’s helping people get more out of their resources.

How do you keep your agency workforce actually at work versus saying “I’m doing some research by studying Facebook”?

Chris: I think if you’re getting more things for people to be able to do and participate in, then maybe we’ll be studying Facebook.

Loren: Or even the consolidation of tool sets and budgets, right? You know how it is: you’ll have one contractor or someone may have purchased one enterprise solution. Then the tech team may have purchased another. Then there may be another solution down the line, too.

The ability to come in, look at all the tools that have been purchased, look at the overall budget, see what’s not being used, what’s being utilized. Maybe there’s a PPC management tool that’s been purchased in the past, it’s been under-utilized. Really putting it in the other plan to use what they have from the fat a little bit and reinvest that budget into something that’s going to make that company more money down the road.

How can hiring the right people add to setting up an agency for success?

Chris: One of the things that I’ve worked on with people is the process of creating case studies for people to do when they come in for an interview. We used to use Bed Bath & Beyond all the time as an example where if you tell anyone, “Hey you’re coming in for an interview.” It doesn’t matter if they’re the most junior of associates to a director of whatever their skill set is, they’re going to prepare something that should be relatively at par with what they’re coming in for, right?

If it’s a junior associate, maybe they’ll pull a couple of SEM screenshots. Whatever they can give you that shows that they actually understand the difference between paid and organic might be all you want, right?

Where a director comes in, you’re expecting them to come in and hit the obvious things that Bed Bath & Beyond needs to do for that specialty or for, let’s say, their SEO or paid or whatever. I think hiring and understanding how to hire right so that you’re keeping down that agency turnover, that’s such a classic bane of our existence as well as is important. That’s why I do advocate headhunters. There are certain ones that are very good at search that I’ve used or that I’ve helped pass networking referrals to and stuff like that.

To listen to this Marketing Nerds Podcast with Chris Boggs:

Think you have what it takes to be a Marketing Nerd? If so, message Danielle Antosz on Twitter, or email her at danielle [at]

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
In-post Image: olechowski/DepositPhotos

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Chris Boggs on Setting Up Internal Agency Teams for Success [PODCAST]

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