One large issue when running a business on or offline is training staff. The main issue that arises is whether you feel comfortable training your future competition. This is especially true in a service or consultancy based vertical, such as internet marketing.
In the end, a well trained staff is an asset to your search engine marketing company, and you cannot control whether your employees become your future competitors. So how do you go about training a competent internet marketing staff?
Training Courses – There are a few training courses having to do with internet marketing that I find worth while. The first and foremost is Aaron Wall’s SEOBook.com. His offering is a great place to start someone new to the space. Other sites offer amazing content on a subscription basis, including SEOmoz.org and SearchEngineLand.com. If you couple a few of these subscriptions you can build an amazing educational library for your staff.
Weekly Roundtables – Each week select a topic for your team to meet about and discuss. Have each person create a presentation around one concept in the topic. For example, if you are going to discuss linkbuilding, you may assign one person to present on linkbaiting and another on a topic such as blogger outreach. This is a great hands on way to learn, and a way for you to spread the educational responsibility across your team.
Conferences – These are a coin flip. Dependent on the personality of your employee you could be wasting a few thousand, or you could get ten fold on your investment. Make sure to explore the topics at a conference and match the content with what you want your employee to learn and engage in.
Company Wiki – Create an educational wiki for your office only, where you can unload your knowledge base for your team to absorb, and add on to. This again spreads the responsibility of education across the team, and minimizes your ongoing time investment.
Other ideas to leverage an educated staff can be outside the realm of education itself. You can alleviate the need to train staff by utilizing these concepts.
Tools – By equipping your staff with Raven SEO Tools or tools you have created on your own, you can streamline workload. Utilizing a strong tool kit you can substitute mid grade labor with lower quality labor and not see much drop off. This of course is not going to be the cure for a really strong marketing mind.
Outsourcing – If you have specific needs a better option than hiring might be outsourcing. You can find labor that specializes in the skill set you are looking for, and by doing so you can not only alleviate unneeded labor costs, you can also often raise your prices due to the expertise behind the offering.
No matter what business you are in, a well trained staff is always going to be one of the key differences between success and failure. By putting processes in place to assure your staff is running efficiently you will give yourself one of the tools you need to succeed.