029: Communications, Communes, Colorado, and Coaches with John Doherty
John Doherty is the founder of Credo, an agency broker, and EditorNinja, a subscription-based professional editing services firm. He has traveled extensively and has currently found home in Colorado with his wife and daughter. In today’s episode, he discusses tiered business relationships, mentorship, entrepreneurship, editing, and sales tactics.
Key Points + Topics
- [1:30] John Doherty comes from a James Madison University family. His father worked there for over three decades, and his older brother attended. John originally thought he wanted to go to a university out of state. But he ended up finding a program at James Madison, video production. Ultimately, he was not accepted into that program and ended up completing his degree in technical and scientific communications. It was kind of a liberal arts degree in which he was trained as a documentation writer, learned front-end development, and took many communication courses.
- [3:35] After graduating from James Madison, he traveled for a bit, spent some time in Europe, and then returned to live and work in numerous cities on the Eastern Seaboard. He’s traveled to 47 states and over twenty countries. He loves to travel. He was fortunate to live in a hippie commune in Switzerland for a while after college. He believes travel opens your world and perspectives.
- [6:15] John and his family now call Colorado home and they love it and have no intentions of leaving (permanently) any time soon. They moved to the Denver area from San Francisco. But John and his wife are mountain-people. Denver is also a very entrepreneurial town filled with balanced people, not all focused on one industry and field of work.
- [8:15] John believes there are layers to business relationships.
- Layer 1: Your peers and other people at the same level and stage of their career as you. Your peers CAN grow with you; however, many fall away and go down disparate paths.
- Layer 2: Coaches. These are people you pay who are a few steps ahead of you in business. They can give you concrete, actionable steps to take regarding advertising strategy or logistics, or hiring.
- Layer 3: Mentors. These people are many steps ahead of you. They give you their time. These are the type of people that can completely change your view of a challenge, question, or paradigm in a 10-minute conversation.
- [10:00] John Doherty began building his first business, Credo, in 2013. He built the site on WordPress (as he does to this day). He had a colleague who worked for WP Engine and connected John with Chris Lema over the WordPress landscape. In one brief conversation, Chris made one simple recommendation regarding John’s website setup that took his monthly revenue from $2k to $20k. They kept in touch over the years. At one point, after John had moved to Colorado, he received a late-night direct message from Chris on Twitter. Chris was telling John he was holding him a seat at a major website and WordPress conference, but registration time was ending, and he needed $1k from John that evening and the seat was his. So, John paid him the money and booked his ticket to Cabo (where the conference was held). It has gone on from there. Chris has been a phenomenal influence on John’s life, both business and personal. He is a mentor who became a coach who became a friend.
- [13:57] John’s main focus right now is running EditorNinja. Part of his role there is to mentor their many freelance editors. For many of these people, this is their first job. Consequently, most of the editors they’ve hired have been participants in a particular dual masters program in a university just thirty minutes south of the town in Virginia where John grew up. The editors work on a freelance basis and get a lot of consistent work and experience. He’s not mentoring them in editing skills, though, as he is NOT an editor. He’s a writer and marketer. His guidance tends more toward professionalism and career skills. The mentorship operates in an informal, open-door-policy manner. The whole company is remote and asynchronous, with most of their communication happening with Slack.
- [20:13] One of the keys to a successful mentorship is for a mentor to ensure the mentee is going to take action on the advice they’re given. John knows of some people being labeled “ask-holes” after they’ve asked others for advice and subsequently ignored that counsel. John would recommend mentors avoid those types of people. You want to look for people who are very curious and ask good, specific questions. Second, a mentor needs to deal with the question being asked of them. However, a mentor should also ASK questions to learn how to better coach them. The mentor has a broader perspective and has to bring that to the mentee.
- [23:10] EditorNinja provides editing services in a subscription-based model. John came to this setup as a writer first, one who hated to edit his own work. He would simply publish things to his blog with typos. Professionally, however, he knew that wasn’t an option. When the pandemic started, he began to see many editors being laid off and thought he could probably find work for them. It just kind of went on from there. As far as the subscription model, John has known the founder of Design Pickle for some time now. Design Pickle offers graphic design services via subscription. John saw this and thought there was an opportunity for that to work in the editing space.
- [30:04] John isn’t the type of salesperson who is going to convince you to sign up for EditorNinja’s services. If, over the course of a conversation, they are convinced, then they’ve convinced themselves. John simply asks questions. He once had a gentleman come in (via video call) as a potential customer. He crossed his arms and said, “Tell me why we need your editors to edit our content.” John knew he had the skills to convince him, but he wasn’t going to. If someone is coming into the partnership with that mindset, they’re going to require a lot of management, ask a lot of questions, never truly value the service, and waste John’s time as well as the time of his editors.
- [35:15] While John may not be in the thick of the SEO world today, he was for over a decade. He started working in SEO in 2008. By 2011, he was working for Distilled, a company that partnered with Moz. He stepped out of the SEO realm in 2018-ish when he began to focus more intently on Credo, his first company. What’s changed since 2008 in SEO? John sees it as much less general now. Search engines have gotten much smarter. Digital PR has become its own professional niche, whereas when he was working, it was very “wild West.” He misses the cohesion in the industry back in the day. It was a lot of fun. SEO has now become much more difficult and specialized.
- [43:30] John travels. OFTEN. Firstly, he and his family have a house up in the mountains of Colorado that is his oasis. Just a short weekend stay there can feel like a week-long retreat. He views his greater travels in two categories: trips and vacations. A trip is going to see a new place, usually with family, and with the understanding, he will need to be “plugged in” a bit each day. A vacation is often going to a place he’s been before, for a longer stretch of time, where he’s planned to be unplugged for a long period of time.
Guest + Episode Links
Danny Gavin 00:05
Hello everyone. I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Optidge, Marketing Professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today, I’m really excited to have John Doherty here. He’s a serial entrepreneur, veteran SEO and digital marketing leader, and he’s here to make content on the Internet better. His main focus these days is running Editor Ninja, where they help marketing teams and content agencies produce better content that generates more traffic and leads, which leads to revenue through their professional editing services. Today we’re going to talk about content marketing, editing and outsourcing. How are you, John?
John Doherty 00:56
I’m well. I’m doing well. Danny, how are you doing Really well. So first of all, Congrats on the Nuggets winning the NBA Finals and maybe a championships. That’s really exciting it is yeah our sports are putting Denver on the map in the last few years hit the Stanley Cup with the abs and then the Nuggets and. The Rockies are still terrible, but hey, can’t win them all. Yeah, being in Houston, we know that it’s kind of difficult to, you know, get those sort of championships going. So that’s right.
Danny Gavin 01:20
It’s so nice to have you here. As we were just talking about a moment ago, we mentioned your name during the episode with Akvila and you know, you’ve been a mentor to hers. So it’s so nice to have you on the podcast and I can’t wait to jump right in.
Danny Gavin 01:31
So let’s start off with your educational and work background. I know you went to school at James Madison University. Let’s talk about that.
John Doherty 01:37
Yeah, so I went. I got my undergrad, my bachelor’s from James Madison University in Virginia. It’s in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, kind of the northwest part of the state. That’s why I grew up. My dad actually worked there for 31 years. So it’s like kind of in the family. My older brother also went there. I actually didn’t want to go there originally. I wanted to. Kind of get out of town. Looked at actually coming out to Colorado, which is where I live now. I’ve been out here about 6 and a half years, but I looked at going to like see you Boulder, different places like that. I got into Drexel and in Philadelphia. I got into Appalachian State in North Carolina. But I ended up going to JMU because it had the right what I thought was the right program for me with what I wanted to study at the time which was actually like video and video production. And basically Long story short I ended up not getting into that program and then got into found this program that was, it was called Technical and scientific communication. People were like, what the heck is that? I tell people what my major is and they’re like, i’m like it’s kind of a I mean Jamie’s a state school but it was kind of a liberal arts degree in. Like within the context of this, you know, bigger, much bigger, like 20.000 thousand per twenty thousand, student undergrad student, university, state school. Basically I was trained as a documentation writer. They had a concentration of what they called online publications, basically front end web development. So I learned that in like 2006 2007 So that’s served me very well. Over the years, but I also got to take a lot of communications classes. So I got to take like public speaking courses and other writing courses, some creative writing courses and that sort of thing. So you know, I kind of put together my own degree to a point and you know I just, i love writing, I love creating, I do love speaking. I think just you know, communication is just a super important thing to be able to do well. So I feel very fortunate to have gotten that education and. But as soon as I graduated, I got out of there. I spent some time in Europe and then kind of moved up the Eastern seaboard, Washington, DC Philadelphia, new york, and met my wife in New York, moved to San Francisco, and then we ended up here about three years later. So there’s and there’s a lot that happened in there with my career as well. So we can get into that, but that’s kind of the trajectory.
Danny Gavin 03:51
Yeah, amazing. So I think I’m going to jump right in and say, like, you’ve been to so many different cities, States and countries. I think you told me 27 or 28 States and nine different countries. What led you to be such a nomad?
John Doherty 04:02
Well, in those states are just since I went out on my own, I’ve actually been to 47 U S states and visited I think 20 some countries. So I just love to travel. I actually didn’t fly on an airplane for the first time till I was 13 years old and went to Mexico. But you know, just going to go into new places, seeing new cultures etcetera. It’s just it’s just something I really love to do. I was fortunate enough in my twenties to live. I lived in like a hippie. Study commune in Switzerland for two years. So you know that kind of got me the that increase the travel bug and you know i love being on planes and going new places. So yeah it’s just like you just kind of opens up your world opens up your like your perspectives and you know obviously I’m an American but i have a very like international kind of perspective on the world just because I’ve lived with so many interesting people from different backgrounds and such. So yeah Travis is kind of in my blood. I mean i told you I’m actually I’m hopping on a plane tomorrow night going.
John Doherty 04:57
Ireland for 10 days so first time in to Europe since 2019 which is crazy because I used to go like once every four months. So but yeah it’s just part of my life at this point. That’s so cool. I actually went on a trip with my wife a week ago. We went to Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was a little crazy because it was only 36 hours in and out. But we did a heck of a lot and it was a lot of fun. I wouldn’t say I’ve traveled as much as you, but travel special and it’s nice to be able to do it again because it was a little rough for a couple years absolutely and I was the guy that like.
John Doherty 05:25
When everything shut down, I actually, I think I had to cancel 9 trips or something like that I had planned for 2020 And I was the guy like sitting in my backyard downloading like flight radar, those sorts of things. And when I’d see a plane go overhead, I’d pull up the app and be like what is that plane, where is it going? So you know we Denver has a very like busy international airports like one of the, I think it’s the third busiest in the country or something like that. So we have a lot of like international flights from here and such, but I get it, we get a lot of planes. Kind of coming over our house here in West Denver. So yeah, it’s a, it’s a good time. But 36 hours in Sao Paulo, man, you like literally followed like the New York Times, like 36 like 36 perfect hours or whatever, right? That’s hilarious yeah we went for a wedding. So it was literally like wedding, two tours, but it was really cool. It’s a lot of fun.
Danny Gavin 06:13
So now that you’re in Colorado, like, how do you feel? Calling that home.
Danny Gavin 06:17
Oh, we love it, man. We absolutely love it. I mean, we were in San Francisco for three years before coming here and you know, that has its own good parts and bad parts. I was ready to leave. You know, i got laid off from my last job September 2015 So it was boot shopping, a company from San Francisco and it’s just it’s expensive city. Like we made it work. We were completely fine, but was just like ready to get out, you know, Loved it for the cycling and that kind of thing. But my wife and I are mountain people. You know, I we enjoy going to the beach. I like vacationing at the beach and living in or. By the mountains. So we’re like just a couple miles from the foothills here in Denver, which is also like I can see all the way up to Boulder from my office, which is, which is pretty great. But we just, we wanted to live. Yeah, some of that was just a bit more like mountainous and Denver just kind of fit the bill. Family and friends nearby and all of that. We spent a lot of time up in the mountains as well, a lot of skiing and mountain biking and that kind of thing. So, you know, and then also it’s a Denver is actually a very like entrepreneurial town, which I kind of knew but didn’t really appreciate until we got here a lot of B to B. A lot of manufacturing, a lot of logistics and that kind of thing cause we’re kind of like halfway across the like North East West and north-south We’re kind of like smack dab in the middle of the country. So and obviously there was a lot of mining and such going on here. And so like kind of all railroads in the US lead to Denver at some point. You know we have that we have one of the US men’s and all that just got everything coming out of the mountain. So there’s just a lot of like entrepreneurship going on here as well and just like good balanced. You know, people living here too, it’s not like the Bay Area where it’s like all about tech and whatever. And New York is all about like the happy hour scene, that kind of thing. And people are very like invested in their careers there. And when I lived there, that was the time in life I was, I was in. But now like bit more balanced, have a family, bit more space, that kind of thing. So we love Colorado. I mean we’re not leaving. Yeah, I feel like during the pandemic, I feel like half of Texas emptied out to Colorado, at least the people I know. So it’s definitely a goto destiny. That’s a good spot. So let’s move over to mentorship. So John, how would you define a mentor?
John Doherty 08:15
So I think about a mentor as someone who is I kind of put layers to like relationships in business. First one is your is your peers. So they’re the people that like are kind of doing similar things as you kind of on the same trajectory as that as you at the same stage as you, that kind of thing. And you can grow through, you know, like peers can grow with you. A lot of them tend to fall away. I’ve you know been fortunate to have a couple, you know, peers that kind of stayed peers and stayed like good friends of mine through the years. But most people kind of fall away at some point and then you find other ones that are kind of in the space where you are now as you’re growing. If you’re kind of a growth minded individual like I am, the next level is coaches. So coaches are basically people that you pay that there are. 2 steps ahead of you. And they kind of have a system or a process or something like that. And then i’ve and I’ve had a number of great coaches. And then mentors are kind of even levels above that. So there are people that are probably four or five, six steps ahead of you. You’re not necessarily paying them though maybe they do become a coach of yours because like, you grow a lot and then you’ve gotten closer in. It’s like, all right, makes sense to work one-on-one But the way I see mentors is they’re actually like quite a bit further ahead of you and kind of give you their time. And they’re the kind of people that like 30 minutes of time with them. Or even not even that 10 minutes of time you, like, you start talking about one thing and they ask a question and it completely changes how you’re thinking about it. And you’re like, oh, OK, I’m good. You know, it’s not like they’re not teaching you like how to write email copy or have you sent this to Jackson like nine word email, Like that’s the place for a coach, right first. But these are people that they’re just like actually, that’s the wrong question. Think about it this way. Or like you’re completely missing this thing and you go, oh.
Danny Gavin 09:48
All right. You just completely changed my paradigm so that that’s who I think of as mentors and then you can also of course be like peers, a coach or you know, mentor to others. So I think that’s a really interesting lead into, you know, who you’ve mentioned is being one of your most influential mentors who is actually, I believe a coach of yours as well. Chris Lima, Yep. So I’d love to know about your relationship with him and why is he like, your mentor?
Danny Gavin 10:11
Yeah, so Chris is. Chris Lima is my coach. I’m my business coach. He’s been so for a long time, number of years now. So when I was first getting my other company credo off the ground in 2016 I was building it on WordPress. I still build everything on WordPress, at least like marketing sites. And I met a guy there in San Francisco who used to work for WP Engine. And he was like, oh, you’re doing this on WordPress. You should talk to this guy Chris. So he had known Chris for quite a while on the WordPress space. And Chris like did a, you know, did a call with me just like for free. And I told him what I was doing. And Chris likes to say that i was a guy with a dream, a WordPress sight in a gravity form. I mean he literally did the like, wait, it was like a 15 minute call. He’s like, wait, you’re doing what? And you’re doing it how? No, you’re doing it all wrong. Do it this way. And I’m like okay. So I did it that way. And we went from 2K a month to about 20 KA month in eight months And I was like. Okay, This guy knows what he’s talking about and I actually booked a call with him in like November of that year. I remember I was in New York City. My wife is 2016 My wife and I just done an around the world trip and then we were in New York. She was starting her job. She worked for Trello for about 5 years and she was starting her job at Trello is remote, but they’re based in New York and. I remember doing a call like booking a call with Chris on Clarity dot FM and we hop on the call and he goes, wait, you’re Austin’s friend, right? Austin was the guy that introduced us. I’m like yeah, I was like yeah we talked you know months ago and we did you know you told me this and you know I I’ve gone two to i shipped it and I’ve done gone 2 to 20.000 thousand a month in revenue that month it was like 18 or something and he’s like. I don’t want you to pay me for this call. Here’s my Skype because it’s presume right. Here’s my Skype. Call me there. So we hung up hang up on clarity won’t even let me pay him and we hop back on. He’s like all right here’s what we do next and so and then the next year 2017 we had moved to Colorado and I remember it was it was probably like May or June of that year and I was up kind of late doing some work as I remember sitting on my couch and my old like Gray couch with like a shades on and I’m sitting there doing some work and I get a direct message from Chris on Twitter. And he goes, hey, so Chris hosts a conference called Cabo Press. It used to be a lot. It’s in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. And it used to be just completely focused on WordPress. It’s now like more like general business. And I’ve been, I’ve been fortunate enough to go to it five times. I have to miss it this year. But he was like, hey, I know I mentioned this to you, but I haven’t seen your application. I have one more slot. I’m holding it for you if you want it, but I need a thousand dollars midnight this is eleven p m and I’m like. Ok send it to me. And so he does. I pay it. I crawl into bed. I tell my wife like, you know, hey I just, you know, I’m going to Cabo in October I just paid you know this guy on the Internet a thousand dollars and the next morning she’s like, did you tell me last night you’re going to a conference in Cabo in October and since some random guy a thousand dollars last night I’m like yes. And she goes, is the business paying for that? I’m like, yes. She goes do you trust this guy? I’m like remember the guy that told me what to do with credo And I did it and it worked and she’s like, Yep, I’m like it’s that guy she goes. Okay sounds good. So anyways it’s like it’s just kind of gone from there. Chris has been my coach since like early 2019 and he’s just been a phenomenal like influence on my life. Just like my business. Just guided me through a lot of stuff. Got me through some personal things as well and you know he’s yeah, so he’s he was a mentor that became a coach and now he’s my coach but he’s also my friend. So which is the way I think those.
Danny Gavin 13:28
Best relationships go, you know, Yeah, totally and just. To think about how it all started was just by a referral, right? A recommendation totally yeah. I was like hey, you should talk to this guy. And the fact that he said yes, you know was pretty awesome, amazing and so just shows you one meeting that could eventually change the whole trajectory of someone’s future and I’m sure you’ve given a lot to him as well.
Danny Gavin 13:49
I hope so. I hope so, yeah.
Danny Gavin 13:51
We’ll have. We’ll have to get him on and ask.
Danny Gavin 13:52
Him right. yeah. That’s right.
Danny Gavin 13:55
Moving on to mentoring others. So now you know you started and work on Editor Ninja, and you mentor the editors at Editor Ninja, who are actually mostly working on their first professional jobs. How’s that going?
Danny Gavin 14:07
Yeah, it’s going, it’s going well. I mean, you know we’re low 5 figures a month in revenue at this point. We have some awesome customers. You know, agent, mostly agencies and like in house like content and SEO teams as one might expect, mostly editing, marketing, content and most of the people we’ve hired with a couple of exceptions, but for the most part every all of our editors actually went through this one program at this one university in Virginia. Just like coincidentally 30 minutes South of where I grew up. So like I used to go to like events and such like in that town, but I have like no connection to the university itself. But I found my old assistant, she graduated from that program and so basically that’s who we hire most of our editors for through, but a lot of them are they’ve either like just graduated or they’re about to graduate. So I mean it’s mid June now. So like I three of them that just graduated last month. From a, it’s a dual masters program. So they get a masters of literature and an MFA and then they’re just, they’re kind of looking for what’s next, you know? And so like they all work for us on a freelance basis and it gives them the like, you know, good consistency, you know, of work. They get good experience. You know, some of them, we’ve gotten them kind of interacting more with customers or clients. And so yeah, a lot of it’s just like it’s not like i’m not an editor. Danny I’m, I actually am not an editor. I’m a writer. I can do like kind of the developmental editing giving feedback to writers like that sort of thing. Obviously I’m a marketer as well. So like is this piece meeting the query or meeting the topic? Are we actually answering it right? You know and obviously basic things like you say 9 tips to are you giving 9 tips like that kind of thing. Are they good tips? Do they make sense in the structure? All that. But like as it relates to like copy editing, proofreading editing for clarity, like conciseness that sort of stuff. Like those are kind of trained skills and so I’m not that. So like. I kind of rely on them for that and I have a managing editor who is also a professional editor. So he kind of does both. Like he owns a couple of accounts but from like he’s their main editor but he also kind of manages the editorial workflow and he’s the final QA and that sort of stuff. My feedback and the work that I’ve done is more on the like how do we leave comments on documents that are going to actually drive change as opposed to like there have been some comments that a piece will say something like the better option is and there are a couple times where I looked at it. And it was like and the an editor left a comment that it was better than what. And I’m like, I get that and like if you’re saying that to me who you know, like that’s fine and I’ll take it that way. But like there are some ways to kind of to improve this feedback, right like. You know just quite as simple as you know when you say better you need to have you need to have an example of what is better than right. Like things like that. And so it’s more like kind of the around the like professionalism. I’ve helped some of them with like time management and that kind of thing just because like they’re freelancers and it’s their first freelance gig and some is their first professional job and I’ve done this for 15 plus years. So you know can kind of help them out with like here’s how I organize my calendar. Here is how I did it as a freelancer like that kind of thing. So yeah it’s more like. The like professional development side is kind of how I mentor them, not the like editing side because like that’s what they’re best at, right. Just like Chris does. Like Chris Lemmon doesn’t mentor me on like SEO right or like really like digital marketing. He gives me ideas or he’s like hey, I saw so and so was doing this and it was very their business very similar to yours. And so like you should think about them like oh great idea. I haven’t thought about that but like Chris is more like around like business OPS and growth and hiring and that kind of thing, the things that like I am not. World class at right and that I’ve gotten a lot better at so.
Danny Gavin 17:39
And what’s the feedback that you get back from the editors that you’re mentoring? Like do they appreciate your input? Like what’s in general the feeling?
Danny Gavin 17:46
Yeah, they, I mean it’s funny because they love feedback. Like i kind of hate feedback. I love feedback when it’s from people that I know and that I trust. And if it’s if I’m expecting to get feedback and therefore have to kind of like reroute like back into it that that’s great but. Like, they’re our editors are. I’ve actually found that they’re like really hungry for feedback from me, from customers like that kind of thing, because they just want to get better. And so it’s always been well received. I’m also careful to not, like, offer it when I haven’t really been asked for it. You know, when they come to me and they’re like, hey, i’ve been struggling to you know, to manage my time well. And then I’m like, yeah, sure, happy to dig into it, right. Here’s some things that have worked for me and they’re like, oh, great, thank you, This is so helpful. So and I think part of that, you know and the fact that people are willing to come to me as me being like the founder and their boss and all that I like, I hope speaks well for our culture and that like I’m an approachable you know founder and I really care and because I really do. But yeah, it’s always been well received simply because I haven’t like. Tried to like put, you know, put it on them, especially if it’s like professional feedback. They’re like, Oh yeah, totally get it. And I very I try to couch it very like empathetically. I try to understand like, you know where they’re coming from and all that and, you know, and also just like tell stories from my own side about like, you know, because i mean I’ve made every mistake in the book when it comes to client management and consulting and all that. So, you know, I could actually share that like that knowledge. Do you have set?
Danny Gavin 19:11
Routines with them like hey, we meet once a week or is it more just that open door policy?
Danny Gavin 19:15
It’s more the open door policy. I mean, we’re remote, mostly asynchronous. Company So most of our communication happens on almost all of our communication happens on Slack. So yeah it’s more that so yeah we don’t have like a set cadence with them. I do have a set cadence with like my assistant with our managing editor like that kind of thing for like reviewing work reviewing upcoming accounts reviewing problem accounts like that sort of stuff. But it’s mostly like asynchronous and you know we’re. It’s me, my assistant. And then we have 7 editors at this point, you know, nine people. And then we have like various like consultants and such that I’m working with on other things. But kind of the core team is like nine people at this point. So like we’re not huge. I’m sure once we get to like. I D editors like stuff is very much going to have to change. But at this point you know we’re still like all right, who’s our best customer, what are they really looking for? How do we keep them around, what levels of communication do we need like all that sort of stuff. So you know we’re so we’re so early enough that we haven’t had to do that.
Danny Gavin 20:12
So what are your keys to mentoring success?
Danny Gavin 20:14
As a mentor, one of the things that I look for is really looking at if the person is actually going to take action. On the things that you’re doing because remember mentor is an unpaid unpaid position. If you if somewhat like i didn’t come up with this term. But I’ve heard people call like label people who like ask a question and then they’re like constantly pushing back and they go and do something else. They call them ask holes. So like, don’t be an asshole. And if you’re a mentor, don’t meant, don’t like try to mentor assholes. Like if someone comes to me and they ask for my opinion on something that like I’m an expert on, and then they just completely disregard my advice because like, they think they know better. I’m like, I mean, that’s your choice. That’s your right. Like I’m not going to tell you it’s not, but like also don’t come ask me again, you know so or I just like i just give them less time The next time they, you know, they come and ask. I think that’s the big one. It’s really like as a mentor look for the people who are like really curious that they they’re asking good questions. You can kind of tell if someone’s actually like valuing your opinion by the questions that they ask and they’ll often like pull on like well when you were at this position when you were running this company, when you were consulting with this client like whatever that is. They kind of have like specifics. They have specific questions as opposed to like how do you think about SEO And I’m like, you know, versus it’s like just go to Twitter. Yeah, basically, yeah, go to Twitter from like 2011 to 2016 when I was talking about that, you know, widely go read my blog, which like has all of that from a long time ago. But if it’s like I heard you talking on this podcast and you mentioned this thing about sales and I’ve been struggling with this and I tried this, what am I doing wrong? It’s like, OK. You’re like, you’re very specific and you’re asking you kind of understand what you’re getting at. So I think that’s the biggest thing when it comes to mentorship. And then I think another part of it is like, it’s 2 levels. One is you as a mentor deal with the question that they’re asking you, right. So like give, you have to give them the answer at some point. But also, you know, like I was mentioning that mentors are the ones that like you spend 10 minutes with them and they kind of change your whole like perspective and trajectory. As a mentor, from your experience, being able to ask those questions and even tell them like you’re actually asking the wrong question. Like you’re asking this very specific thing and if that is like actually the case, like this is how I’ve done it before but are you also doing? Whatever you know like you’re having trouble with sales sounds to me like you’re actually trying to sell a lot of unqualified people. So do you have a like do you have a discovery call where you actually qualify them first before you get on a longer call and try to like try to sell them right. You do okay, cool. Are you booking a meeting from that initial discovery call to go deeper? No okay. That’s probably why people are falling off and now scheduling these follow up calls just like asking at the end does next Tuesday at the same time work right like that kind of thing like you have this broader perspective you need to bring that broader perspective to them on the things that. Like they’re missing. They don’t even know that they’re missing.
Danny Gavin 23:08
So moving along to the world of Editor Ninja, which is your most recent business venture started in 2020 It’s a subscritionbased editing service. So what led you to operating? And Editing’s company on that model specifically on a subscription base?
Danny Gavin 23:22
There’s a few things to it. One is, as I mentioned, I’m a writer and I actually hate editing my own stuff. So like, I’m fine giving feedback to others, like especially editing my own stuff. I just, i just wouldn’t do it and I’d publish stuff with typos and whatever. And like when it’s just you like blogging on personal blog, it’s fine. But when it’s like behind a business and meant to build a business, you know, I really realize this with credo. That i was like okay, I actually need someone to like do this, you know, for me, I started after the pandemic started because I saw these editors getting laid off. I’m like well, I could I could probably get them some work and you know what was able to somewhat though I was you know focused on kind of stabilizing my other business at the time. Yeah, it just kind of, it just kind of went from there and the subscription model. So I know the founder of Design Pickle which is like a well known business in the space, they’re like north of forty million dollars a year in revenue, just got a lot of funding. That they announced a number of months ago and I saw that model and I we are actually, I’ve been a design pickle customer, you know a few times over the years and was like I think there’s a play for doing that in the editing space. It has its challenges, that’s for sure, but. What we found is like, you know, if you’re relying on like one off people to be submitting like you know content, it’s like it’s really hard to get people to pull out that credit card, right. So if you have to pull out that credit card and then they keep getting charged and keep getting the value right because they’re producing content consistently, then it’s just like it’s just a much easier business to run, a much easier business to scale because you’re not having to like reinvent the wheel and you know get. Hundred and fifty new, like documents, right which are disparate. And then also on the subscription model, you can have consistent like freelancers and you’re able to like and we’re also able to assign specific editors to specific accounts based off of the need. So like this one needs this or it’s in this industry or whatever. This person has edited our last three customers that were in that space or that you had this type of content or whatever it is, right? Or this person is like phenomenal at a P and so like corporate communications or PR agencies or whatever. They need that. And so, like, this is our AP editor, this is our part, this is our UK and Australia English editor, like that kind of thing. Just like having those ongoing, you get to know them, you get to know their needs, you get to know their style guys, that kind of thing. And it just delivers better work over time. So that’s why I like the subscription model, you know, personally.
Danny Gavin 25:41
Can totally relate and I guess that’s why. Also, recently i believe you might have made like a minimum requirement that someone has to sign up for three months.
Danny Gavin 25:50
We’re messing, we’re experimenting with that. Yeah, we’re experimenting with it mostly because like we’ve gotten people coming in that are like kind of kicking the tires and they’re just not a great fit. And so we’re actually making a few changes around just like our sales process as well qualifying people deeper, kind of looking at like what have they done, what type of content are they looking for. Because like we’ve had a few instances, not many at all, but like we definitely had a few instances where someone comes in and they’re like. You know i need you to whatever copy edit and proofread this or actually it was more like we were doing a lot more like developmental editing which is meant to be like heavy feedback to the writer but we were getting companies signing up that basically and they were they were they call it content marketing editing which is basically like you someone that has a trained eye generates the brief they pay a cheap freelancer or cheap content service to write the piece and then they expect an editor to actually make it good. So trying to take D content to A content and. You know, without subject matter expertise or being embedded with the client or whatever, it’s just basically impossible to deliver. So we’re just doing a lot more like discovery now. And one of the things we’re testing is like, you know, if someone’s not willing to like, you know, commit even just in spirit to three months, they’re maybe not a good fit. You know, if you like we’re have to go and really like. Convince them it’s maybe not a good thing. Maybe right? Like it can be debated and i always reserve the right to walk it back. But we are, we are looking at kind of doing some things like that as well in an interview you did with Super Path last year regarding SEO content writing, you said that good SEO is baked into the piece while it’s being written. So I want to expand a little bit on that why? Because many people tend to think of SEO content as being low quality keyword stuff Blogs, we know that.
Danny Gavin 27:32
Shouldn’t be the case, but how do you ensure SEO is still being considered in a piece without overdoing it? Yeah, so I mean there just something I’ve learned over the years is there? There’s just a lot of different ways to do things right? We’ve actually been seeing a lot more like kind of a I generated content that’s being used for SEO purposes, but. The ones that are doing it well have like a subject matter expertise doing it. They’re writing the prompts. They’re, you know, going deep on it. They’re asking, you know AI to go deeper and actually could you expound on this point like that sort of stuff. So like i’m all good with that, but you know, as it relates to like new content being created. You know, you can’t just go and like write something you know about a topic and then try to shoehorn in like you know, 3 mentions of this keyword and you know, call it a day, right. Like you actually need to go at it from a bit more like research perspective of like what kind of content needs to be in there as well as like at what point in the funnel is this, you know, so like I was, I was talking to someone recently that they’re writing content, there’s a content marketing agency writing for SEO and they basically were like, you know, we don’t like. If we get writing back from a writer that is at like the bottom of the funnel talking about, I don’t even know, white men shoes, right? Like, you shouldn’t. The first heading shouldn’t be like what are white shoes, right? It should be like it should be something completely different, right? Because it’s just not hitting the need so. That’s kind of like the in the stuff that you get into like in depth when it comes to SEO Of course you can go back and you should go back and you know when you’re writing out like what’s the what’s the URL, what’s the title, what’s the meta description, what are the headings like all those things, yeah you can go back and you can kind of look that after the fact. You can plug in tools and make use of tools like surfer clear scope or phrase or whatever and use that to like yeah there are other you know everyone else on everyone on the first page mentions these like 3 topics and you have. To mention any of them, you should probably add those in right great ideally that’s done during the writing process. It can also be done during like the review process or you know editing process or whatever. And of course when we’re talking about updating old content for SEO to you know bring it, bring it up to modern day to fix broken links to fix it, old statistics that sort of stuff. You know it’s those tools are very useful and we’ve actually made big use of those and those types of projects that we’ve had. But like ideally it is coming from the writer or at least there’s strong guidance on it in the brief that’s been created by a content marketer that understands SEO so you actually get something back, you don’t have to go like rewrite the piece because like it’s just not going to rank.
Danny Gavin 30:02
So I’m sure there’s a bunch of people come to you looking for your service, but I imagine there’s a portion, you know, agencies, freelancers and small businesses that you kind of have to convince them to outsource their editing.
Danny Gavin 30:13
How do you convince them that it’s worth it and to, you know hand it off to an outside team? I don’t convince them if they become convinced, they’ve convinced themselves because I have asked them questions, right? Like, i had I had one guy that he came to me and he like, I mean, we’re on video here, right? I don’t know if this is going to be a video thing at all but like he kind of he crawls and I’m zoomed in. But like he crosses his eyes, his eyes, he crosses his arms and he goes, tell me why we should. Get editors to edit our content. And I was like, no, I was like honestly I’m not going to if you’re not convinced that you need it, why am I going to tell you about that, right. Because like you’re if I if I end up convincing you and I have the sales skills to convince you, I should have told him this. I have the skills to convince you. But like you’re also going to be asking all these questions. You’re going to be needing all these things. You’re not going to buy you the work and you’re going to turn and so it’s not going to be worth my time or my team’s time to go ahead and do it. And he was like he was kind of taken aback and so that and he didn’t sign on because he just, he just wasn’t right. But, you know, we’ve had people be like, well, I’m not quite sure. I’m not sure if it makes sense. And I just take him through questions of like, I’m just like, how much content are you producing right now? Right and they’re like, oh, we’re producing whatever, 30 blog posts a month. I’m like, OK, cool. What level of, like editing are you do like, what is your role in that? Right Who’s writing it? And well, I work with feelings. Ok, cool. Well, who’s handling strategy? Who’s handling this? And if it’s like the agency owner or like a, you know, a senior freelancer that works with a bunch of agency or freelancers or something like that or just a bunch of clients. I’m like, you know, I basically just like get them to realize that like if they’re spending, if they are spending a lot of time also like reviewing and editing and that sort of stuff, that is time that they can’t spend marketing, managing clients, getting new clients, that kind of thing. And if they want to grow actually doing this work that you know, we can do that honestly is lower per hour than what they, you know that they are worth. It makes a ton of sense to actually take like a little bit. Not even a short term hit, but just like invest a bit of money into like, actually offloading that work. Buying back your time is one of my other, like mentors and an old coach of my Denmark tell talk. His book is literally called Buy Back Your Time. To buy back that like 20 hours a month, right. If you buy back 20 hours a month that’s literally 3 and a half days that you can or I guess if entrepreneurs working 10 hour days like 2 days that you can then put into marketing and sales like that kind of thing and actually use that to grow your business. So i don’t try to convince people. I just ask them a bunch of questions and sometimes they convince themselves and sometimes they don’t or sometimes they actually don’t have the need right where they’re like actually I’m only I’m not like you know in i’m not. Spending a ton of time and maybe I think they should be right there if like they’re not actually like doing a final proofread before it gets sent over and their clients are complaining from time to time, like Okay proofreading and copy editing would probably fix that problem. But if they haven’t been seeing clients churn because of it, maybe not a big pain for them to solve yet, right? And maybe sometime they’ll come back if they, you know, all of a sudden a client does fire them. And we’ve had that happen when we’ve had agencies be like, yeah, we, you know. We lost two like 5-1-5 thousand and one 8000$ a month like content client because we didn’t do a final proofread. Well it’s 500 bucks a month gonna like would you pay someone 500 bucks a month to not lose thirteen thousand dollars a month of revenue. You probably should you know but like your business I’m not going to like tell you have to but like it probably be a smart choice. So anyways that’s how I approach it.
Danny Gavin 33:40
Craziness was that yesterday I was having a conversation with my SEO department and they were talking about oh like. You know, so we outsource our writing to freelancers and you know we have a new client and the content was really rough and they’re like, man, we maybe we should hire in house or, you know, and I brought up, hey, did you know there’s this thing called Editor Ninja And it was actually just so timely because it was like, wow.
Danny Gavin 34:03
That’s really cool. That can make a huge difference. So we might become a customer really soon. Let’s chat. Let’s chat. Yeah, you know, it’s funny because I’ve had that like, interaction quite a few times. That’s part of why I’m excited about the business also is like I talk to people and they’re like what you do what? Oh, that’s interesting. We could use that. Like I went to a conference back in Costa Rica back in January and was talking to a bunch of like high level entrepreneurs and such and I think I got, I think I got like 8 and it’s like a no pitch environment. But of course people are talking about like what they do and I think I got six sales calls and two customers off of that. Like, I just want to learn, right? And like these founders are my friends. But people are like, Oh yeah, that’s actually really a need. You know that we have or, you know, people like people that know me from like the SEO world or whatever, They’re producing content and they lose their editor and where they have a big, like, Bank of content, they’ve grown a bunch. I know a couple new clients and their current editors can’t handle it. And you know, your choices are go hire a bunch of freelancers and set them out and hope that they’re good. Go like. Hire a full time editor that’s going to take you three to four months. You’re going to be in a huge constant hole by then. Or like come talk to me and we can get you going tomorrow and we can get your first piece of content back the next day, you know, so like that speed can fit the right people. So changing directions a little bit. I know you’re not in the SEO world exactly these days, but you know, you did right and you worked in the SEO world I think for over 13 years.
Danny Gavin 35:22
What are some of the biggest changes that you’ve seen are the things that you miss from the good old days? Are there other things that you’re glad or no longer a thing?
Danny Gavin 35:29
Oh man, great question. Yeah, I started doing SEO in like 2008 and then really like basically stepped out of it at the end of 2018 when you know it’s like running credo and kind of hired the first team and just like focused on that you know full time and stop doing any like SEO consulting. But yeah, you know back in like I mean i went to work for distilled in New York City back in 2011 I worked for the 2011 to almost the end of 2013 You know, we were partnered with MAS, So like, I got to write on the MAS blog a lot. I got to use my board Fridays, went to all the conferences, like that kind of thing. You know, Tom Kirchlow and Michael King are still two of my close friends, you know, from those days yeah what’s I mean, what’s changed? I mean, search engines have increasingly gotten smarter. Seo is specialized a lot more used to be like kind of general, where like you’re kind of you’re doing technical and you’re doing content and you’re doing like building and all of that and. Quote unquote digital p r was just like just starting to become a thing. We kind of pioneered it was fun because it was like a very, like so kind of nascent industry and we’re kind of like carving out a path now. It’s a much more accepted thing. So it’s much more professionalized, which is really nice because it’s less the Wild West. But at the same time like the industry felt a bit more cohesive. Then part of the reason why I stepped out of it is it is just it has just changed a lot of the leaders, the people that like. Kept the wheels on the bus and kept things kind of like a bit sane, you know, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, people like that kind of stepped out and moved on to other things and like, yeah, so anyways, like i missed like the cohesiveness of the industry back in the day, even though it was like kind of, you know, there were different, like, factions, right? There’s like the extreme white hats, the extreme black hats, and then like the people doing good work. But it was, it was just a lot of fun and a lot of camaraderie. So i do miss that from those days, I’ll be honest. But like, you know, SEO itself, like it’s become, it’s become a lot harder, it’s become a lot more specialized. There’s a lot more budget, which is great. I don’t know, just like the increasing push by Google into like, you know, as soon as they put like 4 ads up at the top and then really started pushing featured snippets and now they’re just putting all sorts of stuff in there. They’re putting in shorts, they’re putting in YouTube videos, they’re putting in all this rich media and that kind of thing. It’s just like the game is just completely changed. So which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but I also just got tired of it, you know. So I just, I just moved on to building businesses, which is. Just a lot of fun and don’t get me wrong, we leverage SEO to you know, to build the business right, to build traffic, to build leads, to you know, get customers like we still very much use it. It’s just not all I think about anymore. So although this is like an SEO question, but it’s kind of related. So with Google adding and also being right, adding a I and you know generative responses on the top, do you feel like it’s going to?
Danny Gavin 38:04
Push people to produce less content like is that is that a concern at all for you, I think?
Danny Gavin 38:09
Maybe over the long term it will, but. There’s still a lot of traffic to go around. I think we have a long time to kind of write it down to be completely honest with you. And also like, I mean, it’s not nearly as easy to get traffic from search engines to content that you’ve created as it used to be, right? I mean, i wish I understood. You know in 20, 2011 twenty ten twenty eleven when I got my first job as an SEO just like how easy it was at that time. You know I remember slamming like buying like 50 exact match anchor text links pointing to a specific page and boom you rank number one for like a 15.000 thousand you know search a month like keyword like it’s really hard to do that these days, you know as it specifically relates to content like I mean SEO is just one use of content like I think like SEO content itself and content written just to like rank and get traffic is like. It it’s changing, It’s definitely changing with you know, with the SGE with like generated content in there. But there’s so much content, like so much content that’s created for marketing and sales and business purposes that is not SEO content, right. There’s press releases, there’s ebooks, there’s sales collateral, there’s decks, there’s presentations, like there’s all that stuff and then you know and then you get into like books and academic papers and that kind of thing. Like there’s so much content out there that like, I feel like we can, you know, we can kind of adjust with the times but. Like we also haven’t really seen a decrease. The only decreases we’ve seen are because of the current economic situation and people investing less into content at least with the customers that we have. We’ve got a couple customers like kind of trim back their like their monthly like spend with us and the amount of content they’re putting through simply because they’ve lost customers. So like that that’s more the thing but I expect it to come back you know whenever, whenever things kind of turn around. But yeah i don’t really worry about it. There are definitely questions about like a I and. How’s that going to affect things? And you know, we’re grappling with those questions as well, but you know, we’re also, you know, working to working to deliver on it when people need it.
Danny Gavin 40:03
Yeah, I think it’s early days. We, you know, I think everyone’s in the same boat. So it’s just a matter of kind of looking at what’s happening. And i agree with you, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time before we get to that point where suddenly things change completely. So we’re all, we’re all along for the same ride yeah i think it’s kind of going to be like the way I think about it is like people used to talk about the year of Mobile, right? There was never a year of mobile like you’d look back and you then you can see like the trend of like over 7 years mobile went from like 20 % to 60 % of traffic, but it wasn’t, but nothing jumped from 20 to 60 or whatever, you know. So i think it’s going to be, I think it’s going to shift like that and we’ll start seeing like a shift of balances and that kind of thing. I don’t know what those shifts are going to be, but. I think that’s more what it’ll be, you know, but at this point it’s content is still very effective for building businesses, building brands, that kind of thing yeah And we don’t do any like you know, video editing or anything like that, but and obviously we’re not copywriters, we’re editors. But I think brands are smart to be like creating a variety of content especially like long form contents like podcasts like here, videos like that kind of thing. I think those are very smart like branding and content place these days just because people don’t really read, you know, like they want to watch. They want to watch reels and shorts. They don’t want to watch like long term stuff, but if you can create, but if you can create long term stuff that is super effective, right. And it grabs people, right? I mean look at Ted Talks, look at you know there’s all sorts of like instances of this. I mean Tim Ferriss podcasts are on average 2 and a half like you know hours long and it’s one of the most well listened to. Joe Rogan’s are the same way, it’s one then they’re some of the most well listed to podcasts in the world so. There is a place for those other types of content. So John, with a background, you know in corporate for such a long time and suddenly coming out and building two companies, you know where did that entrepreneur inside of you come from? So my grandfather was actually an entrepreneur. He was a he ran his own real estate company in Charlottesville, virginia But I don’t know man. For me, I’ve just always been I’ve always hated people telling me what to do and yeah, I just, I just always kind of had the had the bug. To do it, my first freelance thing, I was actually I was a painter, an interior exterior painter in college. That’s kind of like how I funded things like during the summers. And then I got like a few, like, kind of. I don’t quote freelance you know painting gigs with you know some people like in the church I grew up in and you know my dad had always told me to have like a have a have a job that you can fall back on. You can always go make money with. And painting was it for him and for me actually I don’t know. I’ve just always been kind of like entrepreneurial and when I got laid off I was like it’s kind of burned out. It had been a tough it had been a tough time. I haven’t really talked about that publicly but it had been like a really it had been a tough time internally. I like changed to over do a different brand and bunch of drama happened internally and it’s just after an acquisition and so like just. All that drama and Powerstroke was all that playing out and I was, I was ready to change and I’d actually been interviewing around with other companies and when I got laid off it was kind of a like my wife was like what are you going to do? And I was like, well, i think I’m just going to work for myself for a little while like because Credo was called hire gun at the time. I was like I think I’m going to see what a hire gun can be but also just pick up some SEO consulting and I did and I just, I just really haven’t looked back so. Yeah, it’s just, I just had that. I had that inclination and just kind of chose. It was a good like chance. I had three months of severance and it was a good like chance to kind of explore it and see if I was going to enjoy it. I didn’t know if I was going to and turns out I did. So here we are, you know, almost eight years later. But that’s kind of the story of it.
Danny Gavin 43:30
So you clearly love the work you do, but also traveling and spending time in the great outdoors. So how do you balance the two? And then when you do travel, like being able to disconnect? And not have to worry about the business.
Danny Gavin 43:40
We live in Denver. We have a house up in the mountains as well and so like when we go up there, we got there for weekends and it’s just like kind of our Oasis. I have a hot tub up there. It’s just like super relaxing. It’s right near a ski resort, so. You know, honestly, we go up there for a weekend like Friday or Thursday night or Friday to Sunday, and it feels like I’ve been on vacation for a week. Like I’m that relaxed. So you know, that that’s just kind of how I keep on going. But when I’m actually traveling places, I mean, there’s kind of a combination. I think about trips, I think about vacations. So trips are like, you know, we go somewhere new, like maybe see family or you know, we’re going somewhere. But it’s like, yeah, I need to plug in for an hour or two a day, like that kind of thing. Where’s the vacation is like plan ahead, plan to be unplugged, right, Like really relaxing like doing that kind of thing versus trips are more like it’s true like travel, seeing new places, etcetera. Versus for me a vacation is like often going back to a new place or going back to a place that we’ve been before just because like that’s how I’m able to unplug and really relax, so. Yeah, it’s just like i don’t believe in work life balance. I believe in work life integration. And like you know if I have to work on a Saturday or have to have to go to a conference, I don’t really do that. But like if I was going to go to a conference I was on a Saturday, I would take another day off. Like you know that next week or like leading up to it just to like kind of kind of give myself that like make sure that i’m taking care of me. Because if I’m not taking care of me then you know the business isn’t going to be nearly as successful. So i just think about that integration there.
Danny Gavin 45:07
And that’s balanced, right? I feel like when you have either extreme right, your total work, total vacation, it doesn’t last. So if you can find a way to do both, it’s just a lot more natural living.
Danny Gavin 45:17
And there are ebbs and flows too. Like there are times where you really have to dig in like the last month, you know, we’ve gotten to the point in with Editor Ninja where like things feel like they’re starting to break basically between like 15 and 25 KA month in revenue is where like stuff is just always kind of broken for me. And I talked to a lot of people that they’re like, Yep, that’s the first hump. So, you know, I’ve had to dig in and I’ve worked more in the last, like, month than, you know, I was before. And then now, like, I’m heading out on a trip tomorrow. I’ll check in once a day, but it’s like mostly unplugged. It’s not a vacation. It’s very much a trip. It’s a retreat for a bunch of entrepreneurs. But, you know, I’m not really going to, I’m not going to work through that. But I have some other vacations coming up this year. Yeah, it’s just like you have to recognize that, Like, there are times that you got to dig in and you kind of have the season of the really digging in, and then you can have seasons where like, you let off a little bit, right? Especially when you have a team. That can like handle a lot of it. Then like that really opens it up as well. Like I see a lot of entrepreneurs that they’re not able to take vacations because they don’t like true vacations and relax because they don’t have anyone supporting them to that can like keep the wheels, you know, keep the wheels going, keep work, getting out, whatever, because they’ve just like held on tightly to everything. You know, I’ve hired 50 plus people in the last. Five years. So, like, I love hiring people because they are better than a lot of these things than I am. They do. They love things that I hate and like. It actually gives me some balance in my life, too.
Danny Gavin 46:37
So you’re very active on Twitter. I think you’ve done like 120 one, 22,000 thousand tweets over the last 15 years. It’s pretty amazing. And i absolutely love following you, but what draws you to post there as often as you do? And why put Twitter in particular as your platform of choice, I mean.
Danny Gavin 46:54
Twitter is where is where I really, like started my career like back like twenty eleven i joined in like two thousand eight but didn’t really didn’t, really post much. And then once I got my first SEO job, I kind of got involved in it and that’s where I met a lot of people. Like I met, I met ran, I met Danny, you know Sullivan, I met Michael King, Tom, Crystal, That’s how I got my job and distilled like all of that. I was also blogging. So like that’s just, it was just always been a great place to connect with good people. And even still like you know there are conferences I go to like i got to the conference in January and you know was hanging out with like Nathan Berry and people like that like I first met on Twitter and then now we’ve, you know, now I know I’m in real in real life but why do I keep posting there? I don’t know, man. I keep asking myself that question. I actually put, I’m actually there a lot less than I used to be personally. I’ve been on LinkedIn a lot more. It’s just like I posted on Facebook the other day. I’m like man, LinkedIn is alive. Like I have great conversations there like. People are just doing cool, interesting stuff and you know, it’s a great like place to kind of share like bit more like long form sort of stuff. Like Twitter’s Twitter’s medium just doesn’t, you know, even with like what Twitter blue or whatever it is like you can write longer form stuff. Basically people are writing like blog posts, but it’s just it’s just not the same. Like LinkedIn is made for like slightly longer stuff where you go a bit more in depth and then also the conversation there, it’s more like how blogging was back in the day. And so I actually like really, I actually really enjoy it. So I’m on Twitter less. On LinkedIn more but like I, you know, it’s just, it’s all about like being where being where your audience is and being where you enjoy interacting. And so for me that’s been changing cool well, I’m, I know we just connected on. I mean, I think I’ve been following on Twitter for years, but I think we just connected on LinkedIn. So I look forward to seeing what you have to bring on LinkedIn.
Danny Gavin 48:34
I’ve been making an effort to get on there. Like every day I get on there and part of my like my process or yeah every day is like get on there, interact with people, but also look at like the connections tab, see if there’s anyone that’s asked me to connect. If I, you know, see who I want to connect with and I accept like 90 % of like connection requests unless it’s like. You know, some of that I’m like, you are definitely going to spam me as soon as I send this. And it’s going to be annoying. So like, no decline. I don’t feel bad about it. And then I go through the list underneath of it. I’m like, all right, who do I know? Right, Like, and it was like, oh, Danny, yeah, let’s connect or yeah, So I’ve been trying to like connect with a lot more people there as well. So if any of anyone listen to this is on there, find me connection requests are open and I would love to connect with you. Just don’t spam me with guest post pitches. So it’s time for a fast 5. So obviously we’ve spoken a lot about travel. So what are your top five travel destinations? So i’ll give you 5 that I’ve been to and five where I want the top five I want to go to. So my top five that I’ve been to are Tokyo, Japan. I love London and Paris. I love like major cities. Whistler, Canada. So that’s four and then a fifth one. I love Hawaii. I’ve only been there once, but like, it was awesome. I really enjoyed it. Top like destinations on my list. I really want to go to Egypt. I really want to go. Oh, I forgot, it’s simple. Another big city loved it assemble so if I can have six or play top places I’ve been. I want to go to Norway. I want to go to Brazil. Brazil was actually like number one i want to go to some of the like Samoa and then like places like that. Belize and then just Africa. We have good friends that living in Cote d’Ivoire. I wanted to go to Morocco for forever. I want to go South Africa for forever. So I think at some point we’ll probably take a big trip and do like three four weeks in Africa and just like go a bunch of different places. There’s the old saying, you know, have you have you been everywhere? It’s like no, but I not yet. Like i want to. I don’t have the goal of like visiting every country in the world. I do want to visit every continent in the world. And I’ve got four. I’ve been in South America, I’ve been in Africa, haven’t been in Antarctica. But I do want to visit every continent in the world in my lifetime. So, John, I was born in South Africa and I have a lot of family there and go back there often.
Danny Gavin 50:38
So i feel like you should increase that on your list because it really is a special and amazing.
Danny Gavin 50:43
Here, it’s incredible. I’ve had a number of friends that have like study. I know, i know a number of people in Cape Town. I know some people that have like spent a lot of time in Johannesburg. And yeah, it’s high up there. I would say Brazil is first and then South Africa is South Africa’s top three for sure.
Danny Gavin 50:58
So what’s your next big project? I mean, I know you’re in and you’re building other ninja, but anything. Yeah, anything like else. Because you are growth mindset, so I’m sure things are bubbling up all the time.
Danny Gavin 51:08
That’s big project is kid number two that is on the way so that’s a that’s a big one but otherwise man like you know i’ve kind of shifted my approach to like business and like ideas and that kind of thing like editor ninjas working and if you want it like I think it can be big And so I’m actually like kind of tabling both like other business ideas because like I’ve got a lot of time you know i hope I have a lot of time who knows what’s going to happen but like. I hope I have a lot of you know, life left to live and a lot of my career left. So you know i’m focused on editor Ninja at this point and really growing that. And I’m actually like also tabling like you know it’s I’ve I’m a dreamer. I think I’ve lived 12 to 18 months in the future. But I’m realizing that like that can be a liability as well at times. And so I’m actually trying to not be like all right we’re going to do this and then we’re going to do this and then at this point we’re going to do this be like actually. Let’s just like milk, let’s just like nail this offer and really milk it for all that it’s worth. And then at some point if we feel like it’s or it is like the market changes or it is like just being everything’s being less effective, then it’s like all right what else can we you know layer in that like makes sense within the same business. But yeah, i have no big projects you know for work coming up and I’m actually really okay with that at this point.
Danny Gavin 52:22
Yeah, I think, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs have that shiny object syndrome. It’s like, ooh, let’s next. What’s next? What’s next? So takes a lot of selfcontrol to like. Pull yourself back. You know, I think it’s wonderful. You’re looking at what you have you’re appreciating. It’s like, okay, I’m happy and let’s make it work. I love that. And I got tired of the what’s next, because the what’s next is exhausting.
Danny Gavin 52:40
And you’re trying a ton of things that don’t end up working and you end up wasting a lot of time. But like, you know, I’ll be 40 next year, 39 in July of this year. And like, I just don’t have the energy I used to have, right? I’ve got a family, I’ve got hobbies, I’ve got all sorts of stuff that I’m doing and like, I just. I just don’t have the energy for it anymore. So and you know, and honestly Danny, I think there’s a reason why people that like the average, like successful entrepreneurs like is like 47 or something like that. And I think that’s because they’ve just learned how to focus. And so like hopefully I’m learning that lesson earlier than that. Well, I’m sure you will and I can’t wait to continue following you and seeing all the success that comes your way.
Danny Gavin 53:18
Where can listeners learn more about you and your business?
John Doherty 53:20
I mean we mentioned Twitter is the best place to follow me Twitter.com such Doherty JF my last name and then JF and then editor Ninja’s website iseditorninja.com Well,
Danny Gavin 53:30
John, thank you so much for being a guest on the Digital Marketing Mentor and thank you listeners for tuning into the Digital Marketing Mentor. We’ll chat with you next time.
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