Derek Mabie is a digital marketer, search engine optimization (SEO) expert, and small business owner who draws upon his experience as a musician and self-promoter who leveraged online marketing in its early days to now provide increased brand awareness for his clients. Derek discusses the common threads of personal attributes like resiliency, inquisitiveness, and a balanced interest in both the arts and the sciences that he has found to be helpful not only in his journey, but in his colleagues as well.
My name is Derek Mabie. I'm a search engine marketer, and I Do What I Love.
Briefly describe the job that you love.
So, we help brands facilitate eyeballs, traffic, conversions from the search engines and the consumers needs to their websites.
How do you measure success in this career field?
Whether it's the very microcosm of what we do in creating a really awesome pieces of content on the web to the creation of a bigger perspective of that like a successful web campaign to probably the biggest perspective from a client-relationship standpoint were we have improved someone's business and created opportunity.
What type of person would find the most interest in your career field?
You have to be inquisitive because you're going to constantly be learning about new clients/new things and the search engines and technology that we're using - that were leveraging and facilitating changes all the time too. The ability to balance art and science I think would be a huge thing. The people that tend to excel in this industry, and can help businesses the most, typically have a great blend of the ability to see creative solutions and new ways to say things/answer questions to what you really need to apply very scientific mathematical elements to. There aren't these very systematic and well-founded bars/tests for what "expert" means in this field, and so the resiliency of some of the employees that we've hired recently – it's an important quality because, along with that inquisitive nature, you have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to be wrong. You know, things like 'analytical' and 'data-driven' and stuff like that... that's important, but it doesn't help you work with people. It doesn't help you really solve business problems, necessarily. There's so much human element and understanding that we have to be able to have from our clients – I think those things have been most vital.
Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?
I think I had somewhat of a desire and knowledge to maybe do marketing or some form of that, but I really don't know that any 17, 18-year-old; 19, 20, 21, 22-year-old knows what marketing really is or what advertising really is. So I thought that I had some sort of conception to do that, but for me the transition into this field specifically in a broader sense of online marketing came from my love and passion for music. The fact that the music industry when I was playing music on a regular basis and considered myself a musician it had transitioned to the online space. MySpace was growing at insane velocities that websites had never had really grown to. It was so crazy and unique because here we were this local band in St. Louis and you know our page was right next to, I don't know, Rolling Stones or whatever, some iconic band on MySpace. So there was a lot of value and opportunity there and being hungry for success I tried to leverage and utilize that as much as possible. What it taught me was, number one, literal proof of how the search engines work; where we would have kids show up at our concerts and we had never even met them before and they had literally just searched for "punk rock shows in Mississippi" or whatever and these MySpace pages and our tour dates and stuff would come up. So it taught me the reality of the transaction and how all of that stuff existed online. But I think it also was validity that there was careers and money to be had when it came time to get into a more stable profession.
What was one of your biggest obstacles during this journey?
It was not easy to make the decision to start up a company with no formal training...no real leadership experience - it's not like I ever really let a team. I think a lot of that has to do with seeing the fact that people who are successful typically find a great deal of passion within what they do. On that road or on that path to passion, they take risk and I think that that's had a tremendous impact and I can look back at those moments and that consumption of information and almost feel like that was my preparedness for what exists today.
My name is Derek Mabie. I'm a search engine marketer, and I do what I love .