Winner of SEO Consultant of the Year 2020 in the Australian Enterprise Awards, Janet Camilleri heads up Front Page SEO, on Brisbane’s bayside. While the SEO industry is currently unregulated and has a tarnished reputation, Janet stands out for developing her own methods which focus on transparency and accountability to her clients.
A qualified teacher, her career has come full circle as she has recently expanded into teaching SEO, to enable business owners to manage this aspect of their marketing with confidence.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Janet Camilleri: I started working from home after being unexpectedly made redundant at the end of 2012, determined to make a business out of my writing and digital marketing skills. It’s been a steep learning curve, but that desire to “work from home” has now turned into an award-winning SEO agency with a team of three – and growing!
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Janet Camilleri: Like many of us, I was tempted to just hide under my doona when Covid first hit – it was all so overwhelming. There was no “taking it easy” or doing jigsaw puzzles to pass the time (though I do love jigsaw puzzles!). Instead, I just kept on going, working on things behind the scenes in my business, Part of that was reaching out to other business owners to see if we could help them – for example, updating their websites with their new Covid trading hours and safety practices for free. I’m a firm believer in you reap what you sow, and I wanted to spread kindness in the hopes that one day if they needed SEO or web content, they would remember who helped them during these dark times! As we are now busier than ever, we must have done something right 😉 .
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Janet Camilleri: I really feel for businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Being in digital marketing, people have come to realise how important it is like never before so my industry hasn’t really suffered as much as many others. I guess it’s not surprising then that my advice centres around their digital presence – it’s never been more important to be easy to find online. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to businesses is to make the most of their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) – add new posts to it each week (much like Facebook!), and be active in seeking out positive reviews from your customers. This will really help turn your business from invisible to visible online!
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Janet Camilleri: I’ve kind of covered this already – if anything, my industry is thriving as people are realising that they can no longer afford to ignore digital marketing and in particular, SEO (search engine optimisation). Prior to the pandemic I’d just started holding regular “in person” workshops and of course with lockdowns that went by the wayside. Now two years later, I host regular free webinars about SEO, and last year I launched an online membership program, the DIY SEO HQ, to teach and guide business in how to build their own SEO. Needless to say, I’ve become quite comfortable with using Zoom and having meetings with prospects, clients, and team members online whereas before I used to avoid it like the plague!
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Janet Camilleri: This is a tough one! I can’t think of any particular advice that I wish I’d received – I have a great business coach and I think she made sure I got the advice I needed at the time! In 2022 I’m working really hard at documenting all our processes, to make it easier to train new team members in future.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Janet Camilleri: More of the same!
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Janet Camilleri: Far too many LOL. I’m at my desk usually from 9am to 6pm on weekdays. But let’s be honest, I sometimes spend evenings and weekends working too. Although I’ve had my business nearly ten years now, I really feel it’s only since I started working with my business coach a couple of years ago that it has really become a proper business. And just like any business, it takes a LOT of work to get things set up in the early days. However I came across a great quote recently that really sums it up beautifully: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t”
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Janet Camilleri: Stories and sharing from the heart and from your knowledge are all great things to do, but as the old adage says, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” I think listening is just as important. I make a point in any of our weekly one-on-ones, and team meetings, to always ask them questions, and to actively listen to what they are saying.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Janet Camilleri: Where do I start! Where I live (Brisbane), we are not only contending with Covid, but have also just had severe flooding – talk about obstacles and challenges! I think the biggest challenge for business owners right now is to be able to adjust and adapt quickly – just roll with it. My office is at home and my husband was working there with me for nearly 2 years thanks to the pandemic. It seemed like no sooner was he back in his office in the city than the floods hit, and he’s back working from home with me again for the foreseeable future as his building flooded! The only certainty about our working arrangements is that they are uncertain!
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Janet Camilleri: I love learning, and am always interested in advancing my knowledge in digital marketing especially SEO. No surprises there!
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Janet Camilleri: Unfortunately yes, I do think leaders think it’s not them – or if it IS them, they blame the bosses higher up the ladder. I’ve been an employee most of my life (before starting this business) and I know from personal experience, a little bit of appreciation goes a long way towards having a happier, more productive team!
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Janet Camilleri: I’d love to have the super power of being able to help other businesses succeed. Oh that’s right, I already do!!! SEO is all about helping other businesses get clicks and clients online, so they can thrive and enjoy a better bottom line!
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Janet Camilleri: There are several ways that I measure success. In business, it encompasses financial growth, expanded service offerings, client base and customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, and a better work-life balance! Personally, success is having rich and rewarding relationships – particularly with my husband of 32 years, my two grown children and their partners; and being able to have a job and career that I absolutely love and feel like I am really making a difference.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Janet Camilleri for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Janet Camilleri or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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