Meet Nathan Hughes, the Digital Marketing and SEO manager at DiggityMarketing.com. He is also the Marketing Director at the company. With over a decade of experience with some of the best in the business, Nathan has a passion for SEO and in-depth experience in social media strategy, Google Ads & much more. He and his team provide lead generation for all the companies under the Diggity Marketing umbrella.
This includes their client-facing SEO agency ‘The Search Initiative’, their link building service ‘Authority Builders’, their online courses at ‘The Affiliate Lab’, their yearly Chiang Mai SEO Conference in Thailand, and a variety of other online companies they are investors in. As the Marketing Director at DiggityMarketing.com, Nathan gets to work with some of the biggest talents in the SEO industry and helps others move forward in their online endeavors.
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Thank you for agreeing to this interview! Our readers would love to learn more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in your career?
Nathan Hughes: Marketing caught my interest during the later years of my university education. Even though my first step into the corporate world was as a web developer, it was only a matter of a few years until I got into the marketing industry. I believe that being a web developer in a company that specialized in several marketing aspects like SEO and branding was a huge inspiration for me to explore the marketing world more deeply. Just three years later, I became a digital marketing manager and an SEO specialist. A few years later, I became a digital marketing consultant, and soon enough, joined Diggity Marketing.
Can you share a quote that is important to you and how it has been relevant in your life?
Nathan Hughes: “But you can control your body and you can control your mind. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s very powerful. It can change everything.” This is a quote by James R Doty from his book Into The Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart. As a manager who has to work with lots of employees and be considerate towards them under certain circumstances, I learned through this book and this quote that being considerate to yourself is the first step to be efficient at that. It is a long process, but it is possible. And it is always worth it. Being hard on yourself is very self-destructive but it can get habitual so quickly, I am happy I came across this book.
Fun fact: Some people might recognize the book as the inspiration behind a song by the boyband BTS, Magic Shop which has the same theme.
Since you began your career, what has been the most interesting thing that has happened to you?
Nathan Hughes: I feel it has been miraculous to be a part of an industry and have a career that I am really interested in and excited about. I have seen people take up jobs for multiple decades, just for the pay. A lot of times, they do not really enjoy the job. They just do not have a better alternative. Money is important for survival, but I am not sure how I would have been living if I did not make the career choices I made. And I truly enjoy doing what I do now. As someone whose younger self was very worried about the kind of career I would have, my career trajectory is more than interesting to me.
We all need some help along the way to success. It’s important not only to be grateful for that which you have achieved but also to acknowledge those who made it possible and contributed their own part in this journey of life! Is there someone who helped YOU succeed?
Nathan Hughes: Thanking my parents forever for supporting me through everything right from the beginning. My past and present employers, as well as colleagues, are also some people I would thank. They have inspired me to be better at work and achieve great things, and they continue to inspire me likewise. My friends have been there for me when I needed someone to listen to me and console me on my tough days.
Remote work has been on the rise for years now and it’s becoming more common than ever. With so many teams choosing to operate this way, we thought our readers might want some insight into what advantages there are in physically working alongside your colleagues every day – especially if you’re new or haven’t experienced them yet?
Nathan Hughes: It is difficult for new and inexperienced employees to understand all aspects of their work unless they physically report to the job. It is difficult for managers to keep perfect track of their work from their homes as well.
I think there is a rise in tools to help managers track them better and with some extra effort, employees would learn their job just right. But when people are working together physically alongside each other, they tend to develop certain connections. And that is next to impossible when working remotely. One can argue that connections are not really necessary but I disagree. I put developing employee connections as one of my priorities. Perfect teamwork is possible only through such connections.
What challenges come up when team members aren’t in the same room?
Nathan Hughes: There is room for misunderstanding, and connecting with one another with the help of the internet often sees network connectivity issues. And understandably enough, there are too many distractions when you work from home.
Let’s talk about how to overcome each of the challenges you’ve faced. What are five key things that will help communicate with your team, even if it is not in person?
- Having regular meetings was one of the ways we cleared up any doubt that we had.
- Another helpful method we adopted was surveying team members. Asking them for suggestions on how certain tasks can be handled better is important. Then there are other key questions like the issues they might be facing while working, what might help them feel more motivated at work, etc.
- Another method was sticking to a platform that has all the tools we needed to organize our documents and help us keep track of our progress. Trello was an important app for us during the pandemic. We had all teammates on board, distributed all the important tasks with specified deadlines, and I was notified each time an employee added the required documents. I would then review them, either suggest some corrections or take them forward to other departments as required.
- Sending newsletters every week from a representative of one of the departments to all employees kept us abreast with what was being taken care of and what required more focus. We also treat the newsletters as archives of information to refer back to later when needed. Newsletters are brief, with only the most important information.
- We are doing away with long texts as much as possible. Visual representation helps teams understand better.
Have you ever had problems communicating with your coworkers because they work from home? And is it easier for them to transition into an internet-only workplace since that’s what most companies do nowadays?
Nathan Hughes: Internet issues were a major hindrance to the communications I had with my coworkers. A lot of times, such issues caused misunderstandings and wasted a lot of our time and effort. It also took some of the employees a lot of time to get used to working from home since they weren’t very tech-savvy. As time passed by, we have all gotten used to this setup. Our coworkers might not mind such a transition, especially considering how we are able to save the time that we needed for traveling to work
What do you think is the most important thing a business can offer its customers in this day and age? As technology evolves, so too does how we communicate with our clients. Have you noticed any changes in the way you communicate with your clients?
Nathan Hughes: Great customer experience is the most important thing a business can deliver. Your product has to be of the best quality possible, that is a given for great business. But making the process of buying seamless is what will keep your business memorable.
For the same reason, we are striving to be able to swiftly address any grievances our clients put in. This has always been a priority but we are taking this more seriously than ever. There is this cut-throat competition in the industry and being casual about communication with clients can cost us a lot.
Imagine if you could design a tool to help your business run more smoothly and communicate better with customers or prospects. What would it be like?
Nathan Hughes: I would design a tool that would do what apps like Trello do, just for multiple complex projects. Trello is not suitable for any task that requires a big team with complicated processes. It only lets you focus on one task at a time and has very limited storage. It is quite restrictive to work with such an app and our work gets slowed down a lot. Having an app that would eliminate all these issues and includes additional cloud storage for important documents to be archived for future reference sounds like a perfect tool to me.
As humans, we naturally crave belonging and the feeling of being part a group. This is especially true when it comes to our relationships with each other as well as those who lead us: parents, teachers etc… What can you do on your own time that will help foster this sense or team cohesion?
Nathan Hughes: Setting up online communities where the employees can discuss their interests with one another, share any interesting content they came across and talk about topics beyond their jobs is one way to foster cohesion amongst employees.
If you could start a movement that would help a lot of people, what would that be?
Nathan Hughes: I think even though a business might be hiring employees without any kind of bias mentality, there still exists an unintentional bias. People from the marginalized communities do not have the same access to job opportunities as the rest of us. If I could start a movement, I would start one where we strive for more talent agencies to reach out to such communities and help in their socioeconomic growth.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Nathan Hughes for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Nathan Hughes or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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