Highly Relevant co-founder and partner Alex Becker is a leading search engine optimization and digital marketing expert. Alex has over seven years’ experience in online reputation management, social media marketing, and conversion rate optimization and works closely with each client to assess their goals. With his extensive expertise, Alex is a sought-after speaker who has lectured at Perfect Business in Las Vegas and Social Media Week in Los Angeles. He has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, the Los Angeles Business Journal, and on NBC and KTLA News as a renowned SEO and social media expert.
Alex started his career as an Affiliate and Product Manager after receiving a Bachelors of Communication from the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Visit his blog alexybecker.com to learn more about him.
What are you working on right now?
Growing my Internet marketing company through strategic partnerships with advertising and marketing agencies.
What does your typical day look like?
Get in around 8:00 a.m., hammer out emails, plan day/week, meet with team, conference calls with clients or on business-development-related issues, go over Internet marketing/SEO/RSS feeds, and scope around LinkedIn for potential solid strategic partners.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a big dreamer, so for me sometimes not bringing things to life allows me to continue to build what has been working for over 3+ years now: an Internet marketing services company.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Google is getting rid of “chop-shop” SEO companies that are utterly useless with their aggressive updates.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
Being a caddy was pretty bad, but paid enough where I was willing to put myself through the rigors of double-bagging 18 holes in 90 degree heat. I think I learned a lot from being a caddy, from planning (being a forecaddy), to managing other people (helping people with reading the greens for their putts), to dealing with people who were cheating on the course (bad business), and beyond. Good question, by the way.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have made us into a technology-centered business long before we actually decided to. At the beginning of our company’s inception, and like most other businesses, we were in the “get business” mentality, but that would have been the perfect time to sit down, document, and create some automation technology to support our SEO efforts.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Question almost everything. Not obsessively, but I think it’s important to sometimes disagree or say “no.” It’s easy to not speak up or say what’s on your mind for various reasons, including time, stress, just not dealing with it, etc., but eventually those things will come out. They also could cause your team to be dysfunctional.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It is very stressful, especially early on when you are working 18-hour days and barely making a dollar, if you’re making anything at all. You need to be able to separate work from play and allow yourself to enjoy your time away from work or you will burn yourself out.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think the ability to purchase items online via payment plans—not “Bill Me Later,” but the ability to purchase regular items in monthly installments—is going to start happening soon.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I’m sick of people killing others because of religion or radical beliefs. (Not sure how this can be changed.)
Tell us a secret.
We started another company called Highly Relevant Brands that develops premium domains including ConcertTickets.com, Gynecologists.com, Urologists.com, eCreditCards.com, and FixieBikes.com.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources. and what do you love about them?
1. Bloglines Reader for all my industry/internet marketing-related news and headlines.
2. Hootsuite to stay on top of my social footprint. I also follow industry searches.
3. HR Custom Toolset—we plug all our clients into this, and it’s awesome.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Life is all about relationships, and whether it’s business, personal, friends, or family, you can benefit from reading The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
@anthonyjeselnik – He’s ridiculously funny.
@mcuban – He’s an IU-Bloomington alumni like me and he’s the MAN.
@VentureBeat – Love that site.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Probably something on Reddit.
Who is your hero?
Alex Becker on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexybecker
Alex Becker on Twitter: @aybecker
Highly Relevant on Twitter: @highlyrelevant
Alex Becker’s Website: alexybecker.com
Highly Relevant’s Website: http://www.highlyrelevant.com
Highly Relevant Brands’ Website: http://www.highlyrelevantbrands.com