268 MINISODE Meg Clarke: A Personality For Leadership

Meg Clarke knows how to help your customers find you on Google. Founder of Clapping Dog Media, she shares more of her cutting edge SEO techniques, plus the inside skinny on how an Enneagram personality test can help you better serve customers. Plus we geek out on dogs and how they inspire mindfulness and success.

Melinda Wittstock:         Meg, welcome to Wings.

Meg Clarke:                        Great, good morning. Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Melinda Wittstock:         I’m excited to have you on. I love to geek out about all things SEO and everything. At the top, I really want to ask you what’s inspiring you right now?

Meg Clarke:                        Oh, well, there are a whole lot of things that are inspiring me. Some of them are related to search, but then a lot of them are not. Like one thing I personally am geeking out on is something called the Enneagram, which isn’t new. It’s an old thing, but it’s new to me. It’s something that I’m totally inspired by. It’s kind of like a, I don’t want to narrow it down to a personality test, but it’s a way to more deeply understand who you are. It’s a personality-slash-emotional study of who you are. It’s really cool because it helps you understand how you relate to other people, to your clients and to the world. I am totally inspired by the Enneagram right now, which is totally nerdy but also awesome.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, we all need to really embrace our inner nerd, right?

Meg Clarke:                        Yes, yeah. It’s like, man, like … It’s kind of like the Myers-Briggs where people walked around, it was like, “I am an IFGF,” or whatever. I walk around going, “I’m a seven with a wing of three, what are you?”

Melinda Wittstock:         I have not done this, so I’m going to have to get all the skinny from you in terms of-

Meg Clarke:                        Oh, yeah. It’s so cool.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, I love these kinds of tests, especially if you’re building a team and you want to make sure that people are in the right seats and everybody kind of is diverse and aligned on mission, but that people are actually going to work well together, and so a lot of these tests can be very useful.

Meg Clarke:                        They really are, so you don’t touch past each other.

Melinda Wittstock:         Absolutely. Everybody in business always has some sort of challenge going on. Like, and I am on a personal mission to de-stigmatize some of this, because it comes with the territory. I think when we embrace some of these challenges, we can sort of get past our fears and things like that. What are some of the challenges that you’re dealing with right now?

Meg Clarke:                        Well, the list is long. For the sake of time, I’ll keep it short. There are a lot of challenges that I embrace and that I am just running at. One of the things that I really am working on in my business is clarifying the world of SEO and breaking down the stigma and the confusion of, “What is search engine optimization?” Opening it up for people. I work with women creatives, women entrepreneurs, and the idea of being found by Google is completely overwhelming. They tend, most women entrepreneurs that I work with are much more comfortable in the world of Instagram or Pinterest. They would like to be in that space.

My challenge that I find is saying, “Hey, Instagram is great and Pinterest is awesome, and so is Twitter and Facebook. There’s lots of people on those, but you also need to, you need to be found by Google.” Just breaking down the fear that is search engine optimization, and communicating how available it can be. If you can be found by Google, you don’t have to be in all of the places all of the time. One of the challenges that I find is just breaking down that stigma of search is something that I’m constantly running up against.

Melinda Wittstock:         It can feel overwhelming, and now when we add voice to the puzzle where Google search is really, really going. I mean, I’m aware of this or it’s on my radar because I’m a podcaster among other things, but I’m also an entrepreneur. I realize that voice is a great way to be found, but it’s kind of revolutionizing the whole way search is done. How quickly is this ecosystem changing, where you have to kind of keep on top of it, but like you got to keep educating your clients all the time too, I guess, right?

Meg Clarke:                        Absolutely. Search is a really, is a very timely example, but I would say a year or two ago, people would say, “Well, the algorithm changes all the time.” Now it’s search and then not too far in the future, it’s probably going to be video and video search. My answer is good business is good SEO. The way the algorithm works is going to change, but if you do good … If you are running your business well with authenticity and integrity, and you are providing your audience and your community with helpful, engaging content, that’s going to be found, whether it is in written form, or if it’s going to be in video form, of if it’s going to be in audio form.

Now, kind of the technical ways that you do it is going to change with the algorithm updates, but by and large, the way Google works is, they want to match websites and podcasts, and they want to match websites with people who are searching. If you are providing good content, and users are spending a lot of time on your site and they’re engaging with your content and they’re clicking around and they’re downloading podcasts, Google’s going to see that as a high ranking factor, and they’re going to connect you with searchers and they’re going to rank you well.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, and I imagine if you do paid search, that’s going to lower your costs and increase your reach and all that good stuff as well, when you get there.

Meg Clarke:                        Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         What are some of the go-to pieces of advice you have for women in business and female founders, based on your own journey? Like your top three, Meg, what would they be?

Meg Clarke:                        One of the things that I, some of the things that I see with my clients over and over is the ones that are very successful are the ones that have a lot of grit. I often … One of my biggest pieces of advice is, no matter if you are, if you’ve had a bad year, or if you’ve had a bad two years, or if you had a bad client, don’t give up. Just keep pivoting and keep at it. I think the people … This may sound a little cliché, but the people who end up making it are the ones who just don’t give up. That’s my number one piece of advice, and I have to take it myself a lot, is just keep going. That’s my first one. Number two is, give up the idea of balance. As a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as an entrepreneur, as a woman, we try to have it all together and we try to be the best at all of the things and balancing everything. I hate that word, and I’ve like eliminated it from my vocabulary because you can’t do it all and it’s not all in balance.

There are some seasons in our life where we’re killing it as an entrepreneur, and then there are seasons in our life where we have to focus more on our family. One is not good and one’s not bad, but you can’t all be in balance. One of the things that I try to follow is give up the idea of balance. It’s okay to have extreme seasons. Don’t give up. Give up the idea of balance and really, really, really believe in yourself. In this online digital world where everybody’s perfect in Instagram, there is such a culture of comparison and trying to be like everybody else, and conformity and doing what other people do because it led them to success. I think that true success is really tapping into what makes you unique and what makes you special. I think it’s kind of scary because it leads to like doubt and insecurity. What I really want to help people believe in is their own self and their own uniqueness, because that is what the world needs.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, gosh. Beautifully said.

Meg Clarke:                        Thank you.

Melinda Wittstock:         How can people find you at Clapping Dog Media and work with you?

Meg Clarke:                        Well, I can be found ClappingDogMedia.com. I spend a lot of time on Instagram. I do a lot of Instagram stories and my Instafeed is @ClappingDogMedia. My dog maSEOt is a Goldendoodle, and he actually has his own Instagram. You can follow him as well. He’s kind of fun, and that is Clapping Dood, O-O-D because he’s a Doodle. That is like the light side of our business over here is the dog maSEOt.

I work with people on a quarterly basis. We work together for about three months. What I like to do is work with people to help them get up and running with SEO, with search. I optimize their site and I teach them about it. I really like to empower entrepreneurs on what search is all about, how they can get authority, how they can grow an authority, and I give them all of the tools that they need to maintain the authority that we have gotten for them. I give them lots of training materials and lots of tools after I have, after our team has gotten them set up. I like to kind of launch them off into the world after we have worked together for a quarter or three months.

Melinda Wittstock:         Ah, that’s wonderful. Well, oh my goodness, as a Golden Retriever owner …

Meg Clarke:                        That’s awesome.

Melinda Wittstock:         Okay. We’re just going have to meet somewhere, maybe meet in Great Falls or something like that, and get our Golden Retrievers, Golden doodles and Retrievers together. Absolutely.

Meg Clarke:                        That would be the best, yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         In honor of Clapping Dog Media.

Meg Clarke:                        That is so great.

Melinda Wittstock:         Meg, thank you so much for putting on your Wings and flying with us today.

Meg Clarke:                        Thank you so much.

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