INTRODUCTION: Selena Narayanasamy – also known as Selena Vidya – is a partner of Orthris Media and SEO/Digital Marketing Consultant, along with writer, storyteller and popular public speaker. In other words, she’s always working with words. We asked her about the ways that people use and respond to words, and how that can impact both business and personal life.
7SR: Marketing, whether using social media or old-school billboards and print ads, relies on both words and images to get the message across. When you help people with their marketing strategies, do you focus first on the images that illustrate a concept or product, or the words that describe it?
For myself, focusing on SEO, I always start with the words. If we’re working on a content strategy – we focus on the topic, and then the actual content of that piece. Words are extremely important because each word, synonym, phrase, sentence, etc creates a tie to the overall topic of the piece. Images come secondary as a mechanism to increase shareability. Even if we’re creating an infographic (visual) then we’re starting out with research and an outline of words.
7SR: As a consultant, you need to learn a lot about each client’s business in a very short period of time. How do you handle the reading required to get through that information workload?
This is a great question- and it really is a mixture of the client being open about everything, and myself digging through what they have available for me. I create an onboarding document addressing everything that I need to know, and make it clear that we can’t proceed until I have all of the information. This usually includes data driven specifics (phrases driving the most conversions / sales, top performing pages, etc) before diving into my own collection and analysis, whether they’re working with outside companies / consultants to handle any aspect of their marketing, content, social, or SEO. Access to their style guides. What strategies and tactics they’ve tried in the past. Disclosure on any kind of link building they’ve done. I’ll also have a few calls where we have an open Q&A to discuss anything I may need to know. Then from there, it works on a rolling basis where I just continue asking questions until I know everything I need to know.
7SR: Your last post in 2014 focused on making New Year’s resolutions – or rather, on not making resolutions. Can you tell our readers a bit about your idea for a “less is more” list, and the importance of goals?
For years upon years, I created New Years Resolutions. And for years upon years, I failed miserably at keeping them. Then I started changing them to goals – making a “want” list at the end of every year for what I intended on achieving or getting the next year. That works extremely well, but I started really assessing how I was spending my time, and realized that when I felt like I was going too ‘hard’ down one path, I eased up and would implement something else in my life to balance it out. For instance, when I was spending long days in front of my computer working on business related things, I would schedule in gym sessions or at least go for a walk across the street. When I started admiring someone else’s work, I reminded myself to put in the time for my own and become my biggest admirer. The idea of less and more is simple: do less of something that you consider a ‘vice’ to you, personally, and replace it with something that improves your life.
7SR: Technology is moving ahead so rapidly that it seems nearly impossible to keep up with all of the changes, but anyone who wants to stay ahead in any industry needs to be on top of the latest trends. How much time do you spend doing research and reading your reference materials?
I’m really sporadic with how often I research and read within the industry. A lot of the times, I’m spending time analyzing my own projects and research so I can draw sound conclusions as best I can from the work at hand. I do tend to read case studies and publications in my field – I spend about an hour every morning or evening scanning through Twitter and my readers to bookmark anything of interest (if I don’t have the immediate time to read) or looking through them at that point in time. I spend more time looking at my work, than reading other’s stuff though, unless it’s a peer that I trust.
7SR: People who use 7 Speed ReadingTM want to save time by becoming more efficient readers, and freeing up their days for their other projects. What do you do with your free time?
Free time? What free time? Haha. I kid, I kid. In my free time, I usually read books (A LOT), workout (I’m a pretty big fitness junkie) and write scripts that I’d like to produce. I also like to explore Los Angeles with my husband because we’re still pretty new to the area. I’m pretty much a busy body, but everything I do in my free time is something I enjoy – whether it’s work related or not. Also, COFFEE.
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