“Technology should be your servant, not your master” -Ludovic TendronDamon Burton is the author of the book Outrank, which focuses on search engine optimization. Damon is the president of an SEO agency called SEO National that he has run for about 14 years. He writes for Forbes, where he serves on the Forbes Council. In today’s episode, Damon Burton and I discuss how we can use systems and processes to our advantage by controlling technology and not letting technology control us.
Managing a Business without Being a Slave to TechnologyDamon used to work for a man, who was pretty successful but not the best to work with. One Friday night around 7 pm, Damon was out to dinner with his wife, and his boss called him. Damon didn’t answer, so his boss then texted him. Damon didn’t respond. This was at the time when email was new on phones, and his boss also emailed him. Damon decided right then that this was never going to happen again. He deleted email from his phone and has never gone back. As technology and social media have evolved, Damon has made sure he limits what is on his phone. He is very active on LinkedIn and Facebook, but he only uses them on his desktop. He’s also disabled automatic downloads and dock notifications on his desktop email, so the only time he gets emails is when he manually presses the button. This prevents him from getting distracted by the flood of notifications. So how does he manage a highly successful business and retain relationships without these forms of communication? Damon says it’s simpler than we might think. From day one, Damon sets expectations with his team and with his clients. In client contracts, it says SEO National is not available after 5 pm on weekdays, they’re not available on weekends, and they don’t do launches on Fridays because if anything goes wrong they won’t be working on the weekend.
“I’ve made very clear, hard boundaries, and I’ve never had a problem with it because I set the expectations with the clients.” -Damon BurtonDamon has set boundaries without having issues because he established the expectations with his clients, telling them, “we’re not available at these times but that’s okay because we’re proactively doing other things to make sure everything works.” Because Damon has systems and processes for effective communication, he doesn’t have emergency communications at undesirable times.