Transparency, commitment and clarity. That's the way to build trusted relationships that work. How is that the same as authenticity? Listen to Trevor Tynes, SEO consultant, describe how he has built his business by showing up authentically, in every way.
Trevor Tynes is obsessed with helping businesses dominate search engines to increase their leads, book more consults, and grow their revenue using Organic SEO, Maps SEO, and Paid Search Ads. He lives a wonderful sober life as a family man and slowpitch enthusiast with a passion for growing emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically and helping others.
To learn more about SEO from Trevor, our guest, visit Trevor Tynes, SEO consultant.
You're listening to Get in the Driver’s Seat! We’re telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I’m your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach for lawyers, architects, consultants and other professionals at Bekhor Management.
Hello and welcome to the podcast. This is 'Get in the driver's seat!'. We're talking about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practice. I'm your host Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. I'm excited to introduce our guest today, Trevor Tynes, an SEO consultant running his own agency. So, Trevor and I became LinkedIn friends back in 2014. I had to look that up. I just wanted to share with our listeners how this unfolded, because I really think that how we became colleagues, friends, whatever you want to call it, it's sort of a testament to your style. I remember we had some early exchanges when you reached out to say hello on Twitter and then it moved to LinkedIn. We talked about collaborating on each other's blogs, writing blog posts together. I started to watch how you were posting on LinkedIn. I noticed that you were introducing people. So, you would jump into a LinkedIn post and rather than doing what everybody else was doing (and remember this was 2014), which was self-promotional transparently like read my latest article, look at me, look at me, look at me... You were saying, 'hey you should meet so and so, I think you guys would get along. I think you could help each other' and you were saying 'hey I love what you did with this other thing'. So you were complimenting people and you were connecting them. I remember reaching out and saying Trevor, I like your style. That was the beginning of our relationship. In SEO, particularly in SEO, I think there is this need for trust because people aren't sure what it is. It's
like a black box. What's inside there? Because you had this transparent manner and it was so clear what your objectives were, I felt immediate trust. That sort of laid the foundation for what became a very, very good relationship. Okay so welcome Trevor!
Thank you very much Sandra! It's fantastic to be here. Thank you very much for your kind words and remembering how we connected and ultimately for having me here.
Well I am looking forward to a very engaging conversation, like the ones that we always have. So let's talk about authenticity. This subject comes up everywhere I go. I remember going to conferences, Law Firm conferences, and watching a heated debate in the audience, seriously hundreds of lawyers debating about this while there's a round table happening on stage. The whole audience is like 'I have something to say'. Really, the biggest problem in the debate is that people did not agree about what is the line that you don't cross. So this is me personally and this is me professionally. How much do you share? How much crosses the line? They did not agree. So I want to understand from you, tell me what does authenticity in professional life mean to you?
I don't feel that there there is a strong or definitive line between my personal life and my professional life. I'm gonna be me no matter what. There's a lot of me that I share out there on social media in conversations particularly with my past life. What happened and what led me to who I am now that ultimately I know I can help people. There's a fellow who's been doing podcasts for a long time in performance and business. His name's Ed Mylett. What I heard from him one time was 'our tests eventually become our testimonies'. Whatever we go through, we're not the first people that are going to go through that exact same thing, maybe it's not identical but it's very similar. Our ability to get through our progress or our ability to overcome what we got through, eventually becomes our testimony. In those testimonies are the little nuggets in which we can help others. This is what I feel like our purpose is here on this earth right now. Like Muhammad Ali said, 'the rent we pay here on Earth is service to others'. That's essentially how I try to maintain my path forward. How I try to live my personal life and my professional life. At the end of the day, authenticity means just being me and being open. We talked on the phone a couple of weeks ago, and we were supposed to have this interview a couple of weeks ago. I shared with you that I wasn't feeling on my A game. I'd put my best foot forward. You gave me the opportunity to reschedule, which I greatly appreciate. The reason being is I would have had to wear a mask that day. I wasn't going to be as authentically enthusiastic as I generally am. It would have just would have been more difficult. There would have been an outward Trev and then there would have been the person in the background who was struggling. I do struggle all the time and it's only because I'm human. This openness in personal and in business life is important to me because I don't want to be inauthentic, dishonest. Honesty is important. Transparency is important. And human connection is actually the most important to me. At the end of the day, if I'm being authentic, if I am sharing stories of struggles (as being a parent, sharing stories of struggles being a leader / a business owner, a partner) then I am opening up the doors or the windows to my soul, to my inner self and letting in other people who I know deal with the same things. They don't know me/ I don't know them, but it's opening up a path to create that human connection. At the end of the day, that's going to allow me to create a tribe of /a group of people who have similar struggles, who are very similar to me. If I repel anybody, and it's inevitable that I'm going to repel people just from my personality, even though I love my personality. Not everybody's gonna like me. But a lot of people are. I spent a long time of my relatively short life trying to please everybody when it's just literally impossible. So if, in my effort to be authentic, I push people away, I mean that's just the way it is. It just makes the group of people who I am connected with that much more special.
So, leadership style is marked by their relationship to risk, at least I think so. So I wanted to understand, Trevor, in what ways have you been willing to face your fears and why? Can you talk about the result?
I decided to hang my own shingle and start this consultancy just as I had a newborn. We had two incomes and and my partner, Yvonne, she was at home taking care of Jackson. This is when I had the bright idea to try to run with it myself. So it was a big family risk.
When I started recording videos for business, I experienced those exact same physiological fears, you know dry mouth, elevated heart rate, stuttering over my words. That very first video was absolutely garbage. But little did I know that I actually like being in front of the camera. I like recording myself. I like sharing my thoughts, sharing my strategy, sharing my ideas. It's all because I faced those fears.
'Destroying limiting beliefs', I really feel like that's why I started my business, just to help other people with that. That is such a powerful phrase what you just said. So starting your own business, yeah duh that's huge. For me too right? To start your own business, that's like one of the biggest fears and we did it! High ten! Then you know doing the public speaking, which is a very common fear for people. So you look like you feel more comfortable now than that video that was garbage... that you say was garbage. I didn't see it! But do you have a method? Or is it just doing it?
If my life is not at risk. If my family's life is not at risk. If I'm not jeopardizing somebody else's livelihood and ultimately if it's bringing me towards my goals of helping others, then the fear is only selfish and by taking that action that step forward, then it's already almost over. It's already conquered.
That is so much more than just doing it. Really, what you just said is about being connected to your purpose. So, you have such a strong connection to how doing what you do helps other people that it's stronger than the fear.
Absolutely, you you nailed it. And I thank you for acknowledging that. You articulated it so much better than me.
Well, I I feel it. It reminds me of what I learned from Toastmasters. I don't know if we ever talked about this Trevor, but I did Toastmasters for a few years, rather late in life. Actually, I was President of my club right up to when the pandemic started. I was the president of the club that took them to online, that was the very end of my presidency. When I started, I was already an experienced speaker. But I had specific goals in mind, which I worked on. I just focused on doing the work. I signed up for speeches, I signed up for everything. I was very focused on meeting my goals. And I did. But what I learned at the end of it surprised me. So, after the two years with Toastmasters, I thought about it and if there's one thing I learned, it's not about me! It was like this epiphany. Here I am nervous before I get on the stage to speak to hundreds of people, but once I get going I really like it. So I'm not gonna stop. But at the end of the day, it's not about me. They're not showing up to to criticize me. They're not saying oh you know I'm gonna carve out three hours of my day to drive down to that conference just so I can see how Bekhor manages to mess it up! it's not why they're there. So why are they there? When I start to connect to 'why are they there', I realize that they actually need something. These are busy people and they took time out of their day, even today if it's to watch it on Zoom, they're busy. Why are they doing this? It's because they need something. So when I start to connect to the thing that they need, I've forgotten about me. I'm not scared. Now I'm like oh I'm gonna help you!
I just have to say that's incredible. It reminds me of a time when I would speak in front of people and talk about very emotional and vulnerable things of my past. I told this fellow named Gord, I'm like 'oh man I'm really nervous' he's like 'you know why you're nervous Trev? It's only because you're thinking about how you're gonna come off and how people are gonna judge you and you're only worried about other people's opinions rather than the purpose of you being out there is to only help.' You said it. You nailed it.
You know you learn to laugh for yourself a little bit and it makes it easier.
Absolutely. And here's the thing. Even if we do mess up, 100% of us 8 billion people,
we're focused in our brains. When we're not talking, we're usually having a conversation with ourselves and it's very much focused on ourselves. Everybody's either they've got some issues at home, some issues in the office, some insecurities... whatever it is and they're mostly thinking of themselves, right? Within minutes of our own screw-ups, even though we'll sit on it for perhaps a day, to a month, 20 years, who knows? Most people have already forgotten it within minutes, right?
That's right. They've moved on to the next thing. So Trevor anybody who looks at your resume would know that you are a very analytical person. For our listeners, if you haven't seen an SEO report, it is mind-boggling, really, the tables with the numbers and the little cryptic acronyms. You really have to be focused and able to synthesize lots of data to be in this business. And yet, you share these very deep, profound thoughts which seems to me the other side of the brain, online and and in our conversations too. So I just wanted to ask if you could share a little bit more about what or who inspires you to do your best work.
Well that's great, thank you for asking that. First and foremost, it's going to be the whose are Yvonne, Jackson and Sophia, my family. They're number one. They are why I do everything. Like I shared before, it's that opportunity to support them, show them what's possible and this is how I associate what my work does for others, a lot of business owners. I work with small business owners mostly, no really big enterprise. Their livelihoods are based on their families, their businesses are so that they can support themselves and their families. The idea that what I'm doing can help others like that whether it's you know sending their kids to University or college, just like my goals are. This is how I fundamentally connect and drive myself to do my best work, is my family. Then it's others. It's the idea of helping others, how my efforts directly impact others as well. Ultimately, I also have another purpose and that's to help others that have dealt with substance abuse disorder or who are dealing with substance abuse disorder. Where I can, through various avenues take part of my profits and donate that to treatment centers. For clients or through personal growth through you know, talking with Jackson with my own personal discoveries of how my brain works and how I interact and respond and sometimes react to the world. It's my ability to teach Jackson now, and Sophia is only 18 months but to teach her as well, and ultimately be the best role model as possible to those two beautiful children and ultimately be the best partner that I possibly can to Yvonne.
Really isn't that what we were talking about before? It's not just business, it is personal.
Absolutely, it's a hundred percent that.
That is really how you stay connected to your purpose. So it's not just about oh you have this skill, let's use the skill to make money. It's so much bigger than that.
So much bigger. You are absolutely correct.
In a holistic way because it's not just bigger in terms of your clients. It's bigger in terms of - you're so connected to - when I do this work I'm helping my family to grow and be healthy and sustain them - and you feel good about that. That's so beautiful. So tell me Trevor about this, and I saw that video about you pledging a portion of your revenues to help people suffering from substance abuse disorder. But what does making a commitment like this mean to you?
There are a lot of times when people who are struggling and are using different various substances to self-medicate, they sometimes don't have the financial resources to get the help that they need. If I can take a portion of what I'm doing to help them, then a big part of my purpose is being fulfilled. Now the reason being is from about 15 until 30, I struggled with substance abuse in various forms. Looking back, I know it caused me a lot of pain, really it was those who loved me the most that were suffering the most because they saw somebody of so much potential, they saw somebody of great happiness when he was young not being happy and absolutely not living up to his potential and destroying his life. There was only three places where that downward trajectory was going to take me and that was either a mental health institution, imprisonment or ultimately death. Others helped me to get the help that I needed, others who were very close to me in direct connection with the treatment center and then also those people who I met within the recovery groups that I was in. Without their experience, without their hope, without their strength, it would have been a lot more difficult for me to ultimately become the person who I am, one day at a time, to be free of active substance abuse disorder. I can help people through you know sitting down with coffees and sharing my own experience, strength and hope. But ultimately, if I can take a portion of what I earn in an exchange for the value of my services, then I am ultimately being of service to others. Just like with happiness, there's a ripple effect. With random acts of kindness, there's ripple effects out there that we do not even realize. Maybe somebody's having a bad day and you just do a kind gesture as simple as opening the door or smiling at them or giving them an unexpected compliment and in that offering of kindness, that actually ripples out like you've changed that person. Then they in turn might be inspired to perform an act of kindness or smile at somebody else that needs it and so forth. I don't know how many degrees, but it definitely goes out that way. but on the other side of the coin when somebody's struggling, when somebody's sad, when somebody's having a difficult time, and they are dealing with physical pain and emotional pain, it's almost impossible to maximize and have an optimal relationship and be connected to other human beings because of that pain that's being experienced. So in essence, not in essence, in actuality, when we position ourselves to be of service to others, whether it's just through kindness or pledging, you know pledging profits to help treatment centers serve other people. Ultimately, we're making this world a better place and that's ultimately the goal.
When we actually connected, when I was at the previous company and we connected on Twitter, the fellow that brought me onto his team, he helped me come up with a little tagline. I don't know if you remember it, but it was a long one and he shortened it up and it was ultimately 'a world built on relationships'. That's a tagline. That's almost 10 years old now. My friend Andrew actually passed away just this past October. He's a wonderful soul. he was a great human being and he's going to be deeply missed. But he's the one who introduced me to digital marketing. He's the one that helped me refine the 'a world built on relationships' and my relationship with him was absolutely incredible in business and personal. It was truly authentic as well. So that's where to tie it up in a bow, in terms of the purpose of the pledge. That's the authentic backstory of it.
You just said so much really and just that tagline alone you know 'a world built on relationships' that so is your tagline, Trevor! It echoes what you said earlier about building your own tribe because it's not a world built on relationships with everybody. That's not possible. Even though we are people pleasers and we would like everybody to like us. But you sort of picked your slice of the pie and went and built relationships with that slice of the pie. But you know picking up on what you're talking about with respect to that pledge, it almost makes the people that you are helping part of your family. It's so much bigger than writing a cheque at the end of the year. Everybody thinks okay well I guess I'll contribute part of my salary to charities and should I do the same ones as last year? Then just write a few cheques. This is different. This is much more personal when you say I'm gonna pledge a portion of my business, that means you're working for them. That's deeply touching.
You've got it. For them, for their family, for their friends and for their family and friends that they may have yet to meet.
There's an element of gratitude that you're carrying forward with that because you're so conscious of how others helped you. Because of that gratitude, you maintain the hope and you maintain the strength and that I think feeds right into your business and you know it's like holistic. The whole thing comes together.
Right, absolutely 100%. I love that you touched on such a powerful emotion and way of being. you know we have our Thanksgiving every year. It's here in Canada and then
the next month is in the States. But every day is a great day to be giving thanks and being grateful because (and I I don't want to say literally), but to me, figuratively there's an infinite number of sources to be grateful for that we just take for granted most of the time. I'm so happy that you mentioned gratitude because that is you know the foundation, the underlying contributor to frankly my happiness and the antidote to any sort of lower, negative feeling, emotions, not negative emotions, but you know uncomfortable emotions. Let's call them that, uncomfortable emotions. Whether it's anger or sadness or what have you, if you're experiencing that in your heart, that's going to come out in business as well, right? So it's emotional pain, physical pain, if you can resolve those, then you're going to be operating at peak performance.
Yeah, life can be hard. Running a business can be hard. If you sort of intentionally nurture that other side of life, the part that fills you up, and gratitude can be one of those things. You almost have to do it on purpose, every day. I used to use a gratitude journal, which I got when I went to a marathon meditation thing for raising funds for mental health. They gave this to us as a gift and it was on my shelf forever and then I was like I should use this. So I did. Then like every day .It was a gratitude journal, so what am I grateful for in the morning and at night. I realized it really is something that you build like a muscle.
Yeah, absolutely. They call it practice gratitude for a reason and you nailed it. It's you like building a muscle. It's like any other skill. You repeat that action over and over again and it just becomes part of you. It's that habit of gratitude and you don't develop a habit unless you practice something over and over and over again. Most of the time our habits are holding us back and we need to identify practices such as gratitude where we need to consciously even schedule it in. I've got it on my phone at 9:00 PM, it comes up 'practice what you're grateful for'. It comes up. So just like you had a prop to practice that habit, I'm using technology to do it to remind me and ponder. Then it gives me that opportunity to ponder what I'm grateful for and even at the dinner table we were practicing you know because we all eat dinner, our family's dinner, every night. We're very lucky to be able to eat dinner together every night. I actually can't even remember the last time we didn't eat dinner together. But it's so nice, yeah for sure. We were trying to practice gratitude, you know go around the table.The habit's falling through a little bit, truth be told. But but we're definitely gonna get back into that practice, that habit.
I find that with all of these self-improvement or consciousness raising practices, you almost have to switch it up or take breaks because at some point that robotic nature takes over and it loses its luster. When you start going through the motions and it's not you're not tapping into the real you. At least for me I find that and then I have to sort of switch to something else.
I hear you. I never thought of that. That's such a fantastic perspective and it's true to go back to your analogy of the muscle and working out a muscle. Like you work out a muscle, but it doesn't grow until you're resting, right? It's the same deal right and when you at a certain point when we're just you know always doing something, eventually like you said, it loses that luster. It loses that emotional attachment to it. I don't know if I shared this with you, but I'm a pretty big fan of Tony Robbins and his teachings. In his coaching and his strategy sessions, he says you have to practice gratitude. But you have to also have the emotion. You have to have why behind that and that's where like if you think about it, like anything that you remember clearly, is usually attached to a pretty strong emotion. Otherwise it just happens and you're like oh I'm gonna forget about that. You don't consciously do that. But if you think about the the most important parts of your life, they're usually some solid strong emotions to that. When we apply that to gratitude, when we have a 'because' I'm grateful for this 'because' and then you feel it. It really gets into your soul. It raises you up and it just feels so good.
I'm going to share a little personal story on this. Okay so you know Trevor, but most people do not know that by day I'm a coach, by night I'm an artist. So I learned this new technique called Zentangles are you familiar with what that is? It's literally mindful doodling. So it's a system for doodling patterns and can be really artistic. It can be beautiful artwork. I learned how to do this within one specific teacher's framework. One of the first steps she said is before you sit down, every single time you sit down to do a Zentangle, the first thing you do is you pause and you be grateful. I learned that and I did her whole book, every single day a Zentangle and I followed her system every single time. I stop. I closed my eyes. I take a few breaths, be grateful. Be grateful for the materials I have, be grateful for this time to do some art. Then the grateful kept growing and growing and growing. Now, anytime I sit down to do art, it doesn't have to be a Zentangle, it could be a watercolor painting, it could be anything, I always start with the grateful, you know close my eyes... because I'm trained now to do it that way. The feelings of gratitude have grown. I'm like well I'm with a spouse who supports this. I'm grateful to have these skills. I'm grateful that it fills me up. So that just kept growing and growing and it's a very personal thing but it affects my whole life including my work.
Absolutely, how how did it? I'm going to ask you a question! How did it affect your life and your work?
It's so funny. Okay so first of all I'm an introvert and networking can make me a little nervous. But the more I start just to be a little bit more engaged with my whole life, the more I start talking about it in a way that's bubbly and you can't shut me up. Then I start sharing things, so networking becomes easier and I start realizing other people have all this too right? Okay somebody's a musician. They're not just professionals, they're not just lawyers and accountants and consultants. Somebody's into cooking. So the more you know I get more comfortable with all my interests and everything that excites me and I start sharing with it in an excited manner, I get that back from others.
Oh yeah absolutely. That's the beauty of being authentic in relatively difficult situations like networking as an introvert, initially at least. I mean I knew that you told me that you were an introvert before. But you certainly do not come across as one and when we're able to share our passions truly, like you said in an excited manner, that enthusiasm passes on and it opens up the gates right to make human connections and grow those relationships.
Can you share a story that illustrates your philosophy on building and maintaining relationships?
When we first met, you had a specific need in terms of SEO and rather than needing an ongoing relationship based on a retainer and full service SEO, you needed just enough of it. I wasn't doing really much selling at the time. I was introducing people like yourself to the owners for those initial sales calls and sales meetings and they wanted only to sell the full service package. You and I talked on the sideline and I actually asked them, I said listen since she doesn't fit as a quote-unquote ideal client do you mind if I talk to her, help her out where I can? They gave me the go-ahead so that's really because you had a need and I wanted to help you regardless, based on what you wanted rather than what the agency wants. That's what client-centric focus means to me. That's what established our relationship and that initial interaction in our relationship is deeply meaningful to me because of that. That's what the initial video was about as well. I was stuttering over my words. It was so funny. I was relating our interaction, I didn't mention you personally by name, but that initial interaction led me down the path of entrepreneurship and starting my own business when I did. So ultimately I could you know make connections, establish relationships and serve others as they need to be, not as I see that they need to be or as I need them to be. That sums up my answer to your question in the most beautiful way possible.
Wow. Full circle back to trust and in fact our trust you know starting from strangers saying hello on Twitter. That was it and the trust happened so fast. This is it right when you're really focused on what the other needs.
Absolutely and that's why we get along because you do the same thing.
Thank you, Trevor, I appreciate that you see that. Trust is my why. I did an exercise in finding out what is your why, building trusted relationships apparently is my why. I think it's yours too. There you go.
I love it. I love it so much.
So, thank you so much Trevor, for the engaging conversation and for your time and your insights! I really enjoyed talking to you!
Absolutely, the feeling is 100% mutual. I deeply am grateful for you and this opportunity to have this conversation that's actually recorded. We always have these deep conversations, these outstanding conversations prior to the business section of our calls and it's usually why our 15 minute or half hour calls end up being an hour or more, at least a lot longer than scheduled is because we have these very meaningful talks.
I agree. So to our listeners, if you are interested in learning more about Trevor's approach to SEO, go to Trevor Tynes, SEO consultant. Thank you Trevor again. You've been listening to, 'Get in the driver's seat!', stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I'm your host Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. Take care!
Take care everyone!