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Let's Grow

Paul O’Brien

Paul OBrien SpeakerI’m a fractional CMO and have been for about 15 years. For money.  I’m available to consult, for projects, or to speak or teach.  I’ve done it a lot, I done it successfully, and I don’t need to screw around negotiating engagements.

For money.  Not for fun.  For money.

This, SEO’Brien, is my professional creative outlet; a forum for my ideas, thought provoking concepts, tips & tricks, and inspiration – this is where you can learn some things for free.   SEO’Brien is neither written by “Brien” nor about SEO (usually). I don’t do SEO (yes though, I can).

Please do not ask me to do things for no money.  I have 3 amazing kids, a wonderful wife who makes it possible for me to be who I am, and I fought cancer in my 30s; I’m in my 40s now… if you have ageism, piss off. I love Netflix, being a Cubmaster, coaching robotics, and playing Minecraft with my kids – I’d rather do that, and admit it, so would you.

So if I can help make sure your shit don’t stink, tell me what that’s worth to you.

How can I be so blunt? Let’s not screw around, eh?  You know you need something but aren’t sure what and other attempts haven’t worked.  I started my career at Yahoo 20 years ago, have helped launch a string of successful startups, and can litter you with testimonials and referrals.  My background in search makes me attuned to the information age in which we live AND makes my mind work in terms of keywords so here are the keywords that define HOW I work:

  1. Analytical.  Everything we do starts and ends with the data.  Your opinion is nice.  You wouldn’t be here exploring marketing if your opinion was working well.
  2. Sincere.  I’m an open book and all over the internet.  Let’s be honest, collaborative, and build a relationship.  No, I’m not signing your NDA or non-compete.
  3. Up-to-Date.  Marketing technology changes as light speed. One of the key jobs of your CMO is to consume knowledge voraciously.   Know YOUR market.  Know the market.  Know what’s possible and effective.  That’s my job.
  4. Driven. You might be satisfied.  I am never so.  Since I was humiliated a bit in 4th grade during an Olympics of the Mind brainstorming session because all I could come up with making is a milk jug bird feeder, I can’t stand being satisfactory.
  5. Audience.  There are two factors that create value in business: being innovative and your audience.  Those two things create customers, without which you should just go home.
  6. Storytelling.  From your elevator pitch to what makes journalists care, let’s tell stories.
  7. Resourceful.  Solve problems quickly and efficiently.  Stop spending money on things that don’t work.  Stop wasting it on solutions that have been replaced by better alternatives.
  8. Objective.  Let’s focus on outcomes and not next steps.  What do we need to accomplish?  The answer to that is not what you want to accomplish right now.
  9. Open-Minded.  If you can try, test, optimize, and repeat.  We’re going to be friends.
  10. Search.  Yep, I pointed it out first and I’m noting it last.  The way the world works today is by searching.  Customers search for answers.  Not necessarily through Google and search engines.  Let’s address how your audience searches for what you can provide.  Let’s search for the path to your success.  And yes, that means making sure SEO and AdWords are capably covered since 70% or so of all business now happens through there.

That’s how I work and that’s what is valuable.  Reach out and let’s talk about money.  What you have in mind should be north of what I get paid to spend time with the people I put first in my life (and whom need me to have money so they can eat).

What I’ve been doing generally speaking

I help startups get funded. I work as a partner in venture capital, as founder of MediaTech Ventures, as Director for Texas of the global startup incubator Founder Institute, through my work on the Boards of the diversity incubator DivInc and FUNDConference, and for you.  Those are my passions and my philanthropies: that’s wherein I’ll meet for coffee or mentor (a bit) but, know yourself and your business – time is valuable; so is mine.

For over 20 years I’ve been working with entrepreneurs, startups, and medium to enterprise sized businesses to grow through search, marketing, business development, web design, commercialization, conversion optimization, and e-commerce.  Profiled as one of 25 online marketing heroesA few articles here are completely off topic while we otherwise float from social media to local search, fund raising to advertising, and from industry research to conferences and events. I learn from you through our discourse here; the hands-on experience I get building this site a testament to what I do.

I help businesses understand why they are going to fail so we can figure out how to prove me wrong.

Have you ever met someone and they’re a little Marketing, Sales, Business Development, Project Management, and even Product Development, and you aren’t quite sure how to fit them in a conventional organization? I’m of the new order of human resource; one focused on growth through scale, monetization, innovation, partnerships, and capital.  It’s the old CMO, that became growth hacking for a bit, I like the idea of a growth architect.

Where I’ve Been

I’ve held a few formal roles, from VP of Marketing for Zvents and Outright, to managing interactive marketing for HP and designing online advertising for Yahoo!. I am honored most of all to be one of the 25 distinguished marketers featured in the Michael Miller book, Online Marketing Heroes, as well as appearing in or writing for Forbes, Techcrunch, Silicon Hills News, Internet Retailer, KGO Radio, SXSW, and Webmaster Radio.

I can connect with you with only your email address, let’s talk:

Prior Speaking Engagements

SMX SXSW FUND Conference
AWS Startup Day Stanford University – Web 2.0 Ticket Summit
Webguild’s Web 2.0 Shop.org Search Insider Summit
eTail Affiliate Summit AMA Hot Topic Series
CEA San Francisco IASP Summit Austin Startup Week Austin

Paul O’Brien Speaker Bio

Long time Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O’Brien is known as SEO’Brien for his extensive past in the search industry. Now Texan, O’Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. He’s the founder of MediaTech Ventures, a founder and managing director of the Texas Technology Council, and Director in Founder Institute.

Notably O’Brien is a seasoned marketer with an early career at Yahoo! and HP. From there he led the early growth of startups such as Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). With technical expertise, O’Brien has consulted with various web properties, designed and developed sites, online communities, e-commerce stores, and web services. Paul was featured in the book, Online Marketing Heroes, and continues to blog at seobrien.com.

Don't take my word for it...

  • Highly respected in his field and a frequent speaker at many top level conference where I've witnessed standing room only time after time. He is a master at explaining search in ways that even the most novice students get it.
    Matthew Gonzales | appbackr
  • An exceptional marketer, particularly in the realm of Search Engine Marketing, where he remains one of the most knowledgeable and forward thinking experts on the channel I have met
    Kevin MacLean | Sapient Nitro
  • Paul has the great ability to juggle 8 balls at once and is a jack of all trades. He is not only helpful on everything related to press, PR, marketing and social media, but has also added value by providing strategic direction/advice and even gets his hands dirty with technical development. He can be relied upon as a trusted partner and project manager.
    Jeff Schwartz | Loop & Tie
  • Paul is a tremendously talented marketing executive with a well deserved industry level reputation for excellence and leadership. His energy, sharp wit, and keen insight into online marketing, make him a standout performer. Highly recommended!
    Gordon Rios | Principal Scientist at Pandora
  • Hands down, the smartest Online Marketer I have ever met. He combines his creative thinking, analytical skills, and attention to detail to create highly effective customer acquisition strategies for HP.
    Michael Brito | Group Director at WCG, a W2O Company
  • Paul is a highly capable change-agent, leading Interactive and Multi-Channel Marketing at HP's Home Store. In particular, his strategic and practical knowledge of multi-channel Search marketing is among the best I've seen from comScore Retail & Technology clients - pushing the limits of comScore's extensive market research to obtain granular, actionable information beyond even the search engines themselves. Other HP divisions look to Paul for his insight and leadership.
    John Miniati | Lecturer at Kellogg (Innovation & Entrepreneurship)
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