Jeff Sauer wears many hats, though he assures us that, when it comes to search marketing, they are of the “white” persuasion. If that’s true, then black hats are about the only thing you won’t find kicking around in Jeff’s world.
In addition to his responsibilities with the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association, Jeff is a very busy partner at St. Paul’s Three Deep Marketing. He’s also helped start several very successful web sites, ranging in focus from personal bodyguards to laser wolves.
We’re still waiting on the merger of bodyguard services and wolves shooting lasers, but until Jeff has the time to make that happen, we’ll have to settle for a successful start with MnSearch. We sat down to discuss.
Forest Taylor: Tell us a bit about what you do for the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association.
Jeff Sauer: My role with MnSearch is board advisor with a focus on membership. This involves working with the group to set membership costs and levels, project member growth, and make sure we deliver value to our membership base through programming, content and networking opportunities.
Forest: Sounds like a lot of number crunching. Any parallels to your day job?
Jeff: By day I am a partner at Three Deep Marketing in St. Paul. I oversee our online marketing service lines, including organic and paid search services, social media and web analytics, among others. My day often involves hands on client work, account management, company planning, online marketing evangelism, sales and marketing for our company.
I also helped manage the development of our super secret software product. I wear a lot of hats in our growing business, all of them “white” in color.
Forest: When you’re not working on MN Search, or helping drive Three Deep Marketing into the future, where might we find you? Any hobbies, passions … secret identities?
Jeff: Too many to count. I started my own website jeffsauer.com in 2000 as a college project, and have been updating it sporadically ever since. It was a blog before the word “blog” was coined.
I have an annual BBQ every year called Porkapalooza that draws 40-60 of my friends and family and usually involves 60+ pounds of pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, bacon explosion and homemade chipotle sausages.
In 2005, a business partner and I made a website called blackcollegesearch.com as a way to find information about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). We optimized for search until we were #1 in our niche and then sold to a lead generation company. That same year we started another site called Bodyguard Careers that we still maintain and which has become the #1 authority site in the field of executive protection. I also recently started a digital marketing blog called Jeffalytics and a travel blog called Jeffsetter.
I also developed an online e-commerce site selling pool equipment that broke 6 figures our first year in operation.
Other fun projects include the infamous www.laserwolves.com as well as www.funnyvideosearch.com. As a foodie, it was great helping my sister get www.twincitiesrestaurantblog.com started and watching her have tremendous success with the site.
Last, I love traveling and have been to 6 continents, and I am now trying to book the ultimate honeymoon using only frequent flyer miles and hotel points.
As for secret identities, I take the 5th.
Forest: Why MnSearch and why now? Do we really need another marketing organization in the Twin Cities?
Jeff: This community has needed a dedicated search marketing organization for years. While we have some local celebrities in our mix, there has never been a premier organization for search professionals to get together.
Whenever I go to a national conference and say I am from Minnesota, my location doesn’t immediately draw respect. We have long been considered a flyover state and hope we can change that with MnSearch!
The now part is easy: I’m at the point in my career where I’m ready to share my knowledge and passion with the community. I would also like to help develop new search talent in MN, because we need more of it.
Forest: I’m already a member of several organizations and really don’t have the time to start another one. Why should I accommodate the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association in my busy schedule?
Jeff: Because I will personally give you every one of my secrets if you buy me beer.