LIVELIHOOD:When did you open your business? Was there anything specific that prompted you to start your business at that moment?
Doug Motel: In 2006, my wife and I had a baby and decided to move out of Manhattan. I soon realized that I would have to create my own job here because the commute [to the city] became too much for me, so I opened Site Optimized here in Rosendale in 2007.
Being able to create a job for myself helping people tell their stories through the internet is really a good use of my background as a playwright and actor. Internet marketing is really just storytelling – you’re telling a story about your business. As both a storyteller and someone interested in technology, web marketing coaching is a really good match for me.
LH: What makes your business unique from competitors?
DM: My passion is teaching people how to do a lot of this for themselves. I have an understanding of the social media content people are most interested in from both a human and technology perspective, so that’s something I can guide people toward the best practices of.
There are other Search Engine Optimization and social media companies in the area, but they either cater to larger businesses or they do not offer one-on-one coaching and training like I do. We focus on small businesses. Also, I have been doing this longer than anyone else just because of age! I started making websites in 1995.
LH: How would you like to see your business grow?
DM: I love speaking and doing trainings in-person and online, and would love to do more of that. I have also developed some self-study courses that people can take, so they can download training videos onto their tablet, desktop, or phone.
LH: What is your favorite part about what you do?
DM: Interacting with people, making them laugh and then hearing them say, “Wow, I had no idea about that short-cut in Facebook (or Instagram or Yelp or whatever)!”
LH: How does your business fit into the larger movement to revitalize the Hudson Valley?
DM: I am the author of 101 Marketing Tips for Tourism and tourism is the new important economy here in this region, so I feel I have a lot to offer.There’s something about the tourism industry that I find really interesting; I’m from Atlantic City, New Jersey, which is a resort town, so tourism and recreation is where I come from.
Any tips you can share about tourism marketing?
One tip from my book for helping local tourism is to make sure that you keep using a keyword phrase [about your business] that matches the research people are doing. For example, if the research shows that people are typing in “Bed and breakfast Ulster County,” make sure you use that phrase when you are headlining a press release, titling a YouTube video or building a Facebook page. Be sure you liberally use those keyword phrases, because that is how you get found.
LH: What measures do you and your business take to support local economy?
DM: My wife is always directing our purchases to local, I have been privileged to hire some terrific local talent for various freelance needs, and have also hired interns from SUNY New Paltz. I am honored to have trained a number of local people to do this type of marketing and then go out and get work doing it.
LH: How have you been using Currents in your business? And/or how do you plan to use them?
DM:I accept partial Currents for everything, except purchasing my book or e-learning tools on my website. I am about to use Currents to place an ad in Country Wisdom News, but most of my spending has been for non-work related needs and it has been great! Some businesses I use a lot are Dawn’s Dog Boarding, Dawn’s Natural Cleaning Products and Creekside Acupuncture, which have all been very helpful. And of course, I spend at The Big Cheese. One of the main reasons I wanted to become a member of The Current is that it keeps things local and in the community. Electricians, acupuncturists, natural cleaning products, food… it’s really amazing.