Sam Torres is a the co-founder of The Gray Dot Company. Carrying the job title of Chief Digital Officer, Sam has been doing SEO for 14 years.
Interesting things about Sam.
- is married to a developer and is a developer herself
- started learning coding in high school
- used to play Halo professional and it payed for her college
- has a degree in marketing
- her first SEO role was in-house for a SaaS company
Keep a record of your wins.
“You know what, I do know my shit and I am OK. And at least I know enough to also know when I don’t.”
When I asked Sam how she was promoted in her in-house and agency experiences, she said the following:
- her first promotion (agency-side) was offered to her and she credits this as being a great communicator that allowed her to manage the most clients and have the highest client retention rate,
- she had to fight for subsequent promotions and she recommends that you keep a record of your wins,
- whenever she was demoralised or experiencing imposter syndrome or when a male had discounted her technical skills based on her gender, she would revisit her folder of wins; and
- numbers are important to demonstrate the value that you bring.
What Sam Torres looks for in a candidate when hiring for an SEO position.
Sam has hired and trained almost 100 people in her career.
The one thing she is always looking for is hunger. That is, does the candidate have a track record of wanting to learn?
“Because SEO can be brutal and exhausting .. it’s really the hunger to learn and the humility to be wrong.”
In her opinion, all other skills can be taught but the hunger for knowledge, to test, to measure, and to repeat is the most important thing she looks for in a job candidate.
For account management roles, she looks for hospitality or retail experience.
Hear Sam’s full answer in this episode at 14mins 40seconds.
It’s ok to apply for jobs from time to time.
Interviewing well is a completely different skill set than doing the job. And if you haven’t interviewed for an extended period of time, Sam recommends that you apply and get some practice under your belt – even if you’re not thinking of leaving.
Plus, you may never know what doors open to you.
Sam recommends joining the Women in Tech SEO community created by Areej AbuAli.
Sam met Tory through the community that Areej built – Women in Tech SEO and if you are a woman or someone who identifies as a woman, she insists you join the free community.
“That community has absolutely changed my life. It has amazing people all around the world and it is a beautify safe space for womxn.”