Pure SEO Interviews: Stanley Henry From The Attention Seeker

2023 is not just another year—it’s a pivotal moment reshaping our business paradigms. 

As the world of entrepreneurship evolves, spearheaded by audacious innovators and visionaries, we’re thrilled to relaunch our entrepreneurial interview series. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or simply intrigued by the evolving business world, this series promises enlightening insights you won’t want to miss.

To kick off this exciting journey, we’ve had the privilege of speaking with Stanley Henry, the dynamic force behind The Attention Seeker. Stanley’s unique insights and experiences offer a fresh perspective on what it takes to thrive in today’s competitive business environment. Join us as we explore his journey, challenges, and the secrets behind his success.

Intro and growth

Pure SEO: Your business has seen impressive growth in a short time, something many entrepreneurs struggle to achieve. To what do you attribute this rapid success?

Stanley Henry: Brand building. Since day dot, we have been putting out as much content as possible to build our brand. Not dissimilar to a company building their SEO over time. Building brand through both content and networking is something that increasingly pays off the longer you do it.

If you were to start your business today, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? 

Put out more content. Every single time we put out content, more business comes through the door. So I would put more and more out and as often as I could. Which says something given how much I already put out.

Marketing and social media

Given your active presence on platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok, how do you foresee the landscape of social media evolving in the near future? And if you’re a business owner, how do you decide which platforms to choose? 

I’m not so caught up on the future of the social media space. In fact, if social media went away tomorrow, I would just look for wherever people’s attention is going and follow it. My advice to business owners is always find where your target audience’s attention is going. And then make sure you are there, too.

The Attention Seeker posts really regularly on LinkedIn and across social platforms. How do you ensure that you’re not disenfranchising your target market? 

If people become disenfranchised with our content, then they were never going to make good clients for us. We know that we can’t service everyone, and so we are better to attract people who love us. So we are unapologetically us everywhere and often. It’s a great qualifier for business.

You recently landed a major client via social media. Could you walk us through the process and discuss how that business relationship has developed? 

Funnily enough, they came through just like all our other clients. There wasn’t anything special about the sale process except the contract was much larger. They had seen a bunch of our videos but never really took too much notice apart from liking them. And then we had a video go viral that caught their attention and they digged in a little and realised we were from New Zealand, and it just so happened at the time they were tasked with finding a new agency. So it was all perfect timing and us creating our own luck. But without putting out as much content as we do we would never have been there that day to capitalise on the situation.

What other marketing do you do besides social media marketing, and what do you utilise to measure your return on investment? 

We are just purely a creative agency that helps with content creation, social media management and community management. We do it for both company brands and personal brands. We have similar approaches for both, but there are some nuances with personal branding that make it worth differentiating. As for ROI, our core metric is attention, and to measure that we look at impressions. Of course, you can drill down further to see how impressions turn into clicks to a website and then from there, you can track sales and enquiries. However, we don’t do any of that. Our goal is to just track impressions. Knowing that if we get an excessive amount of views of a target audience for a client, then the rest will flow. 

Internal business operations

What does success look like for one of your clients? 

We look at success differently for each client, but in general our clients are trying to become well-known in their space. So, we often hear clients say things like, “I was walking down the street the other day and someone stopped me telling me my content was great and inspired them. Or they might say, “I got offered a JV the other day worth $250K because of my LinkedIn post.” We see success as clients who love being part of our client base and stay with us long-term.

Within your business, how do you foster a culture of innovation? And how do you make sure that you stay ahead of the industry? 

We are brutal with our feedback to each other, and we constantly look to improve our content. Everyone in the team understands that feedback is important, and the more you get, the better you will become. We have 90 minutes dedicated every Friday afternoon to help teach us all something, and we are constantly looking for new things we can try to make us better.

With AI and automation becoming integral in businesses, how do you see the role of the human marketer evolving? 

Like most tech, AI and automation are just going to make all of us more productive. It allows my team to become more strategic in their thinking and will have more time in the day to be so.

Scaling and leadership

You’re obviously an entrepreneur; you can’t get involved too much in the day-to-day of business. What has been your core learning for scaling your business? 

Hire as fast as possible. Since day one, I have hired people to do the work in my business. I know I’m not very good at delivery long term. And so I have been hiring people since my first deal. And then, once you hire people, get out of their way and let them do what they do best.

How do you balance working closely with your fiancé and maintaining a healthy separation between your business and personal lives? 

Claire and I realised early on in our relationship that business is what I love the most in the world after her. She has realised that I need to be able to talk to her about it and get it off my chest. Claire, on the other hand, isn’t interested in business at all. And so, she doesn’t have a permanent role in the business and can come and go as she likes. She will always be there for the team when they need her, but otherwise, you can often find her on a golf course. And then lastly, when Claire asks me to put work down and spend time with her, I don’t argue or hesitate, I just do. She gives me so much time for business, and she doesn’t mind because it fuels our lifestyle, but when she needs us time, she asks, and she gets it. No questions asked.

Personal and public life

Congratulations on getting engaged, by the way! How have you found living your life over the last few years in a very public manner, such as on TikTok, etc? And how has your partner Claire found it? 

We love it. Claire was approached the other day by two random girls who told her how much they loved our content and gave Claire a hug. I have people come up to me all the time telling me how my content has helped them with their business. I love that. It’s why I got into business in the first place. To help people grow better businesses. However, in saying that, what people see from our lives is only a snapshot of the overall picture, so we do definitely still have a lot of privacy left. But yes, once you choose this life, you have to live it.

With the rise of cancel culture and heightened social awareness, are you concerned about receiving pushback or criticism for the content you publish, especially in the context of ‘tall poppy syndrome’? And if you’ve already experienced this, how do you handle it? 

I believe that cancel culture comes from people either doing dumb stuff, which they probably should be cancelled for or for succumbing to public pressure—which isn’t something I would ever do. We have videos that make people angry all the time, and we just lean into the hate and thank the haters for the engagement. Our true fans and audience all understand our style and often will fight our fight for us in the comments.

Wrap-up questions

Do you have any final tips or takeaways you’d like to share about marketing and achieving business success? 

Don’t take yourself too seriously in business. We are all trying to figure out our own way. We will all make mistakes along the way, and that is ok. Just pick yourself back up and try again. But don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from doing cool shit.

Here’s an out-of-the-box finale question—can you tell us one thing that will blow our minds? 

The New Zealand Herald has a readership of 2.25 million people per week. The Attention Seeker has an average of 2.5 million views per week. Our success can be replicated by anyone, no matter how big you are. Think about how valuable the Herald is; what if you had the same readership? What could you achieve?

Stanley Henry: Founder & Directing Manager at The Attention Seeker
Stanley Henry: Founder & Directing Manager at The Attention Seeker
Amanda Middeldorp

Amanda serves as the Marketing Manager at Pure SEO. She thrives on crafting marketing content and collaborating seamlessly with the team to drive successful marketing initiatives. With expertise in SEO copywriting and content creation, she's worked with clients across various sectors and loves creating creative, relatable content for marketing. Beyond her professional role, Amanda is passionate about mental health, family, travel, and continuous learning.

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