Lidia Infante’s journey into SEO is definitely one that highlights Audacity. During BrightonSEO in September, Lidia talked to us about;
Name: Lidia Infante
What she Does: Senior SEO Manager
Noteworthy: Lidia is a regular speaker at top-tier SEO events such as MozCon, BrightonSEO, UnGagged, or WTSFest and she often writes about SEO trends and best practices.
Connect with Lidia;
💡 Early Work Experience
Lidia’s first job was working for the Education Council in Barcelona, where she spent time after school helping underprivileged kids with their homework and providing a safe space for them. This experience taught her about the challenges some children face and the importance of providing a healthy adult reference in their lives.
Lidia also held a range of diverse jobs, from being a hostess at a brunch place to working as a bottle girl in a club.
💡Her diverse Skill Sets and Career Progression
Lidia’s career path demonstrates the value of diversifying your skill set and being open to various job opportunities. She moved from working in nightclubs as a bottle girl to marketing and PPC, which helped her acquire diverse skills and experiences that made her stand out in job applications.
💡 Having audacity in Negotiations
Lidia’s story about her audacious approach to salary negotiations is a valuable lesson for people, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, entering the industry. Her advice is clear: negotiate with the company, not with yourself.
Don’t second-guess your worth, and be unafraid to ask for what you believe you deserve. Lidia’s experience shows that self-confidence and assertiveness can lead to significant pay raises and better compensation packages.
Headless SEO and Content Operations
Lidia’s transition to working at Sanity.io and her role as an SEO evangelist allowed her to delve into headless SEO and content operations. She discusses the value of thorough research, experimentation, and taking on a challenge even when unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Lidia’s journey from learning about headless SEO to becoming an authority in the field demonstrates the power of self-driven learning and the audacity to tackle complex topics.
Salary Negotiation Advice
Lidia’s advice for people of color negotiating salaries is to determine what you want and not negotiate with yourself. It’s essential to ask for what you believe you’re worth and counteroffer when you receive an initial offer. Negotiating helps ensure you receive fair compensation and establishes your worth in the industry.
Chima Mmeje 0:04
We’re here with our third guest. And we have Lydia. Am I pronouncing this right? Infante? Yeah, perfect plenty. I’m really excited to dig into it yesterday because I felt like a glimpse and small bits of story.
So we’re gonna dig into everything. Now. I tried to save it, save it, save it for the camera. And now we are here. So I just want to get right into it. No waste. No time. Good. Yeah. What was the first job you ever did? That puts money in your pockets.
Lidia Infante 0:34
The first job I ever did was I was working for the council in Barcelona for the Education Council. I would spend some time after school with underprivileged kids that came from like, backgrounds where they kind of needed a safe space, and a healthy adult-ish reference to hang out with them. And I help them with their homework. And I know my mother Teresa. No, that’s a bad. That’s 19
Chima Mmeje 1:04
you had your first job at 19?
Lidia Infante 1:05
No, 18. I was 18
Chima Mmeje 1:06
You were 18 and you were helping kids? With your homework? Yeah. Like, okay, I just have this question. I knew that kids kids can be asked to take me out. I’m sorry.
But how did you even navigate like, oh, okay, you have to do this. You have to how did you navigate kids temper tantrums, the different modes of kids? Do you enjoy doing it?
Lidia Infante 1:26
I loved it, I realised that there was a kid that was needing a lot of attention. And he was acting out because he wanted to be like, he wanted me to pay attention to him. And he wanted status within the classroom. So I just like I put his table next to mine as if he was a mini teacher, next to my teacher table.
And he spent all the time in there. And then I figured out later on, that he really enjoyed reading. So whenever he, like, start throwing a temper tantrum, I’d like invite him to start reading. And he, yeah, he was never a problem again.
Chima Mmeje 1:58
Wow. Yeah, no, I have to ask that follow up question. What did walking with kids teach you about life?
Lidia Infante 2:09
that parents can be? Can I swear on your parents can be shit. I kid I kid came with like some like marks of having received a beating. And obviously, I had to tell my supervisor, and it’s up to the IRS to them to decide if they are going to go to social services, or they’re going to go to the parents. Because, like getting the kids taken away by the state. It’s not always the best option. Yeah.
But yeah, like, that was really scary, really terrifying the way that some of them were not being looked after, at all. There was this girl that like kept coming with dirty hair because her dad didn’t want to touch her hair. Because he felt that it was like sexual to touch a woman’s hair. Like that’s your daughter. Like, that’s disgusting. Wow, that’s a bummer to begin this.
Chima Mmeje 3:04
Wow. Okay, well, that is good to know, still doesn’t answer my question. Or what did working with kids teach you about life? Like any lesson specifically, did they teach you any lesson that you’ve carried through to now that has helped you anything you learned from working with us carry through to now?
Lidia Infante 3:24
I guess, patients somewhat to be like, Okay, if you’re acting out, it’s because you’re hurting, or you have a need, that’s not mad. So let’s listen to that need.
Chima Mmeje 3:36
Okay, so listening, and being patient. I feel like listening is such an underrated skill. Especially in today’s fast moving world. We don’t we don’t get other people that just take that time to listen. So doing it with kids. Probably must make them feel very respected.
Lidia Infante 3:52
Yes, that was definitely a thing that was a theme that came up when we were talking because we had like some fun time together as well. I managed to like talk to them about like their, their crushes and what they liked. And hearing somebody that’s not like it’s not an adult, like their parents or their teachers is closer to them in aged but it’s still like, the next stage in life and being able to aspire to that. Having somebody that respected them and didn’t condescend on them. Yeah, they they really appreciate it, but
Chima Mmeje 4:27
okay, that’s amazing. How long did you do this job for how many years? For a year? Two years? Yeah,
Lidia Infante 4:33
A year. Yeah. Okay,
Chima Mmeje 4:34
so that was you said it started when you were 18. You’re 19 By the time finished? Was the next job you did?
Lidia Infante 4:40
So the next job was my first marketing job. Oh,
Chima Mmeje 4:42
you can’t talk. Isn’t that 19? Yes. Interesting. I did not know that.
Lidia Infante 4:46
But I didn’t I didn’t intend to go into marketing.
Chima Mmeje 4:48
Nobody ever does, it is always by accident. Yes.
Lidia Infante 4:51
Yes. All right. To figure this out. I just had this year of my first job, and I feel so grown up and I have money in the bank and I’m like Oh, I love this when they break up the break for school and the school break in Spain is about three months. Because it’s way too hard in Barcelona to classes.
And I want I would money. I love money. I want money. So I decided to get a bartending job at 19. Yeah, okay. Like, yeah. So I go on to my favourite chain of pubs in Barcelona, which Ryan’s Irish pubs
Chima Mmeje 5:25
in Barcelona. Right? And Irish pubs? Okay, interesting.
Lidia Infante 5:33
I know, I know. Alright, so this chain had like one euro beers if you were a Facebook fan, right? That’s how far like how far away we’re talking in time. And I had like my membership card, because you get it when you show them that you’ve liked the page. I used to go there all the time. The cutest boys were hanging out in there. So it was like one of my favourite bars. I knew when it opened. So I lived in the outskirts of Barcelona with like a one hour bus ride to get into the city centre.
And this was paper CV era, right like print 100 and go to all your favourite places and give them out. So I’ve done a one hour of like bus ride, I planned my route to arrive at my favourite pub at exactly the time that it opens. I go in there, it’s not open. I stay there for like 10 minutes. They’re still not opening. So annoys me. And I grabbed my CV I crumbling into a bowl, like a bowl. And I threw it through one of the windows that was open. Obviously not expecting to ever hear on anything.
Chima Mmeje 6:38
Oh, convention, are we getting hurt? You’ve seen it
Lidia Infante 2 6:42
done. All right. So I get an email, right? Not even a phone call, um, from the Head of Communications at this pub, this chain of pubs. And she’s like, I’d like to interview you for PR and PR at that time meant give out flyers at the door and get paid one euro every time a customer comes in. And I’m like, Okay, I don’t want to do that. But I’m gonna go there. And I’m going to ask her to hire me as a bartender. So I go to the interview when she has my my flatten CV, like it’s still has all the crinkles.
Yeah. And she’s like, Oh, I’d like to interview you for please PR, your job would be to hang out in the pub, take pictures of customers, tell them about our events, give away free shots. And I’m like, Yeah, okay, like, how are you paying me? And she’s like, No, no, I’ll pay you like a fixed amount every month and a 500 300 Euro bonus. If we meet like our targets for the month, that are collective to everybody. And this lady was paying me 500 pounds to go three nights a week. 500 euros, which was like, very good for a student in Spain of 19.
To go there three nights a week and be cute and friendly. And talk to people, like watch football games with the people that were there and like cheer for the teams and come up with event ideas. It kind of evolved the job evolved as I moved on from being professionally ready to like,
Chima Mmeje 8:24
be more strategic.
Lidia Infante 8:25
Yeah, come up with the social media strategy. So I did that. I did like a mix situation between well getting more followers by promoting the social media within the pubs or like, because everybody used to take pictures of the people in the pubs and clubs do this often, like they make you follow them on social media so you can see the pictures. The thing is everybody’s drunk and nobody remembers where they’ve been.
So what I would do is like, you take a picture, I give you a little bit of like a piece of paper that says, find your picture tomorrow. And there’s Yeah. So we went from like 1000 likes. I feel so weird talking about Facebook, to 12,000 even in the years I did it did really really well. And then I negotiated some partnerships with like makeup brands or Ryanair to for them. Yeah, for them to give us freebies in the pub to organise events that we would like give out stuff for free. There was one event it was called the kiss and fly. And this is so funny work now kiss and fly
Chima Mmeje 9:30
kiss and flyer. Yeah, go on. Alright, so good.
Lidia Infante 9:36
Sponsored by Ryanair, okay like actually Ryanair,
Chima Mmeje 9:39
Lidia Infante 9:40
They gave us a free monthly flight anywhere in Europe for the couple that kissed for the longest time in front of their photo booth. So picture this, a couple making out intense. It’s like their heart. They’re already pushing her against the wall. She’s like this out I’m in his intense and me, Me with a chronometer on one hand, the camera on the other, looking like a creep, taking pictures of this couple that are aggressively making out and someone comes over, like, Where are you taking pictures? That is disgusting. And I’m like, It’s my job
Chima Mmeje 10:21 You just do your job you don’t have um, you WCM what people keep America vigorously, vigorously, find the right angles, and then post it on social media for lives. Oh,
Lidia Infante 10:36
alright. So I go to this couple that we’re making out. And I’m like, Okay, well, guys, where are you going? And she’s like, I don’t know where he’s going. But I’m going to Oslo to see my boyfriend
Lidia Infante 10:43
they’re not even dating?
Lidia Infante 10:54
No, no, they weren’t even together. Like, because I went around the pub telling them like, oh, the longest case gets free ryanair flight. This people kiss for 45 minutes. When they left. I was like, instead of a flight, I can pay for your hotel room. Like, go somewhere. And like hash this out.
Chima Mmeje 11:16
That is so good. Oh, man. Look, that must have been exciting. You a student, you haven’t this exciting job is allowing you creativity, to do your own stuff, get this result? do social media, do all these different parts of markets? And at 19? How did you manage to balance it out with going to school at the same time?
Lidia Infante 11:36
It was really difficult. So when my first year of school, I was doing the morning shift, okay, basically, you go there from Monday to Friday, and it’s mostly mornings. And then when I started working nights, because this was like, I would end my work at 2am or 12am.
And then I would have to take a night bus that took another hour to take me back to my parents house. Right? So it was stressful, it was very exhausting. And then the bus would only come every hour. So if you missed it, you have to wait.
Chima Mmeje 12:08
I just want to give you praise for that resilience at such a young age, holding down a job or going to school having that sense of responsibility. It’s not common, you see that? So kudos to you for doing it at a young age. All right. So now
Lidia Infante 12:21
but then the school was a two hour and a half commute each way. So I basically studied on the bus.
Chima Mmeje 12:28
Next Level perseverance.
Lidia Infante 12:31
I just wanted money to be able to do things.
Chima Mmeje 12:33
That’s amazing. That is amazing. Yeah.
Lidia Infante 12:37
So in the mornings, I would take the the bus to Barcelona than a metro than a wolf, then there were 200 stairs to get to my classroom. Okay. Everybody in my faculty had the best foot,
Chima Mmeje 12:49
obviously, working 200 steps to get to classes. So you do this job for how long? How many years?
Lidia Infante 12:56
That one I did for a year because the pub closed down.
Chima Mmeje 13:00
Okay, so, next questions. Tell me all the lessons you learned about marketing, about social interactions? Because you had a lot of interaction. I’m always very curious about that. What did you learn from retargeting so many people on a day to day basis? People who are drunk, especially Yeah, how do you convinced them to take the desired action? And then you, you grew as a Facebook channel from 1000 to 12,000. Were there any specific things that you did?
So first question, what did you learn from working with people? Throwing people for one year? So how do you get drunk people who you’re selling to to take your desired action number three was really specific steps that you took to grow the Facebook channel from 1000 to 12k followers. That’s three questions in one.
Lidia Infante 13:51
Alright. What did I learn from hanging out with drunk people on a daily basis? On a professional matter? Yeah, I learned that people really appreciate authenticity. Obviously, because they know I work there. They knew that I had like some type of vested interest in building these relationships with them. But the fact that I was not performing a brand’s image, but just hanging out, was extremely appreciated. And it’s something that I apply in my brand now. Like, as you can tell, this is not scripted.
This is pretty authentic. And that’s the way that I live my life. I think like, I don’t know, you owe it to yourself to be authentic, you owe it to others, to be actually genuine and care about the people that you meet, even in a professional way. Like, you know, I adore you Chima and you were my friend outside of this. So yeah, actually actually caring for people actually caring and being
Chima Mmeje 14:52
genuine. And the Facebook what was specific
Lidia Infante 14:55
customer journey. It is the customer journey and understanding customer psychology. So So everybody posted and take good pictures like then, okay, I know tripping time, phones didn’t take good pictures. So when you had a good picture, it was typically taken with a digital camera. But people weren’t taking the digital cameras out that much anymore. I had a digital camera and I was thinking this and pictures of people, they want to have those pictures before the Pops would like dump pictures onto Facebook. Without the logo of the pub, or the logo of the events, I would edit the images to add the logo of the pub and the logo of the event for virality.
Because they would then talk themselves into those pictures. And their friends would see wow, that’s like a really cool place to hang out. And they have nachos for three years, you know? Oh, it was more heaters for three years that we had Mojito madness once a which was he just for three years and Tacko Not, not just Thursdays and doesn’t make sense. Where you would have two beers and a plate of nachos for five years. So it was nice, cheap, cheap, cheap. People always go for cheap.
Right, exactly. And then they’re drunk and they don’t remember what pub they went to. Do you remember what puppy winter? Yes. So give you a little paper strip that you put in your pocket. It’s gonna come out of your pocket. At some point, you’re gonna see it anyway. Like, oh, that place was the Ryan’s pup. Let me check Facebook.
Chima Mmeje 16:30
So yeah, that’s my that’s,
Lidia Infante 16:32
that’s that’s how we did it. Consumer Psychology and customer journey.
Chima Mmeje 16:37
All right. Um,
Lidia Infante 16:38
was there a third question?
Chima Mmeje 16:40
No, that’s okay. Yeah. So now you will finish this. But now, what is the next job? You hold down?
Lidia Infante 16:47
The next job that I hold down, right? So they Oh my god, I have not told you about this. I’ve never thought about this for so long. They close. Okay. And I just moved to my own place.
Chima Mmeje 16:57
Okay. So you need a job.
Lidia Infante 17:02
And this is peak unemployment crisis in Spain. Youth unemployment was at like, 75% in my age range. I thought I was gonna have to move back with my parents. Like,
Chima Mmeje 17:14
I definitely move with me. So what did you do?
Lidia Infante 17:18
I applied to all of the jobs. Okay. You know what I got hired with a poor customer support.
Chima Mmeje 17:23
Wow. Okay. That’s, that’s, that’s a good one. Because I’m obsessed with. I’m obsessed with customers associate what makes them tick? What makes what companies do to get them to buy more? All of that customer psychology? I’m obsessed with trade. So let’s dig into that. What does that involve on a day to day like doing customer support?
Lidia Infante 17:42
So I didn’t last very long. Because I was born out of my mind.
Chima Mmeje 17:48
What are you? What are you doing on a day to day,
Lidia Infante 17:50
the first four weeks are training? Right? So you just go there and learn about Apple products, how they work, you test like iPads, you test iPhones, you test MacBooks you learn all about their policies, you learn how to speak in their tone of voice. And then week three, you start shadowing some people there on the phone.
At the end of week three, you take your own calls and week four, you’re taking calls while somebody monitors you. Week five, you’re on your own i less than six weeks. Okay, why? Because I want in life. If I had to listen to a lot well, in, in Spain, having Apple product is like such a status symbol is a
Chima Mmeje 18:35
major Yeah, almost every African country is a status symbol to have a
Lidia Infante 18:40
certain level of entitlement of the people that called was crazy. It was crazy. The way that they would speak to me. I really also really, really bugged me that they would pronounce the name of the products. They would add a there was this guy who called very angrily because her his include was not working. He’s what’s included iCloud.
Oh. He kept going illiquid, illiquid number from Fiona. And I was like, Oh, your iCloud is not working. Yes, yes. Le clewd. And I was like, No.
Chima Mmeje 19:20 I’m trying so hard. Not
Lidia Infante 19:24
like the combination of the entitlement and how extremely boring it was and how extremely like in a call centre. All of your breaks are so regulated. Someone pointed out that I was paying too much. Like I’m just well hydrated. Like what do you want to know? So I left that job and I went when I go next. I went to frozen yoghurt. On you sold frozen
Chima Mmeje 19:49
yoghurt. Yes. All right. So I’m always against to customer service because in front of people. I feel like I don’t want to say fast food chain restaurants. was absolutely fascinating. What’s that? What’s the kind of rules where you’re in front of people, and it’s just going boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, just kind of rolls you tend to meet a lot of angry people, different personalities, may some of them might be angry, maybe you get the other wrong. How do you deal with all these different personalities? Like you,
Lidia Infante 20:17
you make up a character make up the crap that you end up with a character like, this is my professional character. Good morning, and thank you for calling AppleCare. You know, put in Spanish. Good morning. And thank you for calling AppleCare? Isn’t
Chima Mmeje 20:36 it? Yes.
Lidia Infante 20:36
Isn’t it literally what you get when you call Apple Care?
Chima Mmeje 20:41
I don’t use an Apple product. So I don’t know what that is like, I mean, Google ecosystem, so
Lidia Infante 20:47
Oh, you’re like you have to be so warm. And like, oh, yeah, we are so pleased to have you as a customer. Oh, you’re all we had to do the empathy statement every time like, we’d pick up the phone, and we had a way to be more efficient, we’d say, Good morning. Thank you for calling Apple Care.
Can I have your serial number? Right. So first action is give me your serial number. Don’t start yelling at me. Then you put in the serial number on the things go
Chima Mmeje 21:13
to the business might come down. I see ticking? Yes. Yeah. Yes. Nice.
Lidia Infante 21:16 Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Okay. And then when they put down the, when you put down the serial number, the account appears with all of their devices, last login, everything, everything about this person. And what was really cool. I’m not sure if I can talk about it, but it’s not like Apple’s gonna realise that I’m playing this. What was really cool was that if they had a product that had had a recent known bug, or outage, like an alert would pop up and say whether or not well the product was within warranty. And whether there was an outage that you had to know about to help them faster. So they really use like content on on the back end of things to speed up. Customer Support. It was it was the best. It was so good. It was so fast. You could literally get all of your support articles about them.
Chima Mmeje 22:08 So that’s the only space you’re describing right there. Yeah. Okay.
Lidia Infante 22:12 It was it was really really, really impressive.
Chima Mmeje 22:14 But we’ve deviated now, from you working in Yoghurt shop, we’ve gone back to Apple. I was asking about the yoghurt shop.
Lidia Infante 22:21 My What
Chima Mmeje 22:21
the yoghurt shop?
Lidia Infante 22:22
Oh, the yoghurt shop. Oh, the yoghurt shop. Oh, God. Sorry. I don’t know why I’m talking about Apple.
Chima Mmeje 22:29
And I was like, what was? Oh, the
Lidia Infante 22:30
yoghurt shop was so weird. First first. So this is a self self service. Yoghurt shop. Okay, so you go like this, and you serve your yoghurt. And
Chima Mmeje 22:38
I know those ones
Lidia Infante 22:39
Well, you know what happens when there’s a queue and somebody’s ordering coffees and milkshakes. And you’re alone? That the yoghurt store to milled while they’re in the queue? And everybody’s pissed off? And yes, literally like, you know, those video games like the dinner dash and that stuff, where the diners that you’re like, they’re like angry and angry.
It was. It was you could see their patients are just getting smaller and smaller and then becoming red, throwing yoghurt on the floor in anger as they left the store. Again, that was not a job for me. I didn’t last long in it.
Chima Mmeje 23:13
Lidia Infante 23:17
I don’t know why I did that. Alright, it was meant to be a hashtag.
Chima Mmeje 23:20
Yeah, let’s move forward now. Okay. You’ve left let’s move forward to you finishing university.
Lidia Infante 23:27
Oh, wow. Now, like I finished university, it took me eight years. If you just finished university because I was working full time.
Chima Mmeje 23:33
Lidia Infante 23:33
Then like so this is the year where I did all of the jobs. Right? I did. Surveys, I was a hostess at a brunch place. And like that one I actually really, really enjoyed. And then I worked and I worked in a club. And I was a bottle girl. So I was the person at the door that tells you what list are you in? Yeah, let me tell you, the paper was blank. I was I swear to God, I was just writing. I was just meant to write the name of the person that you say had sent you.
So we could get them paid. I was not checking any lists. You’re not on any of this. But I would be like, let me let me see. Yeah, I can see your hair. Come in please. And that was the first bit of the night. And then the second bit of the night. If people were ordering bottles or if it was someone’s birthday we would give them away a bottle of Prosecco. I would like grab the sparklers Yeah, me like this and like, I haven’t been happy birthday.
Chima Mmeje 24:43
This is so good. I’m just trying to picture you. You know in Nigeria. We had what they called dorime every Nigerian was knows what it is, that’s bottle service. When someone is like during the celebration or something or they spend like a certain amount of money. You just start playing that dorime song and you just see the bottle girls was coming with a song like, yes, definitely.
Lidia Infante 25:03
But it was it was a very cheap club so it was the only bottle girl. Oh, so it’s not like I would come there with other girls. With sparklers. It was just me it was just me a bottle and a sparkler and just like Oh, happy birthday. Yeah, that was so funny. And then then I started working marketing again.
Chima Mmeje 25:23
Okay, you’re back to marketing now. Yeah,
Lidia Infante 25:25
I had like, like an eight month hiatus. Yeah, doing literally every other job. And then I started to work in PPC, while doing clubs or the weekend.
Chima Mmeje 25:34
It was it was like PPC and then clubs at the weekend. Yeah, that’s that’s not bad. That’s not bad. That sounds very, I want to say practical. But that makes you have like diverse skill sets. If you actually apply for jobs, then put on your resume, and it makes you more interesting than everybody else who’s applying for a job.
So please. Alright, now you’ve done social media, you’re doing PPC. Now? I don’t know. I always find PPC so interesting is I don’t know jack shit about it. So I’m asking why did you do PPC and leave it and then move over to SEO? Well,
Lidia Infante 26:10
I wasn’t really planning on moving to a theory like nobody’s ever planning on what we have here. Right? I was doing PPC for these international ecommerce of clothing, personalization. And I really don’t know why. Like how they let me run with that. Like, you had a pretty hefty budget, right? And they’re like, and now you’re gonna make a campaign in French.
Do I speak French? I don’t speak French. I learned how to speak about T shirts. Like personalised T shirts in French in German in Finnish. In Flemish. In Italian in Portuguese. Only about T shirts. Just T shirts. Yes. So personalised t shirt in German, it’s like, no longer gonna try and pronounce
Chima Mmeje 26:52 we just had someone who’s a polyglot that speaks their language or know who just
Lidia Infante 26:56 left? That’s fine. That’s more impressive
Chima Mmeje 26:59 comes in. Which is you try to speak German. And murder it
Lidia Infante 27:03 no let’s not let’s not. Yeah, I used to be able to toggle on T shirts in like almost every year via language. I developed a methodology to like crank those out. But so clubs at the weekend. work in the morning PPC, no clubs or the weekend unit in the morning work in the afternoon.
Chima Mmeje 27:22
Wow. Right. Impressive. Impressive. Yes. So and I’m trying to obtain DSL handouts. Yes. How you move from das to SU. Well, obviously,
Lidia Infante 27:33
I had so much free time that I decided to start a magazine while I started to write about women’s rights. Okay, right. I was like, I don’t know, something was going on. And I was angry and feeling passionate about something, really wanted to talk about it. And I started making like little posts on Facebook articles, I started writing for myself. And me and a group of other people were like, Oh, why don’t we just like, write in public in a blog. We open this blog. And then we think, Oh, what about other people, like anyone can submit a piece to our blog. And we ended up I ended up being the editor of the blog, taking care of five pieces a day. So heavy editorial turn. And we worked mostly on social media, where within the first year, we got 200,000 followers on Facebook. And I think 10,000 on Twitter, we didn’t we weren’t really doing Twitter.
And 2015 is 2015, Facebook decides that no more traffic for publishers. No more free traffic. So I’m no longer reaching my audience. And you know, like half of the fun of writing something is having others read it. So I am sitting in my PPC job next to the development and SEO teams. Right? And I hear them talk about SEO and I’m like, Oh, I have Yoast on my little WordPress thingy. And I had one little module that told me the queries that people were entering to go into my website. And I thought, wow, like people have questions. And there aren’t good sources that have access women’s best interest at heart when answering, right?
So stuff like what happens when you call the number for domestic violence, right? You would want to know before you call, right just in case it shows up on your like, like phone invoice, or it can be tracked on your phone like you want to know. So I started answering those questions for them as well as prioritising the content that answered questions, optimising for SEO, the actual content. And then we went to like 750,000 pageviews per month. With that.
Chima Mmeje 29:52
You’ve done some incredible stuff to be honest, you’re very good at growing things and buy things me like pages, contents, communities, you’re very good at that, like, look at that trajectory. Yeah, that’s that’s, that’s incredible. I want to dig into that if you don’t mind. Yeah, growing a magazine, it’s a very, very cutthroats difficult thing to do. What was your strategy? Were you putting out that content every day? Was that what you were doing?
Lidia Infante 30:21
content every day? of my own. I was like, the most prolific writer out of the people who worked in the magazine. We’re all volunteers. And then we got AdSense. And then we were getting money for like, writing about what we wanted to write about.
Chima Mmeje 30:34
It was just like,
Lidia Infante 30:35
amazing. Yeah, yes. Oh, I loved it. So I would edit three to five pieces of content by others per day, prioritising within the content calendar, what I had an inkling that I was going to answer a question, because I didn’t have a budget for like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
I had budgets for nothing. Right? I had intuition. I had intuition and Google Search Console. That sounds brutal. Yeah. Well, Google Webmaster Tools at the time, okay. I’m this injury is making me feel really old.
Chima Mmeje 31:07
Yeah. I’m just realising that you’ve been in this industry for so long, even though you’re young, which is insane. You’ve been in this industry for a very long time. Very long time. Alright, we’re still not at at my answer. Now. You are working agencies to the SEO team while you’re doing PPC.
And then you find out about yours. And then you take this model. When do you know that you want to switch to SEO?
Lidia Infante 31:31
And that point, the director of the biggest magazine publisher in Spain, slides into my DMs on Twitter. Okay, go on. She had an animal profile picture. They all right. You always
Chima Mmeje 31:47
do. The big was always had this weird, save hideaway, this kind of profile picture.
Lidia Infante 31:52
Yeah. Yeah. She called herself and Anita on Twitter. So I talked to her and called her anytime front of other people. And they’re like, could you scold Anita? To think the CEO and I was like, oh, sorry. That’s her twitter name. So she invited me for a chat. And I left that chat with a new job title.
He was editor in chief of the wellness magazines for RBA. Wow. Which is gigantic. Like I had been reading those magazines all my life. Wow. Some of the magazines that were a part of the brand. Were like National Geographic. Like my grandma had a National Geographic subscription. Wow. It was incredible. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it. Did you did that for two years and a half?
Chima Mmeje 32:38
You see you have the contents background, you know, talked about that, that you’ve always had the quarterback. And even though you’re good at technical SEO, but you’re very good at writing opinion pieces going to the root of the story? How did that help you as an editor in chief managing other writers?
Lidia Infante 32:55
That’s a very good question. I I think it helped me make really good social media copy. Because I wasn’t the writer write of the content that I was going to be? Well, I would edit it. And then I would put it on social. But I, my only Space of Creation was social media, and the titles. So the titles were my playground, meta description to arrive playground, and then social media posts.
So what I tried to do is, I tried to channel the emotion and the intention of the author into the social media snippet, right. So maybe I don’t fully agree with the way that they’ve written it. But I have my creative space now. So I put myself in the shoes of the author, what are you trying to say? What are you writing? How do I say it in 160 characters? In a way that’s compelling? Right. Oh,
Chima Mmeje 33:59
that sounds really good. That sounds really good. You know, as you’re managing people, I feel like managing people is such a very tough skill. I’m not even sure if it’s something I’m good at if I’m being honest. So I have to ask you, how did you get the best out of your right as
Lidia Infante 34:16
I could succeeded with somebody didn’t succeed with everybody? That’s honest. Yeah. No, it is. It’s really true. I was a 22 year old freaking child, right, talking to these authors that are like, famous worldwide, or that have been writing for 50 years. Right? And, um, they’re like, No, I am going to change your title. And they would get mad and talk to my boss. It was there were the ego writers and there were the writers that were like professionally knew what they were doing.
I knew that they were gonna get an editor. I had an extreme competition dynamic with somebody that worked as a freelancer for me, and I shouldn’t have had it but I will swinging too, you know, like I was slacking maturity in many ways. I tried to get the best out of them in a way that I wouldn’t do it right now I was trying to be very acquiescent to what they needed to their deadlines. I would say like, when would you like to provide the space for me? Trying to please. Spoiler alert, never. If they said the deadlines, you’re never gonna get the content. So right now I’m, I’m much different in the way that I manage my writers. I give a deadline. And I ask, do you agree with this deadline? Is this reasonable for you? Is it gonna allow you to do your best work? If it’s not, we will move the deadline.
Chima Mmeje 35:38
But you have to stick to that deadline. Yeah.
Lidia Infante 35:42
And if you’ve missed the deadline, like Oh, suddenly, your kids have a big football game, enjoying your kids football game.
Chima Mmeje 35:50
This is you leave space for emergencies, basically, which is reasonable, which is everybody, every human being who is descent should be doing
Lidia Infante 35:59
that is content. It’s not we’re not saving the world. Alright, so if your article about multisided, CMS is going to be late one day, and it’s gonna be okay.
Chima Mmeje 36:11
I want to get into your first thing is your job. What was yours?
Lidia Infante 36:14
So? Well, I was like, at that point, I had my gigantic budget on the editorial place. tonnes of authors. Amazing content all the time. I knew how to do social, I had freelancers, I did what he didn’t want to do. I knew how to edit. So like, I was bored. We went from like, 10,000 page views a month to like 5 million. That’s fine. Like, I’m good. You’re like, I’m done. You want
Chima Mmeje 36:42
to do what’s next? What comes after this?
Lidia Infante 36:44
Yes. Okay. So what came after that was SAS. Okay, I love sass. I love working for SAS. I worked for this Sass company. It was British raised, but my office was in Barcelona. And I loved the idea of working with British people, the culture of Spanish bosses and British bosses is very, very different. They hire me because it’s free because of my strongest SEO background, which meant content SEO background, and I arrive and the first month they’re like, Okay, we’d like you to provide a technical audit of this three sides.
And I said, Yeah, of course. Sure. You’ll have it next month. Yeah, no, two weeks, they gave me two weeks. And then, of course, I’ll give you an audit, no problem. Share confidence. If I have anything, I have the audacity. So I started Googling how to do an SEO audit. I had sem rush at the time, and also Screaming Frog. So I’m using Screaming Frog and SEM rush to audit my three sides. I do the first audit of the first site, I presented. I do like a presentation, I did a lot of the things that I know now that are best practice, like present five things first, and then make a backlog of technical implementations. Explain why something’s broken.
Don’t just tell them, you know, so like, give it Give It Thought, give it purpose, align it with business values. So I did that. And the manager of SEO and growth in PPC at the company was like, That is the best technical SEO audit I have ever seen. Everybody used this as a template. And I was like, what, what my first one? It wasn’t. They weren’t websites that had huge technical issues. One was on Drupal two were on WordPress. It was very, very manageable. But it was the sheer audacity of you
Chima Mmeje 38:43
not knowing Yeah, being willing to learn taking a chance on yourself and then going in front of people to present the results even if you did not know what the outcome would be like. Yeah, that was impressive. That was impressive. So walk me through all of the different jobs you’ve had since your first role. Yeah, you started with this one was no the company coming by coming fire.
Lidia Infante 39:05
Call me fi qognify. Yes. Okay. What
Chima Mmeje 39:07
was the next company? You
Lidia Infante 39:08
worked for? rise at seven? Oh, yes. It’s
Chima Mmeje 39:10
true. You walked away seven theory was here yesterday. That’s right. Yeah, we were there together. Okay. All right. Whether several how long? As I said, One, a year and a half. Okay. This was
Lidia Infante 39:22
a journey. I joined us digital strategist in Luke copes team, local, amazing manager, better person, very funny guy. You
Chima Mmeje 39:30
were at a data show that is 27 knots technical, as you know, digital strategist. Wow. I didn’t even know this. I don’t even want to dig into their content, which everyone will have the time to dig into this. But I still have to ask, What did you do as a digital strategist?
Lidia Infante 39:45 I looked at the whole site as a whole and the site and does this side need links work? Technical SEO work, or content work? I was an expert in the three
Chima Mmeje 39:54 Yes, it’s true. You’ve had that background of content of technical of doing digital or social media that even made you the perfect specimen for that kind of role. Oh my god, that is incredible.
Lidia Infante 40:06
So that’s what I was doing. And then look needed somebody to be able to supervise other people’s work. Because he was like, not able to sign up everybody’s work. So he’s like, I trust you. Do you want to do this? And I was like, Absolutely, yes, sir. I am. This is not even rehearsed that it was. And I was doing gap analysis and like Link gaps, and mini audits and technical strategies and content strategies and presenting the three pitching to new clients. Well, I make I made the decks, I didn’t pitch until later.
And then there was a bit of a restructure of the company. And we didn’t have a digital strategy team anymore. Look moved on to direct the creative side of the business. And everybody else was reassigned each to their own to, they said, Would you like to create a new apartment and lead it? Would you like to be the senior international SEO lead? And hire a team? train a team, create your services, price your services? And
Chima Mmeje 41:15
what did you say run
Lidia Infante 41:16
with it? I said, yes. But what is my revenue objective? In a million poems? And I said, in how long? They’re like a year, so I met the million pounds in two months. How the audacity, it was entirely the audacity. Wow, had I ever done this before I had an honour
Chima Mmeje 41:39
this is this is respect. This is my respects to you. Because look at what you did at 19. Which the pub look at what you did, as editor in chief, look at what you’ve done with every single place. You’ve gone to Tasmin results, results results, and look what you did. That’s why there’s ever any resume that looks insane on any resume. Okay, I want to jump now to you join insanity.io Why did you join sanity? I was
Lidia Infante 42:06
actually coming into Sandy from big commerce. Okay, so I did a short stint at Big commerce. And every time I explain it, I have a whole talk that I’m going to be doing at the international search Summit. But I arrived at the Commerce, senior international SEO manager. And I was given I kicked around a million dollars in budget, a million dollars in budget
Chima Mmeje 42:29 to do whatever it’s
Lidia Infante 42:31 expand to expand it expand on links, content, technical, whatever was needed.
Chima Mmeje 42:36 It’s like a dream
Lidia Infante 42:37 for 18 markets 18 markets, and I was like, can you believe they couldn’t actually spend it because of internal processes? The way that it was? Yes, the bottlenecks may meant that if I had spent a million dollars on content, that content would have taken approximately 35 years to get published.
Chima Mmeje 43:00 Internal processes can be a bitchh honestly, I’m sorry but it can be a bitch. So I definitely get that. And I get that was a frustration that made you want to leave ecommerce.
Lidia Infante 43:08 no, that was, that was a challenge. I was like, this is broken. I’m gonna fix it. So what I did is I made improvements in process. We have three problems, right? We had a wealth of content on the.com That was working in attracting leads and attracting customers. But instead of like, what would you do Chima, you know, you would grab the content that’s converting on the.com and internationalise it
Chima Mmeje 43:37 use it to use it to, to bring links from all the other ones that don’t know when performing just use it as a springboard for everything. Yeah, honestly.
Lidia Infante 43:44
Yeah. So what I did was classify the content in topics and I decided these are the topics that are actually bringing customers and revenue. So I’m going to grab these five topics, and gain topical authority in our three main international markets for these five topics, first, the one then the second, so that the authority would kind of like transfer and we would have a bit of a snowball effect. What was happening before this was, there was one content strategist in Europe that had an agency that proposed separate ideas for each of the markets in Europe. That doesn’t make sense. You already know what’s what works. Like it doesn’t matter.
That like it doesn’t need to be perfectly localised. It just needs to be profitable, and bring revenue. So I fixed that. That agency stopped focusing on creating new content ideas that had to be approved by general content manager for Europe, and then get created and then get translated to English. Yeah. So they create them in French in Dutch and whatever translated to English, send it to legal legal would take a month and a half to get back to them, and then get them on the CMS. We had dedicated team uploading And thanks to the CMS for people, it will take on average two weeks to upload a piece of international content. That’s ridiculous. I can’t deal with that.
So what I did was, I relocated all of the resources, so that instead of working with new content ideas, we were translating existing content ideas, that means we didn’t waste time or resources in ideation when we didn’t need it. We didn’t need to wait at the time for IDEA approval from the International content manager. We didn’t need legal to prove anything. So we’ve got two months out of the process. Right? Now, I still have money left over gonna hire some freelancers that are going to become my publishing team. So that pieces don’t take two weeks or two months sometimes that they take a week at most. Right. Ideally, what I would have wanted was swept CMS, because that is untenable.
And then I spent my remaining budget working with internet Well, I spent some of the budget getting content King, because we were having such a broad, you needed ecosystem that we needed something monitoring the ecosystem, because we, our server for the blog in Australia went down for a month. We didn’t notice for a month. I noticed when I started getting Australian traffic on in the UK. And I was like, that’s weird. It’s my hreflang broken. No, my whole blog is 404. And so yeah, we got we deviated the budget into content King, translation, instead of creation, editing and SEO optimization happened afterwards, once the piece had been translated. If the pieces were performing, we would then go on to the sales managers at each region, and ask them for their input on how to improve them, and further regionalize them, but it was more of like, on their side, and I was facilitating their regionalization. And we got some link building agencies involved. The International PR,
Chima Mmeje 47:04
that’s a great way to spend a million dollars and gets great results I have to accept yesterday, what was the results?
Lidia Infante 47:11
Yeah, it worked. It just worked. But I was done. What else do you do?
Chima Mmeje 47:18
You have to mic drop and move on to the next thing? Exactly. That’s how you ended up at sanity? Right?
Lidia Infante 47:23
Yeah. Because what I was proposing was changed the images. And I had looked at signeasy and the international aid station capabilities. And I was like, my life would be so much easier if we were on this. Yeah. So he looked at sanative. And loved it proposed that and they will think to apply for a job or anything. And there’s this, this recruiter that reaches out to me and goes like, Would you like to interview at sanity? Now I knew that sanity was interviewing a friend of mine, Richard Lawrence, who had worked at raising seven with me.
And I was like, if you want Richard Lawrence, like you don’t want me like, we’re very different profiles. I don’t want to waste my time on this. And the recruiter is like, so bad. I’ve already sent your CV, they love you. So I interviewed, he interviewed. He got the job. They made a job for me, and then hired me at sanity to be their SEO evangelists. So probably, if you’re no sanity, and you’re in SEO, you know, because of me. Tell my manager give me give me
Chima Mmeje 48:25
a raise. Yeah, that was funny too, because of Lydia. So she’s doing she’s doing the job. She’s doing LinkedIn.
Lidia Infante 48:30
Yeah. So I do that. And content operations, content management, SEO.
Chima Mmeje 48:37
That is amazing. My last question is about headless SEO. Were you the one who coined that term? Headless?
Lidia Infante 48:43
I wasn’t no. Headless SEO I heard about in 2018. Okay. Okay.
Chima Mmeje 48:50
Okay. And I like that you’re honest, you could obviously claim to say yes,
Lidia Infante 48:54
yeah, yeah, of course. I’m number one for that position. I know. So yeah. No, I didn’t I read about headless SEO, somewhere. One day, and I was still learning, you know, like, I was learning about canonicals at the time, and I was like, Absolutely not. SEO is not for me, like, fuck this discipline. Now I have to learn another SEO. Like I’m struggling learning the existing one. Now I have to learn the headless one. And then what are my skills are worth nothing if I don’t know it.
So I got like really stressed about it, and completely decided to ignore it, like I’m doing with GA for it does not exist. But then when I started doing headless SEO, well, I was doing headless SEO at recommerce Technically, because we had a headless CMS, but at sanity had to learn how to enable people to do headless SEO that worked. So what did I do? I employed the audacity. I researched and researched and tested and decided that I was going to create the best resource on headless SEO ever, and become the authority in the industry on headless SEO,
Chima Mmeje 50:01
which you have now.
Lidia Infante 50:02
But did I know anything about headless SEO a year and a half ago? I did not.
Chima Mmeje 50:06
Alright, I want to pause here because this is really big lesson here for all of us who work in marketing, there’s a lot of experimentation. There’s a lot of research that goes into it. There’s a lot of failing that goes into that we don’t really talk about. And I think Lydia is like a prime example of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, taking the time, putting in the energy to learn it so well, that you feel comfortable enough to run experiments, do the actual work and then present your results to decision makers.
That is a big takeaway that I want you to learn especially if you’re just community in the industry and you’re wondering how do I make an impact is by having adversity and taking chances even when you don’t know what you’re doing? That’s a really good lesson.
Lidia Infante 50:48
Before I met you in person I actually learned a lesson for you What was the thing you remember a blog post that you posted about the audacity bro, someone the words someone brought John bro or something like that? Tom, bro,
Chima Mmeje 51:02
that is my alter ego.
Lidia Infante 51:05
So my first salary negotiation, like the proper one, when I moved to big commerce, I was like, tunnel Chima channel Chima for chima-ing this Tom row, I will have the so I decided to say the stupidest number that came to my head when they asked me for my desired salary. I said a number that made me blush, I said a number that was so beyond what I thought I could possibly humanly make that. Like, I was tempted to go off camera for that conversation. So
Chima Mmeje 51:36 it’s like that he has to scare you.
Lidia Infante 51:37 So I was like, Yeah, I want to make this month and they’re like, this seems within our budget, and I was like within your budget? So they came back to me. Because, girl, I don’t know where the audacity is real.
Chima Mmeje 51:52 I love it,
Lidia Infante 51:53
they come back to me and offer me what I had asked for, which was insane. And it was literally twice what I was making. And I said, After assessing the scope of the role, I believe 5k More would be more suited. Is that something that you could do? And the HR person was like, Well, I’m gonna have to consult on that. But I’m sure something could be arranged. I’m going to talk to the hiring manager. Five minutes later, he calls me back. And he says he had given me the raise.
Chima Mmeje 52:24
Awesome. Go, girl, go, girl,
Lidia Infante 52:28 oh, I don’t know where I get this audacity
Chima Mmeje 52:30 that brings me to the last question. I want to ask you, the people who are listening to this, are people of colour getting started in industry? What advice would you give to them on negotiating pay? Please give me realistic advice that they can actually implement advice on negotiating a payraise
Lidia Infante 52:47
Yes. negotiate with them, not with yourself. Think about what you want. If you want to make X amount. Don’t say to yourself, oh, but I’m not worth this amount. So I’m going to ask for a little less. But oh, maybe they want take me if I asked for less. So I’m going to ask, if I ask for that meta mask, I’m going to ask for even less, you’re going to end up unsatisfied. And I swear, salaries are an absurd affair.
Like the numbers don’t make sense. They’re whatever you want. There’s no reason that I should be making like absurd amounts. And you’re not like literally asked for what you think you’re worth always counteroffer, as well. Because once you get an offer, it’s very unlikely you’re going to get this offer removed. They’ve already spent so many resources, choosing you as a candidate, all of the time that they don’t have you on board, it’s time that they’re losing, there’s a cost of opportunity for them. Going back to the drawing board and finding another candidate, or making another offer is a cost for them.
So it is very unlikely that by counter offering it, you’re going to lose the offer, which is something that we’re all afraid of even myself when I counteroffer I feel like, Oh, they’re not going to want me anymore. Because sometimes we just don’t feel like we’re worth it. Right. So counteroffer always, don’t be afraid, they’re not going to remove the offer. And consider if there’s other things that you could be negotiating on.
If they’re not going to budge on salary, they could budge on our new flexibility on paid time off on training benefits. Signing bonus guarantee a raise if you meet a certain amount of goals within a period of time. And this needs to be specific, because otherwise you’re gonna get screwed over. All of this is going to be in writing.
You can negotiate for the benefits like pay for my health care, or pay for like, I don’t know, let me bring the dog to the office so I don’t have to get a dog sitter. Right. There is many ways in which you can find flexibility with your employer to get you where you want to be, like pension match. and you can get a little bit more on your pension
Chima Mmeje 55:02
see good advice from Lydia Lydia thank you so much for doing this
Lidia Infante 55:06
thank you for having me
The FCDC provides free mentorship and continuous training for BIPOC professionals in developing countries
Your cash donations empowers us to host continuous training sessions and achieve our mission of providing BIPOC professionals with the tools to excel
, Freelance coalition for developing countries All rights reserved.