We could not be prouder of our team, the work we do together, and now it’s official. Minnesota Business just named aimClear one of the “Best 100 Companies To Work For.” Because it’s such a rocking place to be and grow, we’ve been lucky to assemble an amazing collection of beautiful people who love working together long-term. We are SO proud of the team. Matt, Manny, Merry, Alyssa, Lauren, Kathy, Lindsay, Molly, Joe, Erica, Megan, Dan, Mike, Quentin, Ryan, Laura P and Reed, you rock our world and this is for you <3.
Though we have offices in multiple cities, we are one family. Because everybody’s happy at work, we provide wonderful services to our clients and go the extra mile. Above all, this award comes as a result of the incredible opportunities we have every day to work with our clients and vendors, who are most special.
For over five years, it’s been our mission to invest in each employee’s personal brand to the greatest extent possible. aimClear is proud to have supported team members building their personal brands, intrinsically steeped in each of our deepest goals and dreams. As a result, it’s obvious that we all bring our whole self to work because each staff member knows they’ll leave at the end of that day with more then they came with, in exchange for fully sharing their drive, ambition and talent. This is huge. Man we’re so very lucky.
In 2012, six aimClear team members will have spoken at 15+ advanced international online marketing conferences including SES, SMX, PubCon, International Search Summit, Media Post Search Insider Summit, MediaBistro, mozCon, and Zenith Social Media Conference. 2012 speaking cities will include multiple New York appearances, Jerusalem, eight gigs in San Francisco, 7 appearances in Sydney, Australia, London, Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, Park City, Utah, and numerous others. We tell our staff that it’s important to embrace opportunities as if they are unique and priceless…and we do.
Our credo is to invest in thought-leadership and share until it hurts. Each year, we devote over 1000 hours to scientific studies of Facebook, YouTube, Bing, and Google, which result in marketing insights that literally few, if any, other other companies in the world know…let alone share. Dude, we give it away.
Five aimClear employees contribute to major trade publications including SearchEngineWatch and SearchEngineLand. Yet, we totally understand that the “real” rock stars are the ones that work their butts off behind the scenes, seeking little attention except for a job brilliantly done. You each know who you are.
We’re known for backing promises up with action, training and money. We’ve offered motivated employees media-spend stipends to market their own personal projects and encouraged them to use company human resources and equipment. We find that each team member’s devotion to their personal projects daisy-chains into passion for our clients’ work. The marketing vocabulary discovered whilst pursuing what matters most to each employee, is priceless.
We also encourage our staff to use company assets to support charities that matter to the individuals that work here. For instance we’re committed sponsors of the Human Development Center, a crucial community resource for sliding fee mental health services in Duluth. We encourage our staff to regularly volunteer at regional universities to support marketing students, making at least one appearance per quarter. In a community bleeding population for a generation, we’ve hired and trained 7 local college-folk who have gone out and conquered the world. aimClear spent over 80 hours in 2011 creating a free demographic research project to support online marketing of Duluth tourism and it made the front page of the local newspaper.
We’ve sequenced and are in the process of staging an ambitious three-track Duluth social media marketing conference, “Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference 2012, Tips, Tools, Tactics, & Beyond,” and imported a number of our accomplished colleagues to set the speaking roster’s tone including Rand Fishkin. The conference will feature an impressive sampling of the illuminating panelists you’ve see us presenting aside at international conferences over the years. All proceeds go to benefit Duluth’s Chamber of Commerce’s business outreach programs aimed at keeping college grads in Duluth.
Photo via Dana Lookadoo
Laura and I place the highest emphasis on culture and creating an atmosphere of respect, love, dignity, human rights, accountability, and natural consequences. Why accept less? We have 6-8 monthly fine wine tastings (and I mean fine) and our Duluth office is centered on a Food Network Show caliber gourmet kitchen. We participate in the city Art Crawl and highlight works of up and coming artists. The St. Paul Chamber of Commerce cited us as a shining example of urban redevelopment in our historic landmark office. We’ve hosted networking events for geeks, LinkedIn groups, college students and wedding showers for our staff.
We have a washer and dryer so employees can do their laundry at work, pitched a mountain tent for napping and have a treadmill desk by the staff’s recording studio. Our team often eats all three meals here, with great food we keep stocked. We have family style meals often and have kitchen conferences.
Here are some of the philosophies we observe:
o Achieve consensus for new hires amongst all employees, even if it means not hiring candidates the CEO believes to be qualified. Choose employees we love to be around.
o Understand that luck and the actions of others have as great an impact on the outcome as any personal action. Know that personal action can manufacture luck.
o Never hire at the rate you we get work. Take work at the speed we can hire amazing people. There is no reason to ever go to work with people you don’t like. Hire employees who compliment your weaknesses.
o We travel to support our domestic and international work, and encourage employees to piggyback vacation time surrounding business trips so that the company pays air expenses.
o Achieve buy-in for the financial and product development missions. Everyone needs to be on the same page, determined, and committed to the process.
o Be totally willing to change your mind in light of feedback from employees and customers. Face the actual odds. Kick butt.
o Apologize when we are wrong, and don’t give ground when we are right. I say I’m sorry often. I’m not co-dependent when I think I’m right. Keep the slate clean with everyone as if there is not another chance tomorrow. Remember that there will be another chance tomorrow.
o Pay training forward. In the technology space, daily training is crucial. A person can’t live unless their mind is active and questing.
o Be conservative financially Be brutal in your assessment of your weaknesses. It’s completely essential to understand your own vulnerabilities. That goes especially for me.
o Never allow customers or vendors to treat our employees badly. If they do, fire them. Always have your teammates’ backs. In the technology business, you can’t have customers unable to understand and implement your team’s recommendations. Don’t accept anything that drains your life’s energy.
o Take jobs we can succeed at and don’t kid ourselves by taking jobs we can’t win just for the cash. Life is too short.
o Don’t try to be something we’re not. Teach your teammates what you personally know and pass your knowledge on, unselfishly.
o Manage like you are dying. Be determined to leave this earth with all emotional and personal ledgers even. We spend a lot of time at work. Let’s be as healthy as possible.
SO, great people, great clients, great place to work… This situation is what every founder team dreams of helping to create. To our staff, thank you. To our clients, this one’s for you. To our community, it’s such a pleasure to be part of this everyday. Here’s to the next five years!