Chronicles of a WhiteBoard Friday

Today I’m going to tell a story on a Moz episode of Whiteboard Friday about Blog Post Ideas by Rand Fishkin. The episode featured Schweiss Doors, an overhead door manufacturer from Hector, MN and Remoters, a remote work platform run by Aleyda Solis. As the Marketing Coordinator for Schweiss Doors I was both amazed and surprised, wondering how Schweiss Doors made its way onto Moz. So that’s what I’m going to review today to see just exactly how the whole WhiteBoard Friday started:

It Was An Organic PR Opportunity

It was March 20, 2017. I remember it well, because a tweet may have led to a WhiteBoard Friday blog post topic that otherwise might never have happened. Earlier the same week I had requested permission from Blue Bottle Coffee Company to run a story showcasing a Schweiss bifold door in operation at one of Blue Bottle’s wonderful stores in San Francisco. At first I reached an intern who politely rejected the idea. In hindsight she might not have been authorized or trained in to approve PR requests. So, undaunted, I tried again, this time I asked the head of Blue Bottle’s PR company, it would be a definitive shot in the dark, and this time she approved the post! It turned out that tweet might have eventually led Rand Fishkin to feature Schweiss Doors in a memorable episode of Moz WhiteBoard Friday:

blog post topic ideas reach 2

We Could Easily Have Missed It

The episode almost went “under the radar” for us, because we didn’t get notified about it. It’s obviously best to be aware of this kind of buzz around your brand. That’s what I like about Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer, it allows me to set up alerts and actively listen for brand mentions. In this case we were able to jumpstart our response time by using Moz’s tools to pick up on the WhiteBoard Friday the moment it happened:

The Right Blog For The Right Topic

This was an incrediblly smart WhiteBoard Friday episode, and it was very contextual for Schweiss Doors, but could also easily be mapped to a lot of other businesses as well. Clearly, Rand took to the challenge of our WhiteBoard Friday, niche B2B door business and all, he came back with wonderful research and advice, and two months later he released the unforgettable episode of WBF: “Blog Post Ideas: Maximize Your Reach With The Right Topics”.

Looking back, I think that there were enough of the right ingredients to lead to the episode’s success. The Blue Bottle Coffee post resonated between VC startup and SEO culture, combined with the right topic fit between the episode and the Schweiss Doors blog, because of Rand’s exceptional vlogging skills, and his ability to amplify our story to a larger audience, it ended up working out extremely well in the end:



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Great Job! Well Done, Thanks Rand!

Schweiss Doors sent Rand a thank you package, which he graciously commemorated with a photo. So how did Schweiss get so much amplification and positive sentiment essentially for free? Well honestly, it’s because of Rand, he pretty much did all the work. Was there some combination of factors by Schweiss perhaps, a decade of authoritative blogging, the extraordinary lengths Schweiss goes to live up to its reputation with customers, or was it something else, was it perhaps because of Doors Like This?

So What Happens Next?

This story wouldn’t have been complete until I tried Blue Bottle Coffee, so I ordered a fresh full flavored blend box from their store, shipped expressed, and shared it with the company. It’s safe to say this is actually my personal favorite coffee, it tastes amazing and it was very fresh, we really enjoyed drinking it the next day at the office. Cheers to Blue Bottle Coffee, next time it’s time for a coffee break!

Working on Rand’s Advice for Schweiss Doors

Schweiss Doors has spent some time harnessing the state-of-the-art technology to implement all of Rand’s suggestions from the WhiteBoard Friday, and will be sure to post a full report of the progress on them as it happens, so stay tuned.
1. How much do hydraulic doors cost versus alternatives?
2. Visual overlay tool: upload your own visual, photograph, and then see how the hydraulic door looked on there.
3. DIY hydraulic doors.
4. Cover indoor and outdoor space trends in the restaurant industry.
5. Keyword research
6. Work together with businesses in the restaurant industry and indoor/outdoor space.

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