This week we feature, Danny Garcia, Marketing Operations Manager at Stacklist. Stacklist is a curated guide to the best tools for growth, featuring tools used and insights by the most successful entrepreneurs.
In this interview, you can read more about his work at Stacklist, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.
Your location: New York City.
Your favorite gadget: My JayBird X3 Headphones are pretty great. An awesome gift I got that instantly became my headphones of choice.
You start your day with: When I wake up, I glance at my phone to see if there are any important messages/emails. Then I workout, shower and read and do my 5-minute journal before I start working.
Your favorite time-saving trick: Batching. Cal Newport talks about it in Deep Work. It’s good to set aside blocks of time to do specific things like check emails, work on projects, write, etc. Switching from task to task makes you work more slowly; in the book, it’s called “sticky residue.”
Your top 3 blogs you read daily: Of course I read the Stacklist blog daily! I usually look for interesting things to read from my Feedly, BuzzSumo or my Facebook feed. But my favorite blogs are:
Ryan Holiday (and writings he does for the Observer) — I like his style of writing and the topics he writes about. I’m a big fan of his work.
The Buffer Blog — They have a great content strategy with super helpful blog posts across a bunch of different marketing topics.
Inside Intercom — I love everything about their blog. The writing, the images, the topics, lessons. A great example of excellent content.
“Always be a student. There’s always something you can learn.”
Describe an average day at Stacklist?
Everyday is pretty different which I imagine is the case for most people at startups. My days change depending on our strategic goals. For example, we just launched a beta of a recommendation engine to help entrepreneurs pick tools for their businesses and we’re about to launch a series of ebooks on the best tools of 2017. I focus on developing and executing marketing plans for projects like these.
There’s certainly a pretty broad swath of marketing tasks that I work on everyday like managing our social channels and working on our email newsletters.
As a marketer, what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?
One of my favorite email productivity hacks is to set up email templates. If you find yourself writing some of the same things over and over again, email templates save you a lot of time when you’re trying to get to inbox zero. I’m currently using Mixmax for my email productivity needs, but Gorgias is also excellent for Gmail templates.
Meditating and journaling are also great ways to be productive. I’m not sure why they work, but I’ve found that the days where I skip this habit, I am much less productive. Doing both for a few minutes before you start your day ensures it’s going to be a success.
And, as I mentioned earlier, batching is one of my favorite productivity hacks. It makes it a lot easier to focus and do one important task well and then batch together smaller, less focus-intensive tasks. When you’re working on something deeply, it’s important to shut off your phone, close your Messenger, Slack, and Discord apps and just focus on the work you’re trying to do.
As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/inbound, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?
After interviewing Rand Fishkin, Moz became our SEO tool of choice. We looked into some other ones, but Moz came across as the friendliest and easiest to use, and their customer support is excellent when it comes to any product or SEO questions.
Hootsuite is our social media management tool of choice when it comes to scheduling our tweets. The tool is robust. Beyond scheduling tweets, my favorite is the list importer. It allows you to curate different feeds based on your Twitter lists (which is an excellent way to make sure you don’t miss anything important in all the noise of a hectic Twitter feed).
Feedly is my favorite tool to see what’s going on in the content marketing world, in the news, and in the startup scene. Coming up with great content means consuming a lot of content, which means a lot of reading.
MailChimp is our email marketing tool and has some neat automation features when it comes to onboarding subscribers. We’re big MailChimp fans.
Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?
The great thing about what we’re doing is that we’re serving a pretty specific and real need. People who are building companies, departments and products are making high stakes decisions when it comes to the tools they adopt. So we’re simply supplying these insights in the form of stacklists from a set of about 450 founders (and growing!)
In these stacklists, founders are sharing the good, the bad and the ugly about the tools they’ve used. We’re using the insights from founders of startups to make it easier for other founders to choose the right tools so they can focus on the important parts of their business, and not the infrastructure.
Our job in marketing is to make sure these insights are accessible to the thousands of people who are looking for them each day. We try to make these insights digestible and actionable through informative blog posts, a tool recommendation engine, data and analytics about tool usage and a well-oiled product with good UX.
What is your strategy for getting people to your site?
Our strategy is largely organic. We’re always trying to craft the best, most helpful content and then distribute it across multiple channels to get new readers and people aware of what we’re doing.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?
Always be a student. There’s always something you can learn. Having that kind of curious mindset helps you learn faster and find unconventional answers to your problems. I recommend reading Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday to learn more about why it’s important (and for other valuable lessons from history). CreativeLive has also become one of my favorite ways to learn new skills.
How do you make use of your downtime? Any hobbies, out of work interests that rejuvenate you?
I love playing trading card games like Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh. I’ve met great people and made friends from playing in New York. I find that a few games or some discussion in what’s going on in the meta for both games is a relaxing way to wind down. They’re also insanely strategic and you have to develop some real skills to play them well.
A big thanks to Danny for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Stacklist.
The ‘How Marketers Stay Productive’ series asks marketers their tips & strategies for staying productive. Every week we’ll feature a new guest and the tricks that keep them working smart. Know someone you’d love to see featured? Email Us.
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