Allstate: offline call data improved SEM performance and the customer experience

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Call tracking, now frequently rebranded as “call intelligence” or “call analytics,” went from being a novelty in the SEM world a few years ago to a perceived commodity today. However the benefits of using call analytics extend well beyond campaign optimization into operational and customer experience insights for brands and marketers.

Allstate offers a case study, which was presented last week at SMX East. The company worked with Invoca on a paid-search campaign specifically for local insurance agents in multiple provinces in Canada, along with French-speaking Quebec.

As a basic matter, call data provides insight into what’s happening “offline.” As I’ve written multiple times before, this is now critical for all digital marketers (whether search or display).

Using DoubleClick for search and Invoca, Allstate was able to combine click and call data for improved bidding and targeting. Allstate was able to identify the keywords that resulted in calls and then analyzed which of those calls maked quotes and later sales.

Allstate Invoca

Allstate was also able to improve local agent productivity by using Invoca’s technology to block unwanted telemarketing in-bound spam calls to agents — a kind of mirror of the online click fraud problem. It also obtained considerable audience data based on the location of calls.

The company found that a great deal of online quote requests came from the PC. The majority of calls were coming from mobile phones, which offered better leads. Allstate reported the following campaign results:

  • A 16 percent increase in calls year over year
  • A more than 50 percent decrease in abandoned calls
  • Decreased customer acquisition costs

Rather than optimizing against clicks and using lead-capture forms to determine efficacy, Allstate was able to optimize against real ROI metrics, using call analytics. Perhaps a great deal of interesting, however, was how Allstate moved beyond campaign optimization and was able to use call data to improve the customer experience.

Allstate discovered that its previous IVR menu, which ran in excess of 60 seconds, was causing people to drop off calls in impatience or frustration. The company shortened the IVR message for paid-search callers and improved call routing. Accordingly, it was able to capture more high-intent leads.

It was also able to do a better job, using location data, to route calls to local agents and the correct default language. Overall the call experience, where a great deal of sales happened, was improved and the company was able to close more business.

The post Allstate: offline call data improved SEM performance and the customer experience appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Land

3 Social Media Marketing Options to Consider in 2016

Here are three social media efforts you should consider utilizing in 2016 to better connect with your audiences and create a greater impact.
1. Do Live Video Streaming

The popularity of video in the social landscape is nothing new, but in 2016 it’s going to be a bit different. Businesses, large or small, are more likely to invest in live-streaming this year, though likely for different purposes. B2C companies, for example, will look to leverage live-streaming to humanize their brands with ‘the face behind the brand’ and/or ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos. This, in turn, will help brands forge connections and build loyalty with their customers.

B2B companies, on the other hand, will invest in live-streaming to share valuable information with their clients (both existing and potential). They’ll use videos to explain how their products/services can benefit the clients, making their job easier and improving efficiency. Live-streaming can also be used by B2B companies to show the real-time impact of their products and services, as well as the dedication and hard work of their team. This too can help to establish authentic and emotional connection with customers.

Video hosting company Wistia, for example, recently created a “Take a Survey” video to collect useful feedback. They featured the entire company doing the Hustle and the infectious and sincere enjoyment of its people helped Wistia create an emotional connection with their audience. This year, we might see similar activations live and in real-time.

2. Connect with Social Media Influencers

Brands have been partnering with celebrities for a long time. Why? Because they can influence people’s purchase decisions, and in the age of social media, that influence has expanded two-fold. However, it’s not just celebrities that can encourage consumer purchase decisions. Even eminent bloggers and social media influencers are able to wield such influence – it’s therefore no surprise that brands have been partnering with them as well in recent times.

Done well, influencer marketing converts better than paid media. It involves talking to your audience through a voice they trust, but influencer marketing’s more than a celebrity endorsing your brand or a blogger spreading awareness about your products/services. Your influencers are people who are well-versed and popular within your particular industry or niche, and have great social reach. They can be industry professionals, thought-leaders, bloggers and/or influential consumers; it’s all about generating word-of-mouth recommendation – and that can lead to “twice the sales of paid advertising.”

The luxury fashion brand Lord & Taylor got 50 Instagram influencers to wear the same dress last year and post a picture of themselves on the photo-sharing network on the same day. The result? The dress, available from Lord & Taylor, was sold out the following weekend.

Industry experts predict that the popularity of influencer marketing will continue to rise in 2016, and further than that. Nielsen, for example, found that consumers’ trust in social, mobile and online advertising is growing, and influencers play a big part in that.

And the best part of this form of advertising? You don’t need to worry about ad blockers, unlike other forms.

3. Social Media Advertising and Social Commerce

Investing in organic social media efforts won’t be enough this year. Although organic reach will continue to play a significant role, businesses now also need to focus on their paid social media efforts as well. According to Statista, Facebook’s advertising revenue is likely to reach $17.23 billion in 2016. eMarketer, on the other hand, predicts that ad revenue at Facebook will reach $21.43 billion, representing $61.06 per user revenue in the U.S.

Although Twitter and other social channels are lagging way behind Facebook when it comes to advertising revenue, the numbers are gradually increasing. Facebook, for example, has already introduced 360 ads for immersive user experiences. YouTube too has added 360 ads while Instagram opened for advertisers with its action-oriented ad format. You should therefore invest in social media advertising this year, along with your organic social media efforts, if you aren’t doing so already. This is especially beneficial for new brands or companies launching new products/services as it makes it easier for people to discover your brand/offerings.

While it’s important to have a proper social media advertising strategy in 2016, don’t just stop there. Social media sites can not only engaged your customers and drive traffic to your website, they can also help you sell, right from your social account. Yes, we’re talking about social commerce, which represented 5% of the total U.S. online retail revenue in 2015, equating to $15 billion in revenue.

Online retailers should pay close attention to social commerce – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google are all offering various types of ‘Buy’ buttons to make social ads more effective.

Conclusion

Chances are, we’re more likely to see many other changes in the social media landscape coming up in 2016. Take some time to reflect on your past social media marketing efforts and understand where you need to change and upgrade. Although this is not an extensive list, integrating these strategies into your social media marketing plan will help you maximize your social performance in 2016.

Facebook's Live-Streaming Tool is Now Available to All U.S. iPhone Users

The live-streaming battle is about to heat up – Facebook, which first released their live-streaming tool ‘Live’ to only verified profiles is now opening the option up to all U.S. iPhone users, as of today.

Facebook Live Streaming

“To share live video, tap on Update Status and then select the Live Video icon. You can write a quick description and choose the audience that you want to share with before going live. During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in and a real-time stream of comments. When you end your broadcast, it will be saved on your Timeline like any other video, which you can then delete or keep for your friends to watch later.”

That last point is important – currently, Periscope videos only remain viewable (within Periscope at least) for 24 hours, then they’re gone. Via Facebook Live, your content will remain on your Facebook Page, like any other post, for all time.

That capacity, too, may be part of the reasoning behind Facebook’s decision to slowly roll-out Live to all users – as with most product launches, the biggest demand and interest will be in the initial stages, so Facebook will likely see a big influx in demand for video services in those first weeks, which will die down, and reduce system demand, over time. As it does, that might then make it easier for Facebook to roll out Live to the next country, where they’ll see another spike in use, then it’ll peter off. This could, theoretically at least, enable them to better manage the additional load and ensure smooth sailing over time.

Live-streaming is the hot social media trend of the moment, with a heap of industry experts identifying it as one of the key trends they expect to see dominate the sector in 2016. And while the option undoubtedly has potential, one of its key stumbling blocks, thus far, has been reach and in generating enough momentum to cross over into the mainstream consciousness. If live-streaming can do that, the value of the offering will increase exponentially – and you can imagine that such a crossover could happen. But how, exactly, that might occur is not yet clear.

This is where Facebook may be holding some advantage – with the largest network (now up to 1.59 billion users) comes the greatest capacity to deliver audience reach, and thus, the best opportunity to generate more awareness of the offering. While Periscope has grown steadily over time (they reported that they’d reached 10 million users back in August), that pales in comparison to Facebook’s network size. Periscope’s recent announcement of increased integration with Twitter is definitely a step in the right direction, but even then, Facebook’s audience potential is still much higher.

The question, at this stage, is about which platform can bring the most attention and take live-streaming to the widest audience – the bigger the audience, the more people (and brands) will be interested in using the offering. Periscope is currently the leader, but Facebook is circling, and they have wider plans for video content in the works that could change the game – including the development of a dedicated video platform and a possible TV/Facebook integration. Both, or either, could deliver significant benefits for live-streaming, and while Periscope still has a few options and plans up their sleeve, they may be out-matched, if Facebook looks to take over.

But of course, that’s ‘if’, right now Facebook’s still rolling out Live to the masses. And Periscope still has time to make some moves to keep their audience from moving across.
– See more at: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/facebooks-live-streaming-tool-now-available-all-us-iphone-users#sthash.93UMybIx.dpuf

Turning Pay per Click into Clicks that Pay Off

Use AdWords intelligently, and you can discover a useful tool for bringing valuable visitors to your website. With that in mind, let’s shake off all those fuzzy untruths and get closer to my three real truths of Google AdWords.

Constantly changing elements in your PPC campaigns is like day trading stocks – you’ll occasionally hit upon a good idea, but you’re also likely going to end up toasting your ad budget in the process. Certainly, some adjustment is smart, but probably not as much as you’d think.

Success with pay-per-click advertising is about relevance and quality – when you lose sight of that, it’s easy to get into the habit of micro-managing every element of your campaign to the point where you’re swapping keywords, changing headlines, and increasing your budget continually, without any sense of whether these changes are actually helping you or not.

Once you start looking for instant results, you can overlook the bigger trends and opportunities that are right in front of you. For example, many marketers will fall into the trap of creating dozens of ad variants (causing a need to filter them with negative keywords), without ever thinking of how those ads or words align with the content that’s found on destination landing pages. If those elements don’t match, or the searcher’s expectation isn’t met, lead generation is destined to suck.

There’s always room for experimentation and testing, but if you’re making changes on a daily basis, you’re unquestionably doing it wrong.
Truth #2 Your AdWords Quality Score is a Diagnostic Tool, Not a Performance Indicator

Google’s introduction of the quality score system was groundbreaking in many ways. The search engine giant realized better ads are a good thing for everyone,so they put in place a system where higher-quality ads earn a higher rank (and lower costs-per-click, better ad positions, and eligibility for improved ad extensions in the process).

All of this is great for searchers and advertisers alike, but many marketers (PPC firms and SEOs as well) don’t understand the real concept behind Quality Score, and focus on all the wrong elements as a result.

AdWords Quality Score doesn’t tell you how well your ads and campaigns will perform, just how well you are matching a set of pre-defined metrics. Your real goal should be to focus on generating a positive user experience, which leads to engagement, return visits, and other equally wonderful things (for example, sales).

Another way to look at this is to think of your Quality Score as a leading indicator. It’s three main components are ‘relevance’, ‘expected click through rate’, and ‘landing page quality’. Examining each of these is just a way to quantify the key question: what level of “user delight” is there for the searcher who finds your page? How happy is he or she going to be with their decision to click on your ad?

Beyond that, it’s just a matter of managing the optimal number of ad variants for quality. To that end, it helps to remember that…

The user’s device: does matter
Relevance to the user’s intention: does matter
For newly-launched keywords, your performance on related keywords: does matter
How you structure your AdWords account: doesn’t matter
Whether or not you run your ads on other networks: doesn’t matter
And, your ad’s placement on the page: doesn’t matter

Truth #3 AdWords Work, When You Put the Right Things First

The old advice to college graduates is: “do what you love, and everything else (like money and success,) will follow.”

In the world of AdWords, we could tweak that to: “do what’s best for your prospects and business, and everything else will (or at least should) naturally follow.”

“The fundamentals of your marketing plan, and the principles behind building a positive user experience, are far more important than any algorithmic score. And, aren’t likely to be improved by constant tinkering.”

There are sometimes going to be differences between what you see in the results of a real-time auction and the Quality Score indications that appear in your account. You’re always going to have some idea of how you’re doing, but be careful not to “chase a number” because the real goal of your campaigns is to meet customer expectations and be profitable, not to impress some software.

When your marketing is relevant, compelling, and focused – when you write ads that are interesting to your most important customer personas and deliver on what you promise – then you can be confident users will respond and your AdWords Quality Score will be perfect, no matter what the number says.
– See more at: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/turning-pay-click-clicks-pay#sthash.MeqzNIV6.dpuf

Search Update Impact On SEO & Content Strategies: Staying Ahead With A Focus On Quality

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Since Google was first launched in 1998, the company has been continually refining its search algorithm to better match users with online content.

Over the years, many algorithm updates have targeted spammy and low-quality content in an effort to surface this content less frequently in search results. Other algorithm updates have been aimed at improving Google’s “understanding” of search queries and page content to better align search results with user intent.

The bottom line is that focusing on quality content and the user experience really is the best way to ensure your search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing campaigns are update proactive rather than update reactive.

Many Google updates have impacted numerous reputable sites. Search marketers have had to learn how to better optimize their pages with each update to avoid losing rankings. Considering that 67.60 percent of clicks go to the top five slots on SERPs, a drop of just a few positions because of an algorithm update can have massive impact on traffic, revenue and conversions.

Over the coming weeks and months, as recent updates set in and impending updates come to pass, it will be interesting to see how SEO and content strategies evolve in response. In the meantime, here’s my overview of Google’s major algorithm updates (past, present and future) and their impact on the digital marketing landscape.

Panda

The Panda update was first launched in February 2011, though it has been updated several times since then. This update is designed to target sites with low-quality content and prevent them from ranking well in search engine results pages.

Sites that have pages of spammy content, too many ads or excessive duplicate content, for example, often experience Panda penalties.

It was recently announced that Panda was added to Google’s core ranking algorithm, which has caused considerable buzz in the industry.

While there are still some questions about what it means, there are some things we’re fairly certain about. Panda updates are expected to run more regularly, for example, which will be very helpful for brands who have seen their websites hit by Panda penalties.

However, contrary to early rumors, the update will not be run in real time.

When it comes to content production, since the initial Panda release, websites have needed to really focus on providing high-quality information. Websites that have pages of low-quality content, such as thin material with little insight, should improve the existing pages, rather than just deleting them.

Keep in mind that “quality” isn’t measured in content length, so you won’t improve your low-quality pages simply by adding more text. Content can be short or long — what matters is that it provides the information the user seeks. The quality of the content on a website matters more than the quantity.

Penguin

The Penguin update was first released about a year after the Panda update, in April 2012. The two are often grouped together when discussing Google’s big push to raise the quality of content that appears in search engine results.

This update focused largely on targeting spammy links. Google looks at backlinks as a signal of a website’s authority and reputation, taking a site or page’s backlink profile into consideration when determining rankings.

Back when its core algorithm was less sophisticated, people figured out that they could effectively game search engine rankings simply by obtaining significant numbers of (often spammy and irrelevant) backlinks.

Penguin combatted this manipulative technique by targeting pages that depended upon poor-quality links, such as link farms, to artificially raise their rankings. Websites with spammy backlink profiles have been forced to remove or disavow bad links in order to avoid ranking penalties.

Quality links still have something of value to offer websites, although Google emphasizes that sites should focus on developing a quality backlink profile organically. This means creating informative pieces that people will want to source with a backlink.

To attract attention to your piece, you can leverage the search, social and content trifecta. By creating high-quality pieces and then distributing them on social media, you start to attract attention to your work.

This can increase your readership and (in theory) help you acquire more backlinks. You can also use techniques such as posting guest posts on other reputable blogs to leverage your content and build a strong backlink profile.

Hummingbird

The Hummingbird update followed in the summer of 2013. This update was designed to improve Google’s semantic search capabilities. It was becoming increasingly common for people to use Google in a conversational way, to type their queries as though they were asking a friend.

This update was designed to help Google respond by understanding intent and context.

With this update, the development of content had to shift slightly again. With the emphasis on intent, Google was not simply playing a matching game where they connect the keywords in the query with the keywords in the content.

Content needed now to go beyond just the keyword. It needed to demonstrate an understanding of what users are interested in and what they would like to learn.

While keywords still are an important part of communicating with the search engine about the topic of the content, the way they were used shifted. Long-tail keywords became more important, and intent became crucial.

Content developers needed to direct their focus toward understanding why customers might be typing particular words into the search engine and producing content that addressed their needs.

Mobile Update

The year 2015 saw several major updates that impacted content development. The first, Google’s mobile-friendly update, occurred in April. This update was unique because Google actually warned website users in advance that it was coming.

With this update, Google recognized that mobile was beginning to dominate much of search and online customer behavior — in fact, just a couple months after the mobile-friendly update was announced, Google noted that mobile searches had officially surpassed desktop. The mobile-friendly update forced sites to become mobile-friendly or risk losing visibility to sites that were.

With this update, Google wanted sites to take into account what mobile users wanted to do online and how these needs were being addressed.

This meant that SEOs and content marketers had to start considering design factors such as:

  • Responsive design or a mobile page.
  • Having site navigation front and center and easy for customers to use with their fingers.
  • Avoiding frustrations caused by issues such as buttons too close together.
  • Having all forms as efficient and as easy as possible to fill out on a smartphone screen.

This mobile update also brought to the forefront the importance of brands optimizing for mobile, even going beyond what was required by Google to avoid a penalty.

For example, customers on mobile are often very action-oriented. They want to be able to call you or find your address. They want to view the information on your screen easily, without excessive scrolling. While long-form content is commonly read on mobile devices, making it easier for people to get back to the top is very beneficial.

Mobile users also tend to be very local-oriented. Content developed for mobile devices should take local SEO into account to maximize the mobile opportunities that present themselves.

Quality Update

Not long after the mobile update went live, people began reporting evidence of another Google update, which has since been nicknamed the Quality Update. It happened so quietly that even Google did not acknowledge the change at first.

During this update, sites that focused on the user experience and distributing high-quality content were rewarded, while sites that had many ads and certain types of user-generated content were more likely to be penalized. This was even true for established sites like HubPages.

Interestingly, however, not all user-generated content was hit on all sites. Some pages, like Quora, actually received a boost from the update; it is suspected that this is because this site is very careful about the quality of the responses and content that are posted on the page.

The key to avoiding a penalty with this update seemed to be avoiding thin content or other material that did not place the needs of the user first.

Sites also need to make sure that their pages are working well, as error messages place a site at risk for a penalty from this quality update. Google knows how frustrating it is to try to find an answer to a question and instead get treated to an overly promotional article or a 404.

RankBrain

RankBrain was announced in the fall of 2015, and it was also a unique change to the Google algorithm. With this update, the search engine ventured into the world of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning.

This system was designed to learn and predict user behaviors, which helps Google interpret and respond to the hundreds of millions of completely unique, never-before-seen queries that it encounters each day.

It is also assumed that RankBrain helps Google to interpret content and intent in some way. Although Google has given little information about how their new AI works, they have said that it has become the third most important ranking signal. For site owners, this has placed an even greater emphasis on creating content that matches the user intent.

Since RankBrain has gone live, some marketers have spoken about the importance of making sure that the technical side of SEO, such as schema markup, is all up to date. It is likely that as search engines become more dependent upon AI, these little details will become significant.

The Buzz Over The Last Week: Panda & The Core Algorithm

Last week, some marketers were caught off guard by a new update that seemed to impact ratings for numerous sites. Although there were initially rumors circulating that this update might be the anticipated Penguin update or something to do with Panda, Google put those rumors to rest and officially confirmed that this was a core algorithm update that was not linked to other established updates.

Based upon the patterns established over the past few years, it is most likely that this adjustment, like the others, focused on better understanding user intent and identifying high-quality content.

As “updates on updates” change constantly (even from the seven days it takes a post go live), the best way to stay up to date on core changes is via Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land.

SEL Updates on Google

We will know more in the coming weeks about what this update targeted and how brands can better respond. For right now, content developers need to continue to focus on creating high-quality content that responds to what their customers want to see.

Conclusion: Stay Ahead By Focusing Quality Content And User Experience

Google, quite rightly, is always looking for brands to provide a high-quality user experience from the web properties. Updates are designed to try to evaluate user experience. Marketers need to pay attention to the various algorithm updates and adapt as needed to maximize their exposure.

In order to stay ahead and minimize risk, being proactive is far better than being reactive.

In general, focus on the following;

  • Providing high quality content. Provide content that is unique and relevant to the user. Do not overstuff content with target keywords.
  • Optimizing your site for the user. Ensure that users have a positive experience and get the information they need (searched for). Factor in page speed, load times and design. Follow best practices for mobile search.
  • Earning links rather than buying links. Focus on high-quality, credible sources, and only link to relevant content.

Nearly every year, Google updates have far-reaching impacts across industries as brands find their content rising and falling overnight, depending upon how well their content is aligned with the new criteria.

Google wants content development to focus less on just rank and more on the user. Marketers that focus on quality content and digital strategies will reduce any risk associated with Google updates and take market share away from their competition (those that don’t).

Be proactive rather than reactive.

The post Search Update Impact On SEO & Content Strategies: Staying Ahead With A Focus On Quality appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Search Engine Land

The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016

It looks like everyone is refreshed and energized after the New Year as there has being some awesome content published this month! Honestly, don’t read the rest of this post unless you have at least an hour to learn awesome internet marketing stuff.

SEO & Link Building

Google have been busy by releasing not one, but two new algorithm updates so far this month that have seen fairly decent shifts.

As usual we need to wait for the dust to settle until any credible observations can be made at the moment! In the mean time you should read the official search quality rater guidelines to get a feel for what Google is trying to achieve with machine learning.

Although Brian Dean’s latest study tell it’s own story of what you should be doing to rank!

If you want some quick wins you could upgrade your image optimization, speed up your site with one line of code or take advantage of this new HTTPS information.

Social Media

While you are taking care of SEO for your site, you might as well make improvements to your YouTube SEO efforts at the same time!

Don’t forget to enable these 2 unknown YouTube features to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

If you want to harvest more traffic from Facebook then you might want to start a popular group or build yourself an evergreen ad campaign that keeps on paying.

You can also take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse for thousands of visitors like these guys do using a strategy like this.

Blogging / Traffic Generation / Analytics

If you are struggling to come up with content ideas, here is a great tip to unlock hundreds of them instantly!

Don’t forget to weave one of these story templates into your writing to keep people captivated from start to finish.

Once your content is working for you, you might want to consider integrating a solid drip marketing campaign to help automate growth and grabbing peoples attention by ditching the sidebar .

Last, but not least…

If you want to quit your day job, then set aside one hour per day to work for yourself.

Although if you really want to quit your job, you can squeeze in a lot more than that!

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Credits: The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016 was originally published on January 25th, 2016 08:38 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved – Matthew Woodward

Seedcamp’s New Portfolio Analysis Maps Europe’s Flourishing Tech Scene

2015-02-02 14.32.48-1 Back in September 2007 I attended a startup pitch event held in a London university lecture theatre. The surroundings weren’t plush. The slightly musty lecture theatre didn’t hint at the ambitions of the people present. But when Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype walked in, and joined in a panel of other seasoned tech entrepreneurs, everyone knew something important was… Read More
TechCrunch

DataXu Gets $10M From Sky As Pay TV Giant Buys Into Programmatic Ad Tech

shutterstock_171635108 DataXu, a Boston-based startup that provides analytics and other tools for running programmatic ads, has picked up another round of funding. Sky, the UK-based pay-TV provider part-owned by 21st Century Fox, has made a $ 10 million investment in the company. It’s a strategic stake: Sky plans to use DataXu’s demand-side buying ad tech in its current services as well as work together… Read More
TechCrunch

15 ways American treasure Tom Brady can be your next career coach

Source: 15 ways American treasure Tom Brady can be your next career coach

How to be like greatest American quarterback Tom Brady in your office

Tom-brady-thumb

Image: Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Tom Brady — New England Patriots quarterback, committed vegan, teflon scandal shunner — is, let’s be clear, the ultimate professional.

ESPN Magazine
published a long piece on Thursday about how Brady, who’s currently chasing his fifth Superbowl championship ring, is definitely human — despite his perfectly chiseled jaw line, his mostly tomato and fruit-free diet, and superman-like statistics.

The piece details that even though his life is marred by controversies — think Deflategate, gossip items about his marriage to supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and seemingly endorsing Donald Trump for president — Brady has finally opened up to the press this season to reveal who the man, the myth, and the legend really is.

(Though, he hasn’t opened up too much: he didn’t seem to grant an on-the-record interview to ESPN, considering all of the Brady soundbites in the story are from interviews with other outlets.)

The story is filled with instructive gems, like a quote from one of Brady’s former NFL teammates who was granted anonymity just to say: “If you can’t look at what Brady’s done and appreciate and embrace who he is, then you’re missing what’s great about America.”

This is intriguing. If nothing else, we want to learn everything we can from the greatest American living.

But the real takeaway here is that human Tom Brady is a truly great career idol. You might have different career aspirations — and hey, you’ll likely never rake in $8 million a year for your ability to throw a ball — but you’d be making a mistake not to look to football’s golden boy for career advice.

Introducing the Tom Brady career advice guide, consisting entirely of quotes from the ESPN Magazine story, which will totally help you score on the in your field.

Lesson #1: Find something that you truly love to do.

You’re never going to find success if you’re spending long hours at a job that doesn’t make you roar like Tom Brady during a Sunday night football game.

Tom Brady loves what he does so much that it’s physically impossible for any other human — including every other football player in America — to love football more passionately than Tom Brady.

“Here is what you need to understand: There is not a guy in the National Football League who loves football more than Tom Brady,” [Patriots wide receiver Matthew] Slater says. “And it’s not just that he loves going out on Sundays; he loves preparation, he loves taking care of his body, he loves meetings, he loves film, coaching other guys. He loves every bit of it. And that’s what drives him to be great.”

Tom Brady

Tom Brady loves football so much that he actually vocalizes like the most noble animal on earth, ESPN reveals.

“As the referees huddled and eventually declared that Brady had not scored a touchdown, the quarterback jogged to the sideline, his temper close to a boil. The crowd, energized by what had just transpired, began chanting his name. Brady put his arm around New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and began roaring and shaking McDaniels’ neck like an agitated lion. He wanted New England to challenge the call.”

So, remember. If you do not love what you do as much as Tom Brady loves football — if you are not ready to roar about it — do something else.

Lesson #2: Find a job that makes you — and only you — happy.

Surely your parents, your significant other, or your boss might have their own plans about where you should end up, career-wise. But ultimately, the only thing that matters is that you find something that makes you — above everyone else — happy. And then find the way that you can get there. It’s a lesson Brady displays loud and clear, through a Jay Z verse no less, each week.

“Several years ago, long before the Deflategate investigation and his fourth Super Bowl victory, Brady made it part of his pregame ritual to run onto the field for warm-ups while Jay Z’s ‘Public Service Announcement’ blares from the speakers inside Gillette Stadium…Brady insists ‘Public Service Announcement’ has no grander meaning. Jay Z is just an artist he enjoys. But it’s natural to listen to the lyrics and wonder if the song’s interlude doesn’t resonate, now, on a deeper level.

Before I finish, let me just say
I did not come here to show out
Did not come here to impress you
Because to tell you the truth, when I leave here, I’m gone
And I do not care what you think about me
.”

Tom Brady, in other words, DGAF. If you cannot accept yourself as the ultimate arbiter of what is good and right for your career, take a deep look inside and try to trust your instincts as much as Tom Brady does.

Lesson #3: Work hard to be the best.

If you want to get ahead in your career, work harder than everyone else. Like Tom Brady does. End of story.

“That’s why he obsesses over the simple fundamentals of playing catch, drilling for hours and hours in the offseason with guys like [Patriots’ wide receiver Julian] Edelman and former teammate Wes Welker on stuff as basic as ball position and splits.”

Have you absolutely mastered every single part of your job? Can you format a spreadsheet to the point of mystical perfection? Can you code like the Archangel Gabriel is watching over your keyboard? Is your mastery of words flawless enough that Shakespeare and Austen are your only equals? No? NO? Then work out every single skill until no one surpasses you.

Lesson #4: And keep working hard until you’ve actually accomplished your goals.

And even when you think you can’t work any harder, work harder. Be the maniacal competitor Tom Brady is — the gladiator Tom Brady believes you can be.

Case-in-point: Just when it seemed that the Patriots were poised to win the big game in the final minutes of last year’s Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks, Brady pushed harder until the clock had officially run down.

“The Patriots had to take the field and kneel down to make it official. After the first kneel, the Seahawks called a timeout. The Patriots would need to execute things one more time to officially put a bow on the victory. Several players began to hug, soaking up the enormity of the moment. When Brady saw this, he went bonkers, yanking his teammates back into the huddle, demanding they maintain their focus for one last play. He was taking nothing for granted. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He was going to be a maniacal competitor right to the very end.”

At your job, do you want to succeed? Then never give up. Tom Brady would never give up, so why should you?

Lesson #5: Stay self-aware about your weaknesses.

The only way you’ll truly improve is if you drop the ego and are honest with yourself about your flaws. No word on the size of Brady’s ego, but hegenuinely acknowledges that, despite his skill on the field, his flawless diet, his rapport with his teammates, his strong jaw and ideal looks and his supermodel wife, he isn’t perfect.

“What Ryan and others have never seemed to grasp, one of Brady’s former teammates explains, is that Brady has always been smart enough to accept that it’s impossible to know everything. That’s why he’s the best postseason quarterback of all time.”

Get that? Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL and he is not a know-it-all. When mapping your career, you shouldn’t be either.

Lesson #6: Present yourself well.

If you’re heading in for a job interview or a big board room presentation, it’s important to command the room. And no one knows how to do that better than Tom Brady, who apparently has more in common with John F. Kennedy than calling Boston home.

“Even when he is dressed in a lumpy Patriots sweatshirt and stocking cap, standing before a wall of cameras, Tom Brady manages to look regal. He is so guarded, so calm and Kennedy-esque as he listens, nods and then gracefully says nothing.”

Costume Institute Benefit Gala

Tom Brady, in other words, is a born aristocrat. When facing down career challenges and obstacles, pull yourself up to your greatest height, gather your dignity and respect, and — most importantly — stop talking. Listen more. Pay attention. Give off an air of regal attentiveness, as Tom Brady does.

Lesson #7: Don’t overthink it.

Overthinking and overanalyzing will only lead to disaster. Trust your skills and intuition. Brady knows all too well that thinking too hard will only strain his brain and hurt his game.

“A player can study film and look at 10,000 formations on an iPad for as many hours as the eyes and the brain will allow. But ultimately, the human mind is not a computer. Overthinking in tense moments, trying to decode a defense like it’s a sudoku puzzle, is the perfect recipe for hesitation and panic.”

Tom Brady collects information, but once that’s done, he doesn’t analyze it to death. Being the best —moving forward through the scrum of humanity — means developing good instincts. Tom Brady lets his instincts take over, and so should you.

Lesson #8: Make allies at work.

Tom Brady isn’t just technically skilled. He has social skills. Most people who made it to the top didn’t do it alone. So it’s important to find people at work to have in your corner (even better if your biggest work ally is the one with the office in the corner.)

It’s an art Brady has mastered well, since he’s apparently everyone’s favorite ridiculously handsome face to see hanging around the Patriots’ front office.

But since you’re not Tom Brady, you’ll probably have to try harder to make friends at work. ESPN describes how Brady puts people at ease.

“He refers to people as ‘babe’ and ‘bud’ when he wants them to feel comfortable. He remembers faces around the office, but not every name.”

This can work for you too. Be friendly, be accessible, and at least smile in recognition. People will think more kindly of you the next time you roar.

Lesson #9: Hire good people, and trust them to get the job done.

Say you’re a manager, or you’re just tasked with working with a group of colleagues on a big project. Don’t put all of the burden on yourself — instead, surround yourself with good, competent people, and trust that they’ll pick up their share of the slack.

“What Brady gets is that he’s the only guy who understands exactly what’s going on down on the field. So when [Patriots’ offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels calls a certain play, Brady is thinking: ‘I know exactly why he called that play. I know exactly what my read is on this.’ Brady’s genius is that he understands delegation. He trusts the people around him.”

Tom Brady is not a micromanager. He trains people well, gets communication down, then sets them free to do their best work. This will probably work for you too.

Lesson #10: Don’t let haters get to you.

Tom Brady has haters. Boy, does he have haters. There are at least hundreds of thousands of men around the country who, given the chance, would punch him in the face. Tom Brady is not alone in this. Anyone who seeks success is bound to have haters who will try to get in your way. But you can’t let them faze you. Keep doing your thing.

“Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, looking on from a few yards away, mocked Brady with a celebration of his own, punching the air and bobbing his head. Brady glanced at Kelce, acknowledging he had seen the gesture, but jogged away in a manner suggesting that lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.”

Tom Brady

Tom Brady doesn’t sweat small-time haters. He can burn people with a look. Learn to do that and not only will you have fewer damning, ranting emails to your credit, you will also save yourself a lot of time.

Lesson #11: Keep tabs on the competition.

Not all haters are small-time. Some of those haters might be competing with you for a big promotion. Let your rivals inspire you. Let them encourage you to be better.

For Brady, the only thing that stands in between him and the title of NFL golden boy is Denver Broncos legend and sometimes better-than-average Saturday Night Life host Peyton Manning. And though Brady sent some off-color emails that made fun of Manning’s age, Brady knows he needs to get better than Manning.

“What was more interesting about the texts, though, was the private acknowledgement from Brady that he, too, looks at Manning the way most of us do: as the comparative measuring stick of his career.”

Know how your competition is, and make sure they’re worthy of you. Only then will you be able to imitate even a portion of Tom Brady’s success.

Lesson #12: Find your zen.

Even if that criticism does get to you — even Tom Brady has emotions — it’s important to find a way to calm yourself down. Stress can easily derail success, so channel your inner zen master.

“He has always prided himself on his ability to achieve some version of Zen before he walks into news conferences, armor against any annoying question that might otherwise get under his skin. He has told friends, privately, that nothing offends him, that one of his favorite books is ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz, and it has taught him not to take anything personally.”

(In case you were wondering, the four agreements in Ruiz’s book are: 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best.)

Tom Brady is not always zen — see above, where Tom Brady is not perfect — but he is always trying to be zen. You should be too.

Lesson #13: Support the people who’ve helped you get to success.

Once you’re at the top, don’t burn your bridges — you never know when you might need someone’s help again. Brady stands behind those who have helped him become the dominant football player he is today. Like when his best friend, business parter, and so-called ‘business guru’ came under fire for allegedly pretending to be a doctor and making unsubstantiated claims about his health products, Brady proudly and passionately defended his pal to Boston radio hosts.

“”In the 10 or 11 years we’ve been working together, he has never been wrong,” Brady said. “I had doctors with the highest and best education in our country tell us — tell me — that I wouldn’t be able to play football again. That I would need multiple surgeries on my knee from my staph infection. That I would need a new ACL, a new MCL, that I wouldn’t be able to play with my kids when I’m older. Of course, I go back the next year and we win comeback player of the year. I follow the next season, and we win the MVP of the year. I’ve chosen a different approach, and that approach works for me…I wouldn’t be playing today if it wasn’t for what he’s been able to accomplish with me.”

Josh McDaniels, Tom Brady

Remember where you came from and always dance with the people who brung you.

But note that Tom Brady also refers to himself as “we,” like a royal prince. In this alone, don’t be like Tom Brady. It’s an advanced social maneuver and you’ll only end up hurting yourself.

Lesson #14: Hang in there and keep company with the best.

Tom Brady knows: your career will inevitably come with some stresses. But don’t let them defeat you. Stay strong, and you will prevail. It’s an important piece of advice that career coach Brady is more than willing to share with those less fortunate than him.

“In 2012, when JPMorgan Chase lost $6.2 billion through a series of bad investments, Vanity Fair reported that the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, received a surprise phone call from Brady, with the quarterback telling him to ‘hang in there’ and that even Super Bowl champs have bad days. The two had never met.”

An important addendum: Tom Brady does not consider anyone beneath his coaching and advice. Note that Tom Brady has absolutely no problem calling the billionaire head of the nation’s strongest bank and bonding with him. Tom Brady knows that true excellence is a very special club — that game recognize game — and he strengthens those bonds when he can.

Lesson #15: Savor your success.

There’s nothing worse than getting to the top and not enjoying it. Tom Brady enjoys stoicism, but he does not deny himself joy. To be like Tom Brady, carve out time to celebrate and revel in your success, preferably with the ones you love.

“Some moments, though, he cannot help but pause to savor. After the Patriots knocked off the Chiefs, Brady sat on a stool in front of his locker and peeled off his pads, pausing several times to ruffle the hair of his two sons, Jack, 8, and Benjamin, 6, who were making a rare appearance at the stadium.

When he stood up with a towel, preparing to head to the showers, Jack shot his father a look of concern.

“Dad, how did you get that blood on there?” he asked.

Above Brady’s heavily taped right ankle was a small, red scrape.

“Just from playing football, bud,” Brady said, grinning as he walked away.”

Tom Brady knows you have to have time for family — and he also knows there is no progress without pain. Those two lessons from Tom Brady could be very valuable to you as you plan out your career.

And there you have it: keys to career success from the man, the myth, the legend himself. Next time you face an obstacle at work, just ask: What Would Tom Brady Do?

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