About This Episode
We talk to Jo Juliana Turnbull, a freelancing marketing consultant, who shares her insights on how to build strong relationships remotely based on emotional intelligence and tidbits from her recent BrightonSEO talk on the subject.
The higher your emotional intelligence, the better your relationships, the more successful you will be with digital marketing strategies and SEO. – Jo Juliana Turnbull
Jo is a freelancing marketing consultant in Barcelona, Spain, and the founder of Turn Digi. She was a runner up for Digital Women’s Innovator of the Year in 2021. She is also an organizer of Search London, a 12-year-old organization. She has been working remotely since 2010 and has lived in 9 countries.
You Will Learn:
- How can understanding and improving emotional intelligence help build better relationships and further your career?
- What behaviors can help build good relationships and how do they differ online and offline?
- What actionable steps can be taken to improve empathy skills and build strong relationships?
Connect With Jo
- Learn more about Turn Digi
- Follow Turn Digi on Twitter @TurnDigi
- Learn more about Search London Meetup group
- Follow Search LDN on Twitter @SearchLDN
- Follow Jo on Twitter @SEOJoBlogs
- Connect with Jo on LinkedIn
- BrightonSEO October 2022 presentation deck
- What is emotional intelligence article
- Emotional intelligence test by Mind Tools (free)
- Emotional Intelligence Test by Psychology Today (free)
- The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) – Ability-based test (paid)
- Bar-On EQi – Trait-based test (paid)
- Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI) – Competency-based test (paid)
- Genos International Emotional Culture Index (ECI) – Behavior-based test (paid)
- 14 Ways Leaders Can Boost Empathy In The Workplace
- Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research
- Catalyst Elevates Empathy as Business Skill This International Women’s Day
- CliftonStrengths Assessment
- Nine Things Successful People do Differently by Heidi Grant
- Difficult Personalities: A Practical Guide to Managing the Hurtful Behavior of Others (and Maybe Your Own)
Other episodes you’ll enjoy:
- Episode 19: How to Communicate Negative News and Become a Better Listener to be a More Effective Marketer – Dana Theus
- Episode 18: How To Be Persuasive In Managing A Digital Transformation Project – Tony Kopetchny
- Episode 17: How to Advance Your SEO Career – Morgan Petrov
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[00:00:00] Katherine Ong: Welcome to the Digital Marketing Victories Podcast, a monthly show where we celebrate and learn from the changemakers in digital marketing. I’m personally obsessed with how digital marketers sell through and get their ideas executed.
I’m your host, Katherine Watier Ong. I’m the owner of WO Strategies LLC. We focus on organic discovery for our enterprise clients with a training centered approach.
Today we’re joined by Jo Juliana Turnbull. Jo is also known as seo Jo Blogs, freelancing marketing consultant in Barcelona, Spain. She’s the organizer of Search London, which just turned 12 years old. She’s also the founder of Turn Digi, where she was a runner up in Digital Women’s Innovator of the year in 2021.
She’s been working remotely since 2010 and she’s lived and moved to nine different countries worldwide and she’s recently set up her own LLC called Turn Global. So this episode is going to be perfect for you. If you’ve ever wondered how to build relationships remotely, what emotional intelligence is, and how building up yours might help build better relationships and some actionable insights for understanding emotional intelligence and how it can further your career.
So without further ado, here’s our interview with Jo. Jo, thanks for agreeing to be on my podcast.
[00:01:18] Juliana Turnbull: Thank you very much for having me. I’m really looking forward to sharing some tips on your podcast today.
[00:01:25] Katherine Ong: Awesome, so can you tell me a little bit more about yourself, your background, and how you became involved in digital marketing?
[00:01:32] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah! Well, thank you. You gave a great introduction. So I’m here in Barcelona, Spain. I go by Juliana here. But everyone knows me in the industry as SEO Jo Blogs. I moved around a lot when I was younger, and this is the ninth country. So I have a lot of experience in building relationships, even from before the internet.
From a young age, I’ve always wanted to work in marketing and I always wanted to work remotely. So I actually became involved in digital marketing after graduating uni. I did a degree in international management and business administration with French marketing was actually a minor part of the degree.
And after uni I went to, I guess in the states that it’s like a local community college. That’s where I did a chartered marketing qualification. And to gain the experience of marketing. I started actually in e-commerce customer service. And then I moved into finance where I was in sales for a while.
But that’s actually where I first got my hands on a website. I helped to build their new website. And then I moved to another startup and we did games for mobile phones. And that’s actually when I first built my own website. When I was working as a junior developer. Then after two and a half years I moved onto a marketing agency and the rest they say is history.
[00:02:57] Katherine Ong: That sounds like the perfect mix for an SEO. You’ve got customer service, you understand the customer, you’ve got sales. You understand the persuasion part. You’ve even got the mobile piece in there, and developer . I mean, it’s like the perfect mix to build an SEO. To be honest in my head.
[00:03:14] Juliana Turnbull: I guess yeah. I mean, that was a nice little training for myself and actually the, the two, the two people that I did work for were my bosses and they owned the company, so it did allow me to do a lot of work without having to have a Pacific job title.
So I did get a lot of experience, which was great.
[00:03:33] Katherine Ong: Yeah, that’s my experience as well. Build your own job title here over here. So you’re on with the show blatantly, because I saw that you spoke at BrightonSEO, which I did not get a chance to attend, but it was all about building relationships emotionally, or sorry, building relationships remotely.
And focused a lot on emotional intelligence which I think is perfect for what this podcast covers actually. But let’s start with some of the basics. So can you describe what emotional intelligence is and then kind of wander into how people could assess themselves and maybe improve it, prove their own emotional intelligence.
[00:04:09] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, actually I’m, I’m glad we’re, we’re talking about this because this is more important, more than ever actually now that everybody understands emotional intelligence or at least wants to start understanding it. So the definition of emotional intelligence, it’s really the ability to be able to perceive, to evaluate, express.
Express and manage emotions. So a psychologist called Daniel Goldman, he actually identified five different elements that make up this emotional intelligence. And this is what I also talked about in Proton SEO. So the five elements are one, self-awareness, two, self-regulation, three, motivation.
Four, empathy and five social skills. So to improve on your emotional intelligence, I would actually say, first of all, you need to test yourself to see where emotional intelligence is at the beginning, and then of course you can build upon that.
[00:05:15] Katherine Ong: So do you have some sort of checklist or like an evaluation somebody can use to figure out where they’re at based on their emotional intelligence?
[00:05:25] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, so through my research I found different questions you can ask yourself and I’ll ask this to the audience. And then also there’s some free tests you can do and then there’s some paid ones. So, these are some of the questions I would recommend you ask yourself to find out about your emotional intelligence.
So number one, do you have great listening skills? Two, can you accept feedback? Three, can you say no without feeling bad? Four, do you, do you dwell on your mistakes or no. Five, can you share emotions with others? And, and this is not trauma dumping, it’s just being clear and sharing how you’re feeling.
And are you, are you okay with making mistakes so you are not afraid of it? So if you do have great listening skills, if you can accept feedback, if you can say no without feeling bad, and you do not dwell on your mistakes and you share emotions with. Again, no trauma done and you’re not afraid to make mistakes.
This means that you would have a high level of emotional intelligence. But of course you can do ones where you ask, where you’re answering a series of 15, 20, 30 questions. There’s one on mindtools.com. There are 15 questions to answer. It is free. But there’s other paid ones you can do. There’s an abilities based one, a trait, a competency and behavior based. So I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t say what you should not do, but what I would say is I would recommend, or it’s advisable to at least give yourself an idea of where you stand in this by taking some of these tests.
[00:07:07] Katherine Ong: And we sort of skipped over it, but the assumption is that if you have a higher level of emotional intelligence across the different traits, you would build stronger relationships right?
[00:07:18] Juliana Turnbull: Correct. Yes. Yeah, you’re right. We didn’t touch up on that. So the higher motion intelligence you have, you’re able to build those relationships, those great foundations with others. You are able to show empathy with others. And empathy is one element that if you can, you know, listen and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it helps to build trust.
And that’s why emotional intelligence is also very important for leadership skills.
[00:07:46] Katherine Ong: Okay. So we’re basically saying that, if you have higher emotional intelligence, you can build better relationships and ideally that’s gonna make you better at being successful with digital marketing strategies in SEO, right?
[00:08:02] Juliana Turnbull: Correct. But I would say overall it just makes you, I would say a person that, you know, you can make, you’re making the most of all your opportunities. So this is both in your personal life and in your, in your work life. And, and it’s really important, I’d say, especially after everything we’ve seen with that, you know, with the pandemic, that it’s really important to have.
you know, good relationships in life, you know, it makes you feel better and it, you know, it helps others as well. People wanna be around you. You want to be in that situation. Those people that are emotional intelligent, they tend to have these great relationships with other people.
[00:08:39] Katherine Ong: So since you dove into this, EI emotional intelligence, what sort of behaviors help build good relationships out of all that?
And are there any differences if you’re trying to build them online?
[00:08:57] Juliana Turnbull: So I would actually take the viewpoint of building a relationship online and offline. For me, it’s the same. I apply the same principles. Maybe online you might have the opportunity to have more one-on-one time with people because of this, especially if those people that are shy, because maybe if you are in person, they might be the ones to, first of all, in the office, like leaving the meeting room.
Not stay around for you, to me, but have that chat with them. They may not obviously want to be in a situation where they are one-on-one with you, where sometimes if it’s in a, in an online setting, they feel that having that computer actually is, is less daunting. It has a bit of a barrier which is good for them.
So that’s what I would say in terms of what I think… Can you have a good relationship online, offline? Are they, do you have to apply the same principles? I would say yes.
[00:10:00] Katherine Ong: Well, and you, like many SEOs seems to have built relationships online that you then meet offline. Cause I’ve sort of seen a few photos where you’ve met women in tech, SEO folks, that I don’t think you met offline.
I think you met online. They’re from different countries.
[00:10:15] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, that’s true. And actually, back to your point about, you know, maybe what’s different, I think maybe if you are, If you’re meeting online, maybe you can get to the point quicker, maybe when you’re doing offline, and it, again, it depends on the culture, but in some cultures, you do a lot of small talk and you don’t actually get to the nitty gritty or you don’t get to know that person.
Whereas online, you don’t tend to have that for too long in a conversation. So you can get to know that person quite well at the beginning.
[00:10:44] Katherine Ong: I’ll have to test that here in the US by finding someone from the south and see if we have as much small talk as we normally do. . Oh, . Because here in the US, the folks from the south that I’m a Northerner.
So I was very surprised when I first met somebody from the south and how much small talk they did. So folks talk about empathy all the time is an essential skill. In fact, we have an episode where we just dug into empathy. So I’m a little fascinated by, you know, we know it’s important for building relationships.
But the actionable part is the part that I’m still curious about. Have you done any research into how you actually implement a professional development plan? So you’ve assessed yourself and you know you’re low in empathy. Other than that, I don’t know, volunteering or something. I’m off the top of my head.
What does the research show that you could do to sort of improve your empathy skills?
[00:11:39] Juliana Turnbull: Sure, I will definitely go into that. I just wanted to clarify that empathy. It’s one aspect of emotional intelligence and it helps you understand what others feel and it may. May is the key thing that may motivate you to a, to action to do something different, but I wanna distinguish the fact that it’s not, or clarify that it’s not sympathy.
Sympathy is more like, oh, sorry, you know, feeling really bad for that person. The way that empathy actually would work in an organization is that it really does need to come from the manager. The person setting the rules, the time for the organization. So I found some useful articles about improving empathy in the workplace.
And actually when I was looking at some of these checklists, I actually did some of these when I was a team leader. So I will, I will share some of these, but this one is a good one. So if you’re a team leader, I would do this. One, check in on your employees. So have these regular one-to-ones. Don’t cancel them.
If you do cancel them cuz you know things happen. Then of course, make a replacement time for them. Make sure that each employee has a… we call ’em one of my companies, a PDP, a personal development plan. So they know what they’re doing, what their objectives are, what they’re gonna be doing in a year, two years’ time.
So you, they feel that you are supporting them. Their work life. It’s really important to have open communication. So, I really like it when I’m in the office. When the CEO is actually in the office, he or she is not in his or her own little cubby hole on the side. That person is in the office in the middle of an open plan.
Of course, if we’re working online, I think it’s really important to have things like, you know, an open channel. If you use Slack or you use teams or, you use a communication platform that if you’re having, I don’t know, it could be a news announcement. You put that in the channel first, or if you’re having, you know, things are not going a hundred percent, maybe you, you need to maybe take back some hours from people or.
You want to, you have to cancel a Christmas party or a holiday party. Put that in the open communications. I wouldn’t have that. Certain conversations with people first. It’s really important. Everything is transparent. And a fourth thing I would cons, what I would recommend is just consider people’s.
Workload and their burnout and their physical and mental health. So, you know, make sure that they have enough time to do everything. They’re not overloaded. If you are a company, make sure that there is support for them to go and talk to someone or they, maybe you have a gym membership or you encourage people to do and, take breaks and, in other areas about.
Leading by example. So when I said about taking breaks, it’s about saying, okay, well I’m on vacation. Or I’m on holiday, like in Europe, they have a lot of national holidays, so it’s okay. For example, to take, they’ll have a holiday and a Thursday, and then on the Friday they’ll take that day off. So you can have a long weekend.
And if a boss is doing that, that’s like, oh, okay, that means it’s okay for me to do that too. And it means you have a four day weekend and you’ve just taken one day off. So it’s just really important. These are just five things that you should do. And this is as, as a leader, if you are in a company and you are, you know, an employee, then you know what I would do in a meeting, you know, give that person your full attention.
So obviously it’s really easy for, in a Zoom meeting, we can just be like, yeah, I’m here, but I’m actually talking about, I’m actually typing something. , if you’re there, be present, be in the moment. And also, you know, ask questions about your colleagues and your peers. Like not just with a yes, no answer.
Like, oh, how was your weekend? I heard you went, or you went exploring in the mountains, or you went. Being, or you know, you did something new. How did that go? Instead of trying to get a yes or no, an answer and then move on. And then a third thing I would do is, you know, give constructive feedback. And this could be to appear.
So if he or she wanted help in something, like maybe they did a presentation and it didn’t go well, instead of saying, oh, sorry, it didn’t go so well. Too bad. , that’s a bit like sympathy. Empathy would be like, Hey, why don’t we sit down next week, spend half an hour. You can run through the presentation with me and I’ll give you some pointers.
So that’s actually actionable, help that you can give to that colleague.
[00:16:31] Katherine Ong: So it sounds like the advice is really try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes by getting to know a lot more about them. .
[00:16:43] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah. Correct. So you can, this is a skill that is hard for other people, so, you can do that.
Yeah. Put yourself in that person’s shoes, but be curious about them. But in that whole non-stocky type way, I would also like to admit you’re biased. Like if you’re a certain race and color, and maybe you’re getting promoted, but maybe other people of different colors and races or not. You need to raise that, which means to the third section.
Third point is to take action and stand up for others. You know, pay it forward. Maybe if you were young at one time and you didn’t get recognized, do that for someone else and really promote them as well. Another thing I would say is to work on a shared cause with other people. Maybe you’re raising funds for something, or even if you’re doing a bake sale at work, or.
I don’t know. You’re doing, you’re doing a race together to raise money for cancer or a certain cause. That’s really important. And the last one actually is something. That I, well, I never lived in the same place, so I always talk to new people. It’s really important to just talk to new people, to get a different perspective.
So some of my friends when I actually went to university, they’d be like, oh, you always talk to non-English people. Why is that? And I was like, well, I don’t make a point of it. But I do talk, I get, I was drawn to people that were, had an international background like myself, but they just never did.
I thought that was a bit, I don’t know, a bit different. But once you start talking to people that are not exactly 100% the same as you, you do understand a different perspective and you can see things from a different way, which all helps towards your empathy.
[00:18:33] Katherine Ong: No, I think those are, those are great tips.
Thank you cuz I, I’ve been looking forward to sharing some tips on the podcast, particularly related to empathy. There are, we talked a lot about behaviors that help you build relationships, but are there behaviors that people should keep an eye out for that do the opposite?
[00:18:55] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, so what PA behaviors would be the opposite?
So basically, you know, I found that one element of emotional intelligence was that area, that that element was self-awareness. So I think a classic way that people can behave in the opposite way that you would like them to is from not being self-aware. If you’re not sure of yourself, if you’re insecure and you’re afraid that person might be taking your job for whatever reason, you know, you might be questioning the employee all the time.
You might be, you know, pulling them up in meetings. You may be making them feel like. They’re not valued. You’re not giving them actual space in the meetings to present the results, and that makes their life harder. So that’s, that’s because you are again, not self-aware and you don’t have any self-regulation.
Another one is lack of communication. So we said before that open communication is really important. So if you’re not transparent to your friends or well, well say work your employees or your colleagues, then that can actually destroy communication.
[00:20:13] Katherine Ong: Right? It is time to assess yourself and figure out where, where you sit.
So we’ve sort of, I implied that emotional intelligence results in better persuasion because the show’s all about how to persuade to be more successful in digital marketing. But do you have any examples of where emotional intelligence has led to better persuasion? Only because I know there’s some researchers out there.
There’s a land study that established there’s no connection between emotional intelligence outcomes in work or academics. So I’m kind of peeling back. Just it’s, I’m sure it’s good to know where you are at because it helps you build better relationships. But if you are management, you’re trying to figure out, do I really need to implement something like maybe a larger emotional intelligence plan at work.
You obviously wanna get some ROI out of it.
[00:21:07] Juliana Turnbull: Oh yeah, exactly. So there are a lot of different studies. I think that there could be a lot more. So there was one I saw from this, we’ll share the link later, but this one said that employees felt 50% more inspired. When their manager had high motion intelligence, another one from Forbes actually said that Umi led to increased productivity by 40%.
Another one by Forbes said that retention rate increased by 400%. This one is from Career Builder, and this is a little bit old. It was from 2011, and they said that 71% of employers actually value motion intelligence more than iq. And 59% of employers would not hire someone if they had a low ei.
So emotion, a low emotional intelligence, but a high iq. So I thought that was very interesting. But of course this is now coming up to 12 years, no, 11 and a half years old. So there’s a lot more that can be done. But these little snippets showed the importance of emotional intelligence and the effect it had.
And there was also one done by a company called Catalyst. It was in the US and they did it around empathy, and they found it. Employs a highly empathetic senior leader. They had higher levels of creativity and engagement. 61% creativity, 76% engagement compared to those with less empathetic, less empathetic senior leaders.
And it was 13% and 32% respectively. So there is a lot of studies out there, but yes, there could be more.
[00:22:54] Katherine Ong: Yeah, so it sounds like there is some research to show that you’re gonna have maybe better team cohesion, maybe better retention on a digital team if you’ve got some sort of formal emotional intelligence program running with a professional development plan.
But not necessarily anything tied to other than productivity, not necessarily anything tied to whether or not it results. Truly better outcomes and they’re dated. So I kind of wonder, however, as you think about where we’re at now, year three of a pandemic with a lot of remote work, I would assume that these numbers won’t only be higher perhaps cuz folks have lost people and folks have been sick.
And so I would assume having more emotional intelligence would still be more effective now.
[00:23:48] Juliana Turnbull: Yes, it would be. And I would say if you’re in a big organization, I would say do your own study. Do that 360 feedback reviews for your bosses. For the managers, I mean, in the company. And find out what their employees do.
Feel about, but make sure it’s anonymous. Because a lot of times people are like, oh, just give me your email address. You’re like, news. You’re supposed to be anonymous.
[00:24:11] Katherine Ong: Right. All right. Especially on smaller teams, it’s a little bit harder to make it anonymous too. Only I’ve been on the executing end of 360, so, do you have any resources or books that you recommend to folks?
[00:24:26] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, I’d really recommend, first of all, everyone does a check out their strengths. So this is the CliftonStrengths Assessment. It’s a, it’s a test, it’s a, you answer, it’s based on these 34 different personalities, and from there you find out what your strengths are. You work on them and they become your talents, the top five of your talents.
So I’d recommend everyone starts there because at least you. , okay, what am I good at and what can I build upon? Which is different to what you’ve maybe said, been told your whole life, oh, you’re not really good at this, so you need to work on X, Y, and Z. No, this is, you know what you’re good at. And you can build on it and it helps to build up your confidence.
So I’d really recommend that. There’s a few other ones around emotional intelligence. I’d recommend it online. So one is called, verywellmind.com. The scienceofpeople.com was a good one, webmd.com and positivepsychology.com. But we can, yeah, I can share them afterwards. And in terms of the books, I actually liked this one.
It was from Harvard Business With You. It was Nine Things Successful People Do Differently. It was by Heidi Grant Halvorson. . And there’s another book that I was reading called Difficult Personalities, and it was a practical guide to managing the hurtful behavior of others and many of your own. And that was by Helen McGrath and Helen Edwards.
Basically people want to work with people they like, and even more so now. So I think it’s more important than ever to understand people’s behavior and instead of maybe, maybe going the other way and being like, oh, I don’t like what that person’s doing. Trying to understand what they’re doing and then, yes, go away.
But at least you can understand why they are acting that way? And many times I’ve found it’s because they’re not self-aware and they’re not able to self-regulate. Sometimes bosses that I’ve worked with, they would fly off the handle at anything, and that’s because they can’t, they don’t know their own triggers, which I’m like, at six years old, you should know what sets you off and they can’t manage themselves.
[00:26:38] Katherine Ong: Yeah, I know that behavior also runs with high intelligence, so I kind of wonder, depending on the industry you’re in, whether you run into people that maybe have more self-regulating issues. So this has been great. I’ve got a couple standard questions that I ask everybody. Thanks so much for being on the show, by the way.
This is great stuff. And all of the resources she’s mentioned are going to be in the show notes, so, don’t worry about that. On the show, we are always thinking about our audience and what makes them tick. Have you recently had some sort of aha moment about either your, your client’s audience, your audience that was like, wow, this, I didn’t realize this.
[00:27:21] Juliana Turnbull: Yeah, I think the aha moment was realizing that, you know, people want to work with those that they, they like and. and that understands one another. They basically want to work with other emotionally intelligent people. And the other thing is that people will not say what they don’t know. So if you’re in a meeting talking.
About SEO and maybe some of the technical elements like, oh, this page should be no indexed, or maybe you should have put a tag on it, or maybe you should update the robot.txt file to not index the error of the site. And you were the CEO, maybe the CEO. She’s like, I really don’t know what you’re talking about, but maybe she might feel that she can’t.
Say anything she might think, maybe you’re trying to outsmart her. So, what I would say is when you’re in meetings with people, try to be clear and concise. And actually this was something that I learned from Tom K’s SEO MBA course. It was really good. So, you, how you can basically get buy-in from the C level without always going into the.
The massive detail. So first, to summarize, the AHA moment is basically that people wanna work with those that they enjoy working with people that understand each other so highly, or emotional intelligence. And two is that be clear and concise and don’t always go down into the detail when you don’t need to, depending, it depends on your audience.
[00:28:50] Katherine Ong: No, that’s great. We love Tom. I think his stuff is great. I’m also in the class. So how can people learn more about you?
[00:28:59] Juliana Turnbull: So they can follow me on Twitter. I’m @SEOJoBlogs, or on LinkedIn under J Turnbull. And, also, eh, we have our Search LDN and 12th birthday party coming up February 28th.
It will be in London, England. It’s on February 28th from 6:00 PM and you can find us @SearchLDN on Twitter. And I’m also on Turn Digi at turn and then Digi. So D I G I. So lots of ways.
[00:29:29] Katherine Ong: That’s great. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. This has been great.
[00:29:32] Juliana Turnbull: Thank you for having me. I’ve really enjoyed it.
And, yeah, if anyone has any questions just let me, I’m not a psychologist just to say that there are still things that I’m learning about learning and, and finding more about, but it’s, it’s a very interesting aspect of, of marketing and everyday life, this emotional intelligence.
[00:29:52] Katherine Ong: Thanks so much for listening.
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