New hire! James Chapman

7 min read by Laura Manning 14 Aug 2023

Our SEO team is growing, and we’re excited to welcome a new personality to the technical tribe.

James Chapman comes to us as a seasoned SEO strategist, having developed his expertise over a decade of working in digital marketing agencies.

With a background working with nationally and internationally known brands; James’ forte lies in translating business goals into actionable SEO workstreams. Find out why this hire is music to our ears…

So, ‘Chappers’, tell us a little bit about your background

Born in Stockport, I have found myself 40 years later… still in Stockport.

At school, I studied various subjects that reflected my personality and passions: one-half science and technical nerdy stuff, the other half more creative subject matter. This would turn out to be the perfect skill set for my future career!

I studied Electronic & Computer Engineering at Nottingham University and like many graduates, I had no idea where my next step would take me and I ended up falling into a brief career in recruitment. During this time I was helping to hire web developers and designers for agencies across the North West. As a result, I quickly developed a comprehensive knowledge of the movers and shakers in the industry and often found myself envious of the careers of those I spoke to.

It was also during this time that a new strand of marketing was beginning to emerge – SEO. This was the career change that has kept me busy for the past decade!

What’s been your top career highlight so far?

In my last agency, I managed relationships with a diverse range of B2B and B2C clients, including renowned brands like Dr Oetker and Sage. These were really challenging but super rewarding, and we were pleased to achieve huge accolades for this work, including a win at the Global Search Awards.

Caught off-guard by team illness and jumping wildly out of my comfort zone, I spoke at the renowned BrightonSEO event a few years ago. It is 100% the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done but the post-talk high was exhilarating!

What made you want to come to StrategiQ?

It’s clear to see that StrategiQ has ambitious growth plans and is committed to investing in its staff. Given my insights and people-led motivators, I wanted to be a part of the action. I can’t wait to help nurture new members into the SEO team, helping them grow and learn alongside the business’s goal-driven R&D structure.

What’s something you’d say you’re exceptionally good at?

Making a bloody good cuppa, and client management – in particular building the bridge between client needs and SEO activity.

It’s commonplace for a knowledge gap to exist between client and agency, as the campaigns we execute are often technical in nature, so it’s important to convey the relationship between our activities and the growth potential they deliver.

What’s the best part of working agency-side for you?

I love the variety of clients we get to work with, and working hand-in-hand with other teams to bounce around ideas to achieve their goals.

Considering that I work in a field that can be highly technical and numerate, I personally find personal interactions the most fulfilling aspect. Clients will often need education as to the value of SEO or of particular recommendations. When communicated properly and with empathy, it’s gratifying to see the “lightbulb moment” clients often get when the penny drops after buying into the value of what we recommend.

The pace of agency life is also incomparable for personal growth.

Moving away from all the business talk – tell us what a perfect day off would look like to you!

Outside of work I absolutely love food and music – so it would definitely revolve around that. You can’t beat a lie-in, a nice cafe for brunch and wholesome walk at a local National Trust site. I’m also a vinyl bore and have far too many records and a set of decks in my little office here at home. You’ll probably find me DJing into the night!

What is the best way to approach you?

I’ll always be interested in what you’re having for lunch or where you’re heading for dinner this weekend.

Interested in being the next addition to the StrategiQ team? Explore our current vacancies here.

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