Welcome to our recurring column, Meet Our Team, where we will spotlight some of the integral members of the Casting Networks team who are dedicated to keeping our platform running smoothly and efficiently for our customers and clients. For our latest installment, we speak with Rebecca Lehmann, Director of Content and SEO at Casting Networks. Learn what drove Rebecca to pursue a digital marketing career, what she loves most about working at Casting Networks, what she is excited to work on this year and more!
1. What is your role at Casting Networks?
I joined Casting Networks in March as Director of Content and SEO. That means that I’m leading content strategy and helping to make sure that Casting Networks is visible in search engines when people search for things like “What’s the best casting website?” Another way to look at it is that I’m always trying to connect people to the information that they’re looking for, and often that means creating new content to answer their questions. Content SEO is about more than using the right keywords – it’s really balancing two audiences, where you’re creating something that is both authoritative and credible and using that to build trust with your human audience while also making it easy for search engines to understand it.
2. What is your favorite part of your job?
I love discovering a trend or an underserved need, creating content that caters to that, and then watching the visitor data validate all of the work and research that we put into it when it helps them get to the answer they’re seeking. I love telling stories with data and using it to discover what our audience wants. That intersection of art and science is my sweet spot.
3. What are you most excited about working on this year?
My favorite project so far has been the “How to Become an Actor” series, where we find working actors from all over and ask them what is special or unique about working in that city. It shines a light on smaller markets, gives the actor some exposure, and everyone involved in putting these together has been so lovely to work with.
4. What are some interesting areas you get to focus on at Casting Networks that you didn’t in previous roles?
This is really the first job I’ve had where I’m applying every bit of my experience and education, and getting to do that within the entertainment industry is really special. I taught myself HTML in the mid-nineties for fun, got my bachelor’s in Rhetoric, which is basically creative writing, and then capped it off with an MBA in International Business. I’ve usually been working with two of those three in the past, so really being able to flex all of those muscles working on website content with a global team has been incredibly rewarding.
5. What’s something interesting or unexpected about your role that people would be surprised to know?
People sometimes think of SEO as spam, but for me, I’m always on the audience’s side. I’m checking Twitter several times a day to see what people are saying about us and I see it all. It’s important to me to be tuned into that conversation since it’s a very honest glimpse at what my target audience is thinking. And I really am rooting for them! In my experience, working in SEO naturally turns you into a customer advocate since you’re working so hard to hone in on what they need and to make sure that they have it and can easily find it. The content we create has to be really solid to pull that off.
6. What drove you to pursue a career in Marketing?
I actually started out as a commercial loan processor. It was a dreadfully boring job that I just sort of fell into, but I didn’t know what else I would do. Then in 2008, at the height of the recession, I was at dinner with some friends. I was listening to one of them talking about her job and I thought, “Wow, that sounds amazing, I think I’d be good at that.” It really was a light bulb moment. I was hired for my first SEO job shortly after that and now I’ve been at it for thirteen years. SEO wasn’t really a career yet when I finished college or I might have found it sooner. But once it evolved into a formal discipline, it was obvious that my background was well suited to it.
7. Tell us about a mentor or person who inspired you to get to where you are today.
He’s not really a mentor in the classic sense, but I’m going to give some credit to Wil Reynolds here. He founded an agency called SEER Interactive that was still pretty small but very clearly going places when I was still new to the industry, and I was very tuned in to everything his team was publishing. A couple years later, I got the chance to work with them as an in-house partner/liaison to SEER and the experience was very positive. It was validating to be in regular contact with that team and really cemented the idea that I was in the right career. Wil is still publishing, but now talks more about being an entrepreneur and founder, managing teams and giving back, and he does it in a way that’s refreshingly honest and a nice counter to some of the more toxic aspects of the conversation around startups. I find myself connecting to his management insights as I’ve grown in my own career.
We are proud to showcase our diverse, talented and creative employees across the globe. Stay tuned for our next installment to meet more of our team!