If you’ve spent any time on our storEDGE website, you’ve probably checked out our award-winning marketing websites. In just a few clicks, it’s easy to see our websites’ mobile-responsive design, how we drive business for our self storage clients, and just how simple it is for tenants to rent or reserve a storage unit online. What you can’t see is all the work that goes on behind the scenes. We spend a lot of time crafting the why, when, and what behind all of our products to ensure we’re making the best technology in the industry, and our office is always bustling with activity - swing by on any given day and you’ll see brainiacs working on our latest product feature, helpers getting our new customers started on the right foot, and visionaries planning our five-year product roadmap. Lillian Wright, a Product Manager for our marketing websites, is one of those bright visionaries.

Lillian leads the vision for our marketing websites by driving the strategy for the website features we build for our clients. When she’s not meeting with our web development teams, assisting our hardworking account managers, or talking digital marketing tools with clients, you can often find her chatting about the latest Google algorithm changes or nerding out over PPC tracking. In this Meet Team storEDGE interview, I talked to Lillian about her broad technology skillset, what her top SEO advice is for self storage owners, and her love for music. Check it out below!

Name: Lillian Wright

Department: Product

Started at storEDGE: August 2016

What does a typical day look like for you as a product manager for our storEDGE websites?

My day always starts with coffee from the Grind. I don’t even talk to my co-workers until that first cup is down. From there, I typically have a rolling task list for myself with long-term and short-term goals and the associated tasks for our website product so I can make a call about where I need to start. A few days of the week are filled up with meetings: ideation meetings to collaborate with the team on new features for the websites, refinement meetings with the development team to stay in the loop on how our features are being built and to help them understand how our customers will use them, and client meetings where I work directly with our customers to learn about their needs and workflows for their businesses. The ends of my days are usually a time where I can stay on top of Google’s shifty nature and new developments in digital marketing.

Before you got into the self storage industry, you worked in real estate. What do you think is the biggest difference between the two industries? What surprised you the most about self storage?

Actually, the similarities far outweighed the differences, which was a huge surprise to me. Residential realtors are basically a hyper-local business, just like a self storage facility. Realtors need to have digital visibility for specific areas and neighborhoods, they need to engage with their local communities to stay relevant and they need to be very informed about the market they’re working in. I didn’t know much about self storage when I started at storEDGE so it was a shock as I started learning the industry and realizing it was real estate on a much larger scale. The biggest difference is that I haven’t had to calculate 6% of anything in awhile.

What is your favorite thing about your job, outside of your fabulous coworkers? (ahem)

Oh well, I mean, my co-workers are fine, I guess... (JK LOVE YOU GUYZ!). Actually, my co-workers are really a huge part of what I love about my job - not just the personal relationships, but the actual collaboration. The first time I sat down with my team to brainstorm a feature we needed, we got so into working through ideas, drawings, whiteboarding possibilities, that we didn’t even realize it was well past the end of the work day when we wrapped up. We were all so excited about what we had come up with together; it was pretty incredible.

You have expertise in a lot of areas: web marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, tech development, amazing fashion sense, the list goes on. How does your broad range of skills help you better serve our web clients?

Many of our customers are small businesses - they don’t have a team of people executing each of these skills needed for a fully formed and successful digital marketing plan, they’re doing these things themselves. So I think it helps that I’ve managed or touched each of these avenues as a beginner and sometimes I will run into the exact same struggles or roadblocks as my clients. I’ve learned over the years and I’ve been there before, so I hopefully I have the right perspective to help them navigate it as well. I wish my fashion sense helped more…maybe I’ll start adding selfies to all of my emails.

If you could give a new self storage owner one piece of advice about web marketing, what would it be?

Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re opening up a new shop, try to get your website live well before you’re open and start blogging or adding content to the site at regular intervals. Timeblock a couple hours each week to sit down and create content for your website, look for backlinks, check your citations, whichever avenue of SEO and digital marketing you can realistically sustain doing over time. The domain you build your website off of and your website itself builds power with the search engines over time - treat it like an asset to your business that you invest in because that is exactly what it is.

Outside of work, you’re an awesome photographer and you’re involved in the KC music scene in a big way. Want to talk about your secret talents?

Ha - they’re very secret and there’s not too much talent behind it, just a lack of sleep and a love of music. When I lived in my college town, Lawrence, I loved the music scene and made tons of friends going to shows at The Granada and The Bottleneck. I always saw this super cool woman taking photos at the shows; eventually I figured out she ran a local music blog and was looking for more photographers so I jumped at the chance. It’s been such an awesome experience. I’ve been to SXSW twice, interviewed many artists including Andrew WK, and I’ve seen hundreds of live shows that blow my mind every time.

I know you’re also a bit of a bookworm. Have you read any great books lately?

YES! I just went to the beach last week with my family and took a book with me that was recommended by my best friend (she and I will often read a book in tandem then have an impromptu FaceTime book club since she lives in Seattle). I just read “The Princess Saves Herself In This One” by Amanda Lovelace. It was fabulous - it’s a collection of poems that tells the story of her love of reading, her teenage years with a troubled family life, and how she finds her way in the end. It was a quick read, but I ended up reading it through a few times. It was really great!

What’s your go-to drink?

Old Fashioned, always. I worked as a hostess at an excellent whiskey bar a few nights a week for fun when I first moved to KC. My experience there really spoiled me, so anytime I visit a new cocktail bar, I order their Old Fashioned to compare it. The most expensive Old Fashioned I’ve ever had ($25 at a bar in NYC that is literally in Grand Central Station) had nothing on my crew’s version.

Thanks for reading! Want to know more about us? You might also like these posts: Meet Team storEDGE: Katelyn Wyss, Account Manager, Meet Team storEDGE: Jeremy James, Client Launch Specialist, and Meet Team storEDGE: Chris Lasiter, Business Development Executive.