Shelley Benhoff is a seasoned technology professional and a recognized leader in her field. She co-founded Hoffstech LLC and has been honored with the title of Technology MVP twice in her career. Originally from Maryland, she moved to Florida in 2012 and has since been focusing her efforts on being an author and professional speaker.
With a background in computer science, Shelley has developed online educational content and continues to contribute to her field of expertise through platforms such as Pluralsight. In her typical day, she prioritizes wellness activities such as yoga and tea before starting work around noon, focusing primarily on studying, writing, and preparing for speaking engagements.
Shelley is passionate about the importance of constant learning in the ever-evolving tech industry and emphasizes the need for work-life balance. She is an advocate for gender equality in the tech industry and speaks out against practices such as gatekeeping. Shelley’s leadership, contributions to her field, and advocacy work make her an influential figure in the technology world.
In this interview, Shelley candidly discusses everything from content marketing to community building. She also tells us why she goes to Disneyland every week.
Devrims: Let’s begin with an introduction of yourself and what initially sparked your interest in the field of Content Marketing?
Shelley: I’m Shelley Benhoff and I’m an author, speaker, and co-owner at HoffsTech Creative Group. I’ve been a content creator since 2015 and I have over 20 online courses teaching tech skills and leadership and I host a podcast, Tiaras and Tech. In order for my courses to sell, I had to learn content marketing to promote them. I ended up achieving great success and I became a tech influencer.
Devrims: How did you come up with the idea of a Creative Content Marketing Agency? Could you share some details about your experience in the Marketing industry?
Shelley: Over the years, I have been approached by many companies asking me to make videos for them. Most of them expected me to do this for free to gain exposure but I realised that I was giving them exposure as a brand ambassador and that is not a free service. Now I work with SaaS companies and tech startups to help them increase their brand awareness and generate quality leads. I have been a developer for over 20 years and I previously worked for SaaS companies developing their apps and services. My team understands the struggles that startups have trying to promote their product.
Devrims: What is the primary goal of your agency? Does it primarily focus on helping businesses find new opportunities or facilitating business connections?
Shelley: Our main goal is lead generation. This is achieved through messaging tailored for a specific target audience and persona. We use content marketing to increase brand awareness and drive engagement with quality leads. Increasing brand awareness also speaks to a startup’s position in the market and attracts investors.
Devrims: Would you like to share a little about your experience in the Content Marketing industry?
Shelley: As a content creator, learning the proper content marketing process helped me to engage with my audience and build trust. I learned the purpose of each social media platform and the different audiences I could interact with. I was also certified in SEO from SEMrush which I think has helped me the most. I have several YouTube videos that have been ranked at #1 for years amassing over 500k views. I also have blog posts that show up on the 1st page in SERP above blog posts from Indeed. SEO also applies to social media posts. You have to know what your audience is searching for, and more importantly, their intent in their search. Are they looking for information or do they want to buy something? These are the keys to getting your product in front of the right people. Then, you need to capture their attention with high-quality content.
Devrims: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in marketing and technology?
Shelley: I subscribe to a lot of blogs and newsletters from LinkedIn, SEMrush, Hubspot, and Marketing Brew. There are others I know I’m forgetting but these are all great resources for you to learn. I also experiment with different types of content on my personal social media accounts to stay up to date on trends.
Devrims: In Content Marketing, there is a fear of investing in the wrong form or format. How do you prevent that?
Shelley: I don’t think it’s always preventable. My main platform has been Twitter for years and now that’s in decline. I’m still not going to leave because that’s where my audience is. But I am missing out on influencer brand deals as most companies now prefer TikTok and Instagram. Trends come and go and you just have to roll with it.
Devrims: For established brands, content decay is a real issue. How do you work around that?
Shelley: Most brands think that they write a blog post and leave it. You should revisit old blog posts and update them. This is a smart way to repurpose old content and keep your content fresh at the same time.
Devrims: You are a Docker Community Leader. What is your advice to anyone who is looking for a cloud hosting platform?
Shelley: I think the most important thing is security. There are so many laws protecting user data and you want to ensure that you are 100% compliant. You also need reliable support, backups, and roll backs in place in case of emergencies. Cost is always a concern but you need to choose the right platform for your organization, don’t just pick the cheapest option.
Devrims: From what it looks, you are pretty amazing at what you do. Any organization or productivity hacks for us?
Shelley: Thank you! It is incredibly important to surround yourself with a support system. You cannot do things alone, especially as an entrepreneur. Every SaaS startup I have worked with is not a one-person operation. You need people to compliment your skill set and fill in the gaps.
Devrims: Apart from work, could you describe a typical day? Please share a favorite memory along with a picture.
Shelley: I am a big Disney fan, I live in Orlando, and I’m a Disney World annual passholder. My husband and I go to the parks often for dinner, about once per week. We make Disney content for fun. If you’re interested in that, I’m @tiarasandtomorrowland on Instagram and TikTok. Here’s a picture of us in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. This picture was taken at the end of the night around 11 PM. We love being there late at night because the crowds are lower and lines are shorter. It’s always a fun time!
Time for some quick questions in our Rapid Fire!
|WFO or WFH
|Movie or hanging out with friends
|Mac or Windows