Optimize: a Discussion with Lee Odden [Video]

December 17th, 2012 | Shonali Burke | 15 Comments

optimize the bookI don’t do a lot of book reviews. Because I don’t like to skim books, I really read them, and that takes time.

And time is the most precious thing we have.

However, one book I couldn’t put down was Lee Odden‘s Optimize, which he graciously sent me earlier this year (disclosure: I received a free copy of the book but was not even asked to write a review). I was so excited when it arrived, that I immediately started thumbing through it.

Yup, that’s a photo of my copy of the book, with all those little flags, and sticky thingummies.

It’s just a terrific book – not just about “SEO,” but much more about getting into an “optimized state of mind.”

That is where you integrate social principles and a community element into content marketing – and to which you naturally apply good SEO principles – to grow a business that flourishes through attraction and engagement.

And if you’re going to stay competitive in today’s marketplace – forget about excelling, it takes so much to just stay abreast – you have to be able to this. And, ideally, start to do it better and better.

Ever since I met Lee at the 2008 PRSA International Conference, I’ve been blown away by not just how smart he is, but how kind and generous he is with his time and expertise. I’ve emailed him so many times with random questions, and he’s always found the time to answer me… and he is way busier than I am.

I truly believe he is one of the top SEO PR experts of our day, if not the toppermost of the poppermost, and I pinch myself that I actually know him.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion Lee actually lives in Optimize Peak on Mount Olympus… but I haven’t been able to verify that yet.

Talking Optimize with Lee Odden

A few months ago, Lee took the time out of his hectic schedule to chat with me about the book. I apologize in advance for the quality in the beginning – we were talking via Skype, and when the connection decided to act up, there wasn’t much we could do about it.

The video is rather long (for me); it clocks in at around 11:36 minutes (including the intro/outtro), but I do think it will be well worth your time. Among others, Lee discusses:

  • what constitutes an optimized state of mind, and which business functions need to be in that mindset
  • optimizing B2B v. B2C communications
  • how to keep prospects moving through the sales funnel
  • how to stay competitive in the world of search

… and much, much more!

Here’s the video (and click here if, for some reason, the video doesn’t show up in your Reader):

Good stuff, right?

I don’t often urge people to run out and buy a particular book, but this year, Lee’s book is one of three that I’ve been recommending for just that particular aerobic activity.

And seeing as how it’s only December 17, I’m sure there are many of you who are scrambling to get last-minute gifts.

This would be a terrific gift for anyone who wants to learn more about how communication should work today, who wants to learn more about SEO itself from one of the leaders in the field, and who knows success doesn’t just “happen.”

In fact, do yourself a favor; buy two copies, one for yourself, and one to give away. So pull your wallet out and go grab Optimize as soon as you can.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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"A Little Birdie Told Me" could fly into your inbox just once a month. It's Shonali-as-seen-nowhere-else. What're you waiting for?


I probably need to get Optimize on my reading list! | @halfbrown @shonali


Thank you so much @shonali for the awesome review of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit cc: @kdpaine http://t.co/8N6Sv5L8


Thanks Shonali! I was looking for the book to read over the holidays and just downloaded Optimize to my Kindle. 


Thank you for such a generous endorsement Shonali.  No Optimize peak for me, just really cold Minnesota :)    I think you are a great example of someone who gives to the community, tirelessly.  Your smarts are very much appreciated and it is a pleasure to know you!


@dbvickery @shonali I thought about picking it up before, but after watching the video I put it on order. Holistic marketing (etc.) FTW!


@kanter Absolutely my pleasure, many thanks to you and @kdpaine for writing and involving so many of us! #nonprofit

Shonali moderator

@leeodden Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how much I learn from REALLY smart folk like you, Lee - thank YOU for all you do! I'm still pinching myself that I know you. Seriously. 

I think you're keeping Mount Olympus under wraps. So that all the Lee & TopRank groupies (cough @mdbarber cough) don't follow you up there. ;)


@halfbrown Suh-weet! Did you hear that, @leeodden ? @dbvickery thanks again for sharing!


@shonali @halfbrown @leeodden Got so much reading to do...lots of great material out there by authors I respect...


@halfbrown @shonali Smart! :) #OptimizeBook


  1. […] Waxing Unlyrical Taken to an Optimized State of Mind […]

  2. […] by Lee Odden. I waxed lyrical about Lee’s book last year, and it is really one of the best business books you can buy, either for yourself or as a […]

  3. Just Write says:

    [...] in a humungous ballroom), my first tweetup, and my first time meeting people like Shannon Paul, Lee Odden, Zoe Siskos, Lauren Vargas, and many, many others I still respect and have since come to know [...]

  4. [...] Have you read Lee Odden’s book, Optimize? Shonali Burke did, and she had the opportunity to pick Odden’s brain on both his book and his optimization strategies. Check it out at Waxing UnLyrical. [...]