Adriana Stein: From the Anthropology Field to Founding a Thriving Digital Agency

Adriana Stein

When you go through a difficult situation, you have two choices… let it keep you down, or use it to create a better life.

Adriana Stein is a self-made marketing professional, CEO, and founder of AS Marketing, an international online marketing agency with client reach in over 200 cities.

Initially, Adriana received formal education in the field of anthropology. As such her decision to commit to a career in marketing wasn’t entirely planned. However, with marketing being deeply rooted in understanding the human experience, Adriana found herself grasping the concept of consumer behavior better than many of her peers.

Her ability to listen, organize, and think outside of the box allowed her to grow from an independently run business into a collaborative team of over 45 consultants offering holistic marketing strategies across the globe.

After almost a decade of soul searching, culture shock, and ambitious goal-setting, her journey is inspiring for anyone looking to break into a new field.

Who is Adriana Stein?

Adriana Stein grew up in a small town called Joseph, Oregon. Not only does this town encompass a population of only 1,168 individuals, but you could walk from one end to another in a mere 30 minutes.

Understandably, her childhood was spent reading about other countries and cultures, imagining what life was like on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

This interest in human behavior, culture, and life outside of Joseph, Oregon led her to major in Anthropology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Her studies only fueled her desire to learn more, which is why she decided to study abroad in Spain.

Adriana’s Early Inspiration

While abroad, not only did Adriana live and learn to speak Spanish in Spain, she also got the opportunity to backpack through 10 different countries. It was during this time that she realized her personality was too big for her small town. She resonated much stronger with European lifestyles and started considering the possibilities of her future.

The rich culture, the vibrant cities, and the diverse tastes, smells, and sights solidified her desire to find a way to stay.

It wasn’t until she arrived in Hamburg, Germany that she finally felt at home. As soon as she got there, it was love at first sight and she set about finding a way to make it official.

Struggling to Stay Afloat

Even though obtaining a visa seemed to be a lot more difficult than expected, Adriana was never one to give up easily.

Although it felt nearly impossible to navigate the German bureaucracy, she found a way to schedule an appointment and learn more about her options. The foreigner’s office told her the easiest option for her to stay was with a language learning visa. So off she went and joined a German language school to take 25 hours of German per week for 6 months.

While learning German became Adriana’s biggest advantage to staying in Germany, the downside to the language learning visa is that it had a strict time limit. And to make matters more complicated, her US degree wasn’t recognized in Germany.

When she went to the foreigner’s office to renew her visa, she was told to either be a freelancer or leave Germany, as the limitation of the language visa had been met.

Once again, the universe took her in a direction she could have never anticipated. Adriana quickly went into survival mode.

In an interview, she remarked, “When you go through a difficult situation, you have two choices… let it keep you down, or use it to create a better life.” She chose the latter.

Instead of letting the universe get her down, she decided she wanted to create a better life. She loved the freedom and individuality that freelancers were given, so she figured the only way to move was forward.

Fueled by determination, Adriana harnessed any negative emotions felt by the unknown (and German bureaucracy) to help power herself in her journey to success.

She left the US because she wanted to create a better life for herself and she wasn’t about to give up that easily. She had a good feeling that with the right mentality and commitment, things would work out.

That’s when she decided to freelance as a translator and content writer for German companies who needed help marketing to English speaking countries. Surprisingly, the demand for this language combination was massive and it became a strong jumping off point for her career as a multilingual marketing consultant.

She is a highly determined person with making her dreams come true and she still harnesses this mindset every day, in both personal life and business.

The Turning Point

After taking on some of her first marketing clients, she recognized the recurring need for multilingual marketing support.

Thanks to her German classes, she quickly became successful offering translation services through local sites. She took on multiple clients from different industries with various needs.

This eventually allowed her to transition into writing. Adriana said yes to everything. She used this period of transition as a time to develop her skill set and create a more scalable business.

It was easier than she expected to get jobs. As a native English speaker, she had a strong competitive advantage in the EU. Although she had no prior marketing background, she began landing jobs writing SEO content and managing multi-channel marketing teams.

This led Adriana to realize that she loved every aspect of marketing. In the end, marketing is all about people – just like Anthropology.

AS Marketing’s Current Business Approach

Adriana’s hard work and persistence paid off. Five years, thousands of emails, and an impressive number of satisfied clients later, her agency has created more than 1000 keywords in the top 3 rankings.

Expanding from the concept of multilingual marketing support, the agency has developed into a full-scale marketing agency with a diverse team of consultants that speak over 20 languages. Together, they implement holistic marketing strategies for a variety of clients in B2B Tech, Law, Health and Logistics.

AS Marketing offers SEO content marketing, international marketing, marketing automation, and PPC packages tailored to specific industries and company objectives. With expert consultants in each area of focus and local market, businesses who partner with AS Marketing enjoy streamlined processes that empower them to efficiently expand into new international markets and sustainably generate high-quality leads.

Notable Case Studies

As an agency, AS Marketing’s success is best measured through the success of the clients.

Loyalty Prime

Loyalty Prime provided loyalty SaaS solutions across different industries, a particular niche with fairly low search volume.

AS Marketing performed an audit and created a unique SEO strategy with full-stack marketing support. This facilitated a transformation from utter confusion to complete confidence in the value of SEO.

Within one year, Loyalty Prime’s visibility skyrocketed.

They received twice as much search traffic from June 2020 to June 2021, 93% growth in organic keyword rankings, 30+ high rankings for keywords with purchase intent, and a stronger overall sales and marketing alignment that would allow for sustainable business growth over time.

You can read more about this detailed case study here.


Another example is AS Marketing’s work with Restructum, a law firm that specializes in restructuring companies in Germany. When Restructum approached AS Marketing, they had just launched a new service in an entirely new niche and wanted to act fast to dominate the landscape.

By targeting keywords with high transactional and commercial intent, AS Marketing only took 1 month to rank and win SERP features for new target keywords with a brand new website, and create a German-language marketing strategy that continues to increase their reach and strengthen their brand.

Read more about AS Marketing’s work with Restructum here.


Kindly is a B2B platform that offers conversational AI technology to B2B and e-commerce businesses. Their services include things like virtual shopping assistants, automated emails, machine learning, and more.

When Kindly approached AS Marketing, they wanted to relaunch their website and develop a content plan that would connect with their ideal audience. AS Marketing quickly carved out their niche and set the stage for them to become thought leaders in the conversational AI space.

Using a future-proof SEO strategy, AS Marketing was able to help Kindly achieve a 312% organic traffic growth globally and 10x organic growth in Sweden from April 2021 to March 2022.

By combining SEO with PPC, AS Marketing also increased conversions by 107%, achieved a 5x increase in keywords ranked between #1 and #10 in 11 months, and provided Kindly with plans for continuous and sustainable growth.

You can access this case study here.

Published Work

In addition to her agency success, Adriana has been published in over 25 renowned publications and been considered a valued guest contributor for HubSpot, Moz, and Search Engine Journal.

Some of her most notable work includes:



Search Engine Journal

Adriana has also been invited to speak at esteemed industry events such as BrightonSEO and International Search Summit to share her expertise on international and local SEO.

Key Lessons to be Learned from Adriana Stein

It’s amazing to think that a backpacker struggling to stay afloat in Germany now heads a successful international online marketing agency after such a short time.

When asked, Adriana bases her success on a few key insights. Some of the most key lessons to be learned from Adriana Stein and her flourishing company are:

  • Always say yes to new opportunities for personal development and growth
  • Develop sales skills and learn how to sell yourself
  • Never stop stacking and improving your skills
  • Think holistically about personal and professional growth
  • Always prioritize relationships
  • Learn how to manage yourself then you’ll be better equipped to manage your business

8 Pieces of Advice from Adriana Stein

If you’re looking at making a major life change, take a chapter out of Adriana’s book. She did, in fact, go from a one-woman anthropology field backpacker to the head of a thriving, international online marketing agency. Some of her most valuable pieces of advice are as follows.

1.      Don’t neglect LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful, often underutilized tool that has the potential to change your life. Adriana gives much of her success to this platform and truly believes in the power of LinkedIn.

She recommends beginning by posting what you know and what you want to be known for. This will slowly help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

2.      Connect with everyone you want to work with

When it comes to LinkedIn, connections > followers.

According to Adriana, “It’s not all about followers, what you want is connections. What you should be doing is connecting with the people you want to work with every week.

Connections increase the likelihood that your posts will show up on their feed, thus improving your visibility and brand.

3.      Find a good network/community and be active in it

Another piece of advice for those just starting out is to take the time to find a good network and commit to being an active member. Adriana tells us that a huge part of being able to build a business is having a good network, so it should be one of the first things you do.

Join a network that aligns with your goals, connect with members, be active, and stay in touch. When you put in the time to build relationships, your efforts will pay off in the end.

4.      Just try to be helpful, don’t hoard the secrets of success to yourself

With so many cryptic messages online, Adriana states that the best way to be successful on LinkedIn is to be transparent.

Avoid hoarding the “secrets of your success” or trying to leverage them with unnecessary eBooks. Share your knowledge and eventually, people will see your worth.

5.      Bask in the power of shortcuts

Shortcuts are valuable. Adriana tells us that if you can show businesses you can do something better and faster, you become a valuable asset to their team. The faster businesses can get things done without sacrificing quality, the sooner they’ll be able to achieve their goals.

Don’t underestimate the power of shortcuts.

6.      Use a holistic approach to marketing

Adriana learned this early. In order to give businesses a truly remarkable result, you need to utilize a holistic approach to marketing. By viewing the business as one single entity versus various silos that work concurrently, you create better alignment and stronger efficiency.

7.      Repeat processes until you created a productized service

If you have an idea in your head for a service, you’re already ahead of the game. Adriana tells us, however, that the best way to achieve success in your niche is to continually repeat what you do.

Repeated processes lead to productized services, which allows you to create templates for those services that can be followed by other members of your team as you scale your business. This ensures quality control, which is essential to your brand reputation and overall success.

8.      Always look for opportunities to learn and stack your skills

Finally, Adriana tells us to never stop learning. No matter what you do or where you are in life, there’s always an opportunity for growth.

To learn more about Adriana and AS Marketing, visit their website or contact them to schedule a discovery call today.

People who recommend Adriana Stein

Anja Zschörnig (VP Talent, Organisation & Communication @ Schwarz Media Plattform) 


Anja Zschörnig

Adriana consulted Anja during her work at Loyalty Prime. In her recommendation, Anja states, “Adriana is truly the-dream-come-true when it comes to freelance consulting/ agency outsourcing. Not only is she an excellent expert in her field (SEO) but she also brings amazing dedication to the table, paired with a sharp mind, awesome reliability, and super high efficiency. Added plus: she is a wonderful human being who is simply GREAT to work with. So if you are looking for expert SEO consulting that will deliver measurable results – look no further. Adriana will deliver!!”

Anne Allbright, PhD (Founder, Tutor Around) 


Anne Allbright

Anne has been a client of Adriana. In her recommendation, she express, “If you are looking for someone highly professional with clear communications skills, who can also meet deadlines while at the sametime handling your SEO needs, then I suggest hiring Adriana Stein. I look forward to working with her in the future because it’s nice to work with someone who actually has the skills they claim. This is especially true for me, as I have a self-funded startup and it is dire that I make every penny count. Because of her, I have taken a real love for SEO. Adriana’s provides good insights and guidance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.”

Katja Grunert (COO at Crispy Content, A Content Marketing Agency in Berlin)

Katja Grunert

Katja was a client of Adriana’s. In her recommendation, she affirms, “I met Adriana through a recommendation from Crispy Content because I was looking for a native English speaker to help us professionally create B2C content for a smartphone manufacturer. The difficulty of the assignment was not only to translate texts into clean English, but also to understand the client’s brand and communication strategy within a very short time and to create new, performance-oriented content versions for the target audience. The result of her work was excellent. I particularly liked her commitment to questioning the content and purpose of the text and creating the perfect content for each phase of the customer journey.”

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