A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Why I’m Stopping my Classes

August 26th, 2010

At the beginning of the month I announced to my subscribers that I am no longer going to teach classes after next month.  But I forgot to post it here. 

(Why?  Because I combined the announcement with a special discount that was primarily for my subscribers.)

So here are the details as I announced them earlier this month.  (For those of you that subscribe to my newsletter, none of this is new.)

The History of our classes…

In June 2007, my wife and I moved to Charlotte.  One of the main reasons I did so was to start teaching classes about Internet marketing.  We felt Charlotte was a bigger and better market to do so than Asheville, NC.

It proved true.  Starting in early 2008, I have taught about 30 classes.  It’s been a real pleasure for me to meet so many incredibly interesting people and to hear about their jobs and businesses.  I continue to keep in touch with many of them.

But now it’s time for a change.

I’m stopping my classes…

I’ll probably never stop teaching.  I enjoy it too much.  But I am stopping my classes.
(What will replace them?  You’ll have to watch for future newsletters to learn that.)

As of today, I’ve decided that I’m only teaching two more classes.

Thanks for your support…

The last three years or so have been a real thrill for me.  I love the atmosphere of a classroom filled with students that are eager to learn a subject (Internet marketing) that I love so much.

But the work I have to do on my own business is taking priority this year.  Next year, I’ll be announcing some newer, bigger, better initiatives. 

So stay tuned! 

Want to keep up on our new initiatives?

Be sure to signup for our newsletter.  We’ll be announcing them there.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free – Conference & Training!

August 3rd, 2010

NOTE:  This offer is now over.  For future offers, please signup for our newsletter.

Yesterday, Jason Keath and I announced that we are doing a special offer to anyone that wants to learn more about Social Media and Search Engine Optimization in Charlotte.

SocialFresh(You can read the press release here.)

If you’re like me, you love learning about this stuff and going to conferences.  But unfortunately, they tend to be expensive –  and far away.  So this is your chance!

Both opportunities are in Charlotte.  You don’t need to travel.  You don’t need a hotel.  And we’ve made the price unbeatable.

HippoJason is offering a one-day ticket to Social Fresh and I’m offering a two-day in person training program.  Each of these normally costs about $400.  But for a very limited time, we are offering both for $397.  I hope you jump on this.

Here’s the details…

Social Fresh Conference –  August 16 in Charlotte, NC.  Details here.
SEO Training by HIPPO –  September 23, 24 in Huntersville, NC.  Details here.

The rules…

Jason and I both wanted to do something a little extra special for Charlotte this year.  But it’s not fair to open it up to everyone.  So we decided to keep it very limited.

Therefore, the offer is available for only 48 hours or until supplies last.

You will be able to signup starting at noon on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.  I only have ten spots available for this class and two are already taken.  Once their gone, their gone!

How to get both…

Simply register at the address listed below.
http://www.hippoimt.com/Register?eventId=95103&EventViewMode=EventDetails

CoreyOnce you do, I will pass your contact info on to Social Fresh and you will get confirmation that you are registered to attend both events.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Corey Creed
HIPPO Internet Marketing Training

PS:  Registration will open on noon Wednesday, August 4, 2010.  If you’d like a reminder, please signup for our newsletter here.

Once again, here’s the signup page…
http://www.hippoimt.com/Register?eventId=95103&EventViewMode=EventDetails

Harris Teeter & iJustine in Charlotte, NC – The Story

June 23rd, 2010

Harris Teeter

HarrisTeeterAs some of you may know by now, Harris Teeter (headquartered in Charlotte) has hired me on contract to assist them in getting going with social media.  At this point, we’re just meeting together periodically to do the typical stuff, like building a social media policy and plan

To their credit, the main marketing guys at Harris Teeter are wanting to get more involved in social media and new media in general.  But like many companies, they are a bit hesitant and want to make sure they “do it right”.  That’s normal.  They have plans to get involved in Twitter, Facebook, etc soon.  (Stay tuned for more on that.)

iJustine

IJustine-TwitterFor those of you that are not familiar with iJustine, you can check out her site here or learn more about her on Wikipedia under Justine Ezarik.  But to say that she is a web celebrity is an understatement.  Her primary YouTube channel has over 600K subscribers and over 111 MILLION total views.

The iJustine & Harris Teeter History

As Justine stated in her most recent video

“ …every year, my family and I, we go on vacation to North Carolina and there’s this grocery store called Harris Teeter.  And since last year, I started doing music videos in the store.”

Apparently, this year’s video is not her favorite as per her recent tweet.  Yet, within 24 hours, it has gotten almost 90K views.  (Then again, some of her others have gotten over 500K within a few days.)  Also, last year’s video about Harris Teeter got around 275K.

iJustine’s Thoughts on Harris Teeter

IJustineObviously, iJustine likes Harris Teeter.  (At least she likes making fun videos there.)  Last year’s video ended with a screen that stated in part…

I don’t know why I love this store but I do..

No this isn’t an ad
No they did NOT pay me to make this!!!

This video is in no way
affiliated with Harris Teeter at all.

Harris Teeter’s Thoughts on iJustine

NOTE:  I am in no way a spokesman for Harris Teeter.  Nor, am I authorized to speak in behalf of the company. 

Yet, I can confirm her comments above that she is not associated with them in any way.

Also, I know that the top marketing people in Harris Teeter have enjoyed watching the videos.  In fact, they find them rather amusing.  Obviously, they are happy to get the extra attention to their company and the Harris Teeter brand. 

I also know that they have tried to reach out to her in the past.  They would still greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with her to thank her.

What’s next?

Personally, I think it would be great for Harris Teeter to offer to sponsor her to come visit Harris Teeter HQ and/or a local Charlotte event of some sort.

(Hint: They seem willing.)

Are you reading this?

CharlotteSo here’s my message to iJustine:

If you are reading this, please let me know.  Catch me on Twitter (DM) or any other way.  I’d be honored to connect you with the good people at Harris Teeter HQ so they can express their thanks. 

Charlotte is a great city.  We’d love to have you visit us.

And here’s my message to Charlotte:

If you’d like to have iJustine come visit, please mention it to her on Twitter (@iJustine).  Maybe we’ll catch her attention.

And for all you social media gurus:

I’d love to get some ideas from you.  How would you recommend Harris Teeter reach out to iJustine and show their appreciation for the extra attention she is bringing to their 192 stores in the southeast? 

Drop your ideas in the comments below.  If we use your ideas, I’ll be sure to get you the credit you deserve.

Search Engine Optimization Class – This week

June 6th, 2010

We have only one more search engine optimization class before “summer vacation”.  It will be held on June 10 and 11.  You can see the agenda here and register here.

Once this class is over, we will hold one more round of all five of our classes from September to November of 2010.

We have no schedule yet for 2011. 

To be honest, I’m not quite sure if we’ll even be teaching classes in 2011.  Some of our e-commerce projects have been going well and I’ve got some new clients and new projects we need to accomplish.

So if you are interested in learning SEO or other Internet marketing topics, please don’t delay.  Check out our full schedule here.

Key Points from Sarah Evans at Search Exchange

May 18th, 2010

The Search Exchange conference in Charlotte today opened with a keynote from Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy.  Sarah has accomplished some great things in the world of PR and Social Media.  Her specific stories and case studies were fantastic.

I’m sure there are others that will blog about her main points.  But of all the things she said, I wanted to comment on the points I benefited the most from.  The points below in bold were hers.  Some of the comments below them are my commentary.

1.  Collect success stories.

She did not specifically state this, but in her discussion about her work with having a weekly chat on twitter about journalism, she mentioned casually that she has been “collecting success stories” on how others have benefited from the chats.  Smart move.

2.  Content and New Media should be PULL marketing, not PUSH.

If you create content (text, audio, video) you should not be with the intent of blasting it to your audience.  It should pull people into what you do.  Nice point.

3.  Personalize the distribution of your content.

Sarah mentioned that she does not distribute content the same way for every message.  Each message should be distributed based on the type of content it is.  This is a lot smarter than just blasting every message everywhere the same way.  (Nice point.  This is not typically done well.)

4.  US News needs to be Portable, Personalized, Participatory

This point was my favorite.  I talked with her about it a little during the break.  Think about the way news has been reported and consumed for years.  The standard model is changing.  People want their news to be where they are, for who they are, and interactive.

Personally, I think this applies not just to news, but to any content.   If you are a content creator, it’s time to start thinking about all three.

Thank you Sarah!

Overall, her comments were incredibly insightful into the world of PR, Journalism, and Social Media.  A big thank you to her for visiting us in Charlotte and giving a great presentation.

(Please feel free to leave a comment below if you were present and wish to thank her as well.)

5 Steps for Getting Started in Mobile Marketing

May 10th, 2010

For years, marketers have been saying that Mobile is the next big thing.  But 2010 is finally the year this becomes a reality.

Mobile marketing is now being heralded as the “seventh mass media”, right after Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, Television, and Internet.

Need proof?

Start with apps

  • Between December 08 and December 09, Smart-Phone ownership moved from 11% to 17%.
  • Apple’s iPhone, while only accounting for 25% of the US Smart-Phone market, was responsible for 97% of all mobile app downloads.
  • In January 2010, Apple announced that app sales had topped 3 billion; 2.5 billion of them apparently in 2009.

Don’t forget SMS (texting)

Recently, a UNC professional business fraternity asked me to speak to their members.  I had about 75 intelligent college students in front of me.  So I started asking questions.  (Free market research, right?)  Here’s what I found.

  • Twitter or Facebook?  Almost no Twitter.  (No surprise.)
  • Which phones do they use?  Majority iPhones.  (No surprise.)
  • Do they txt every day?  Yes, duh!  (They literally laughed when I asked that.)
  • How many get marketing messages via txt?  About 75%.
  • Do you mind getting marketing messages via txt?  Almost none did.

I must be getting a little old and out of touch.  Because that last one surprised me.  I know there are more mobile phones than computers.  But did you know that getting marketing messages via SMS is widely accepted by young Americans?

Of course, marketing via SMS needs to be done right.  It is even more personal and intrusive than email.  Obviously, spam is highly offensive.

Make no mistake.  Marketing via TXT and Apps is now mainstream in 2010.  Time to jump in, right?  Join me.

How to get started

I’ve already started.  I hope you have too.  It seems as if New Media (Internet) is not so new after all.  Mobile marketing is even newer.

If you are new to this, here’s what I suggest based on what I’ve learned so far.

1.  Get a smart-phone

No more excuses.

If you get an iPhone, great.  That’s probably ideal.

If you prefer a network that works, you can do what I did.  Get a cheap iPod touch to get comfortable with the iPhone OS.  (News flash: The iPod Touch does almost everything an iPhone can do.)  Then, get an Android phone on a good network.  This will allow you to use the location based stuff.  As a side benefit, you learn both operating systems.

2.  Start using, start learning

Start using your phone – a lot.  Use things you normally wouldn’t.  (Think FourSquare is dumb?  Use it anyway.)  Knowing various apps inside and out puts you at a huge advantage.

For learning, there are plenty of blogs out there.  They are ok.  But IMHO, the books are even better.  Everything changes, but a search on Amazon will reveal some books that have been written in the last six months that are very interesting.

My favorite so far is The Mobile Marketing Handbook by Kim Dunshinski.  It is fantastic.  Go buy it now.  I’ve read a bunch.  This is the best. (Honest.  This is not an affiliate link.)

3.  Get to know app developers

If you’re smart, you’ll start talking with app developers.  These guys are on the cutting edge of the next big thing.  (Even if they don’t know it yet.)

Start by talking to people you already know.  Personally, I joined our local Charlotte iPhone developers group on Meetup.com.  I’m sure you have one locally as well.  I look forward to some interesting discussions with them.

Another e-book I’ll be buying soon is How to Make iPhone Apps with Little or No Experience.  It’s a little more expensive.  But, it has been highly recommended by others.  It shows how to choose a developer and specify what you want done.

4.  Go get a client

Start talking about mobile marketing and I guarantee you know someone who wants an app.  Offer to help them get it built and get it marketed.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how.  Experience is not needed.  Very few have experience in this field as it is so new.  Learn as you go and apply the things you already know about Internet marketing.

As with all marketing, do a killer job once and you’ll never need to look for a client again.

5.  Start using and learning the tools

Once you have a client, you’re not wasting your time when you learn.  You’re getting paid for it!  So don’t stop with reading books and blogs.  Start using and testing the tools.

Personally, I’m going through all the links listed on this post at Search Engine Land.  It shows the various services available.

I’m also bookmarking some other odds and end things I find.  You can see the links I’m saving here.

What Google Wants You to Care About

May 10th, 2010

Google now has a new feature that gives some interesting insight into what they care about.  More accurately, it shows what they want YOU to care about.

To see it, login to your Google Webmaster Tools account.  (Don’t have one?  Go signup now.)  Then, choose the website you have decent rankings and traffic for, and choose YOUR SITE ON THE WEB > SEARCH QUERIES.  See screenshot below.

Google Webmaster Tools

The resulting screen should look like this.

SIDE NOTE:  The screen shot is for this blog (www.TheJungleMap.com).  Please understand that search engine rankings are not what I’m trying for with this blog.  (In other words, I rank for a lot of strange things that I never meant to.  I also don’t rank for things I would like to – because I’ve never tried.)  Your results will hopefully look a lot different.  (My other sites do, I assure you.)

GWT - Search Queries3

Important points to note

1.  Google shows your AVERAGE position
In other words, ranking reports are not that valuable.  Just because Web Position Gold (or some other ranking checker) reports that you are ranked #2 does not mean you always do.  Rankings vary by time, geo-location, and many other factors that fluctuate.

2.  Google shows your CTR (Click Thru Rate) before position
Honestly, we all need to stop caring about our rankings.  Good SEOs know this.  Ranking #1 does not mean you get the click, let alone the conversion.  A lower ranking can get good clicks.  Other times, a top ranking will get no clicks.

What Google wants you to care about…

Google’s clear message here is that you should focus less on specific rankings and start focusing on getting the click.  This has been the message of Google’s advertising program (AdWords) and now the message is migrating to natural search.

By the way, Google has always wanted users to click on Ads in Google.  (No surprise.  AdWords is how they make 97% of their income.)  They encourage us to write ads that people will click on by emphasizing CTR as the goal.

But now the message is being extended to your natural listings.  They want you to care more about getting the click.  How?  Mostly, by writing better title tags and description tags which will encourage users to click on your listings over your competitors. 

NOTE:  Good SEOs have known for years now that title tag writing is not just about rankings.

What you should care about…

As interesting (and yet not surprising) as this new development is, don’t be too fooled. 

Google is trying to make their search engine the best it can be.  They want users to love the results they get on Google.  Clearly, if users are happy with Google, they keep coming.  If the users keep coming, you keep advertising.  Simple as that.

But as online marketers and website owners, your emphasis should not just move from trying to get a top ranking to trying to get more clicks.  Rather, your goal should be to get the conversion (sale, signup, etc).

The ranking is important.  The click is important.  But the sale is most important.

Remember, search engines don’t have wallets.  People do.

What’s next…

If you want to know exactly which keywords convert into sales, and then how to get the RIGHT rankings and clicks, the best tool you could have is a good Google AdWords campaign.  It’s the starting point for successful search rankings that bring profits.  Done right, AdWords can teach you exactly which phrases bring in the money.

I know.  I do it for my e-commerce sites all the time.

(Pardon the shameless promotion, but our Google AdWords class is this  Thursday and Friday if you want to learn exactly how.)

Pictures of Our New Office

May 5th, 2010

We moved to our new office on March 30, 2010.  The building is just behind Lowes at 9820 Northcross Center Court, Huntersville, NC and has several other quality companies in it.

As I posted earlier, the main reason we moved was due to the excellent opportunity not only to save money, but to have free access to several extra rooms that will be used nicely for our classes, client meetings, and other future functions.  (Stay tuned for announcements on that.)

Here are some pictures.  To start with, I have booked all of our classes for the rest of the year in this classroom.  (Pretty nice, eh?)  We had our first one last month when Brandon Uttley and I had 8 students for our Social Media training class.

9820-Northcross-TrainingCenter

The front lobby looks like this…

9820-Northcross-Lobby

9820-Northcross-Lobby2

We also have a “library” that can be used to meet with clients…

9820-Northcross-Library

And this room is setup more as a conference room (including projector)…

9820-Northcross-ConferenceRoom

But the room I’m most excited about is the “ballroom”. 
It can easily be setup to seat over 100 people with tables.

9820-Northcross-Ballroom

What do you think?  Nice, eh?

Got any ideas of what I could do with all these rooms?

I know I do.  Look out 2011!  Big things may be coming up.

Why I’m not attending Charlotte BarCamp (and you should)

April 9th, 2010

If you live anywhere near Charlotte, North Carolina, you need to think about attending the BarCamp being held this Saturday, April 9, 2010.

What is a BarCamp? Click here.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make Charlotte BarCamp 3.  I have too much going on and need to spend the weekend catching up on some things.  I’m looking forward to spending some time with my wife and other personal endeavors, too.

However, I had a fantastic time meeting people and presenting various topics at the first two. 

At Charlotte BarCamp 2009 is where I gave my first presentation on “How to Make Money Online”.  It was the 2nd most highest voted session of the day.  That was back in January 2009 and the Twitter session was the only one that beat it.  (I was on a little panel with Jason Keath and Lisa Hoffmann for that panel.  Those were the early days of Twitter.)

My session was a two-part session.  I turned it into an online audio clip that you can listen to on this site.  I explained how to make money by e-commerce here and how to make money by creating content here.

At Charlotte BarCamp 2, I gave a new presentation on How to Market Anything Online.  I have not posted that one online yet.  But I will someday, I’m sure.  It also was the 2nd highest voted session and had a huge turnout.

I hope you all have a great time this weekend.  I hope to see you at the next one.  They seem to come around twice per year now.

If you have the time available, Charlotte BarCamp is a great way to meet new people and learn new things free.  Enjoy!

Social Media Marketing Training – April 15, 16

April 9th, 2010

Just as a reminder, Brandon Uttley and I are teaching our Social Media Marketing class next week on Thursday and Friday.  You can read the details here and register here.

The class will be held in our new facility in Huntersville, NC.  I’ll have more pictures and details of the classroom soon.  (It’s really nice.)