I know I do. Although I enjoy interacting with my three other employees and talking to a few clients, most of my time is spent at the computer. I market my businesses and e-commerce sites online, I network online, I learn online.
And that’s just work. When I’m not working, I’m checking the news online, I shop online, etc. (You get the point.)
Given this, I constantly ask myself: “Am I actually getting things done?”
Is it just me? Or do you ask yourself that too? Before you answer that, imagine this…
When I was at a recent conference in Atlanta, one of the speakers asked the audience: “How much time do you actually spend each day building and growing your business? Be honest.”
(Now keep in mind that the audience was filled with hundreds of online marketers and business people. They even admitted that they tend to work 10 to 12 hours per day.)
The answer? Only about one-third said 1–2 hours or more! And only two people in the entire audience said 4 hours or more each day.
I was one of those people.
So, when I noticed that only one other person had their hand up, I was tempted to take mine down. After all, there were HUNDREDS of people in the room. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am pretty strict with how I use my time.
So what do you think? I’d love to hear your comments below. Am I that unusual? With so many potential distractions online, how much time per day do you actually spend building and growing your business?
I really want to hear back from you about this.
(After all, I’m teaching SEO and other Internet marketing courses. If my students can barely find an hour per day to use it, I should probably be including training on how to stay focused and get things done.)
I have a bunch of friends and colleagues that work with social media, especially in the Charlotte area. I greatly appreciate all their comments and forward thinking. I have nothing against social media and use it daily myself.
However, just using social media does not make money.
I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but it’s true. Using social media is like using search engines. It does not make you a consultant, trainer, or expert. It simply makes you a user.
It seems more obvious when it comes to search engines, but for some reason people that use social media a lot seem to think they can charge money to show companies how to do what they do.
In contrast, there IS a great need for social media MARKETING. That third word is the key. With search engines, we use the paid placements and “natural” rankings to get more money, more clients, more positive attention, or whatever other goal is desired. We also do this for clients. Businesses pay for marketing.
Social media marketing has a similar potential, and maybe even more. But this is very different than just using social media. It is about getting results. Lots of followers isn’t results. Getting the right people to not just follow you but to take some sort of action is.
What really makes social media cool is that it can be used for more than just marketing. It can be used for customer relations, public relations, and more.
But the part that excites me (and I think will excite most businesses) is the potential for social media MARKETING. For years now, marketers have been learning how to use paid methods and organic methods to market themselves and/or their clients.
Similar to search, social media marketing has paid opportunities (think Facebook ads for example) and “organic” methods to get natural (free) attention.
I know that life is not just about money. But if you do want to make money, it’s time to look beyond being a social media user and becoming a social media marketer.
In case you have not heard, Jason Keath was the man behind the inaugural Charlotte WordCamp, which was held on Saturday, November 15, 2008. The event seemed to be a huge success.
So below is a brief interview I held with him on Monday, the first working day after the event…
1. Jason, when did the idea for holding a Charlotte WordCamp first come to you, and how did it all get started?
My first interest began around March. I commented on some blogs and approached some WP folks about Charlotte as a venue with little response. Which, in all honesty, is pretty fair considering the lack of these types of events in Charlotte in the past.
My wife and I just spent 8 hours in the car driving from home (Charlotte, NC) to Florida. Typically, this makes for an interesting time. As you can imagine, I get bored easy and my wife just likes to relax – not a good combination.
This time was different. Sandy had a laptop and earphones. So she watched some girly movies. I had my iPod Touch and listened to several quality SEO podcasters for several hours. Occasionally we had pleasant conversation. But overall, this arrangement kept me from pestering her. Everyone was happy.
As a side benefit, it means I am more psyched than ever about SEO. You see, many people think SEO is boring. Honestly, it is. Writing tags, editing pages, checking rankings, bla, bla, bla.
But after listening to some experts talk about the latest and greatest techniques for link building in particular, I’m excited once again. These guys are brilliant and their ideas on how to use blogs, social media, and other sources was just awesome.
I’ve now got some great stuff to share with my colleagues and students in the upcoming weeks. I’m also excited to get to work on several of our internal projects to make them even stronger.
SEO – WHAT TO CHASE
While driving, I heard two great SEO illustrations that I want to share. These are not really tips or techniques, but a mindset.
Two experts were discussing how to view SEO. Unfortunately, many think of it as a battle between you and Google. That’s not really true. Your real competition is not Google, but the other sites (or businesses) competing for your key phrases.
To illustrate, if you are camping with a group of friends and a bear jumps out of the woods, do you need to run faster than the bear? Not really. You need to run faster than the others with you.
It’s an interesting way to look at it. Don’t chase the algorithm. Outrun your competition. It’s almost always easier.
Because even though the algo has not changed much over the years, it is hard to chase it. When you shoot an arrow at a flying object, you don’t aim for your target, you aim for where the target will be.
Do we know where the Google algorithm will be in 3 months, 6 months, one year? We have some loose ideas, but not really.
So don’t chase the algorithm. Outrun your competition.
And next time you go on a long trip, bring something to watch or listen to. That’s today’s advice for SEO and a happy marriage.
According to research by Gartner (the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company located in CT)…
Gen V stands for “Generation Virtual”.
“Organizations can target this group by providing socialization tools to customers and prospects depending on their purpose and the level of customer engagement.
“This group is not defined by age, gender, social demographic, or geography. They are based on an increasing preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights.”
The newly coined Gen V has four levels of engagement…
CREATORS (0% to 3%) – These provide original content (like me).
CONTRIBUTORS (3% to 10%) – These are regular followers of the creators that add to the conversation.
OPPORTUNISTS (10% to 20%) – These add value to the conversation only while they are looking for something.
LURKERS (about 80%) – These are the spectators. They don’t provide input. But they benefit by what all the others are doing.
Personally, I think the information is pretty insightful. Marketing agencies in particular are constantly trying to analyze their target demographic, psycho-graphic, and other “graphics” in order to know where to advertise.
But those silos tend to not work as well on the web. Google has tried to work with it through tools such as the Google Ad Planner, but Internet marketing doesn’t quite work that way.
The web savvy group tends to be very undefinable. But one thing is for sure… They are in charge. Unlike radio, tv, magazines and other forms of “old media”, you cannot force your message onto this Generation V. They will look for it when they are ready.
As I’ve stated before, it’s like the difference between hunting and farming. The skilled online marketer works hard on what he can create and grow. Then, those that are attracted to it will naturally come.
Jeremy Schoemaker’s recent post on the definition of SEO has gotten a lot of attention this week. In it, he endeavors to determine the definition of SEO by asking various famous search engine experts what the definition is.
It’s amazing how common the term SEO is, yet it is so difficult to define. I reviewed all the definitions and came up with my own that I believe defines it clearly…