A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Archive for May, 2009

Social Fresh in Charlotte, NC – A Special Opportunity


Two years ago, I moved to the Charlotte area.

Before I moved, I spent hours trying to figure out what the online community was like.  I looked for web developers, online marketers, & bloggers.  I wanted to know how my business would do in Charlotte and if I would enjoy living there.

Guess what?  It was difficult.

I don’t know why.  But as you can imagine, I’m pretty good with Google and other search engines, but I could only find so much.

In 2 years, everything has changed!

Charlotte has exploded on-line.  We have regular meetups, social networks, in-person classes, streaming online events, web communities, and more.

The online community here is strong and exciting.  In fact, The Charlotte Observer, The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, local marketing agencies, Fortune 500 companies and others are noticing, too.

Along comes Social Fresh!

The timing could not be better for a significant Charlotte Social Media event.  And thanks to Jason Keath (@jakrose on Twitter), it’s going to happen.

Social Fresh will be held at the Holiday Inn in Charlotte Center City on Monday August 24th, 2009.  Businesses such as Rubbermaid, Best Buy, IBM, MySpace, and others will be involved.  In fact, many of them will be presenting.

Jason has lined up some great speakers.  You can see them listed on the site and more are in the works.  They will be sharing their insights into Social Media and other topics.

We Have the Best Price Available

So here’s the deal…

I honestly feel very strongly about this event.  I think it’s going to be the best thing that has ever happened in Charlotte for the online community.  Honest!

So I had a little talk with Jason.

At first, he offered me an affiliate code for my readers.  I would make a certain percentage off everyone that signed up.  But I told him I would rather give the savings to my readers.  He was willing.

So now I have the best price available anywhere to attend Social Fresh.  (Cool, eh?)   For a very limited time, I can get you in for about $150.  This price goes up to $230 on June 1.  (See below for update)

This offer is not available to everyone.  And it only lasts until May 31.  (See below for update)

How do you get it?

First, you need to signup as a subscriber (for free) to my newsletter.  (Don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe at any time.)

Then, follow the links at the bottom of this page and you will get the best price available to Social Fresh.

In conclusion…

Please think seriously about this opportunity.  It ends soon.

I’m making no money for doing this.  I just bought my ticket.  I hope you will too.

NOTE:  The original discount code is out of date.  However, starting July 1, Jason gave me a new (15% off) discount code you can now use.  So still use the below links to get a decent discount. (Thanks Jason!)

Here are the links…

Should we Move to ECommerce Island?

St Croix is now calling themselves “ECommerce Island”.  They are hoping that businesses will think seriously about the tax advantages of relocating to this US Virgin Island.

If you are a profitable business online, you know that taxes can get quite expensive.  So, relocating your business to the USVI can save you as much as 90% off your taxes.  They have a website you can review for more info at www.EcommerceIsland.com.

Chief Marketing Officer of this Virgin Islands economic initiative is Steve Rohrlick.  In this interview, he explains that many years ago, billions of dollars of undersea fiber optic cables were setup under the ocean to connect the US to the rest of the world.

These cable assets needed to be checked periodically.  It just so happened that the island of Saint Croix is where they put their cable stations.

St Croix has the second largest concentration of bandwidth second only to New York City.

St Croix is also the largest island in the USVI.  They are a territory of the United States and are close to the US mainland.

Ready?  Who’s with me?  Let’s all move to the USVI and work on our e-commerce and online businesses while enjoying island life.

(Wait.  Maybe I should ask my wife first.)

Once Again, Gary Vaynerchuk is Amazing

If you still don’t get the connection between New Media and Social Media, no one says it better than Gary Vaynerchuk.  His latest interview is with CNN.  Of course, he absolutely blew the interviewers away – as usual. 

I’ve heard him in person, I’ve shown you his other videos.  But here he is again, the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk.  This time on CNN. 

You gotta watch this if you have not already…


What SEO Experts Need to Know About Social Media

The blog post below was written by my colleague Jason Keath.  Jason is a Social Media Consultant and overall smart guy.  I think you’ll enjoy his comments below, particularly targeted at marketers that understand SEO already.

You can read my post about “What Social Media Experts Need to Know about SEO” on his blog.

Take it away, Jason…


Thanks to Corey for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

SEO and Social Media are becoming fast friends. I am a firm believer that SEO is of greater importance to most companies doing business online. That picture is changing, but SEO is not going anywhere. But neither is Social Media. Both industries need to begin thinking more like the other. I think there are some basic mindsets in Social Media that could benefit any SEO campaign. They all revolve around one main concept, how to engage the customer once they find you online

From Keyword Rich to Rich Content
There are a few blog tools out there built around driving keyword rich blog landing pages. These are very cool products and can be effective if used correctly, but can easily assign a factory role to your content, churning out keywords and mess. There is a ceiling on the effectiveness of these strategies and they will never grow community or word of mouth. At the end of the day SEO should be a step toward getting a new customer, not just getting them to the site. Driving targeted traffic is only the first step. Produce content that looks beyond getting them to the page and focuses on keeping them there.

Think Discussion Not Content
Yes, content is king. Yes, you should offer value and solid information and lots of it. But beyond that, what you really want is discussion. What is the difference? I could love every little piece of video, blog post, game, and photo you post. It may even make me return to your site. But wouldn’t you also like to get me talking? If I comment, forward to a friend, tweet, complain even, I am putting effort towards your content. I am a contributor. I am a champion. I am growing your audience for you.

To find what drives discussion within your niche, search sites like Digg.com, YouTube.com, and StumbleUpon.com for the top posts with your keywords. Also dig into top blogs for your niche to see which kind of posts have the most comments.

Don’t Own the Audience, Let the Audience Own You
Building community is a great goal, but can be abstract. When working on SEO, try to offer opportunities for the user to work for you. Building link bait is the basic premise here, but it is more than that. I can throw something on my blog to link to your site and it will help you, but will most likely just sit there, passively, waiting to be irrelevant. Drive the user to contribute. Let them create your next blog post, design your next product or event, assign them tasks, interview them. Give them ownership in your marketing and the search results with blossom.


Jason Keath is a Social Media Consultant who thrives on connecting people. He is the lead organizer of Social Fresh, a hip Social Media Conference for the Southeast.

PS:  Thanks Jason!  Well said.

Using Social Media is not Social Media MARKETING

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.

There’s a big difference in my book.

How to Hire an SEO

I’ve been doing Internet Marketing including SEO since 2003.  In doing so, I often get asked “How do I Hire an SEO?”  The question can get asked any number of ways, such as…

* How do I outsource SEO?

* Who should I hire?

* What should I ask an SEO before I hire them?

* Do you have any students I can hire?

* Can you review these proposals before I hire an SEO?