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Calling Cards, and Condos, and Cows… Oh My!

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 9 years and 152 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Seth GodinSo Tuesday was my first trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY and it was a pleasant one. I was greeted in the morning by one of the most grounded business authors you could hope to meet. He has a nice place for seminars, and did a remarkable job. I’m still trying to stop the flurry of ideas floating around in my melon.

The makeup of the group made for a fantastic chance to self analyze everyone’s business model through the perception of others. I was quite fascinated to hear a bit of the stories about plans for future endeveours and how everyone could use great ideas to better market their companies. It was overwhelming really to try to comprehend and retain the good ideas from such a group of diverse minds.

Seth has taken a bit of flack for comments on SEO, but the subject of PPC was brought up extensively. Paid search is guaranteed. Paid search is safe. I love PPC. It is highly targeted, and in a localized environment it can be like shooting fish in a barrel with a specialized market. Plumbers in Podunk. Safe. Easy. High ROI. PPC is highly measurable which is a direct marketers dream. You can crunch numbers down to the penny. There are direct correlations. At the end of the day, when all the reports come in and all the numbers are crunched. There are a handful that matter. PPC is a calculated risk. It is easy to blow a bunch of money quickly if done improperly. Testing and reaching the client effectively is the goal. SEO can be very similar depending on the approach.

Retention is the key. I don’t give books away often, but the validity of attracting and retaining the type of clients and business that you want is fundamental to the methodolgy Seth lives by. Seth gives away LOTS of books. He gets back by the incredible amount that he gives. I was definitely given what was promised and I am grateful and thankful for that, and will radiate that to others.

I think Seth is the most spectacular consultant I’ve ever met that would most likely not own up to being a consultant. He identified flawed logic and helped folks to examine their business in a way that had not been done in some time. It was the most pleasurable cognitive dissonance I’ve ever experienced to see some things that just plain WON’T WORK. He sold million dollar ideas in the course of a short workday that may have taken years to identify without the right experience.

At one point Seth told a story about a building that had a problem with brown goop oozing from the walls for years and years. Every time the goop was removed and painted over it would seap back through the paint in a very short time. Finally, after years of this fiasco and expert was brought in to take care of the problem. He looked at the walls, told them the price for his services, and they accepted. The expert then wrote the name of a chemical on a piece of paper and handed it to the building owner. If you don’t understand the moral of the story, here is another shot at it from a story of Henry Ford I had read at webmasterworld (Msg 10):

The other side of the coin is a story told of Henry Ford. Back in the 1920’s when Henry Ford was pioneering the assembly line to build his cars, the line went down. His onsite experts couldnt solve the problem, but isolated it to a specific piece of machinery.

Henry called the manufacture and demanded that someone get out to solve the problem immediately. Shorthly thereafter the repair man showed up, looked things over, hemmened and hawed, and then reached into his tool box for a screwdriver. He turned a screw a half turn, then turned it on. The assembly line roared to life.

The man scribbled on an invoice and gave Henry a bill for $5.00 (remember this is 1920s). Henry took one look and yelled at the guy, “$5.00 for turning a screw?” The repair man quietly responded, “No sir. It is 50 cents for turning the screw. It’s another $4.50 for knowing which screw to turn.”

What was so wonderful about the conference for me was it gave me a chance to get outside my comfortable line of thinking. That is a difficult thing to invite into your life, but is was welcomed by the entire group when they walked into the building. They KNEW Seth was going to tell them what wouldn’t work in their business. We weren’t looking for self affirmation, though I’m sure there were a lot of aspects to everyone’s business that WERE affirmed by what he had to say. I was excited during the first bit of the day when Seth showed everyone Technorati and Bloglines. Was a bit bummed that I hadn’t put in my technorati tag that morning as usual because I was in a hurry, but that was self-affirming. Having Seth suggest that we put a skull and crossbones on our website was a bit extremist, but made me think about the public perception of SEO and how misunderstood it can be. This is a problem for SEO’s who want good clients. It calls for creative solutions. One of the main riffs that Seth had with SEO was that you can’t build a business on it. I totally agree. Don’t take out a mortgage on high search rankings. PPC is a good supplement even when you get there, or if another “Florida update” happends. The ROI can be incredible though. Watching a company strap itself up based largely on SE rankings is an exciting proposition very similiar to watching a company grow because of a great idea. A lot of the time the rankings COME from some great ideas. If they’re really lucky, they come from a remarkable idea.

If you are a business person do yourself a favor and look up some of Seth’s work. Get outside your normal line of thinking and find ways that your company can be remarkable. Good companies fail, great companies flounder…consistently remarkable companies flourish.

There are many other ideas from the conference I’d like to tell about, but I’m sure they will ooze into this site over the next few weeks. I would only end up babbling if I attempted to communicate the profound influence that Seth’s work has had on my own. I feel honored to have spent the day with him and such a fine group of people. I also got a few new sites to read out of the deal including Rick Segal – a loonie with a toonie (who has his own commentary on the seminar) and Aaron – the brand evangelist. Thanks to all who helped to incubate a host of new remarkable ideas. I’m sure Seth’s newest book will have some wonderful insights as well.

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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