I’m going to take a one post break from writing about SEO, Inbound Marketing, and Social Media Marketing to share some recent real life discoveries.
The past year, my professional career has reminded me of my most recent move and trying to sort through boxes that had been in storage for over two years. It seemed like I would be sorting through boxes forever and ever.
Every box I opened turned into a project and one thing led to another as my son and I played “guess what’s in this” box for almost a year.
It was interesting to sort through poorly labeled boxes and find contents that didn’t match the description on the outside. (it was a little like some internet search experiences) The best one was finding my son’s paintball gun and gear in a box marked holiday decorations.
Sometimes after I opened, unpacked and sorted through a box of stuff, I felt a sense of accomplishment and like someday my porch would be a place to enjoy summertime evenings and not a temporary storage unit. Other times it seemed as though the boxes would never go away.
It’s been just about a year since I ventured out of Corporate America and into the world of freelance consulting and writing. I knew I had a lot to learn and many decisions to make. Looking back, it was a little like facing my porch all over again, but instead of emptying boxes of stuff I was opening up worlds of knowledge.
I took courses on how to build a website, dove into social media, and became even more immersed in SEO. Every time I learned something new, the definition of my business morphed and changed direction. Just like unpacking boxes, sometimes I felt like everything was crystallizing and other times it seemed that I would never settle on a vision and direction.
It didn’t take me long to throw out the notion of building websites as a part of my service offering, and unlike giving away my lawn mower, I highly doubt I’ll ever regret the decision. Although, building my own website did give me a whole new appreciation for the developers I’ve worked with over the years.
I’ve explored a lot of ideas over the past year and the common thread through all of them is SEO, or at least my definition of SEO, which is helping people understand:
- How search engines work
- What to do to improve their websites for both people and search engines
- How to create compelling content
- How to promote and distribute the content they create
- How to generate leads from their website
Today I’m co-presenting a workshop at the local chamber of commerce, it’s entitled “How Email Marketing, Social Media, and a Well-Tuned Website can Increase Your Revenue by 30% or More!” I’m doing a section on Inbound Marketing and one on blogging and Don Lafferty of Social Mingle is sharing social media myth busters and strategies.
The research I did to prepare my slides was a defining experience and suddenly I felt like I did when my porch came together after many months and a lot of effort.
Successfully generating leads from a website requires a understanding who your ideal customer is, and understanding where they look for the services you offer. At the core of the strategy is a good website and lead generating activities, such as blogging, social media, and SEO.
It’s also building content that converts traffic into leads and then building relationships to convert leads into customers.
I know my direction and how I define what I do will continue to evolve and mature, but I feel like I’m closer to feeling the way I did when my porch finally came together.
Now it’s time to tackle the next project, which is to update the content on my website to better reflect what I do, which is to provide practical and achievable, search engine optimization training and consulting for businesses, non-profits, and authors.
One thing really does lead to another.