My silence on SEO Chicks over the last few months, and indeed lack of community involvement all round, has been something of a worry to me. While there was good reason for it (Like Moving counties twice, I’m now in Costa Rica, lucky devil that I am), it has given me some time to think about the role that the SEO community plays in influencing my marketing strategies for clients.
What I’ve found now that the dust has settled though, is that this temporary removal from the online marketing community, has helped me see things in a different light, helping me to develop better strategies, and understand my client’s customers better.
I have come to realise that the majority of the world does not see the internet the way I do, in fact there are even people out there, working in marketing, in their 20-30′s who have never heard of LOL Catz or The Oatmeal, true story.
So I wanted to give you my top 3 ways to try and gain some of the perspective of those poor unfortunates who aren’t jacked into the net 24/7 and aren’t being exposed to the witticisms of college humour & cracked every day, without you having to go through the expense and stress of moving your life to another country.
Talk to people, and I don’t mean on Twitter
Yes that’s right folks, those IRL friends who laugh at you when you tell them about twitter, or call someone you have only met online a good friend. Those are the people you’re marketing to most of the time, and they have some great perspectives on how they would like to be marketed to. All you need to do is tone down the lingo, explain some of your reasoning, and not laugh when they tell you how an animated gif of a cat is going to persuade them to buy that new car. Yes some of their ides will be dated or impossible to implement, but listen anyway, they might just know something you don’t.
Turn off the internet
Oh yes my friend, I went there. You don’t necessarily have to go completely offline, but try downloading thunderbird and getting your emails offline for a day, close down the browser, and schedule some offline work to do. How about reading a book, one one of the many disciplines that overlaps the online marketing industry, traditional marketing or branding for instance. Or just take a team day at the park. You will be amazed at how quickly that little internet exhausted bit of your brain starts to recover and throw great ideas at you.
Pretend you’re here in Costa Rica with me
Now imagine yourself trying to find a pool cleaner, or a dentist, or pretty much anything really. You go to Google, and you find, nothing. Perhaps a blog post from an American Ex-pat complaining how they can’t find a pool cleaner! The internet has not yet become the tool for finding everything and anything here. If you’re anything like me your second thought will be ‘yellow pages’ , but no, you’ll be out of luck there too. People find things here through personal relationships. the pool cleaner is the brother in law of the cleaner, our car salesperson is the grandfather of the same friend who referred me to my dentist and so on and so forth. Everything here is word of mouth referral, and you can see the strength and effectiveness of those personal relationships everywhere, and no one is shy about making the recommendation. So go out and build your network, tell people about great services because they’re great, not because you’re marketing them, and you will find yourself in a stronger position for it.
So there you have it, 3 ways to be a better online marketer, by not being online!