I got a call a few weeks ago from an exceptionally talented woman I used to work with at a pretty big agency. She is a super hot account manager, and she had been getting some queries from clients through her team indicating interest in SEM services. She called me.
The gist of the call was that she wanted to know if I might give her team an insight into SEM; pros, cons, opportunities, challenges and market insights. The team, being mostly traditional media execs and hard web devs (all very good I might add) were not enthused by the idea of a lunch and learn with an ‘SEO person’, and she was not going to get funding for it. Ergo I agreed to go in for a lunch and learn over my lunch hour and give them a run down, gratis.
Initially (after the most inspiring parking experience I can remember courtesy of God) I was worried that no one was going to show, but over the 45 minutes I chatted and went over a prepared ppt and answered questions, the room filled up. Apparently they had thought I was going to bore them to death with ‘keyword research’. I don’t think I actually mentioned keyword research more than once.
It was very insightful from my point of view. Initial blasé and almost humorous interest ended up with enlightening Q&A as we continued through my ppt, with more and more direct and targeted interest from the web devs as we progressed. Unfortunately I think I pitched it a bit ‘low’ level for some of the account execs, but some of them were really interested and both happily surprised and encouraged by what they already knew, and what they could understand.
I walked away with a new set of contacts, a new set of web developers in a really great Calgary digital house with awesome talent who requested if they could tap me with more questions. They have my email, and they are not the type of company or people to take advantage. I’m cool with that.
I realize that from a financial point of view doing something for free is bad business. However, I strongly believe in both loss-leaders and in the power of effective SEM; both SEO and PPC. I also believe in giving a little for a practice I believe will benefit businesses.
My final take-away is this; this company has
- clients that need SEM
- the in-house talent to create incredibly attractive and functional websites and other marketing collateral as well as marketing proposals
- the ability to manage, produce and deliver on client briefs…
They now also have the ability to:
- speak to SEM queries and pitch accordingly
- answer basic SEO and PPC questions
- understand basic bad vs. good SEO practice, and
- they totally get the need for great analytics to allow for efficient benchmarking, reporting and client profitability and ROI proof
- understand the possibilities and challenges associated with SEO and effective PPC
- have a contact to bounce ideas off ..of (? – terrible grammar)
- have someone they can call to find a contractor for SEO,PPC or SEM services
They are excited.
I am thrilled to have been able to spend 45 minutes with a progressive company to enable them to effectively begin to explain SEM to their rather substantial client base.
If I personally get anything financial out of it in the long run – great. If I don’t, I already have the enormous feeling of gratification of being able to educate out some basic SEO and PPC principles to a progressive, attentive and open audience who took it to heart and participated in learning. I hope to get a full series going… it would be huge fun for me as well as something I would just love to do, a knock on from my days as an economics lecturer. I miss those days.
I think if I could spend my time educating companies on SEM, I would be a very happy bunny. It was an enormously positive experience for me… Of-course, I would like to start actually making some money for it at some point … just sayin’… I’m a nice person and all, but I have three little kids and a mortgage, you know how it goes – altruism starts with a feeling and ends with a need J.
God bless you everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!