I’ve been a huge fan of Max Minzer’s #maximpact series of Google+ Hangouts On Air ever since I first discovered and joined in on one back in August last year. Since then, I have become a regular attendee, alongside the likes of the mighty Steve Webb (a.k.a. US Steve), Barrie Moran and Tony Dimmock.
43 episodes and nearly a year later, I was delighted to be asked to be the main speaker on a topic close to my heart: offline, face-to-face networking for SEOs. The Hangout took place this past Thursday (24th July).
During the Hangout we talked about:
- My networking approach, which is not to sell – just getting to know people, listening to them and answering any questions that they have. “Anti-sales is the best kind of sales.”
- Going to events on your own. What’s best to do? Try and go where you know someone is going, or bring a friend with you.
- How networking doesn’t have to be seen as your traditional business networking events. Networking is what you make of it. You can network at social meetups (just so long as you don’t just sell, sell, sell – that’s sleazy). Just give people help and advice.
- Researching events before you go – e.g. finding out who else is attending.
- Networking at events where you’re also speaking, especially in terms of keeping calm or not acting too aloof or egotistical!
- Networking at conferences, of both the SEO and non-SEO variety.
- Not being one of those networkers who tries to leave a conversation the moment they realise that the person they’re talking to isn’t a potential customer/client – it’s not about selling to the person in front of you, it’s about getting to know them and vice versa. “You have no idea who knows who.”
- Using social media (especially LinkedIn) for following up and keeping in touch with people after you’ve met them in person.
- How to handle ‘hecklers’, i.e. people who have a negative impression of SEO when you meet them.
Here’s a link to the event page on Google+, which contains a few comments as well as a video embed, which I’ve also included below:
I also have an interview with Max in the works (similar to some of the interviews I’ve done before), which I hope to publish very soon.
Yesterday I attended The Business Of Web Design 2014 (#tboWD), which was held on my doorstep in Cardiff. Although I am not a web designer, I could see from the conference’s talk topics that a lot of it would relate heavily to SEO freelancing – and I was right.
The question “how much does a website cost?” is so similar to the question “how much does SEO cost?”, when you’ve not even been told the prospect’s industry, their goals (e.g. whether they want to rank for a really tough keyword or a few less competitive keywords) or even the URL of the site. Determining how to price yourself as a consultant – whether it be on a basis of time or the potential value/ROI offered to the client – is applicable across both industries. And getting a client to say “yes” to things can be just as tricky in SEO as it is in web design.
In addition to eight fantastic talks, there was a panel Q&A at the end, and to my terror (but also delight), the wonderful world of SEO was debated. I spent the first few minutes of my recent unified.diff talk tackling the subject of SEO’s terrible reputation – especially in the eyes of the web design/development community – and have previously blogged about how one of the best compliments I’d ever received was from a highly-respected local developer. Fortunately, while there were some stirrings of the typical “SEO is evil” type talk that we’re so used to seeing, I was really surprised and pleased to discover that the debate was handled really well. I’ll go into more detail below.
(Note: for those where it says “[Slides TBA]” for now, I’ll update the post with the slide deck embeds as-and-when they all become available.)
1) How much does a website cost? – Sean Johnson
Sean (@seanuk) kicked things off with the question from prospects that often causes the most chagrin: “how much does a website cost?” Why? Because the answer is always: “it depends!”
What’s your industry? What are your goals with the website? Do you need eCommerce functionality? Does it need a blog? This applies to SEO so, so much: What’s your industry? What are your goals? Is the site brand new? Is the site even live yet? Has SEO work been carried out before, and if so, were spammy tactics involved? How can a web designer or SEO quote effectively without knowing that type of info first? The answer is: not very effectively. Not very.
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Last week I spoke at unified.diff, a monthly software/web development meet-up that’s made its home at the wonderful FoundersHub. It was a good and busy crowd.
I was sandwiched between interesting and entertaining talks about the Robotic Operating System and JSON Schema. Additional photos can be found here.
And here are the slides…
For my talk, I decided to challenge myself. I took on the Choose Your Own Adventure format – they were a bunch of books where you decided the journey of the character. Do you climb the mountain (go to pg. 33) or dive into the cave (pg. 38)? You chose the cave? Oh no! You were eaten by a bear! Go back to before that happened (pg. 29), and so on. I remember having a Sonic The Hedgehog CYOA book (in fact, I think it was this one).
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On Thursday 20th February, I gave a talk at Online Seller Wales, for their Cardiff event (#OSWCardiff) in Porter’s Bar’s cinema room. I’ve spoken in the venue’s cinema room before for my Cardiff Internet talk (and I’ve also spoken on their main room’s stage for my Ignite Cardiff talk) – it’s a great venue.
The talk title? Google-Friendly Link Building Tactics For Online Sellers. In other words, white-hat link building and link earning tips primarily aimed at eCommerce businesses. I also talk about Google’s stance on link building (what with things like Google Penguin, Manual Actions and the disavow tool) and also give advice on anchor text etiquette in 2014 and beyond.
Here are the slides:
I’d like to say a big thank you to Gaz Copeland of Stoked SEO (@StokedSEO) for giving me advice and feedback on my slides when I was working on them.
And here is the audio, which I recorded myself using my iPhone. It includes some Q&A at the end with some of the audience. I’ve used Audibase to host it (who are based in the same building as me – Welsh ICE in Caerphilly, just outside Cardiff):
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Sometimes I give professional talks. Sometimes… less so.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak at Ignite Cardiff‘s eleventh event in May. I was supposed to speak at IC #10 in February, but pulled out at the very last minute due to illness (as reported previously).
My talk topic? What Skyrim Taught Me About Business Networking. Here’s the video:
If you’d like to check out the slides separately and in more detail, here they are for you:
Click to read more!