This past week, my fellow colleagues and I attended a convention in hopes of networking with potential clients and sharing our inbound marketing knowledge. We were indeed excited that we were the only marketing booth present at the convention and soon found that other professionals shared our enthusiasm for promoting businesses and small companies. There were a couple interesting situations that were brought to my attention in which I sat down and analyzed for future networking opportunities.
To briefly summarize, I was once again reminded that not everyone is familiar or completely interested in online marketing. Many conversations contained the “I’m not sure, I have a guy who takes care of that stuff for me” line and quickly highlighted a pattern in these professionals. Perhaps they really don’t care, have time, or believe that SEO is too complicated to fully comprehend and grasp however, I noticed my coworkers using accessible resources and tactics that allowed these convention go-ers to have a solid understanding of their business’ online performance and how SEO affects it.
Know Your Potential Client
I write a lot about “try to remember” and “I was reminded that”, but constant reminders carry benefits in professional decisions and performances. Keeping another person’s knowledge in your field and their professional/personal interests in mind will aid you in which direction to take when discussing inbound marketing.
My guy takes care of that for us.
The number one response when I’m meeting professionals with zero time for technology. This is certainly not a bad thing; many of these people I’ve met are literally too busy to worry about something they can trust in someone else’s hands. In my past professions, it has been difficult to break through this barrier however, I’ve found that many people appreciate the time and effort you take to personalize your technical explanations. When you hear the above response, remember that you are that guy (or lady). Although they may have a designated employee who monitors their marketing needs, you still have the opportunity to inform them about your profession and show them something they’ve never seen before. It may spark their interest in their online performance thus, possibly taking your business card, visiting your website, or passing your card along to someone in need of your services.
The Picture Book
Convention go-ers were intrigued when we showed them their current standing on Woorank. Woorank is an online marketing software that analyzes company websites and produces a succinct outline about problems and possible solutions to increase the business’ search engine ranking. The tool ranks sites from 1-100 and provides a small homepage screenshot in the top left corner. The brief tips underneath this shot are what seemed to spike interest and awareness in our prospects and made it easier for us to simplify the significance behind these suggestions. We found that many people were not aware of the impact content has on search engine ranking and that many have never heard of the term copywriting. Once we showed them their own results on Woorank, they were pleased to see pictures and brief sentences rather than an eye-crossing amount of text.
If you notice your potential client is not familiar with the internet or considers themselves “computer illiterate”, it’s your time to shine. Acquaint yourself with them and take their tech level into consideration. Start off by showing them their rank and give them manageable SEO tips that either they or you can eventually fix for them.
There were only a couple of times where I heard some lengthy SEO introductions at the convention. While I love listening to my coworkers blow minds away with their vast inbound marketing knowledge, there are again, people who may lose interest from the mere fact that they are unable to keep up with the ramble. Envision a moment where you’ve been exchanging words with someone either in another language you are not fluent in or, a time when you were in school trying to keep up with a teacher’s lecture and realizing you have no clue what was said before “Ok, are there any questions?” There’s a hefty handful of people who are somewhat versed in the SEO world however, they may have only occasionally dipped their toes in internet marketing waters. For these individuals, Woorank may still apply to them. They will be pleased to see that you, an SEO expert, can peel apart their website and patch it back together with strategic optimization and intelligent writing. Afterwards, they will appreciate an intellectual synopsis of SEO benefits and how it really works. The key is to avoid information overload. Fortunately, I never saw any brains steaming while we were talking however, I did catch one convention go-er pause to digest the SEO spiel which was followed by a feast of questions that could have possibly been avoided had the discussion been more fitting to his needs.
Networking outside of the marketing circle is a blast; it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the rare exchange of ideas and mastery from professionals outside of your occupation. When meeting prospective clients and partners, don’t profile, connect with them. Uncover their professional needs, keep in mind their comprehension of your craft, and personalize SEO for each individual you meet. They may not always use your service but hey, that’s one more SEO guru for the world.