I’m a big advocate of small businesses learning about online marketing. I believe knowledge is power and I feel it is best for companies to understand fundamentals so they can manage some or all of their marketing in-house. If they can’t manage marketing in-house, this knowledge will help them better manage their freelancers or outside consultants.
This month I held a boot camp for an organization in California and I was reminded of this philosophy and why it is so critical. My training session was an SEO Boot Camp and we help it remotely over a four day period. Typically I perform these onsite, but in this case, we needed to accommodate schedules of various employees that were located in three different places all over the world. The client left empowered so I left happy.
Sometimes the Best Online Marketing is Done In-House
The company needed online marketing assistance, but not in the traditional sense. They had a really good knowledge of SEO strategy and techniques, but didn’t have a great grasp on blogging or social media. They had also been led down some slippery slopes by SEO consultants and years of misguidance had placed them in some deep trouble with Google. My role was to take them back to SEO basics, validate what they knew, and clear up the confusion brought upon by past SEO consultants. For me, this kind of session is a fun-filled day and I love every minute of it.
Not only did I have a chance to remind them of their excellent in-house SEO knowledge, I had the opportunity to teach them about blogging and social media and how it is interwoven in today’s world of SEO and content marketing. They suspected all of this was true, but needed a third-party to provide guidance and a roadmap.
After four days they were able to walk away with knowledge of what went wrong and what needed to be done in the future. They now had a strong sense of what needed to be done in social media and those efforts would help augment their existing SEO efforts. They needed some instruction, validation, and a cheerleader. I was happy to provide all three and then set them free to implement their plan.
Sometimes Training is Better Than Doing
There are a number of clients who have us on a monthly retainer. We started working with the clients on website design and on-page SEO optimization, but ended up helping them in an ongoing capacity with WordPress and content updates, blogging, and social media management. While this works for the ultra busy doctor or consultant, it isn’t the best route for other small businesses. Sometimes it is better to become educated and to manage activity in-house. In those situations a boot camp or training sessions is ideal.
There are lots of training options available. Online education, group workshops, or onsite training is all readily available to get you and your team on the right track. We offer the following sessions:
- SEO Boot Camp – If you’re tired of dealing with freelancers,our SEO Boot Camp is a perfect opportunity to learn how to implement SEO for your website and organization. The twelve hour workshop is a hands-on introduction and how-to guide for webmasters and marketing professionals. The SEO workshop is designed to teach users SEO best practices, tools, and techniques for creating an effective online presence. Material is customized to your website and industry.
- Blogging Boot Camp – Our Blogging Boot Camp is a great way to jump start your company’s blogging program and find your blogging mojo! The four-hour workshop is an introduction and how-to guide for your team of bloggers. The session is designed to teach users blogging best practices, tools, and techniques for creating an effective online presence.
- Social Media Boot Camp – Our Social Media Boot Camp will help you use social media in a practical manner that is executable by real-world employees. We’ll ignore all the industry hype and focus on what really matters. By the end of the workshop, your employees will have active social media accounts that are optimized for search and present your organization in a professional, approachable manner.
Not everyone can plan or execute online marketing in-house and that’s okay. There are plenty of quality consultants and freelancers ready and able to jump in and help when needed. The key is finding the right balance for you and your team and then educating yourself so you know if your team or consultant is executing your plan properly.
There’s a lot to be said for in-house marketing. You’re closer to the product, understand customer needs, and have company goals ahead of all else.
I would imagine working with an agency or outside consultant would be tough for some small businesses.