old school does not rule

Tonight I got contacted by an old friend whose wife makes hand crafted jewelry and is trying to sell it online. “How do I get in the top of the Google search results?” I explained the basics about how Google ranks sites and pointed them to the concept of Search Engine Optimization. But when I tried to give them my real advice, I hit a brick wall.
“Do the easy SEO stuff, but I would not waste a lot of time trying to game the system. With handcrafted articles, you would do better to have her focus on some social media sites, become active and develop a network of people who know her, like her art and spread the link with their friends”.
I got a blank silence on the other end of the phone. “So I could use a really obscure keyword and then use it to test when the Google spider has revisited the site and see what changes with my rank, right?”.
We went back and forth like this for several rounds, slight variation on the words, but the same underlying meaning. No matter what I said, he was convinced that the only way to be successful was to get highly ranked on Google.
I finally caved. “You could always pay to have your site in the top listing….”
“Yeah, I think that is a little beyond what we want to do.”
I did not have the heart to tell him that Adwords was not necessarily as expensive as he thought.
“well, I wish you luck and hope some of this was useful…”

How do you convince people of the value of social media without them living it first hand??

9 thoughts on “old school does not rule

  1. “How do you convince people of the value of social media without them living it first hand??”You don’t. Many people are tied to the way that advertising has been done for years, or the idea that Google is god, therefore you have to be high on Google to go anywhere.This completely ignores the tried and true sales method of getting referrals, and the only way to do that is to build relationships. Which is what social media is all about.

  2. Couldn’t agree more: people won’t be convinced. Some people might be thinking that a high ranking on google is a shortcut to building a successful, sustainable business. Others might have built something pretty strong already in the physical realm but may believe that the ONLY way to be successful on the web is to be high on the first page in a google search. Network-building takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s hard to see the rewards, especially online where it’s all pretty ephemeral anyway.

  3. @gwynne @jonathan I think you are right. it was the time consuming, ethereal nature of building a network that is scaring him. But in an arts and craft sort of business, I am convinced it is the only way to make a go of it. Anyone else know of a successful artisan who did NOT go that route??

  4. I’ll weigh in on both sides of the divide. I had a decent Google rank for my Photography business (if you googled my name) before jumping onto FaceBook and making a page and getting some fans.It turns out that a lot of my clientele happen to also be on FaceBook so having a page on FB really helps me target announcements and invitations to events at people that are already interested in my services.Chris

  5. Ahh.. the question on convincing people to use social media. The problem is ROI (especially when it comes to blogging). Most small business owners do not want to take the time to write and post blogs despite the merits of such activity. I have pretty much given up on convincing people to use the tool. The best clients are the ones that understand the value.

  6. Hi Rougepuppet,Glad to know that you are a winner for HP giveaway at one of the blogs. Congratulations!I am the winner at Labnol.org as well!Link: http://www.labnol.org/software/hp-magic-giveaway-winners/6182/I would like to know if the prize has been shipped to you. I am based out of india and haven’t yet received the prize. The results on labnol.org were declared on 22nd Dec’2008.Is there a way to track up the courier?I would be happy to hear from you as well.Cheers!

  7. Interesting post. I’ve found that when a person is locked into a mindset the long term social media pitch almost always results in blank stares or some other sort of dismissal.Now I try to come from both angles – the quick hit that the person is hoping for, and the longer term, value-based approach that is the ‘proper’ way. That usually ends up in a pro/con conversation that I think helps the person understand a little better and at least gets them engaged in a different approach. It’s their call after that.

  8. SM is a very much like buying print, broadcast, et all in the early days of it’s availability. You cannot convince then of it’s value until they get it on their own. The only problem is they will be very late to the party by that mindset.

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