These are some of my observations about the event and I hope that you will think about them before laying out loads of cash to an “expert”. Do your research well.
The Delegates Who Were There
With the exception of myself and one or two others, the majority of the delegates do not manage their own websites or if they do, they muddle along in the dark. Their primary goal is to sell their products and services and not worry about what happens in the back end of their website. Because they are not number 1 on Google there was quite a bit of “blaming” their website developers for not doing what they had paid them to do. They were feeling let down.
The Delegates Who Should Have Been There But Weren’t
Where were the website developers and designers? They could have learned a lot and gone back to their clients and sold their services better. There is so much more to a website than finding a pretty theme and creating a few pages. We tech folk need to keep learning every day.
Technical Language vs Marketing Language
This workshop was a marketing event by the Presenter to drum up business for his company which is perfectly acceptable. He needed to get the business owners there as they are the ones who will spend the money.
Yet SEO is huge topic and can get extremely technical.
- Yes you need great headlines and good quality content updated frequently
- But, you also need the geeky stuff, like the mysterious H1 tags, alt text, backlinks, and plugins. These are in addition to the more understandable aspects like a fast loading site, protection from hackers, quality images, videos, calls to action, landing pages, and all sorts of other website imperatives.
Don’t Bad Mouth The Opposition
Several of the delegates had paid significant amounts of money to web developers for their websites. They were told that there is no need to pay R5K, R10K or R20K (1 USD = R14 for those not familiar with South African currency) for a website. Buy a template for a few dollars and they can do it themselves in Wordpress. Yet later in conversation with him, he told me that he regularly builds websites for clients for R40K.
The same applied to website hosting. Yes, you can get hosting for free or just a few Rands/Dollars per month. As with everything you get what you pay for. Check what your hosting fee includes. If your site gets hacked or broken, your host won't fix it for free and if you are not paying your web developer to provide this support they won't either.
One delegate said she had 17 000 subscribers on her database and that e-mail newsletters work well for her, delivering tangible results. The Presenter seemed to brush this aside. Yes, SPAMMING people is not acceptable but if you have opted in subscribers it is a key marketing tool. 90% of the delegates (including me) who attended the workshop did so as a result of an e-mail newsletter from another delegate. The Presenter did a quick audit of her website to show us where the site was lacking. Yes, her site is not perfect but she is doing plenty right. It’s always easy to point out things that can be improved I guess.
Please refer to this article, What They Are Not Telling You About Wordpress if you are considering following his advice to do it yourself.
Practise What You Preach
I know that it is like the story of the cobbler whose children have no shoes as we are all so focused on trying to earn a living that we don’t pay sufficient attention to ensuring that we present a good example of what we do.
This event was all about getting to number one on Google search pages/results so I did the obvious thing before going to the workshop. I Googled the organiser and the presenter and their businesses. I also researched them on Social Media.
I looked for them on Google, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Suffice to say that I was disappointed at the total lack of updated information available and activity on any of their Social Media profiles. Some were even protected.
If you are in communications and marketing in the 21st century you simply have to be “out there”.
The delegate responsible for getting us to the event is everywhere, in the flesh and on Social Media.
After the workshop I read my notes and went to the Presenter’s websites to see how he had implemented his teachings. I was disappointed that they didn’t match up to expectations. Much of what he taught us was not on his own sites.
- I learned some great tips from the workshop which I will add to my websites and those of my clients.
- Don’t be caught up in the hype of “experts” who are trying to sell you something.
- Do your homework and research.
- It is impossible to be an EXPERT on all aspects of Websites, SEO, Social Media and Marketing.
- Yes, I would love to work with you to help you get the best from your website and social media.
- I will do my very best to listen to you and give you the benefit of my experience and knowledge. You can find out more about me and connect with me on Social Media by clicking here.
- When I don’t know the answer I will research it for you or find an appropriate person to help you.
Let’s work together as a team to take your business digital.
Add me on Skype at: trishpp1
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Note: I am currently doing a 30 Day Blog Challenge and this is my post for Day 13 which is about creating effective content. If you enjoy blogging I urge you to sign up for this challenge as I am learning so much and meeting great people.