SEO: Seriously, Egregiously Overrated

Every day we’re besieged by people from foreign lands extolling the virtues of search engine optimization and how they can dramatically improve our business if we send them money. And every day we hear all over the social media here at home from “social media marketing experts” about how they can dramatically improve our business if we send them money.

I think very few of any of these people have ever been successful at selling anything except selling this kind of promise.

Earlier this month I ran my first Million Dollar Consulting® Convention in Atlanta. I attracted just under 200 people (150 was my goal) and found that all but 10 had come from my own lists. My advertising on Facebook, Linkedin, Google, and Twitter was a waste of time and money, and “alliance partners” rarely came through. (One person with an 80,000-person list generated one person in return for a free seat!)

My advice to you, for free: Focus on building your own lists of buyers (not just anyone—buyers). Be persistent (requesting referrals and offering value to capture names) and highly organized (technology that suits your needs). Provide early discounts, and encourage word-of-mouth (I refuse to say “viral”).

People will tell you that they’ve sold “millions” on social media, but most of what they’re selling is their own claims and advice.

Create and distribute value, attract buyers, capture names, and promote to them. But remember: “Build it and they will come” is not true. First, you have to tell them that you’ve built it and how to find it.

© Alan Weiss 2015

PS: 25% of my attendees at that event knew me well and were a part of my inner communities. The other 75% knew of my work somehow (had read a book, heard a speech, etc.) and saw this as an inexpensive way to participate in my world. The evangelism that sparked among these groups over 2.5 days I would have paid for! The net was an immediate healthy six figures in additional business from this interaction.


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