Bummer! This is just a preview. You need to be signed in with a Pro account to view the entire video.
How to Earn Links without Doing Anything31:26 with Ian Lurie
Embrace your own awesome while kicking back and relaxing. Ian takes you through how to be so brilliant online that you'll be swimming in links.
[Ian Lurie] Good morning, everybody. 0:00 [audience members] Good morning. 0:02 [Ian] They gave me this topic, and I was trying to figure out for about 2 weeks 0:05 whether Erica was mad at me about something. 0:09 I mean, building links without doing anything? God. 0:13 Anyway, I do a link bundle usually when I do these talks. 0:17 This is the link bundle. It is portent.co. 0:22 I was being all clever I thought—making our domain name one letter shorter. 0:25 It is portent.co/ideagraph. 0:30 There's some stuff up there now; there will be more up there later. 0:32 But the real point is—really? Building links without doing anything? 0:35 I don't think so. 0:41 I tried a bunch of different titles. 0:43 I thought about Building Links without Embarrassing Yourself, 0:45 which kind of made a certain amount of sense. 0:47 You should start the clock soon because I will forget and just go on for an hour. 0:50 But what I finally got to was Stop Link Building—please, God. 0:55 Stop Link Building—that is the title of this presentation. 1:00 Stop link building and why? 1:03 You're link-building campaign looks like my social life in the early '90s. [laughter] 1:06 That's what it looks like. That's what all link-building campaigns look like. 1:13 That's what our link-building campaigns always looked like, too. 1:16 You think you're out there all cool—"Hi there. I'm awesome." 1:20 But really, you're not as sexy as you think. [laughter] 1:26 You're sitting there on the ground looking kind of rodent-like saying, 1:32 "Hi there." But you're not even saying, "Hi there." 1:34 All you're really saying is, "Hey, hey, hey." You're trying too hard, okay? 1:38 This is the thing about link building. You're trying too hard. 1:43 You start to resemble a guy with bad skin, who's pushing 30, 1:47 who hasn't met anyone yet, and is just trying way too hard. 1:51 I'm past all that now, so it's okay. I can talk about it openly. [laughter] 1:55 Link building—we all knew this was coming. 2:01 We knew it was going to happen, right? 2:05 There's no way link building could work out the way it's been working out, forever. 2:07 The penguinopalypse—it finally happened. 2:11 Google came along and took away all our fun—bastards. 2:15 The truth is that link building has failed, okay? 2:21 You had a good run. I had a good run. 2:26 We all had a good run for 5 or 6 years—buying links, putting links up on 2:28 Squidoo and Blogger and Blogspot, putting in lots of comments, 2:33 spamming the crap out of every directory we could find, trading stuff, 2:38 doing anything we could to get lots and lots of links. 2:42 Five to six years in marketing is nothing. 2:46 Big companies like Coca-Cola and Ford, they come up to us and we say, 2:50 "Well yeah, we built this great business. It's been up and running for 5 years." 2:53 They pat us on the head and say, "You are so cute. 2:57 Come back to us in 100 years." 3:00 Link building is a long-term marketing strategy. 3:03 It's a total loser. 3:05 Everyone else here is too nice to say this, so I'm going to say it. 3:08 I told you so. I fucking told you so, all right? 3:12 All these years that I've been going around, and I've been going to clients 3:17 and other SEOs and everybody else and they're saying, 3:20 "Well Ian, you're going to charge us $10,000 to do all this stuff 3:22 "and write all this content, but I could just go get a guy who is really nice to me 3:26 "and says, 'Greetings for the day' when he emails me to contact me 3:30 "and sell me links for $99. So why should I listen to you, moron? 3:32 Why are you charging me so much money?" 3:38 I told you so, okay? I'm not going to say it again. I'm done. 3:42 It's not link building. Link building is not a business strategy. 3:47 Link building is not a tactic. Link building is not a technique. 3:52 Link building is an outcome. It's a result. 3:56 It's what happens when you build audience— 4:00 when you do good, effective audience building. 4:03 So stop link building. Start thinking about marketing. 4:05 Now everybody's thinking, "Oh, God. Ian's going to talk about content again." 4:10 It's like going to a presidential debate and you ask the president or the candidate, 4:14 "What do you think about this budget thing?" 4:18 And they say, "Well the war in Iraq was really important 4:20 because we were in danger." 4:22 "That's not what I asked you." But they say that anyway. 4:24 Well don't worry—this is still going to be about link building, 4:27 because content is how you build audience, which will then build links 4:31 and shares and all that other good stuff. 4:36 But content marketing—no. 4:41 I know I'm going to tick off a lot of people. 4:44 There's going to be a lot of angry blog posts or tweets or something. 4:46 There is no such thing as content marketing either. 4:48 Content marketing—you don't write an article and then carry out a campaign 4:53 to market the article. 4:58 You're talking about it all wrong. 5:01 Mike was talking yesterday about how to promote content. 5:03 The problem is we're going to potential clients and we're saying, 5:05 "Well I'm going to write you all this content, 5:08 and I'm going to send you all these articles." 5:10 And they're saying, "What? 5:12 I don't want content. I want you to market my business." 5:15 There is no such thing as content marketing. 5:19 It exists in the same realm as rainbow-farting unicorns, okay? 5:21 It's not here. It doesn't exist it's gone. There is no such thing. Stop. 5:25 Content is an outcome. Just like link building, it's a result. 5:31 Instead of talking about content marketing, when you go in front of a CEO 5:37 or a VP of marketing or—in a small business it would be a CEO— 5:40 bigger business, VP of marketing or the director of marketing— 5:44 talk about how you're going to give them marketable content. 5:46 Because that's the result of a great, well thought out marketing campaign. 5:51 You noticed I haven't said SEO very much, because I've always kind of been 5:56 of the mind of—I guess I'm saying I'm told you so again, 6:00 that SEO is marketing. 6:03 They fit together pretty tightly. 6:06 Marketable content is the outcome of great marketing. 6:08 But how does this all fit together when you're talking to that CEO 6:13 or VP of marketing? 6:16 This is what's happening. You come up with a cool message. 6:18 You come up with what you're going to say. You stand for something. 6:20 This is what Will was talking about yesterday. 6:22 You do shit real companies do. 6:25 I'm so jealous of that. That is the best term ever. 6:28 I wish I could figure out a clever way to steal it, but I can't. 6:32 But content leads to an audience, which builds authority, 6:36 which includes links and other citations, and that leads to business growth. 6:40 And this will work no matter how Google changes their algorithm. 6:45 And this will work layered on top of SEO, social media, PPC, whatever, 6:49 because it's marketing. 6:55 This is how we've been doing marketing since we could communicate 6:57 with each other by hitting each other on the heads with sticks. 6:58 And now a lot of people are going to say, "Well, but no one lets me do content. 7:04 They don't let me produce content." 7:08 I go to bosses and I say, "We need a team to produce—" 7:10 How many people here have gone to someone and said, 7:12 "Okay, you need to implement a content strategy," and the next thing you hear is, 7:16 "Okay, we've got someone. 7:19 I think we can allocate maybe a tenth of their time to that." 7:21 How many people have heard some version of that? 7:24 Or something like, "Well we love your advice but we can't implement any of it." 7:26 That's when I want to reach through the phone and punch people. 7:32 You're going to hear or you're going to say, "Well content doesn't work." 7:37 It's not the content, it's their content. 7:41 I'm not being accusing here when I say your content doesn't work. 7:45 I don't mean YOUR content. I mean the content itself is not working. 7:48 Not all content works, and the problem is that we're out there 7:52 trying to play this as this universal, wondrous miracle— 7:55 content marketing—it's this new thing. It's like link building, only better. 8:00 What you need to do to make all this work, really— 8:07 and this is the one thing I'd like you to walk out of here with knowing— 8:10 you have to say what matters when you produce all that content. 8:14 And you have to say what matters now. 8:18 How many people here have gone out, put together 8:21 a content-marketing campaign, and as you're writing, 8:24 you have writers coming to you and say, "My company grows rhubarb, 8:27 "and I didn't say rhubarb once in this article. 8:34 So how is this supposed to help me?" 8:36 How many people have had that kind of question come up? 8:38 Or have had someone come—you are such liars. 8:41 You've all had this come up. Come on. 8:44 Anyway, how many people here have produced a piece of content 8:47 to have a company's branding team come back to you and say, 8:52 "But this doesn't say anything about us?" 8:54 Yeah, you're all lying again because you all had that happen, too. 8:57 But it's back to the whole dating thing. 9:02 It's like you meet someone and all you do is talk about yourself. 9:04 You keep spinning the conversations back to yourself. 9:06 "Oh ya, ya. I did something, yeah. When I was cliff diving in Acapulco. 9:08 Blah, blah, blah, Blah, blah, blah, Blah, blah, blah." 9:12 It just goes on and on. You have to say what matters to someone now. 9:14 So coming back to me for a second—I was not one of these people 9:20 because I actually am really shy. 9:24 I am the classic introvert. 9:26 I am totally happy up here talking to you all, but if you put me in a party 9:28 where I have to talk to people individually, it's—forget it. 9:31 If you want to get government secrets out of me some day and I'm a spy, 9:36 that's all you got to do—put a tux on me, throw me in a party. 9:39 I was totally selling the wrong message, right? 9:43 I was this really low-key guy, believe it or not, who—I had a job and a house, 9:45 and I didn't have an arrest record. 9:51 There was nothing weird growing off of me anywhere, 9:53 and I was generally good hygiene—when really, most of the people I met— 9:55 most of the women I met wanted someone who could dance or maybe have some fun. 9:59 I wasn't selling the message that was desired right then—and you have to matter, then. 10:04 This is random, and you'll see more about this in a second. Sorry. 10:11 But speaking of random—whoops. Oh, okay. It's back—I lost my monitor for a second. 10:16 You have to figure out seemingly randomly connected things that matter to me now. 10:24 What I'm always telling folks in one way or anther is random is the new normal— 10:32 or actually, random has always been normal. 10:36 And when I say random, what I mean is—let's take me as an example. 10:39 I am what is called a squishy liberal. 10:42 Someone called me that once—a squishy liberal. 10:44 I don't know what that means exactly, but I like crazy things—totally wild concepts 10:47 like healthcare, education. [laughter] 10:52 But I also like to point large-caliber hand guns at paper targets and pull the trigger. 11:00 Only paper targets—and I've only done it 3 or 4 times, but it's really fun. 11:05 And I own a car that's an environmental disaster. 11:10 I drove a Prius for a few years, now I'm evening it out. 11:13 I justify it to myself by saying, "You know what? 11:16 I'm burning all the oil that's causing all the problems." [laughter] 11:18 The quicker we can get rid of that shit, the better off we're all going to be. [laughter] 11:21 That's seriously my opinion. I'm just doing my best. 11:26 So how random is this? 11:32 If you want to reach out to me—if you're a politician, if you call me on the phone 11:34 or send me an e-mail one more time talking about my taxes, 11:39 I'm going to punch you in the fucking face. 11:42 I don't care which party you're from, I'm tired of hearing about it. 11:44 Even I am burnt out on politics. I worked in politics. 11:47 It's almost kind of a—it's a big game for me, but I'm done. 11:52 You can't talk to me about politics right now, but you need my vote. 11:56 You need my donation. 11:59 You at least need me to remember to go to the polls or mail in my ballot— 12:01 how hard is that really anyway? 12:05 —mail in my ballot in November. 12:07 So how do you reach out to me? 12:11 Well you use this thing called the Idea Graph. 12:13 Yes, this is my term. I'm very happy about this one. 12:16 Who knows—maybe this is the term that drives me to some gigantic IPO. 12:18 Anything could happen. 12:22 The Idea Graph is this huge interrelated set of topics that are interrelated, 12:24 not because they're related to each other—it's not like automobiles and car racing. 12:32 They're related because people who like one idea also like the other. 12:37 They have nothing to do with it—they may have nothing to do with each other. 12:42 But they do form a graph, just like there's a social graph. 12:45 So you can go out to that graph and you can say, "Okay, Ian's a squishy liberal." 12:48 Gallipoli is a whole weird story. 12:53 My parents took me to see it when I was like 12, and it permanently warped me. 12:55 Because when you're 12, you don't need to see a movie when the hero dies at the end. 12:58 Oh I'm sorry—did I just give it away? I'm sorry. [laughs] 13:02 It's a tragic movie. It's a tragic piece of history. 13:09 But anyway, it did warp me permanently. 13:11 I blame all this on that movie. 13:15 Okay, so you need to talk to me about my politics. 13:17 But you know that right now I'm not thinking about my politics. I'm the classic American. 13:22 What's in it for me? Give me a bigger car. I want to drive faster. Give me a gun. Right? 13:26 Not really—that's not really—no. 13:31 And I like the pew pew. It's kind of fun sometimes to go and do that. 13:35 So what can you do? 13:39 Well, you can go and talk to me about the cool cars that some of the candidates drive— 13:41 do they even drive themselves anywhere anymore? I don't know. 13:47 You can send me a video of Obama trying to skeet shoot, 13:50 which I think would be pretty entertaining actually—and I like the guy and all, but— 13:53 If you all want to do this—if you want to get a glimpse at the Idea Graph, 13:58 you can go to Facebook and start to create a new ad. 14:01 Facebook is a goldmine for this kind of stuff. 14:06 You're not actually going to publish the ad; just create it, and then go type something in. 14:08 So maybe I run a company—I always like to talk about selling grommets. 14:11 All I do is sell grommets—not the little dogs, the rubber grommets and stuff. 14:14 And you're thinking, "Well okay, I have to write about grommets." 14:19 And you just put in that search real quick, and you start to see other topics come up. 14:23 As far as I know, Jeff—I don't know who Jeff Buckley is— 14:28 but carabiners, well that's kind of cool. 14:32 It could relate to mountain climbing and stuff. 14:35 Button hole, draw strings, linchpins, shoelaces— 14:37 I could write a whole tutorial on how to tie your shoes. 14:41 That sounds silly, but my kids could use a few of those—and they're older now. 14:44 Yeah, great. Now I'm bagging on my kids in front of everybody. 14:51 Let's say I've got to write about marketing. Oh, God—not marketing. 14:55 But then I find search-engine optimization. Okay, that's kind of cool. 14:58 But search-engine optimization randomly relates to a TV series called Hell on Wheels. 15:01 Okey dokey. Apparently a lot of SEOs are fans of the Civil War. 15:07 Not fans of the Civil W—you know what I mean. That's just sick. 15:13 So you come up with some ideas. 15:19 And then your boss is going to say and your clients are going to say, 15:21 "What? I'm not going to write about that." Just try it. 15:23 That's all I want to say to them is, "Just try it, okay? Have a little vision for once in your life. 15:27 "Think beyond, 'sell, sell, sell, sell, links, links, links, links.' 15:33 "Think about how you're actually going to get people's attention and hold it. 15:38 Don't go completely out into left field. But just try it—test it." 15:43 By the way, this is not an Idea Graph. These are fantastic tools. You should use them. 15:48 But these are related topics, right? So I just wanted to distinguish, it's 2 different things. 15:54 You're also going to get the marketers—who by the way have never looked at a bit of data 16:03 in their lives—pointing that out—but they'll come to you and they'll say, 16:08 "Well can you show me some proof—some data that will actually work?" 16:13 —which is the other time I want to take them and shake them and say, 16:19 "Are you kidding me? This is marketing. We're not selling to robots. 16:22 We're not selling to computers." But anyway—I don't want to start ranting more. 16:26 You can use some data that we've been collecting, and you can do this yourself— 16:31 but not as well—I just want to point that out. [laughter] 16:37 You can use some data and show it to people. 16:41 Folks here who have received a note from me saying, 16:45 "Please go sign up for this Facebook app called the Idea Graph. 16:48 Help us grow the Idea Graph." That's what this is. 16:51 I'm collecting all this data and turning into this big graph of related ideas. 16:54 And if you haven't done it yet, go to the Bitly address—and please do— 16:58 because the bigger the data set, the more accurate it gets. 17:02 Like right now, this entire Idea Graph is heavily biased towards Portent staff. 17:05 So you might want to help us with that. 17:11 But to get all this data—and you start to figure out, 17:14 "Okay, maybe I'm going to write something about the TV show Grimm." 17:16 How many people here know about the TV show, Grimm? 17:20 It's a cool show. It's really cool. It's not as cool as Dr. Who, but it's pretty cool. 17:22 And you find out, "Okay, people who like Grimm also like these other topics." 17:28 And then you get this calculation—and in this case 17:34 I'm using something called Euclidean distance. 17:37 You don't need to know what that is. 17:40 Just understand that the smaller it gets, 17:42 the closer the relationship between these 2 concepts. 17:45 And someone in the audience is going to say, 17:47 "Well why aren't you using Pearson correlation?" 17:49 Because my computer would have melted. 17:51 If this idea takes off, I'll set up a server and everything. 17:54 That's why I'm not using Pearson correlation. 17:57 And then you can map stuff out. 18:01 This I find funny—that Tukwila and the show Grimm are closely related. 18:03 The only thing I can think of is it's 2 horror shows put together—I'm not sure. [laughter] 18:06 We had a rough time in Tukwila, okay? 18:13 All I can say is 2 separate instances of dead bodies washing up 18:15 in the river behind our office—all you got to know. 18:19 That's all you got to know. Raw sewage in our office. 18:22 So if you want to grab that data, it's again, that information is in the Bitly address, 18:27 but you can go here to grab it. 18:31 And most important, when that guy says, "I need the data—" 18:35 Can you show me proof? 18:40 Can you prove—let's test the idea that telling people stuff and telling people stuff 18:42 that they're interested in actually helps as a marketing technique. 18:46 What? Did you say that? 18:50 You can take this cool-looking graph—which is completely useless, 18:53 by the way, as a reference tool. Can you tell? 18:55 But it looks cool. And you can throw it down on his desk and you say, 18:57 "There is your proof, mother fucker, all right? Leave me alone! 19:01 "I have my pretty graph just like everybody else. 19:05 "Take the proof, go away somewhere, let me do my work. 19:10 I'm going to lose all my clients after this." 19:14 And say what matters to me now. 19:18 I just got a new life-insurance policy. None of you are on it, so don't get any ideas. 19:23 It's funny because they figured this out so long ago— 19:28 it's not life insurance, it's death insurance, right? 19:31 It's money that people get if I get hit by a bus. 19:34 But they don't come to me and say, "Well Ian, the day that you get hit by a bus, 19:39 your family will get all this money." 19:44 No. They say, "We're giving you peace of mind." 19:46 Because if there's one thing I need, it's peace of mind. 19:49 That's what matters to me now. Peace of mind—dying. 19:51 Nothing to do with each other. Really. 19:56 So say what matters. 20:01 Some quick examples, and then I'll go to Q&A. 20:04 Sometimes you just want to graph to a bigger audience. 20:09 And these are things that really work. 20:11 We had a client that does study aids—stuff to help you study for different subjects. 20:12 Nobody really wants to talk about studying. 20:17 It's not what you care about right now if you're in college. 20:20 Games though—games are awesome. 20:22 So you put together this idea and you say, "Hey, here's a game. Take a study break." 20:26 It took us—I did not take us very long to build this. 20:33 It went out there, and it got us 15 good, in-linking domains and about 20 shares. 20:37 And you're all saying, "Oh, that's lame." 20:42 Yeah, lame I guess if you compare it to running a script 20:45 that submits your site to 400,000 blogs and writes a comment saying, 20:47 "Great post. Come buy Levetra now." 20:51 But this was like a day's work. One day. Put it up, it gets some links, it gets some shares. 20:56 It's easy. Well it's not easy, but it's a sure thing. 21:05 It works so well. It's a long term strategy. 21:08 Coca-cola will not pat you on the head and tell you how cute you are when you do this. 21:11 Graph to other interests—I'm obsessed with cy-performance. 21:15 You guys probably know that about me. 21:20 I write about how to make sites faster all the time. 21:22 Nobody wants to hear about it apparently anymore. 21:25 I wrote about 10 posts on it and got nothing—no links—nothing. 21:27 I am not Rand. I'm not Will. I write stuff and people are just like, "Yeah, whatever." 21:33 But then I realized—wait a minute. Geeks kind of have a chip on their shoulder. 21:39 And if you say that they like competition, well let me turn this into competition. 21:45 And I wrote this post. It got 18 in-linking domains—including links from Reddit. 21:51 Hell yes. Thank you very much. Thanks from Reddit—from major topics on Reddit. 22:02 All because I took the whole thing and instead of just talking about SEO 22:06 and why it's important to speed up your site, I talked about—I just kicked your ass. 22:11 I am better than you. 22:18 And then of course everybody wrote all the reasons I wasn't, which was awesome. 22:20 But they went berserk on Reddit about that. 22:22 Then there's the Hail Mary. 22:25 You're having to write about mattresses for recreational vehicles. It's a true story. 22:27 It's not as bad as it sounds—pretty cool. 22:33 So you can't write about mattresses for recreational vehicles and expect people 22:36 to come in and get excited. 22:40 So instead we said, "Well okay, but these are people that own recreational vehicles. 22:43 "What do they want to see? They want to see weird stuff." 22:46 So we said, "Okay. We're going to write about the 7 wonders of the RV world," 22:50 which immediately got 37 linking domains. 22:54 We no longer work with this client, so I can say this—they took that article down. 22:57 I'm sorry they took it down. I don't know. So now there's 37 domains pointing at nothing. 23:03 Not that this drives me crazy, but it does. 23:11 So say what matters. And then one last thing—promote your content. 23:13 There's some really easy ways to do this—stumble upon. 23:16 People always look past this—25¢ a page view. 23:19 We got 2700 page views for 3 days for $27. That led to 3 links. 23:22 "Oh, only 3 links." It cost $27. It took 5 minutes to set up. 23:27 If you want to say what matters and get in front of people, 23:33 even though what matters right now is not your product, 23:35 this is the way to do it because people are stumbling around using that tool. 23:37 Go on Facebook. Get likes not for your brand, but for your content. 23:43 Again, you're saying what matters to these people now. So use that. 23:48 And yeah, send e-mails to people. 23:56 But don't send e-mails that start with "greetings of the day." 23:58 And don't send me anymore e-mails saying, "I was just checking back 24:02 "because I just sent you this spam e-mail last week about this piece of content, 24:05 and you don't know me, but it was kind of rude of you not to reply, so blah, blah, blah." 24:08 No. Talk about what matters now. Say what matters. 24:12 And do the work. If you don't execute, none of this matters at all. 24:19 This is still work. 24:25 And by the way—going back to my social life for a second—I finally—all this got resolved. 24:27 I got married and had kids. I met the woman of my dreams when I stopped trying so hard. 24:32 I met her, and I started talking to her and pointing out binary star systems. 24:40 It was awesome. 24:43 And I knew I had a winner because what was important to her right then— 24:45 I asked her if she had ever seen Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx, 24:47 and she said she was saving for a special occasion. [laughter] Oh my God. 24:50 There was no way that she was getting away. [laughter] 24:56 So say what matters. I hope that's helpful. 25:00 There's the link, and we can do some Q&A now. [applause] 25:03 [female speaker] I love it. 25:12 Like I said, I think you're my favorite sarcastic marketer out there. 25:14 [Ian] I refine sarcasm. 25:18 [female speaker] Not that there's that many, but there's a few. 25:20 Do you guys have some questions for Ian? 25:22 You must say what matters, by the way, so no pressure. [laughs] 25:26 [Ian] Oh, we got someone. 25:31 [female audience member] Can you expound upon what you first said earlier really quickly 25:37 about how you think eventually maybe the blogs won't be important to Google 25:41 and they'll just wipe that away too? 25:46 [Ian] I'm sorry—how something will be important— 25:48 You said something about how people who are doing blog posts and comments 25:50 and all of this other stuff would stop. 25:54 [Iah] Oh, yeah. Well people game the system. 25:56 They embarrassed Google for years by spamming tons of links out there, right? 25:59 So you'd go to a site about nuclear physics and see a link labeled "diapers" 26:03 in the footer linking back to JC Penney, which would be funnier if it wasn't true. 26:07 But people would do that and they abused the Google algorithm, 26:13 and what I've always been saying is, "Don't embarrass Google. 26:18 Don't poke the 9,000 pound dinosaur that's right in front of you." 26:22 Not the dinosaur—that's a bad choice of words—but the big, tall, scaly thing 26:26 that could kill you by sneezing. 26:30 Don't do that. That's really what I meant—is people went out and just abused the system. 26:32 They did comment spam, they did everything they could to get cheap links fast. 26:36 [male speaker] Hey Ian. Right here, in the back, on the side. 26:48 [Ian] Oh, sorry. Okay, this—you're next. Sorry. 26:53 [male audience member] All right. Hey, quick question. 26:59 It sounds like what you're saying and what I hear a lot of people saying is that the bar 27:02 is getting higher and higher. 27:07 The glory days are gone. All these cheap tricks that used to work are not. 27:09 So do you think it's fair to say that for new companies 27:11 that are coming up against incumbents, the time threshold and the resource threshold 27:15 to actually hit that minimum mass of that effective SEO and marketing work 27:21 is just getting higher and higher and higher and higher? 27:27 [Ian] I think it's getting back to a reasonable level, and I think that the Internet 27:31 really lowered the bar for entry. 27:36 But the bar for exit is just as high as it's been for business pre-Internet. 27:39 And I think that what you're seeing now is a big "market correction." 27:45 It's a terrible word. But I do think it's getting harder. 27:49 I do think that companies have to do more real marketing. 27:53 I'm not sure they have to necessarily put in more resources. 27:59 I think they have to use the same resources and use them a lot more wisely. 28:02 A lot of businesses seem to just assume that they are entitled 28:07 to gaining a top rank in Google and making thousands of dollars or millions of dollars. 28:10 And I'm sorry—this is why it's called business and not vacation. It's really hard. 28:14 And you do have to come up with a way to do it. 28:20 I don't want to be insensitive. I've built a business and I know how hard it is. 28:22 But it is hard, and it takes a lot of work and there's always a few shortcuts, 28:25 but to get cut off pretty quickly when you have a major commercial interest like Google 28:29 whose livelihood depends on not allowing those shortcuts. 28:37 So yes—really long answer, but yes I do think it's getting harder. 28:40 [male audience member] You were saying—you had some great snark there about 28:47 the people that say, "Show me up front before I do it." 28:51 Then you were saying put these random relationships together, 28:56 create interesting content, put it out there, say what matters— 28:58 but you don't know what matters in advance. 29:03 It sounds like you're not doing a lot of market research in advance. 29:05 Are you saying to put this stuff out there—just keep doing it and see what sticks? 29:07 [Ian] Well, no—the Idea Graph actually is how we're trying to 29:10 come up with those random relationships. 29:13 That's really how we're doing it. 29:16 I'll actually go on Facebook and I'll do the search I just showed you and say, 29:18 "Okay, people who are interested in grammar are also interested int he Beatles." 29:22 So maybe we can do something with the Beatles stars 29:27 that most resemble Grimm characters or something—the Beatles musicians 29:30 who most resemble Grimm characters or something like that. 29:34 So it's not totally random. 29:36 And when people do ask for the data, I can give them something. 29:38 There's always something. It's just, it's not a science. It is still marketing. 29:41 [male audience member] Check, check. [Ian] Yeah, there you go. 29:54 [male audience member] I just wanted to know if you had any other tips 29:57 relating to convincing the committees that we run into all the time that will say no 29:59 and shut all these brilliant content ideas down all the time. 30:04 If it's not the legal department, it's the compliance department. 30:06 If it's not them, it's the CMO that's an old-school marketer that just thinks 30:09 they know everything and the way that it needs to work. 30:13 Actually I have a client success manager dealing with an issue 30:16 with a really large client right now. 30:19 So if there's any tips—new things that kind of break through that you could throw out there. 30:21 [Ian] For folks that have that question, you should ask me that later at the garage 30:26 after I've had a beer or 2, but there's no easy answer to that. 30:29 There's really 3 ways to go. 30:34 You can confront, you can do an end-run, or you can give up. 30:36 Any one of those is equally valid depending on what you're dealing with. 30:40 I usually—believe it or not—try to find a compromise. 30:44 If a compromise doesn't work—if they're totally intractable— 30:48 you may have to fire the client, or you just use a whole different strategy. 30:52 Yeah, and we've done it. 30:56 We've certainly done it—or had clients fire us because I got so obnoxious 30:58 that they couldn't stand me anymore. 31:01 But there's not much you can do about that, unfortunately. There's no easy answer. 31:03 I have occasionally gone around them and done quick little tests, 31:08 which is 50/50 for getting us fired or getting us appreciated. 31:11 [female speaker] Cut it off there. We're over. 31:16 [Ian] Okay. I'm around today and tomorrow, so if you have other questions let me know. 31:18 [applause] 31:22
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up