Do you remember your first Internet experience? What did you search for?
I was in college when the Internet first came to prominence. I remember I was in a marketing class at the Lowder business building at Auburn University. The computer labs in that building were state of the art. One day I was going to class and on the door to the computer lab was a hand written note in red marker which read: “now with Internet”. Having heard of the Internet I ventured inside. I sat at a terminal and into the search engine (I don’t remember which one I used) I typed in the phrase that most college kids choose as their first search term: surf music. OK so maybe I wasn’t the typical college kid what with my retro fascination, but even then in 1994 there was an early website dedicated to surf music. Its still there and its called Reverb central by Phil Dirt. Struck with awe at how fast this information was made available to me, I then typed in the next most important phrase to me at the time: Hot Rods. I was hooked.
When I started college you had to manually register for classes by taking slips of paper to your counselor at the deans office who would check to see if you were eligible for the classes you wanted and helped you make out your schedule. Midway through college the phone in system became the methodology and finally in my last year of college it was all Internet based. So was the library search system.
My first job out of college barely even used e-mail. My second job only had one Internet line and we could check our e-mail twice a day, but only after asking everyone in the 8 man office to “please log off”. Can you imagine that today?
The early part of my career was spent working with “dot coms” designing and selling them tradeshow booths. It was a fun time. The technology was simply exploding. IPO cash and venture capitalists were making things happen and these guys needed marketing and design help. I sold a booth to a Virginia company called SerVint who in the 2000 ISPcon show debuted live streaming Internet. I remember turning to the then 23 year old CEO Reed Caldwell and said, “man do you realized you just handed television production to anyone with a computer?” A few years later we got YouTube.
I’m glad to have been there in a professional capacity to watch the Internet grow. Now I am in business to combine all that I have learned to help businesses get found online, and sell more. I’m a sales guy, I’m a designer, and I fully embrace the concept of content and inbound marketing. For years in sales I always felt that if I could just speak before large groups of business owners, I could help them build better booths that will sell more products. The gate keepers, fearful of making mistakes, killed a lot of great design. But the business owners, the risk takers, whenever I got in front of them, took the chances and reaped the benefits. I had one client who wasn’t afraid to try new things. I watched them grow from a small $40 million dollar CRO into a publicly traded $650 million dollar global powerhouse in a matter of a few years. And there were others.
Blogging allows anyone to get in front of anyone. We all search the Internet. Its the beginning of every buying decision. Its how you found me. This is the first post of hundreds and hundreds to come. I’m going to teach you how to get found, how to market your services effectively, and most importantly how to sell more stuff. Check back often, and pick up some tidbits. I’m going to blog on all of our core competencies: Internet marketing, design, video and trade show booth marketing.