smxIn an wild-west environment replete with social media carpetbaggers, content theft and predatory jerks, qualifying search consultants can be challenging for clients.  Amongst other means, we’ve settled on a holistic strategy to prove advice we offer.

As part of our services we proactively lead clients to search marketing conferences and thought leaders. Think how much confidence this empowering ethic requires.

SEM customers tend to be hands-on kind of folks. They ask great questions, get excited, wish they knew more and are afraid of what they don’t understand.

We say “teach them as much as they want to learn.” Any SEO worth their salt is not afraid to be challenged, found wrong or presented with another way of thinking. We get incredible ideas from our clients and we love when they know how to speak our industry’s language.

“We’re all not the best in the world at every search marketing craft. The unique strengths we each bring tableside, as agency and client, can be seriously empowered by continuing educating for all parties. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

Search Marketing Conference Immersion
There are plenty of terrific opportunities in 09′ for focused SEM training. The first (and outstanding) mainstream offering of the year is SMX West, held in Santa Clara, CA February 10-12. As a side note, since I’m speaking on 2 SMX West panels, we’ve got a discount code to share for the event.

We’ll also be sending contingencies of clients, vendors and aimClear blogger-personnel to a host of other  SEM shows in 09′ including SearchEngineStrategies (New York, San Jose, Chicago), PubCon (Las Vegas), more SMX (Advanced/Seattle, Analytics/Toronto, East/ New York and IM Spring Break (Florida).

Prove your value SEO professionals! Starting with SMX West, send your clients to days of sessions, keynotes, networking activities, special educational presentations and meals for which SMX events are famous. All things “search” are covered including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), link building, analytics and keyword research. We hope to see you (and your clients) there. 🙂

  • Derek

    Marty, I think this is quite refreshing to see that you are taking an interest in furthering the education of your clients by sending them to events and conferences. It seems that many people – regardless of discipline – fear sharing their knowledge as they believe they might no longer be needed. However, often times the openness and sharing only strengthens the relationship. And if a client does decide they want to try things on their own, chances are they will still recommend you to people that they know.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Derek: No matter how much our clients study, they still need our support. We’re the ones tooled to consume daily seismic shifts in the search landscape. Anyone who is truly inclined to outgrow, even to the point of competition, will do it anyway. By supporting their ambition, we all grow. My belief is such a thing leads to MORE work for us…not less. Thanks for stopping by.

  • streko

    ok, sorry im gonna disagree.

    why would i send clients to places where speakers PAY to attend in hopes to GAIN more clients?

    Am I supposed to follow them around and point them away from anyone who tries to speak to them – kinda like bringing your little sister to a nightclub for the first time?

  • Marty Weintraub

    @streko: I used to feel that way…and don’t mess with my sister :).

    ok here’s the question. if I write a blog post about sending my clients to scary or im spring break to see you speak cuz u rock boi, how would you feel about that? would you want the conference to get the business cuz it rocks? btw, i’d like to meet your sister…bet there’s no lame sauce there. 🙂

  • streko

    ok so the 2 conferences that you just mentioned are way different then SMX and SES.

    you can check the format to see, (shameless plug) – i dont think there any of the speakers are going looking for clients (i maybe wrong, but i know the majority are not). thats more of a learning experience – which dont get me wrong SMX and SES are also – but i personally would *never* get approved for conferences if I told the pres. of my company that i was simply going there to learn and share information. i actually don’t think the majority of speakers who work would get approved – “Hey Mr Boss, I am going to a conference to share information that I have learned and acquired on YOUR time and I am not going to speak to anyone who may be a potential client”.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @streko First, I get “approved” because of pitches sent in and speaking style, some of which you’ve been kind enough to help me with over the last couple of years. Second. I share SES and SMX conferences with readers because I think both series are excellent and a value them myself.

    I would NEVER plug anything, shameless or otherwise, without completely believing in it myself….and yes, this year we are sending our clients and vendors to SEM conferences.

  • streko

    when i say approved I mean in my boss “approves” me going to the conference and them paying for it.

  • david

    so if i sign up as a client do i get a trip to they next conference?

    i agree that it could be a bit worrying, but then if you are following your client around people will see that they are your client and will likely be a bit more sneaky.. its an interesting concept, i think just the offer to send them along would be enough to give them confidence that you want them to learn. maybe providing specific notes provided might be enough.