Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Paint My Fence

Do you remember the Tom Sawyer story about how he got neighborhood kids to paint his fence for free? Tom made it look so fun, they were dying to do it. In fact, they paid him to do his work. I couldn't help but have a smile on my face today as Manju from our company got visitors to our SES booth to paint our fence. Around us, people we giving away pen, toys and iPhones. However, the crowd around our booth came in to learn about our services, buy a book and have an invitation to a free (for now) Search Engine Marketing Seminar.

We ended up selling a ton of books and overbooking the seminar. People are truly hungry for this info especially in bite sized chunks. For us, we get to educate the community and get more highly qualified prospects - people who see clear value for them. We are OK with sharing our knowledge because deep experience and execution matter more. Because of our infrastructure, people could never afford to compete whether inhouse or as an agency. If they walk away with something that helps them well then we have a better image. This can only help in a highly connected region.

Before, we would give away books to those who were "qualified" but since when did you ever read a book that was given to you for free? How many of you actually go to the library? So go ahead, give away your pens, yoyos, shirts and doo-dads. Most people will simply give them to their kids or throw them away. Come to our booth and get yourself a book at the 30% off list and signed by the author!

Now the money off the book did not make us very much money compared to the cost of the show, but it was a classic trade-on. Viral or Web 2.0 marketing is about getting others to paint your fence. In this case Manju at Position2 was the clear winner.

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