OK, here I am at Hollywood Diner Sunday night at 1:00AM evaluating how I did over these past four days. There’s still I’d like to do tonight, but a reasonable person would put it aside, get some good sleep, and be in the office tomorrow morning to catch up. I took 4 continuous days, Thu-Sun, to focus on this project. I basically ignored all emails (and that made all the difference), and bore down on the work.
Am I happy with my progress? Does it match what I visualized? What I finished has indeed matched what I visualized very closely. I just haven’t finished as much as I would have liked. The baby-step tutorial markup project took two full days. But I knocked a lot of foundational issues out of the way. I’ve committed myself down the Microsoft, VBScript route in order to get the project finished. I have the first full tutorial done. I have the spider-spotter application finished. I have the homepage designed and implemented.
I just don’t have Lead Management wired up, don’t have placeholder pages for the different top-level navigation pages, and don’t have the tutorial or spider-spotter app actually linked in. I did not achieve my objective of having this site operational as an opportunity generator before the weekend was out. But it’s all set up, just waiting to be hit home. Lead Management is working on the Connors site, and I could move it over quite easily. And it’s still early.
I’m having coffee and getting some food at the Diner. So, I should be set until 5:00AM again. But I can’t do that if I’m committed to meetings tomorrow morning. It actually looks clear enough. I’ll have to send out an email that I’ll be taking another day. I really shouldn’t have to feel guilty about focusing on this. This is the value I have to bring to Connors—much more so than client management. Our people are very good, and self-sufficient. I’m mostly there for high-level guidance, a backup net, and for new business development. I want to be in on Tuesday for an on-site client meeting on one of the more detailed SEO projects that we do (URL re-writing).
Once finished, the HitTail website will elevate Connors’ role in the PR industry from being one of NY’s top PR firms that specializes in emerging technologies, to being an emerging technology company itself. At very least, it will be a PR firm that can demonstrate its technical chops in a very public, very glitzy way.
So, how to get from here to there?
Building the actual HitTail application, which I still haven’t really talked about yet, is the biggest part. The next step is to practice what I preach. By making the HitTail site massively successful, documenting as I go, I’ll be spelling out the HitTail formula and process. What I’ll be doing will actually go beyond the prescribed MLT-formula, but those things will actually be part of the playbook under SEO Best Practices.
Even SEO Best Practices is a misnomer, but it’s the best label right now for the audience-building task. We will address all aspects of online marketing, publicity and promotion that are unpaid. Of course the employee’s salaries are going into the work, their electricity, rent, and all other burden costs. But what is not going into it is a large marketing budget. It is quite possible for a single, passionate individual to outperform an entire marketing department through word-of-mouth evangelism. The Internet and Web simply bring automation and persistence to old fashioned word-of-mouth. Search is a special part of the equation, because it’s the wildcard, and the one on which fortunes can flip-flop. It’s the area that has an amplifying effect that you don’t have to pay for, resulting in getting more out than what you put in.
So, isn’t Connors setting up its own competition with the HitTail site? In some cases, yes. We will be spelling out a process whereby a dedicated individual within a company can create a lot of publicity for themselves without hiring an outside company, and with much less investment than a traditional marketing budget full of advertising and events. In a very real way, we will be teaching them how to do a very advanced form of high-tech PR—exactly our specialty.
Then, why is Connors doing this? Because the total number of people needing this far exceeds what we can service, and we would rather have this relationship with you than not. We would rather be the ones ushering in this next evolution of search marketing than not. How can it not result in anything but good for Connors, and those we will have the privilege of serving? We believe in sewing a thousand seeds and seeing what blossoms.
UPDATE: Connors has evolved from traditional PR to high end search engine marketing.