Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 694

So I did the whole Internet Marketing and Social Networking course yesterday. I sat there from 8.30 in the morning until 5.00pm.

I am sad to say I still know nothing about how to use Twitter more effectively but I do know that I need to.

I think I might know how to use Facebook a little more effectively (from a business point of view) and I know I need to.

I absolutely now know how to use Google Tools more effectively.  And I need to!

I now know how to enhance my business website and I need to.

On this last point I have to tell you, I was stripped naked.  At the beginning of the workshop the presenter wanted to know about each of us, what our businesses were, where we were at with our online marketing and what we wanted to get out of the workshop.  I felt reasonably confident that I was doing ok from a website point of view (quite proud of the fact that I create my own business and author websites at very little cost).  What I knew I needed to do was tweak them a little from a "key words" point of view to optimise traffic.  I knew I needed to find ways to enhance their effectiveness via search engine optimisation and social media.  That's why I was there.  So right at the beginning of the workshop he chose me as the guinea pig when we got to the "website" component of the course.

Oh shit! Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.  I mean, I know my business site is on the net for everyone to see, and I know I advertise it on my business card, but I also know it needs a great deal of work and that while I am proud of it, I am also aware that it is outdated and a little bit daggy and I've been meaning to change it for ages.  On Monday when Boomerang Jane was talking about "Achieve Beyond" at Guest Star Monday, I didn't even hyperlink it because I was thinking "need to redo my website".  Now a workshop full of small business owners and website designers were going to judge it. Shit.

As we worked through how to use Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Google Places, keyword trackers, rankings, pay per click advertising ... I knew that my business website was looking shittier and shittier by the minute.  Then as we worked through the website development chapter I started to think that perhaps I had checked loads of the important website boxes and that my site would actually come out ok.  My confidence was renewed.  Until ....

"It's a nice clear menu..."

"... put your photo up front ..."

"... hyper link the specials ...."

" .... needs a call to action ..."

" ... text changes ... keep it clean ..."

" .... looks like an ad ...."

"... too sales pitchy ..."

".... improve contact info ..."

"... quality of logo needs checking ..."

" .... too much colour of text ...."

" ... don't just ask questions without providing solutions ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

" ... techni coloured spew ...."

Up until that point all of the comments were valid and helpful.  Here I was in a room full of professionals getting free marketing and website development advice.  Thousands of dollars worth of consultancy fees for free.

But after that last comment - by the presenter himself - I couldn't hear any more.  It kept repeating in my brain. A rash the size of the Northern Territory spread across my face and neck.  My left eye started to twitch and a pain started to appear in my head.  My breathing changed.  My confidence was shattered.  Absolutely shattered.

(Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry ...)

My site looked like techni coloured spew? But I had been so proud of it.  I knew it needed some changes, but spew?! In that second I was not the same person anymore.  I was naked. I was exposed. For some reason I felt like a fraud. Which is silly, because I am still the same person ... but it just goes to show how it only takes one set of words spoken without thought to completely strip away a person's sense of self.

I learned something yesterday .... not just about internet marketing and the need to embrace social media in business (whether we want to or not) ... but about myself.  No matter how at peace I think I am, no matter how much I value myself, no matter how confident I feel and how open I am to constructive criticism, I can still be stripped naked and left feeling exposed and vulnerable.  Words still hurt.

Oh well.  Spew is one hell of a call to action!

Guess what I'm gonna be doing today? I'm off to clean up some vomit ....


  1. I can appreciate how difficult that would have been. But as you say, think of the consultation as fantastic free advice. It probably would have felt worse if you'd paid thousands for it. I think you are very lucky.

    But also keep in mind that he is not an Internet God & he can't possibly like all the same things that you do. Whilst he might be able to give technical advice & give you a broad view of what works to attract traffic, graphic design is in the eye of the beholder. All websites can't look alike. He sounds more like a technical whiz rather than 'getting' you and realizing you have a feminine personality that is allowed to come out on your webpage - even if it is technicoloured.

  2. Ohhhhh. Boomerang Jane! You just made my day. The eye twitching has almost stopped. Thank you!


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