Ruud Questions: Garrett Pierson

Garrett Pierson falls, for me, in the same category as Shana Alberts or Ann Smarty: people extremely good at branding and promotion.

Like Shana and Ann, Garrett appeared out of nowhere (at least to me). One of the brands he appears under is, very smart, Your SEO Mentor.

Active on various social sites you can't have missed Garrett and certainly shouldn't have missed his guest post here, Optimization Checklist and Checking It Twice!

"Social media" and "marketing consultant": can you market via social media or is social media a priori for branding?

Of course you can market via social media and it is in my mind the best way to market if you do it correctly. Here is why. You have the opportunity to post in some instances unlimited content to the various social media sites.

Now that you can post content whether it is video, audio or text you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the reader. Again if you do this correctly and build a relationship of trust and give the reader what he/she wants then you have essentially pre-sold them to your product or service. Then once you drive them to your main sales pitch then the relationship that you have built will make it much easier to convert that reader into a sale.

Dont get me wrong it is also a great way to build a brand and should be used for building your brand as well. The main key is doing it correctly and consistently.

SEO and SEM were separate from traditional marketing and PR, we said. Now that social media is coming along, is SEO/SEM trying to usurp its use the same way traditional marketing and PR tried to "get" search engines?

Personally I do not think so. Here is why. I believe that social media is just another channel for us to market our products. SEO and SEM are separate channels themselves. If we learn how to use these different ways to market online correctly and targeted to our audience then we will succeed.

Although all of these things are related, if we let SEO get in the way of our social media campaign then we are losing focus and thats when I see problems creeping in. If we treat them as separate and we have a plan then there really shouldnt be any problems.

If you don't have the budget to outsource your SEO, how many hours per month should someone count on investing herself?

In my honest opinion, if you want to build a successful SEO campaign and see results you need to spend at least 2 hours a day. As David Harry said, SEO is an art. Therefore if you are an artist you spend as much time as it takes to make your painting perfect in your eyes.

A big part of SEO is not the actual processes or steps but the testing. You must spend the time to test what you have implemented. Once you see that something is working then do more of that, and if something is not working then you need to tweak and then test again.

You're part of a lot of social networks; which tools, if any, do you use?

One of my favorite tools is This tool lets you post your status to many of the top sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, Friendfeed and the list goes on. This makes life easy when I want to post to all these social sites in one location. Did I mention that it is free. I am a Twitter user so a great free tool that I use is TweetDeck. It helps me stay in the loop and easy reply or retweet on the fly.

One of your best friends comes over and says, "Garrett, I want to make it on my own; I want to make a living on the web". You say: "no way", "way!" or "hmmmm, yes, but it will take you .... "

Time and effort...

I say WAY! But (the underlying truth) you have to want it, you have to live it, and you have to breathe it.

I recently started working out and had some pounds to loose and some muscle to gain. I had the desire to loose weight and gain muscle much like people have to make money online. Now that the desire was there I had to take action, so I got off my butt and went to my Gym. So in this case you have to do something, maybe research a niche, buy a domain or just take some kind of action.

Ok so I actually started breaking a sweat and did a cardio workout and lifted some weights, now I have to be consistent and go daily. For my friend this would mean getting down and dirty and building a product or a service and then consistently marketing through all of the various mediums online and offline.

I have met many obstacles during this process, being too tired to workout, eating something that I knew it shouldnt. My good friend is going to run into trials and stresses while trying to make a living on the web just as I have with my desire to loose weight.

If he and I can get over these setbacks and continue on with our desire, then we can be successful. In one month I have lost 10 pounds of body fat and feel better than ever and I realize that I must continue with this aspiration. Now my friend might not see results in a month but he will eventually see the fruits of his labor soon.

The site is setup. Now what? How does your friend go from having a site to "being out there" and making money?

If my friend has spent the time to research his market and built a product or services then now is the time to make the first sale. I firmly believe that if you have made one sale (this cant be from your mom) you can find a way to make more.

You need to become the expert in your market and start providing great content that people want to read, watch or listen to. Once you have this content then you need to find the channels that your target market is spending their time. This could be podcasting, search engines, magazines, social media, forums, TV, blogs, groups, radio, trade shows, and direct mail. The list could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. You need to find where they are and give them what they want in those channels of marketing.

Once you have put your content out there you need to start building relationships with your customers, competitors, and experts. Once you have done these things then it is time to test, test, and test. You must find what is working and do more of it.

My dad once told me, If you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you are getting. So if you keep doing something and it isnt bringing any results then you will keep getting nothing, but if you keep doing something that makes you money then keep doing that thing. You can always improve certain aspects of business but just focus on what get you the results you desire. It is that simple!

About the Author: Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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