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And now I’m Inbound Sales Certified, too

8 Jan

I figured since I was here I might as well do the sales certification, too.

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That’s right, sucker – I’m Inbound Certified

8 Jan

We recently signed up with HubSpot to use their marketing automation and sales tools so I thought it would be a good idea to go through their certification process.
This is really great educational stuff and at the end they give you a cool badge 🙂

What would @mattcutts do with this link outreach?

17 Feb

We received an interesting link solicitation on the Search Influence info email that I thought I’d share. It’s interesting that they never ask for a “link”, but they do offer payment for posting content.

Here’s the email, names changed to protect the (maybe) innocent:

Hi,

My name is Michelle of [name removed].com. I came across your blog searchinfluence.com and loved it. I know your site is not exactly about bowling but you seem like you enjoy staying active and participating in group events. I think your voice and energy are perfectly in line with the kind of people we’re looking to attract to our brand.

Our bowling stores carry products that are not just functional but also fashionable. We carry fun bowling accessories that will personalize your style and improve your game.

I’d love an opportunity to work with you, in one of two ways. You can review our products in exchange for one piece of merchandise or publish an article on our behalf. Below are the details for each option:

1 – You can choose one pair of Elite bowling shoes ($40 max) from [name removed].com (We’ll ship either of these to you for free). Write a review by talking about your experience, whether it’s our website or our products. Please take note, this option is only offered in the USA at this time, due to high overseas shipping costs.
Check out the flyer for more details here: [link removed]

2 – You can post a bowling related article we give you with pictures on your blog for us. For this we can pay you $20 for posting it. The article will be very well-written and the topic isn’t centered aroun bowling perse, you can also edit it however you like.

Here’s a sample article we did for one blog:
http://ampedupmag.com/2013/11/20/unexpected-yet-popular-places-get-great-comfort-food/

As mentioned before, we’re always looking to building future relationships with our bloggers. If we get a good amount of referral traffic from your site, we’re totally open many more collaborations down the road.

Not to rush you, but please respond ASAP. We’re contacting a lot of other similar bloggers, and we only have a limited budget for the month for both giveaways and articles.

Keep up the great work with your blog!

Regards,
Michelle
[name removed].com

I left the example post link above because I think it’s instructive for a couple reasons. 1. they are using very targeted anchor text on a followed link. 2. it’s not particularly interesting meaning it’s unlikely to get a lot of social traction or pass-through traffic — i.e., it’s just a paid link.

What do you guys think?

Scam Alert – eGumball

30 Jan

Scam Alert!

One of our clients made an update to his map marker location, shortly after which he received a phone call from someone identifying themselves as a “Google Specialist”. The caller identified that there was a location update. Verify the correct address and then said “your business is listed as miscellaneous” — our customer indicates that they were actually properly classified — “you’re not showing up in the top 7”, “We have a place that can help you if you’re interested”.

I’m going to transfer you to Loren who will give you rates and options for getting listed.

Loren as it turns out works for a company in Irvine CA called eGumball.

It would appear from this client report that eGumball is posing as Google to qualify the lead prior to passing to their sales staff. Further, eGumball is making false statements, in this case “your business is listed as miscellaneous”.

Before posting this I did a little web searching and discovered the same approach reported on another site:

“Hi my name is […] am I speaking with the owner of […]?” Yes. “We wanted to let you know that your business category is showing up as miscellaneous and therefore not ranking well. Would you like to change that?”

Whether or not this is fraudulent is for the courts to decide, but it is clearly deceptive.

This kind of behavior gives our profession a bad name. Have you received a call from eGumball? Have you received calls from other services who deceptively tried to make you believe they were with Google? What were their scammy pitches?

Writing About Raccoon Removal Is A Delicate Art

21 Aug

This is an honest to goodness excerpt from an exchange between our production manager and one of our writers.

It’s true, but hilarious nonetheless:

Writing about raccoon removal truly is a delicate art. On the one hand, you can’t come down too hard on raccoons, because while they may root through your trash, they also kind of look like burglars, which is pretty awesome. On the other hand, you can’t appear too pro-raccoon, because the business is all about removing them from your property. So you really have to walk a fine line, which you did very well.

I’m extremely happy the comment made your day. That’s always great to hear. Keep up the good raccoon removal work!

Cute Raccoon Picture

I really love my job!

Photo Credit: Trevor Blake

Spammers Can’t Spell

1 Jun

Infographic Design Idea Sites

2 May

I’ve been thinking a lot about Infographics lately.

There are a lot of mediocre Infographics out there without much quality in either the information or the graphic. That said, there are also a bunch of good ones. So, I put together a list for my team to look at for Infographic Design Ideas.

Information Architects by Richard Saul Wurman - Book Cover

I also brought in this book from my Architecture School Days. Yes, that was a long, long, time ago, but when we were first working in computer graphics for Architecture we were inspired by information architecture, visualization and a whole range of communication tools which have been forgotten, abandoned and are only making their way back into the consciousness thanks to our need to create “quality content”.

Here’s the list:

What are your favorite Infographic and data visualization sites? Share with us in the comments please!

Thanks @rondomingue for another good suggestion:

Ron Domingue Recommended Visualization Site

Update 11/14

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