I sure don’t. I do like creating blogs that I’ll rarely update though, then writing posts like this that talk about how I don’t have time to blog. Oh well. “virtual real estate” anyone? Since last update I’ve been had some enjoyable lunches and SEO related discussion with:
- Dan Kaplan
- Eric Fransen (again)
- Roy Morejon (again)
- Korey Kashmer
- David Kyle
- Tim Staines
I’ll try to post a bit more when I have a few free minutes
Yesterday I had lunch with Keith Schilling , another Charlotte SEO guy. He is the key man behind On Top Results , a web design, development and online marketing firm. His firm has a bit of a concentration on medical web design and online marketing for physicians.
Keith is also the founder and organizer of The Official Charlotte SEO & Search Engine Marketing Meetup Group . That’s a pretty long name, but a pretty interesting meetup group. Keith formed that group around the same time I formed the Baltimore SEO Meetup Group . We chose different approaches – he recruited the help of 4 co-organizers and grew the group… whereas I neglected my group, rarely prepared any material and was content having it be an "SEO Happy Hour" more or less. Hmmm, new blog idea – SEOandBeer.com?
Our venue for lunch was Mac’s Speedshop , a local BBQ joint on South Blvd in Charlotte. The BBQ was quite good, and the place was pretty packed – so apparently the secret is out. Parking was a bit tight – I parked like 2-3 lots down at the Taco Bell. Other than that though it was great.
Keith was probably the first Charlotte SEO guy I connected with once we decided we were going to move here. We had a few emails back and forth, few Twitter messages (@keithschilling ) and he also helped my lead gen firm out in evaluating a decision on whether or not to purchase a fledgling unique-bid auction site, as he was familiar with the site. If you are curious, we did not move forward with that.
Anyhow lunch conversation was quite pleasant and interesting. We chatted about the norm – how did you get into this industry, what type of work do you focus one, etc. Along the way we also touched on a few tidbits such as the fact that Keith is a pretty impressive golfer. We shoot about the same score… that is if he plays 18 and I play the front 9.
Yesterday I met Roy Morejon at Ishi in the university area of Charlotte for lunch. Roy has been in Charlotte for roughly ten years, hailing originally for Maine (is that right?). He’s a Red Sox fan. I did not learn that until after lunch, otherwise I may have had trouble eating.
Other than his unfortunate sports allegiances, Roy seems to be quite a nice guy and smart-as-a-whip to boot. Very down to earth too. Like many of us he has worn a number of hats, and seems to enjoy taking small ideas and brands and growing them online. Roy’s firm is B2WE , which I have to admit is quite a clever name. I envy that. Ephricon (my firm’s name) means absolutely nothing. Its not clever nor quite, and makes for a terribly boring conversation piece.
Roy seems to have a pretty good grasp on social media, and branding in today’s online environment. Giving the relative "newness" and rapid degree of change in the social media space, having experience handling multiple campaigns effectively is rather impressive.
Anyhow, we at at Ishi, a Japanese place serving Sushi and Hibachi items. I went for the hibachi steak, and wasn’t dissappointed. Very casual and comfortable environment – makes for a nice local lunch place.
This was also my first trip the the "university area" in Charlotte (by UNC-Charlotte) so it was a good opportunity to tour the area a bit. Very nice. I was expecting more urban – like where I’d have to pay $10 to park and then walk down 5 floors but it was totally not that, basically in a little shopping center. Much more convenient. I’ve learned quickly that Charlotte is fairly different than my former habitat (Baltimore). The city is geographically about twice the size, but has about the same population. Thus, the population density is roughly half, and things are more spread out. Less traffic and congestion. That’s a good thing. That said, Baltimore has its charms (pun intended) too. I haven’t yet found bar + restaurant areas in Charlotte that resemble Fell’s Point or Canton in Baltimore. I’m still pretty new to the area too though, so just haven’t seen much yet.
Okay off that tangent… lunch conversation with Roy touched on the old "how did you get into this business" topic to what we’re both doing now. The norm. Good conversation, good food, good times.
Okay this one is a bit old – I had lunch with Eric probably two weeks ago but I’m just starting this blog.
(Today) I had lunch with Eric Fransen of Klik Marketing . Eric recently moved to the Charlotte area from Minnesota, where he ran a web marketing firm that provided web design, development, SEO, etc. and he recently started a similar firm down here. I met him at the Charlotte SEO Meetup a few nights prior and was surprised to learn that he just moved to town (like me) and lives in the same general area.
We ate at Sweet Peppers Deli in Baxter Village – walking distance from my office. Very convenient. Eric recommended the Taco Salad and so I had the same. Rather delicious.
We chatted about lots of stuff, but mostly about running a web marketing business, hiring employees, business models, etc. Definitely left a lot on the table for another lunch in the near future.
Eric strikes me as a great guy and we’ve shared a few convos via email and Twitter. Great stuff. He also recently started up the Fort Mill SEO Meetup group , though I must confess I snagged that exact-match domain before he could. Give it a week. He also invited me to speak at the next meetup , and so I will be gracing all in attendance with my keen insights.
Yesterday I was joined by Jason Broadwater , the owner of RevenFlo . RevenFlo is a local internet marketing firm based in Rock Hill, SC – which is about 25 minutes south of Charlotte.
Jason is a pretty impressive guy, and clearly not only understands online marketing but also is keenly in tune with the needs of small business owners as well. He does a great deal of speaking at local colleges, business groups, etc. and seems to be in demand for more of the same. I’ve done a share of that myself, but he is way more committed than myself!
Jason’s firm is based in downtown Rock Hill, and he is quite involved in efforts to revitalize and increase activity in the downtown area. He sold me. I’ll be checking out a few restaurants and such in the area in the near future.
We ate at the Tropical Escape (I think that was the name?). Jason recommended it specifically for this grouper dish they serve, which I also had. Fantastic.
Our discussion surrounded business models, running and internet marketing agency, etc. Again it was more a discussion of the business of SEO rather than nuts and bolts and such. Very interesting, and I definitely got some great insights out of it.
I just recently moved to the Charlotte area from Baltimore. Back in Baltimore I ran the Baltimore SEO Meetup Group, and had a good number of connections with local internet marketers. I would often say I knew every SEO person in Maryland. While that may have been a stretch, its probably not far off.
Not so in Charlotte though. I’m the new guy. Thus, I’ve started contacting local Charlotte SEO people and buying them lunch. Its a great way to network, get some ideas and hopefully establish a mutually beneficial relationship. If I can do so while also enjoying a burrito and maybe a beer (probably better for an "SEO for Happy Hour" blog) that’s that’s all bonus. Okay, here goes…