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With this blog I intend to tell the story of Social Listings. Like any over excited geek I wanted my piece of the blogosphere years ago but it wasn’t until the rave of the check in apps that gave me something worth writing about: Foursquare, Facebook check ins, Gowalla, Shopkick, the list goes on. Little did I know those seeds of thought I planted years ago would bud today into Social Listings.
Without a dollar, but with a dream, I wanted to build something from nothing. One day my barber of 2 years at Fades Barber Shop approached me and asked if I’d build him a website. We’ve joked about our entrepreneurial ideas in the past and he got to know me as somewhat of an IT geek, so I wasn’t entirely surprised. Without truely knowing much about websites I was sure a barber shop didn’t need one. What was it going to contain? Pics and bios of the barbers? Turns out that’s exactly what barber shop websites are. But what I later learned was they hold the gateway to SEO.
I insisted to him the world of search is changing. No longer is it necessary to have a website to be found by customers. What he needed to do was build a brand on social networks. The networking effect they produce will broaden his customer base through the digital word of mouth. His Facebook page was hurting. His Facebook profile was even worse. With a little bit of research I found GetListed.org and the real tools to be found online. With that surfaced Mike Blumenthal’s Web Equity. Armed with these 2 assets I was going to change the world of a few local small businesses in Tampa Bay…
I began my spiel to him about getting found online involved cleaning up his act on social networks, claiming his listings on Google, Foursquare, Yahoo, YP.com, SuperPages, etc. So with a handshake, lots of motivation, and the prospect of free haircuts for a while, I started Social Listings.
Not long after that we began to see the barber shop’s listing climb the ranks of search results until its home on page 1. Then the most motivating phone call came. The barber called to give me a heads up that he hired a reference to build his website for $700. I was awestruck. I thought I made my point by the page 1 search result. However, he felt he needed to stake his claim with a virtual residence. This was about the same time I discovered it was damn near mandatory to have a domain (and a website) in order to really see major results in SEO. At that moment I put my ass in gear to figure out what I was doing, and do it ASAP, or someone else was going to do it.
Have a similar story to share? I’d love to hear it.