LSA SMB Bootcamp in the Bag, Tactical Workshops Happen Today

Digital Bootcamp logo

Yesterday (Sunday) the LSA hosted its first Digital Bootcamp for small businesses in LA. There were about 130 people in attendance, including speakers from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Yelp, GoDaddy, Closely, YP, Goodzer, Where2GetIt, ReachLocal, LocalSEOGuide, MOZ, Search Influence, G/O Digital and ConstantContact.

The businesses present were from a wide range of industries and demonstrated varying levels of digital marketing sophistication. However what was striking was the uniform need and desire for trustworthy information. The audience was engaged in a way that most industry audiences are not. These folks really wanted help and tactical advice from the speakers.

Marketing Budgets of Bootcamp Attendees

SMB day survey

I’m so used to looking at survey data that it was refreshing and enlightening to have a group of actual small businesses to talk to about their interests and needs. In some ways it was like an eight hour focus group.

(If you’re interested in a recap of the session content, most of them were captured in blog posts by LSA’s Joe Morsello and Wesley Young.)

While it’s very tough to generalize, the crowd seemed biased toward DIY. And while they were interested in everything, there were two or three areas of primary interest: SEO, social and (maybe) email. Overall people appeared genuinely grateful for the advice and information.

Beyond the on-stage content, the greatest value for attendees may have come in the opportunity to speak to and ask direct questions of the exhibitors and speakers in the hallway. There they were able to get their very specific questions addressed (hopefully).

This is generally an opportunity they don’t have in the “real world.” SMBs rarely if ever get to talk directly and informally to Google or Yelp for example.

In addition to companies who spoke, I’m grateful to Andrew Shotland, Will Scott and David Mihm who gave solid advice to attendees about SEO, data syndication and social.

Today (Monday) Scott, Shotland and Mihm will be back leading some great tactical workshops in the afternoon, along with other great speakers:

  • Crafting a Compelling Sales Offering for Today’s More Savvy SMBs (Will Scott)
  • Selling Mobile to Small Businesses: What’s Working Now? (Alison Callahan)
  • Research: Triggers and Causes of SMB Churn (Brendan King)
  • Sales 2.0: Best Practices (Earl Baer, Anke Heckhoff, Sandy Lohr, Neal Polachek)
  • Conducting a Basic SEO Audit (Andrew Shotland)
  • Major Algorithmic and UI Trends at Google: What They Mean (David Mihm)
  • New Uses of Location for Audience Targeting and Offline Attribution (David Staas)
  • Call Conversion Optimization: Generating More “Good Calls” (Alex Dionysian)

The Bootcamp was a full one-day conference. This is another full day of content broken into two parallel tracks.

If you’re attending LSA, these workshops begin at 1:30 today. This is going to be some of the most valuable content at the event. You’re not going to want to miss it.

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