Monday, March 26, 2012

PodCamp Isn't for Them, It's for Us

Hello and welcome to my addition to PodCamp Nashville's Blog Tour! Dirk Hoag has the next post on the tour.
I'm a programmer/business owner, not a marketer. And I don't have a podcast. So why am I going to PodCamp Nashville on April 14th and encouraging others like me to do the same?

Let's start with a little history. I've already talked about how BarCamp Nashville got me out of my shell, but I haven't told the whole story. In August of last year, I was invited to the second "NashBurger," which is basically a monthly tweetup where a few awesome people try out different burgers in town and occassionally discuss marketing and social media trends. They are all marketing professionals, but somehow they still wanted to hang out with a tech nerd like me. I was just learning Twitter and didn't really have a clue about blogging. They took me under their wing, smiled at my child-like questions and then did the hard work of digging in to give me great, tangible answers. They often blogged about our discussions and expanded their answers in detail.

Most important of all... They became Us.

Over the past half-year or so, I've not only learned a ton about marketing and social media, I've made some good friends. Joey, Tyler, Laura, John, and Kacy have helped me time and again whether it's personal branding, business marketing, social media strategy, blogging techniques or probably the most important of all: etiquette. Together, we've been able to better understand the marketers vs. developers mindset and turn it into a marketers and developers solution. By the way, if you're either a marketer or developer, you should read the 5 keys to not pissing each other off.

These friendships are something I value greatly. Helping and being helped by others is fundamental to community. If you're doing anything online, it can't be an "us" verses "them." Even if you can program an amazing application, if no one learns about it because your marketing is piss poor, what's the point? You didn't really help anyone. Same thing is true for a marketing message without a well-built product backing it. Sure you might be able to sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves, but why not sell her something she can really use instead?

Marketers and developers need each other to build things online that change lives. PodCamp Nashville is one of the best ways we can connect, build friendships and learn from one another. If you're a developer, I'm challenging you to be there. Open your mind, think differently and meet some people who aren't "like you." You'll be better off; trust me.

I'm going because I want to support my friends, and I want to make new ones. I want to learn and grow in areas I know nothing about. I hope to see you there as well.


John W. Ellis said...

Glad to know I am still included. I was afraid after missing the last NashBurger that I was kicked out.

Luke Stokes said...

No kicking involved, but dang did you miss the best burger yet. The Pharmacy's farm burger is incredible.

Laura Click said...

Nice post, Luke. And thanks for the shout out! I'm so glad you'll be there. More importantly, I'm glad to call you a friend. :)

Joel Fortner said...

Hey man! Great post. As a marketer, you nailed this topic, especially the part about having a great product but being bad at marketing. If you can't find, identify, educate and motivate people to buy, you should just call it a hobby. Hope all is well!

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Joel! Yeah, things are going great, actually. Along those lines, we soft launched the new version of and it's a huge marketing improvement! :)

I've been busy, busy coding up some new stuff for our users and haven't been able to catch up on many blogs lately, but it's all good. Everything in seasons. Thanks again for commenting.

Joel Fortner said...

Just browsed the new site. Looks great, even though I'm not your target audience by far! If you don't mind, here's an unsolicted suggestion. =) Not knowing how long it usually takes to convert a customer, you may want to consider having a stronger call to action in more locations on the site to pull more visitors into your marketing funnel. I know there's a blog but in my experience it's usually one of the least clicked links because it's not why visitors are on the site. But if you rely on communicating with prospective customers to build trust and rapport, have a stronger call to action throughout the site to sign up for the blog or enewsletter and an easy way to opt in right there in front of them. Or you could provide some sort of guide/report or whatever you know will be desired by your target audience that they can download instantly for free by leaving a name and email address. Both of these tactics, again, will pull more people into your funnel so you can continue to communicate with them via email and move them closer to converting over time. Take it for what's worth. MaryBeth and I will be Nashville most of next week. We've staying with the LoCurtos and running the Oak Barrel Half Marathon April 7. Good times!

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Joel!

Yeah, we definitely have a _lot_ of work to do on the marketing side. Getting this site launched is priority number one. After that we can start implementing a lot of other plans we have.

We could definitely write some white-papers or an ebook on security, building a remote team, ecommerce best practices and much more. Right now we're dropping so many other balls though... like we don't yet have a drip email campaign for people that do bother to sign up or a consistent newsletter.

So much to do. :)

My biz partner is cranking on this stuff and I passed along your comments. Thanks again!

Joel Fortner said...

Those ideas are spot on. Keep charging! By your client count, it seems you're doing really well. Hey, would you like to be added my email list to receive marketing advice/tips? If so, I just a preferred email.

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Joel! I just sent you an email.