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At some point last year I found myself in Edinburgh, doing an SEO presentation with those guys trying to buy that upstart, Yahoo. That’s where I met David Bain, who said that he had this training course planned and he wondered if I would do an interview with him, which I duly did.
He said he’d let me know when he was further down the road. So imagine my surprise this month, when 4 DVDs, another 8 or so CDs and even the T-shirt arrived for David Bain’s 26 week internet marketing plan! Accompanying this huge amount of work was a short note, saying that it was going “Live” later in February and he’d be interested in my comments. Well – my first comment is that this has been a shed load of work! I don’t know how many hours of video are on these DVDs, but it’s more than a few. Further, they are videos of actual training seminars, so he has managed to keep an audience captivated… presumably over a period of weeks, not all at once. The course assumes that a marketer starts with absolutely no experience of online marketing and looks to be ideally suited to the owner-manager of a lifestyle business or to a person who has had their company’s website performance “thrust upon them” as part of their other daily duties. What is good about the course is that it must be the only Internet Marketing course that is entirely available on DVD and CDs. Most of us have to learn through forums, online books and conferences. Others on the frontier land simply have to learn by trial and error. This takes the one-to-one workshop style training approach and makes it affordable for everyone. On top of that, it comes delivered in a form that allows you to watch it again and again. Though I doubt you’ll be watching again and again for David’s sense of humour.
You WILL learn the theory here, but David has been very practical and prescriptive in his approach. It’s “do it my way, or miss the internet superhighway” really – but any business doing all the things in these DVDs, would all do much better online than the average, mostly for “little or no money down” as they say in the American car and sofa suite commercials. David goes through an online strategy that is suitably generic and would apply to any business. He has split the course into 26 weeks, but in fact, each week is a 30 minute presentation (or thereabouts… I didn’t get so anal as to get the stop watch out). From there, you need to go an apply what you have learned to your own site or sites. In that sense, then, anyone taking up marketing their website full time will not need anything like 26 weeks to get through this. Four nights on the sofa and some CDs in the car on the way to sales meetings will suffice. But hearing it and applying it are two different things, so I guess the plan is to do one thing each week and you’ll be well on your way. The challenge is that the real long term stuff – building links and creating virtual social networks is, not unsurprisingly, a long way into the process. Makes sense if you haven’t got your URL structure sorted yet! But I think that the links are part of Internet Marketing from the start… regardless of whether Google exists at all. There is not a leap from the very practical set of tools that David offers the mindshare jump needed to understand the relationships between brand, offline exposure and online reputation. My guess, though, is that you’d make your own leaps of understanding if you took the course. The second challenge for David will be the same as every other course in this field… progress! Since I got the DVDs, Microsoft announced a possible merger with Yahoo. SEOMoz announced a change to their online tools (not that I use Rand’s… young whippersnapper!), Google probably came out with another products and yes… paid links are now officially bad. (is there another kind?) If you are a practical guy or gal that likes their internet marketing strategy supplied on a plate, then David’s your man. If you want to live your life in 2.0, then Dave’s way will soon bore you, even though you know everything he says makes sense.
If you’d liketo see more – his internet marketing plan is available from the end of February.