How I Got Here; Where Here Is…

The following is an introductory email I sent to a software company owner I met a couple days ago.

After having sent it, I realized the email summed up in a general way – how I got here and where here is (what I do).

Having been in the workforce since I was 10, I tried to just touch on the parts I believed would be of most interest to him and his business.

Dear Mr X,

I really enjoyed meeting you and talking about your career and business last night.

You are the first person I have ever met who admitted to being unemployable!

It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s before I realized I probably wouldn’t ever be able to hold down a traditional 9 – 5 job. Getting up 4:00 AM all those years, buying and selling newspapers, dealing with customers directly and basically being my own boss at age 10 made me an entrepreneur long before I knew there was such a word.

The trick for me was finding opportunity here in Oklahoma beyond the oil and gas industry.

I experienced the oil and gas industry’s cyclicality first hand while working on an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico (1981-1982).

After oil and gas prices plummeted in the early 80’s, I realized I no longer wanted my livelihood and opportunities tied to commodity prices.

It wasn’t until my mid 30s ((1995) that I got into the software business with one of Oklahoma’s
few software companies – Amcat.com

Oddly enough, I met the owner of Amcat while at a conference in Los Angeles. We were the only people in attendance from Oklahoma out of 500 business people from around the world.

In 1999 I won the contract to expand Amcat’s operations to Europe based on research I had done that
was confirmed by analysts from Datamonitor when we exhibited at a trade show in San Francisco.

The Datamonitor analysts confirmed the entry level Call Center market on the Continent and in the UK was untapped and thus under-served. Large 100 to 1,000 person call centers were the norm while few small to medium size business owners in Europe had yet to ever hear of or use computer telephony and predictive dialers to generate leads. The predictive dialer can double – even triple – lead production with half the telemarketing staff ( as few as four people). Business owners could pay for their new dialer with the savings from their reduced payroll expenses – and they did. Amcat’s first international office expansion became profitable within the first six months of operation.

My son Edward – who was with us last night – is a twin. His brother Phillip died in my arms on January 14, 2000.

Phillip’s unexpected death came shortly after I had completed my UK project. After his death, I vowed that I would never travel as much as I did then for business again.

I also decided I wanted to be able to run my consulting practice from anywhere in the world from the laptop computer I had used to open Amcat’s London based headquarters.

After several months of reflection, I decided the internet and search engines specifically were going to
be the wave of the future. As a consultant who only eats what he can sell, the premise and promise behind search engine technology was a dream come true – leads come in over the web instead of having to go out and get them!

As far as I was concerned, I had already done a lifetime’s worth of going door to door and pounding the pavement – I didn’t need any more practice.

Yahoo was both the internet and “search” market leader in early 2000. Not long thereafter, Yahoo started
embedding a new startup’s search technology (Google) to provide Yahoo’s audience with even better search results.

Once I discovered Google and the quality of its search results, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to understand how top of the page rankings were produced in order for me to master the search placement and positioning process. I knew with this knowledge in hand, I could then fulfill the promise of generating leads and sales over the internet for my consulting practice.

Luckily for me, Google didn’t tank!

Several years after Google came out with its advertising product – Google Adwords – they then came out with the Google Advertising Professionals credential which I earned. I was one of the first people worldwide to receive the Google Advertising Professionals designation.

I have been generating leads and sales online with Google Adwords ever since.

It wasn’t easy and didn’t come without a price, but I can now do in my sleep what use to cause me many sleeplessness nights.

What does any of this have to do with you and your business?

The web and Google / Yahoo / Bing search engines are how buyers research and shop potential vendors solutions now.

A business is either present with its message and link during a prospects search or it isn’t.

I help businesses discover where their prospects and buyers are searching and shopping for solutions
online and then I put their message links (website) there to initiate the transaction (leads or sales) process.

If you ever have an interest in gaining further insight or knowledge into how Google search works, let me know and I would be happy to talk to you and your team about it further.

Sincerely,

Tim Cohn

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