Local U Boot Camp in NYC: New Local SEO Event

The Local U crew is putting on a new event for business owners and marketers who want to learn the ropes of local-search marketing.

It’s called the Local U Boot Camp.  It’s a one-day event in New York City on September 29, 2014 – the day before SMX East.  In fact, it’s one of the SMX workshops.

If you want super-practical advice on getting visible in the Google Places results and elsewhere, consider going.

When co-founders David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal told me about the new Boot Camp recently, I had a few questions.  David more than answered them.

Is the Local Boot Camp geared more toward business owners or toward local-search geeks? How do you make sure people learn plenty, but don’t get lost?

David:  We’ve designed this event to be right in between our typical four-hour small business and full-day advanced events.

It’s geared towards people with a good background (although not necessarily expert-level understanding) in traditional SEO, but who are comparatively new to Local.  Perfect for solo consultants who are getting an increasing number of locally-focused clients, entry- and mid-level agency employees who are looking to add some Local expertise to their arsenal, and in-house folks who perhaps traditionally haven’t had the bandwidth to tackle their local search presence.


Why should a business owner make the trek to the Boot Camp when there’s so much good free info online?

David:  Two primary reasons, in my opinion.  Number one is the level of personal interaction you get with people with a deep background in the field.  You basically get to look over the experts’ shoulders as they perform their SERP analyses and learn a very structured process you can just take back to your team (or your clients) and implement immediately.

And two, at least for me, there’s only so much information I can actually internalize online.  I learned a lot of my own background in SEO and online marketing from reading the Moz blog, SEO Book, and participating in a number of fora back in the mid-2000’s.  But for me, there’s something about the level of curation that happened at events analogous to ours (although I think we’re really the first to do this in Local) that really took my grasp of what was happening to another level.  It’s the difference between learning and absorbing, if that makes sense.

Oh–and speaking only for myself–I actually never put my presentations on Slideshare or similar sites.  So if you wanna see all my best slides, “must be present to win.” 😉


What made you want to offer the Boot Camp now? (And why not earlier?)

David:  Well, we’d already done an Advanced event in Philadelphia earlier this year and wanted to continue our partnership with the SMX brand.  We figured that many East Coast folks might have already attended the Advanced event, so wanted to target our content at a little bit different level.  Additionally, the East audience traditionally has been a little more beginner (not surprisingly) than the Advanced crowd in Seattle, so we though targeting our content more to that level might help us attract a few more attendees.


How much hands-on / one-on-one attention do I get if I attend?

David:  There are tons of “formal” (there’s nothing formal about Local U 😉 ) opportunities to have your questions answered throughout the day–over two hours, in fact–and if there are still more questions that the sessions don’t answer for you, you’re definitely encouraged to grab one or more of the faculty members for a private conversation in the hall during the sessions.


Let’s say I’ve been to a couple Local U events before, and loved them. I’m practically a groupie. How much brand-new info can I expect at the Boot Camp?

David:  I’d say there will be about 50% new content at this one relative to our earlier events.  We’ve basically added three more training modules, with the goal of giving you a complete Local Search Manual of sorts at the end. And obviously a lot of our content will be updated, with the latest Pigeon algorithmic shake-up.


How much opportunity will I have just to yak with some of the Local U speakers?

David:  See above.  Even though Professor Maps won’t be able to make this event, the rest of us are more than capable of filling his yakkin’ shoes 🙂  We LOVE talking all things local and the interactions with our attendees are among the primary reasons we even do these events in the first place.

Sounds like a pretty good boot camp to me.  I think you’ll even come away with some razzle-dazzle.


What do you think?  Any questions for David?

Here’s the link if you’re considering the Local U Boot Camp:


By the way, if you plan on going to SMX East the next day, be sure to stop by the “Super Therapy Session for Advanced Local Marketers” session on October 1.  Several of the Local U crew – plus This Recruit – will be speaking there.  Say howdy!

My SMX West 2013 Presentation on Customer Reviews

Today I had the honor of speaking on the “Local” panel at SMX West.

Just thought you might like to see the slides from my presentation on customer reviews – more specifically, how to get them using what I call the “zigzag” approach to requesting reviews.

Any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment!