What’s Local University? – An Interview with Mike Blumenthal
What’s Local University or Local U? It’s an intense program of Internet marketing instruction aimed at small business owners and local business Internet marketers. I’ve attended four Local University programs — one in Dallas and three in Austin, Texas. I also attended the Local University Advanced program, which was part of SMX Advanced in Seattle. Every one of these sessions has been packed with information I could use to right away to help my clients. I am indebted to Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm and the rest of the Local University faculty for the help they’ve provided to my business and indirectly, to my customers.
Here’s a summary of my interview with Mike Blumenthal:
– [Paul] I’m Paul Sherland with IX Brand SEO Services Company, and I’m here in Austin, Texas with Mike Blumenthal of Local University. And I’m a Local U veteran. I’ve been to five local Us and I’ve learned something new, many things new, every time I’ve been here. But I’ll just ask Mike to talk a little bit about what Local U is about and the kind of information that you provide to attendees. So, Mike?
– [Mike] So we’re a growing organization. We formed in late 2009-early 2010. We met up at a major conference in New York City standing around talking. And we realized that people that needed information: small businesses, people who lived in the hinterland weren’t getting it, right? And weren’t getting, even at the major conferences, weren’t getting extended content delivered with no agenda context. So we developed our first Local U targeted to small businesses. Same basic format we use now, so four-hour morning event where we invite in members of our faculty from around the country, fly ’em into the city, we typically partner with a local Chamber of Commerce, local Better Business Bureau, local search marketing group to put the event on and identify local clients who are interested, and we basically provide current, no bullshit, state-of-the-art information about local search marketing tactics, tips, and techniques. We’ve expanded beyond that basic format. We now have an all day boot camp for professionals, or tactical day, where people can come in and learn how to do local search marketing, and we have an advanced event, where we do more strategic and tactical things, again, but for both small brands and big brands. We have one coming up February 7th in Seattle partnering with Moz.
– [Paul] And your website is…
– [Mike] Localu.org.
– [Paul] Localu.org, okay.
– [Mike] Oh, and then the final piece of what we’ve done, right now, two more pieces. We started, you know, building content that we’re selling a little bit, and we’ve created a forum– very low noise, high signal small forum, where, you know, we have 10 to 12 local experts from around the world that are available to answer all sorts of local search questions. And you know, one of the advantages of where I’ve been in my career right now is that I’ve been able to put myself in the middle of a new industry and able to define a level of collegiality that benefits everybody. And so, if we have a question we can’t answer, we will find the person that knows the answer, bring them to the forums, and get an answer, right? So, today there was a very technical question on schema.org, and I found what I think is one of the world’s most knowledgeable schema people, and he came in to the forum and answered it.
Last week we had a similar question on technical drive indirection issue, and… So it’s a very low noise, high signal environment, where virtually any question can be answered. And again, it’s meant for advanced small businesses, or professionals, that are monthly fee so and so.
-[Paul] Okay, Mike. And you know, I think that attitude characterizes your faculty, generally, and they’re very approachable, very willing to answer questions, and no matter what Local University venue you attend. And it’s been a great experience for me to get to meet you, and the other members of the faculty. And it’s really helped my business tremendously, so appreciate it very much.
– [Mike] That’s what we had hoped.
– [Paul] Well, it’s working.
If you want to apply the SEO and Internet marketing knowledge and expertise of Local University to your small business, call IX Brand SEO Services at 713-234-6346. We serve small businesses in the Sugar Land area, Metro Houston and in other states.