The inaugural Optimisey – the free Cambridge SEO MeetUp – has a date (Thursday 19th October – 6-8pm); it has a venue (the awesome Barclays Eagle Labs – Cherry); I’m in the process of confirming some awesome speakers and sessions; and the guest list is building.
However, a lot of people that have expressed an interest haven’t followed through by booking a free place yet.
I think a large slice of that is down to nerves. Networking can be scary and joining any new group is scary too. Like the archetypal ‘first day at big school’.
Your internal voice (or skeptical colleague/friend/spouse/talking dog) may be saying: “What if you don’t understand it?” or “What if they’re all real SEO experts and they laugh at you?!” – that sort of thing.
So I thought I’d tell you a bit more about who’s coming – what a wide-ranging, awesome bunch of people are on the guest list already – and bust a few myths about SEO’ers at the same time.
Myths about SEO’ers #1
“It’s all just gonna be a load of spotty, nerdy blokes isn’t it?”
This chart shows the Optimisey guest list split by gender.
As you can see, far from entirely blokes – nerdy or otherwise.
What condition the women planning to come’s skin is in I couldn’t say and whether they’d identify as ‘nerds’, I suspect a few (rightly quite proudly) would.
Myths about SEO’ers #2
“They’ll all be real SEO experts – you’ll stand out a mile and look stupid”
When people sign-up for the Cambridge SEO MeetUps I asked them a simple question. Rate yourself, from 1-4, in terms of your SEO experience or expertise. (A note here about even number scales in survey questions which I may return to in a future blog post).
So most people that are coming rate themselves 2-out-of-4 or “intermediate”.
But there are also lots of complete Beginners coming and quite a few that rate themselves as “Expert” level.
Let’s bear in mind that there may be some modesty in operation here (people rating themselves as Beginners when they’re probably more Intermediate) but that cuts both ways. There are probably a few people that consider themselves Advanced when they should probably be Intermediates too.
I remember attending a talk at BrightonSEO by Oliver Mason. At BrightonSEO they have streams for the talks, linking them to various themes. They also mark the talks to signal which ones are more technical than others. Oliver’s was marked as ‘Advanced’ but, fairly sure of myself, I swaggered in thinking: “I’m pretty advanced – I’ll be fine.”
Around 30 mind-melting minutes later I had to seriously readjust my self-evaluated SEO level. (You can see the slides from Oliver’s talk here).
Anyway – whatever your level of SEO expertise is, you won’t be alone at Optimisey.
Myths about SEO’ers #3
“There won’t be anyone important there – just some SEO geeks.”
This chart shows what job titles attendees have. Lots of Managers, a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs, Directors even a Chief Executive.
If you’re coming for the networking, there will be more than ‘the IT guys’ (and girls!) to talk to and make connections with.
And if you’re a small start-up, a small business owner or entrepreneur you won’t be the only one.
Myths about SEO’ers #4
“Yeah but… it’ll just be all the tech types, even if they’re Directors!”
Yes, Cambridge is famous for it’s technology companies – the Silicon Fen et al.
However, Optimisey is reaching across industries. The guest list is broadest in this regard. Even playing fairly free and easy with categorising people’s firms in broad buckets – like ‘Biotech, medical and pharmaceuticals’ or ‘Internet’ (thanks for that one LinkedIn!) it was impossible to come up with groups of more than a handful of people.
The range covers from the music industry to accountants; charities to venture capital and investment advisors.
I don’t care who you are, what gender you are, how senior you are or what industry you work in. I don’t even care how much you know about SEO already.
If you’re interested in SEO and want some pointers about how to do it better for your company or business – or you’re a top level expert and want to exchange super-technical tips with others:
Did I mention it’s free?
How was it for you?
Got a question about Optimisey? Or who’s coming? Pop a comment in below and I’ll reply or, if you’re shy, reach out to me directly.