Greg Boser and I manage the search business unit at BlueGlass. It’s a dynamic partnership that seems like it came together via fate.
We both have interesting stories about how we got into this business, and are cut from a similar cloth of self made entrepreneurs.
From Greg’s own story:
In 1995, Greg was watching CBS news’ coverage of the Malibu fires. During the broadcast there was an aerial shot of three guys foaming down a house and running inside. Greg was intrigued. It turned out that it was a company in Boulder, Colorado that sold protective foam equipment to people living in fire prone areas. As part of their marketing strategy, they chased fires to demonstrate their product. Greg contacted the company and said, “Hey, I want to work for you.” They hired him and Greg became their Southern California sales rep.
Greg started using AOL and CompuServe because it was a good way to connect to fire fighters to recruit them for commissioned sales positions. Greg calls it his “first foray into internet marketing.” After a while Greg decided that he wanted to be a dealer for the company and sell other products instead of working with them directly as he had been. Sometime in early 1996, Greg started his own company, Wild Fire Defense Systems and started building himself a website. Greg built it but no one came. So he began looking for all the information he could get his hands on. That is when he stumbled into Danny Sullivan’s white paper, Webmaster’s Guide to Search Engines. Greg became one of Danny’s first subscribers. He recalls, “You used to have to fax him a paper fax of your credit card number because there was no online billing.”
After applying what he learned from Danny, he began seeing an increase in traffic. So Greg borrowed some money from his dad and locked himself in a room for six months to learn everything he could. Greg confessed that he “used to stalk Danny.” He would find out what email discussion list Danny was hanging out in and join those lists. Greg was introduced to John Audette and Marshall Simmonds through I-Search. Greg says, “You didn’t really have any clients so everyone would sit around and write these brilliant posts and submit them.” During that time Greg didn’t have any clients either so he worked for free, gaining experience by doing SEO for his daughter’s karate instructor’s website.
It was pretty hard for Greg in the beginning because he had to convince everyone why they needed SEO. But even though they were difficult times, Greg feels that they were good years where he met a lot of people that he is still friends with today. In those days Greg would make a change to a page, submit the content and in five minutes he would have a new rank at InfoSeek. Greg said “You would submit, refresh, [say] oh I went down to seven, that didn’t work, change the page, submit – it was insane – pots and pots of coffee all night long.
Greg was basically one of the first guys in this business and paved the way for a lot of the successful techniques people like myself have built our careers on.
The other similarity between Greg and myself is our zeal to share what we know with the community. With this in mind we thought we would take some time away from this years Pubcon to take a few people new to the industry out to dinner, allow them to ask us questions, and get to meet those insanely important connections that can make or break your career. Dinner is on us, and we plan on being completely uncensored in terms of tips.
Where are we going? Well I love meatballs .. so we are going to head to Cafe Martorano’s at the Rio.
When? Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
What do you need to do to attend?
1) This needs to be your first conference or 2010 needs to be your first year in the business. We want to meet real newbies and also rockstars that are just now venturing out from behind their computers to meet the masses.
2) Write a comment below sharing how you got started in this industry. If it doesn’t interest us, we probably won’t want to spend a few hours eating meatballs and pasta with you, so make the story good.
3) Your twitter username in the comment so we can tell you that you won.
Looking forward to meeting the future of this industry.