How Tucson Business Networking Transformed Dynamic SEO

Dynamic SEO, a Tucson SEO company, at Tucson Business Networking Luncheon

When you work in digital marketing, it’s tempting to feel like you can run an entire business from the comfort of your own desk, relying on technology and data to grow and scale a profitable enterprise, and never having to shake hands or sit down in “real life” with another person.

As a natural introvert myself, this idea was always tempting – that is, the thought of making money online without having to deal with the social overhead that comes from in-person interaction.

While some digital entrepreneurs have built that type of operation, as it stands now, this is the exact opposite of the way I do business, even considering the fact that I can run Dynamic SEO, my Tucson SEO Company, from behind a keyboard.

With that in mind, I’d like to take a short walk through my initial business launch and the subsequent evolution that occurred as a result of in-person networking, and in particular, through the Tucson Business Networking group.

Starting Dynamic SEO with Zero In-Person Connections

I started Dynamic SEO in June 2022 after roughly 4 years of working as an in-house project manager and content strategist for some major websites, never having met my bosses or the end users/customers in real life.

My initial plan was to sell SEO services to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms by cold DMing them on social media and hard pitching SEO in my opening message (yes, I’ve come a long way since those early days).

While I did have a couple early sales, growth stalled as quickly as it had started, and became clear to me that martial arts gyms are probably not a market that will allow me to take Dynamic SEO to the scale and reach that I want.

After cold calling different local service companies for several months and trying to sell them local SEO services, I had a couple not-so-great leads express interest but was unable to close any sales.

Basically, I was still at square one minus one of our early martial arts clients. Or at the very least, it felt like square one.

Evolving as an Entrepreneur with In-Person Networking

I messed with cold calling for a couple months, worked on some other projects, and tried to figure out what the best direction was to actually grow my business.

Finally, at the recommendation of a good friend of mine who had experience in business and startups, I attended my first Startup Tucson networking event.

Despite having opened the business nearly nine months prior, it was the first time I had done any business networking, and it was a completely new world to me.

Having literally done every aspect of my digital marketing and SEO career from behind my computer screen, I was not used to talking about my business to people I had just met in person.

At the Startup Tucson event, I met someone who suggested I check out Stacy Fowler’s Tucson Business Networking group.

Eager for growth, opportunity, and to keep my business from stagnating less than a year in, I attended my first Tucson Business Networking mixer at Main Event Tucson the following week.

It was incredible.

Dynamic SEO at a Tucson Business Networking Luncheon

It felt like I was finally having conversations with the kind of people who might be interested in buying from me, and I was also meeting great business owners from whom I could solicit services and had a deeper level of trust, because I knew them personally.

Learning to Network Effectively for Mutual Business Benefit

Despite the initial great energy, it still took me about 3 more months to close my first deal based on my networking efforts.

But, when that first sale came, it vindicated not only my networking efforts, but my prior 13 months struggling to get momentum with my agency.

Learning to network effectively takes time, and is an ongoing, evolving process.

Attending networking in-of-itself was not and is not a magic bullet.

The magic happens with the conversations and connections you make and develop, such as meeting people for coffee or lunch, and attempting to provide value first by referring people business, even before you try to lay out your own pitch.

With that said, attending my first Tucson Business Networking meeting was effectively opening an entire new chapter in my business.

Our agency book of business now includes multiple clients that I met through networking, and I’ve had sustained and successful business relationships with them ever since.

Jordan Fernandez of Dynamic SEO with Mark Weiss of Mercedes-Benz Tucson and Jordan Benjamin of Done Rite Services

Networking to Grow my Tucson SEO Company

For digital marketers, the idea of being on the ground, having conversations with people, and building relationships over time that lead to business growth can be difficult to comprehend.

Great digital marketers are always data-driven and want to see the exact return on investment, in terms of revenue, that comes from any activity, such as marketing. Networking just does not work this way.

It’s very difficult to say for certain what the return on investment from an hour of networking is.

In fact, as I was discussing with a networking acquaintance and now good friend Mark Weiss, thinking of networking in these raw numbers terms is the wrong approach.

Networking is more like planting a tree.

It takes time for the roots to develop, interact with the soil and water, and begin growth in a way that ultimately leads to fruit. You can’t measure a tree’s growth in days or weeks, but after months and years, the transformation will be undeniable when the initial growth is built on a healthy foundation.

Dynamic SEO as business and marketing agency is a completely different organization than it was before I started networking.

The value of networking and perhaps more importantly, the way to get the most value out of networking, are all things I’ve learned and continue learning through attending Tucson Business Networking, going to luncheons, having to stand up in front of large groups and give my 30-second elevator pitch, and all the other social interactions that ultimately make up what it means to own and operate a local business in a city like Tucson, where relationships are everything.

As of 2024, I plan to continue my attendance at Tucson Business Networking and other local networking groups, because the results speak for themselves.

For all my aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to take those first steps, I have three pieces of advice:

  1. Go to every networking event you can until you find one that feels right.
  2. Ask every person you meet “how can I best support your business or send you referrals” before you start talking about your own operation.
  3. Ask anyone you meet and have a great conversation with to meet for coffee or lunch to talk further about how you can support each other’s respective enterprises.

Then, watch the magic happen.

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