Don Campbell Interview
OK, so today I had the privilege to interview Expand2Webs Founder, Don Campbell. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the interview I want to start with this, Don is an incredible man and knows what he's talking about!
I met Don through the community that he speaks about in the interview. Numerous times he has reached out to help me on my journey and his team is just as great! So with that being said, I have to say "Thank You" to Don and his team for everything they have done for not just me, but, everyone in the group!
Here is the interview, I hope you enjoy it and hope that it helps you grow your business!
For those of you who can't watch the video or just would rather read it ... this is for you! (***Disclaimer... I have shortened the interview in the text just to deliver the basic content)
CJ - Don, to get started can you do a quick rundown about yourself and tell everyone who you are?
Don - I'm Don Campbell, I'm a president of a small company called Expand2Web. I basically started it 4 years ago. I always wanted to do my own business. It was an exciting thing for me. I had a pretty cool job at Microsoft. So, my background includes a lot of software product management. I've always been a computer software guy.
I live in San Jose, California, Silicon Valley. I had worked at a couple different startups one of them went IPO and was successful. The company was called "Interwoven" they did, what they called, "Web Content Management" this was in 1998. I joined the company, met about 30 people, my wife and I moved out to California to join the company and do the whole "Start Up Dream". It was really, really fun. The coolest part about it is I got to go to all these big companies like Amazon, Federal Express, and all these big companies, to see how they were doing there web content management.
After that I went to Microsoft, and after that I started my own company. Expand2Web, we basically give everybody tools and training for small business owners. Small businesses like Dentists, Chiropractors, Optomitrists... We supply software to build a Website, Facebook Page, Mobile Website. Basically to get them online and ranking. We have a lot of SEO baked into our system and tools. We also have a lot of consultants that are helping small business owners, sign up for our training. We have a monthly training with classes every Thursday Night. It's a great community of folks that are all helping each other out. We have people with many different skill sets. SEO people, Website Designers to people like yourself who can cover a lot of different bases. Its such a fun project for me because I get to meet a lot of cool people. We got a great community of folks who stick together.
CJ - What did you do for Microsoft?
Don - For a while I was what they called a "Business Productivity Specialist". They had a small group of people who they would send around the country to big companies. Which was nice. Then I was in charge of helping roll out a new product. I was talking to a lot of small business owners and realized most of them don't have a website and the ones that do paid $10,000 for it and it wasn't delivering anything. So, thats where I got the idea for Expand2Web. Finally started my own business.
CJ - Aside from websites, what do you suggest as far as web presence, maybe top 5 need to do ... like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter...What do you recommend?
Don - You hit a keyword, CJ, you said "Web Presence". I always tell companies to think in terms of a web presence and not just a website. I've met with thousands of business over the last few years and most of them are content with where they are. If you want to succeed online you have to build out a whole presence with your brand and website at the core. You don't want (Yelp) to say "I'm going to kick you off" or "I'm going to filter these reviews." You don't want to have all your eggs in one basket. You need to have your website at the core with your own domain name and then build out from there. So you can control the conversation from there...
So with the website being your hub, from there... a Facebook Page with a call to action on it with the goal to send people back to your website. Google Plus I think is becoming very important for business owners. Twitter is great. I'm going to say collectively "online reviews" would be another one you need to stay on top of.
CJ - You did an infographic on hiring a GhostWriter a while back, that being said, should a company look into hiring a ghostwriter full time for their content, should it be 50/50 or what would you recommend?
Don - Its not specifically about hiring a Ghost Writer, you just need to have a solid content strategy. You need solid unique content on your site so google can crawl it and you'll show up for more search results. With the recent updates like Panda and Penguin having good quality content is more important than ever!
CJ - Last Question, if you can give one tip to a small business thats struggling, what would that tip be in terms of growing their business online?
Don - The main thing I'd say is to develop their online presence as another channel of marketing. Many of them already have their referrals in place. They have a way to get business from their current customers. but what they haven't done is think about their online presence as another channel and I think thats the tip. What they need to do is as what can I do to have, not just a website, but a web presence, drive traffic to it and convert it. Its not as hard as it seems. It may seem overwhelming at first but its just baby steps. Get your website out there with some content on it. I highly recommend if they're not tech savvy, sometimes getting a consultant to help you get off on the right foot to get a plan together will help a lot! I guess the main tip would be your website and email list.
CJ - Don, thank you so much for the interview
Don - No problem, thanks for having me!