Aaron Kahlow will be speaking about “Social Strategy” at SearchFest 2010, which will take place on March 9th at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.

1) Please give me your background and tell us what you do for a living.

I am on Online Marketing Educator, running a company called OMC which is the parent company to education based events arm the Online Marketing Summit where our big show is right around the corner in San Diego this February 22-25th, and our trainings and certification entity the Online Marketing Institute which we built in partnership with Wharton’s Interactive Media Initiative group as well as our brand spanking new Blog Network called Online Marketing Connect which aggregates and then filters the top blogs and publications that produce high value content to inform and educate marketing and internet professionals.   As far as I can tell, it’s the largest aggregation of online marketing content in the world with over 1000 new post a day coming in .. although our moderators only make 10 – 15 worthy post visible to our readers.   

Previous to OMC, I co-managed an interactive and search agency by the name of BusinessOnline (www.BusinessOL.com) where my brother Thad and I grew a small 4 man shop into what is now a well known leader in the space of about 47 people.   As you can see, I am quite proud of such having done it all on from the sweat of our brows.     During that time, became writer for ClickZ, Electronic Retailer and other major online marketing pubs as well as speaking and keynoting marketing conferences and related shows.  My favorite subject still remains what I call “the Human condition” and how that plays out in places like website Usability, Search behavior and of course everyone’s favorite, Social Media.

2) How can a company turn social media conversations into business opportunities?

Simple. Display an aptitude and depth of knowledge in your interactions and as many of the great Buddha teachers will say stop trying to become the mountain, rather simply allow yourself to transform into the valley of which all good things eventually come to.   The only thing I would add is engage.  Listen to what folks say, respond thoughtfully and like any good human interaction, a nice relationship will form.

3) How can a conference speaker maximize the ROI of the speaking engagement?

Well that depends on definition for ROI.   Moreover, quite the loaded question in my being a  speaker at Search fest.  But if I gave the honest answer, I’d say make sure you deliver good content 1.  Don’t talk about yourself more than simple intro as people must LIKE YOU to want to reach out to you, so be likeable … 2 and 3;  lastly give them a reason to reach out to you… copy of a study you referenced, a copy of your ppt, etc.

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