Fun: A Print Ad for Online Marketing Classes

I teach three classes at San Francisco State’s Integrated Marketing Program in the College of Extended Learning. This semester my Maximizing Search Engines class was the subject of a photo shoot. The class was a lot of fun despite the photographer and the ad turned out quite well too. A client called me on Monday morning to say they saw me in the San Francisco Chronicle. A nice surprise. I would have missed it had they not called. The newspaper was very thin, but the ad is sharp and arrogantly I think I look quite good. The students in the inset are all rock stars too. Here’s a photo I took with my iPhone:

Integrated Marketing Program Ad

I do love teaching. I learn so much from my students and it’s so fun to teach about things that are en vogue today. Don’t get me wrong, I believe search engine marketing and social media are where every company should be putting the majority of their marketing budgets, I just think it’s a bit ironic that the ad is in the newspaper when my classes are all about online marketing. Then again we’re promoting the Integrated Marketing Program and integrated means integrating online and offline, so as they say, “All ink is good ink,” and especially when you’re in print.

Do join us at the information session on May 13th. I’ll be there in person, which is after all the absolute best way to connect socially.

What do you think? Please share your comments below.

When you love what you do…

When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. In fact it feels more like being on vacation. Last week I was on vacation in Salt Lake City Utah. I was snowboarding at a fabulous resort called Snowbird. Snowboarding Snowbird! Lucky me indeed!

I snowboarded for three days and then took a day off from vacation to get some work done. If work is work for you, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but if you really love what you do, you understand the meaning of work being fun. When work is fun and fulfilling it makes you smile, it’s motivating, it can make you laugh and feel happy. Admittedly I was a bit concerned that I enjoyed my day off from vacation so much, but then I looked at this video created by Click to Play Media and saw how happy this work makes me.

Susan Barnes snowboarding at Snowbird, Utah

The video came out of an opportunity to consult with a very interesting start-up called iConfident. The make dental implant software to help dental professionals improve communication, build loyalty, and grow their practice. We looked at their website in terms of search engine optimization and discussed social media opportunities. Susby was collaborating with Click to Play Media who graciously produced this one minute video about Susby in the process. I think you can tell that how much fun it was. On days like this I really love my job.

BIG thank yous to Anna, Brad and Stephanie at Click to Play Media and also to Rob, Robbie and Karoline of iConfident for allowing us to shoot.

My advice to you if you’re not enjoying what you do: Find a way to play more. Do something that makes you smile, i.e. Do what you love, the money will follow. Connect, collaborate and start some conversations. The world revolves around relationships and communication and both are equally important.

Are you working or playing?

Susan Barnes

Hello, my name is Susan Barnes.

Since you’re reading this post, you either already know that I am Susan Barnes, or you found me through a search for “Susan Barnes.”

“So what?” you say. Well, as of the date of this post there are 1,130,000 results for a search on “Susan Barnes.” This number is likely to continue growing dramatically, so if you’re stumbling upon this post months or years after it was uploaded, look at the number of search results for Susan Barnes now.

1,130,000 search results for Susan Barnes on Google

How many search results does your name show on Google? Simply enter your name into the search box, and you’ll see either how common your name is, or how famous you are on Google. The higher the number of search results, the more common your name, and the more challenging it will be for you to get a first page ranking on Google or any other search engine for that matter, unless you control all the listings, because no-one else with your name is doing anything worth mentioning.

Since Susan Barnes is a very common name and there are several Susan Barnes’ with strong online presences (and also quite importantly that I am passionate about search engines,) I am intrigued by the phenomenon of getting a good ranking for your name on Google.

A recent book called Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot recommend that if you are hiring anyone to do any web, social media or online marketing work for you, you must confirm that they have a good digital footprint. This means that if you were looking to hire Susan Barnes to help you with Internet Marketing or Social Media, you would want her name and profile to have a high ranking on the first page of Google.

Today (January 6, 2010) if you Google “Susan Barnes” you’ll see results for Susan Barnes the actress, Susan Barnes the author, who also has the Susan Barnes Twitter handle. There’s Susan Barnes the realtor in Orlando, Florida, Susan Barnes the Firegoddess jewelry maker, Susan Barnes the painter in Mendocino, California, (incidentally I used to do a lot of oil painting in college too,) Susan Barnes the writer, Susan Barnes the art historian, Susan Barnes the social media expert on the east coast, among 1,129,990 others. There’s even a Susan Barnes somewhere back east who has no period in her gmail account (susanbarnes @ gmail . com) where my personal email is susan . barnes @ gmail . com and for I frequently get her mail.  This is very disconcerting, since I’m sure she is likely getting my mail as well. When is Google going to fix this problem? Larry? Sergei?

As I write this post, the Susan Barnes that is me, is indeed listed on the first page of Google, but currently only because I have a Google profile. So lesson number one for those of you with common names like “Susan Barnes,” make sure you create your public Google profile.

Susan Barnes' Google Profile

Susan Barnes

Other ways to get your name listed at the top of a Google search:
2. Be someone that other people want to write about, i.e. get your name eg. Susan Barnes linked from websites that don’t belong to you. This is the same for keywords and search engine optimization. If your keyword appears in link text, it has more value to a search engine.
3. Use your name as your handle in Social Networks. This particular Susan Barnes did not do that, because there are too many Susan Barnes’ in the world (yes I am a bit bitter… grrrrrrr) and when I tried to get SusanBarnes on Facebook, SusanBarnes on Twitter they were already taken. I am Susan Barnes Internet Solutions Consultant on LinkedIn, where I was able to use my name as my handle. I am using Susby on Facebook, Susby on Twitter and Susan Barnes on LinkedIn.
For good examples/role models, see George Kao, Chris Brogan, or Brian Solis.
4. Write a blog post about yourself like this one.
5. Register a domain name with your name it, like, or or
6. Use your name in the title tag and meta description of your page or post.
7. Participate in social networks, because reputation is the new currency. Every time you post to Twitter for example, Google is still picking it up and indexing it. What does that tell those of you who can’t fathom why anyone would use Twitter?
8. If all else fails, start a new presence with a catchy name like Shoemoney, Daggle or Susby, but you’ll still need to spend a ton of time blogging, tweeting, updating and participating in order to be considered someone worth listing to Google.

Thank you for reading about the many Susan Barnes’.

Now it’s your turn:  What’s your name and how often do you appear in search results?


Well after nearly four months of getting the business up and running, here we are finally with our brand new site.  We hope you like it.

What is “Susby” you’re wondering, right?  Well let me tell you:

When I was in high school in Cape Town, South Africa, my friends called me Suse (pronouce: “Sooz”).  Then there was another Susan, go figure – there are millions, and even more “Susan Barnes”es – just look at Google and you’ll see.

Anyway, I became Suse B, short for Susan B.  I also created handmade birthday cards for all of my friends and family and signed them with By Suse.  So Margaret Barlow, choir mistress and piano teacher extraordinaire started calling me “SusBy” – for By Sus(e).  From then on I have been SusBy or just Susby and that’s the name of my new consulting firm.  I am Susan Barnes, aka Susby and the firm is Susby Internet Solutions Consulting, aka Susby IS Consulting.

Short sweet, nothing to do with bees or honey, sorry.  Oh, and yes, the licence plate is real.  I have had it since 2006.  I must have been dreaming of owning my own business since then.  Be careful what you wish for… 🙂