For the Joy of Teaching

Last night I taught a Marketing with Search Engines class for Classes for Causes.  The class was held to benefit Symphony Parnassus and I raised $64 for the orchestra.  Classes for Causes is a non-profit dedicated to connecting people to raise money and awareness for various causes through teaching and learning.  Anyone can teach a class about anything they want and the money they earn in tuition is donated to the charity of the instructor’s choice.

There were just two students, so it was very intimate and actually just perfect.  Most people would cancel or postpone a class if only two people signed up, but not me, I guess I just love the experience of teaching too much.  It was such a pleasure to have time for each student to participate, ask as many questions as they wanted and really understand the concepts of the subject.  Teaching that way is a lot more like consulting than giving a lecture.  It’s a conversation which sparks ideas and nurtures the learning process.  When learning is fun, you learn more and digestion of the knowledge is easier.

I am extrememly grateful for the interest my students have in the subject matter and confidence in my ability to help them learn.  It is an honor to teach and a pleasure to learn from my students.  Thank you Aimee and Brian.  I can’t wait to see what you do with your new found Marketing with Search knowledge.

Being a Teacher Means
Being a Student

I am teaching my Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning in the Integrated Marketing Program.  (If that is not a mouthful I don’t know what is.) The course name is soon to be changed to Social Media and More because since it began a couple of years ago the material has morphed into being more social media than anything else, because that is what is most popular online today.

When you work on the Internet, the trends change so rapidly that was “it” six months ago is now “old” and the new is really H O T, “hot”!

I watched a rather long video today from a marketer I have stumbled upon before on Twitter called Jonathan Bud.  He is certainly confident, exudes confidence and loves himself, and that is all totally fine.  There is nothing wrong with it.  You may want to hate him for it, but you can’t, because he just seems so genuine.

One of the things he says near the end of the video is to become a master marketer, you must become a student of marketing.  Follow other marketers, make note of what they do, study successful marketing campaigns and case studies and have lots of fun with it.  I like to study other marketers and really admire people like Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan and more.  There is always something to learn and I feel like I am a perpetual student.

This is humbling and I also learn from my students when I teach.  One of the assignments in the Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class is to blog everyday for the duration of the class.  I ask my students to do this and I promise to do it too.  It sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.  The challenge is good and I believe the exercise helps students understand what being a blogger is like and what kinds of things you need to do to make it.  I am always inspired by my students with this exercise.  There are so many great writers out there and so much potential.  Follow your dreams.  Do what you want to do and don’t let anyone ever tell you you can’t, because by golly, if you believe you can, yes you CAN.