Tommy P. Landry is an internet marketing consultant, certified master life coach, WordPress expert, ebook author, and entrepreneur with over 25 years of business and marketing experience, as well as a degree in and lifelong study of interpersonal communications and relationships.
How’s it going Austin-ites?
As you’re surely seen by now, we have a directory of internet related companies in Austin TX included right here on the InternetAustin website itself. We truly appreciate everyone who has allowed their company to be added or volunteered to join the site on their own.
As we stay on top of the movers and shakers in the Central Texas and ATX area, we are always on the lookout for quality lists of startups, agencies, and other relevant business types. This has led us to find a range of resources (and really, Austin is rich in these types of resources).
Most recently, we were introduced to agencylist.org. It’s a pretty darn impressive national list of links to various marketing agencies, with the links sorted according to core strength (marketing, branding, SEO, or whatever the niche of choice is for each firm).
Earlier today, we came across the Austin list after someone shared it with me directly on Twitter, and I must say, the list is great!
Of course, there’s a “top option” link at the top, and our guess is that the position is available for a fee. So do your own research to find the right partner, but this should serve as a solid and useful resource for you to start your research. When you select the right agency, ask direct questions about their methodologies, tactics, and typical approaches to problem solving. You’ll find that some agencies will focus more on results and outcomes, while others may be more focused on hourly billing. You’ll have to decide what works best for your own needs.
So take a look at the page below. Hopefully you find it as useful as we did. Cheers.
Today, I was approached by representatives of Free to Breathe, a local nonprofit that focuses on driving advances in Lung Cancer including research advocacy and more.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone that cancer has yet to touch, either directly, through friends, or within their own family. I myself have had run ins with it in both immediate and extended family, as well as close friends.
In doing our part to help promote the cause, we are sharing the following press release. Come out and take part in the run or walk activities on Saturday, November 7. Your time and effort will help the cause, and who knows, this could very well benefit you directly at some point in the future if you find yourself dealing with this debilitating disease.
Austin Locals Rally to Support Innovative Lung Cancer Research
Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk on November 7th to Fund Research and Double Survival
Austin, TX – The lung cancer community is on a mission: to make surviving lung cancer the expectation, not the exception. Hundreds of local residents will join in that mission by participating in the Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk on November 7th at Richard Moya Park.
All proceeds from the event support Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022.
“Fundraising for lung cancer research can help families think of survival in terms of years, instead of months,” said volunteer event chair Lissa Bentley of Austin. “By taking action in the Free to Breathe movement and fundraising, you’re bringing hope and empowerment to all those touched by the disease.”
United in the belief that every person with lung cancer deserves a cure, the Free to Breathe community has helped raise more than $12 million to fund groundbreaking research, enroll more patients in clinical trials and provide free educational resources to those living with lung cancer.
Community members, teams and local businesses came together during the 2014 Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk to raise over $22,000 for a disease that touches over 224,000 newly diagnosed patients each year. Event chairs hope to reach their goal of $40,000 this year, which will go a long way in supporting lung cancer research and educational programs.
The 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk will be the main focus at this year’s enlivening event. Face painting, a kids’ dash and a great local DJ will accompany an already invigorating day that the entire family can enjoy. Special recognition will be given to top finishers and fundraising heroes. Help double lung cancer survival by 2022. To register and begin fundraising, visit http://www.freetobreathe.org/austin.
Those who aren’t able to attend the Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk can still have an enormous impact by registering and fundraising as a virtual walker in the event. Or, those who wish to create their own unique fundraiser can access tools from Free to Breathe that will help turn any passion into a custom fundraising opportunity. The possibilities are endless but the end result is certain — improving the lives of everyone affected by lung cancer. To get started today visit www.freetobreathe.org/community-fundraising.
Free to Breathe
Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by
2022. For more information, visit www.freetobreathe.org.
One of our favorite networking events in the entire city of Austin is BASHH (Big Ass Social Happy Hour). What started out as a means for Twitter users in the local market to meet IRL (original name was Big Ass Twitter Happy Hour, or BATHH), later evolved to be more inclusive. After all, not everyone finds their voice on Twitter. But many of them use social networking platforms, so the event became BASHH around 2010.
Today we are sharing with you an interview with Lani Rosales, who cofounded the event with her husband Benn Rosales. Take a few minutes to learn more about the event itself and Lani – they’re both worth your time!
Q: Please introduce yourself to our audience
I’m the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius (news, tips for entrepreneurs) and The Real Daily (news for real estate pros). I’m also the Co-Founder at the Big Ass Social Happy Hour and the Austin Digital Jobs group.
Q: What are three of your favorite things about Austin?
- The helpful business environment – no other city is as generous with fellow professionals as Austin. For example, do you need a specific contact? My Rolodex is your Rolodex. That’s the Austin way.
- I’ll offer a controversial perspective here and say that growth is one of my favorite things. As a native Austinite, I’m used to everyone complaining about the growth, but it is the very reason that we have so many interesting places to eat, things to do, startups to watch, and so forth. Plus, it’s fun to drive around town and say of a high rise, “I remember when this was just a shack.”
- Kayaking on Lake Austin. I’m a high-strung person, and it’s one of the few Zen things I do that I really enjoy.
Q: What is BASHH?
Founded in 2007, first as a tweetup, evolving to BASHH, it is a popular networking event that happens every month for people that hate networking events.
The goal is to bring people together offline that have met online. It’s a laid back social gathering where friends come first and business happens organically.
Q: Why does BASHH stand out in a city with so many networking opportunities?
BASHH skips anything that strokes an ego. There are no speakers, no one is allowed to float around the room and hawk their wares.
The culture is relaxed in a way that if someone walked from person to person handing out business cards and rushing to the next person, they would rub everyone the wrong way. BASHH culture promotes organic connections which is a huge differentiator.
Q: What types of people can get the most from BASHH?
Ooh, good question.
I think people that embody the Austin spirit manage to squeeze the most out of the events. People that are generous with their time and resources, people that want to be better professionals, and people that are tired of snake oil sales, that is who benefits the most.
From tech startup founders, fashion bloggers, financial analysts, and coders to executives, politicians, and builders, the job matters less than the attitude.
Q: Share your #1 Money Tip for newcomers to Austin to tap into the networking scene.
Find your niche. Go to as many networking events as you can possibly find, and whichever one(s) you’re most excited to attend the next time, go there.
When you’ve found a niche, you’ll thrive naturally, and you’ll discover lead generation becomes effortless.
Feature Image taken via screenshot of the Annie Ray website. Prints are for sale on the site, and she would surely appreciate your support!
Well, South by Southwest 2015 (SXSW 2015) is upon us, with the interactive portion of the festivities kicking off 10 days of parties, presentations, concerts, film screenings and more.
The weather is not very conducive to a festival just yet, but we are expected to start seeing glimpses of the sun by the time SXSWi starts. It looks like we’ll have a fantastic weekend by the time the week plays out.
The festival brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Texas capitol city each year, and it sounds like 2015 may be the biggest year of attendance ever. If you are coming to town, you need to be ready for a logistical challenge.
At least you get to deal with that amidst some amazing activities and music, and in one of the best cities in the world. Yes, I’m biased as a local resident, but then again, there’s a huge reason I live here. It’s pretty awesome.
Anyway, for the folks who are coming to visit, we came across the following infographic from Space Chimp Media that is a great basic survival guide for all of the various SXSW assortment of attractions. And of course, while in Austin, you absolutely have to eat some breakfast tacos, so that’s included as well.
Enjoy, and welcome to Austin for the next week or so!
Over 150 people move to Austin, TX every day, making it the fastest growing city in the US. With warm weather, friendly dogs, a great business climate, and more breakfast tacos than you can shake a stick at, there’s no wonder why.
Located in Central Texas Hill Country, Austin, TX is a unique reservoir of arts, education, and eclectic people. Though the city has grown from a sleepy college town to one of the country’s largest city, its residents have still managed to “Keep Austin Weird.” Referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, it’s not hard to walk down any given street on any given night of the week and see a great band playing.
Austin also hosts some of the country’s foremost festivals, including SXSW, ACL, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, all of which contribute to the growing amount of talent relocating to the city. Its business climate enjoys the open policies and low taxes that the rest of Texas has, but it also includes the innovative and hustling nature of the slew of technology startups moving here. ‘Silicon Hills’ is quickly becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurial talent.
At the center of Austin is the University of Texas, which now enrolls over 50,000 students. Saturdays in fall are electric events marked by huge crowds dressed in burnt orange. The school world renowned, topping national rankings in computer science, accounting, and engineering.
Austin is also a unique culinary experience. With events like Truck by TruckWest, the city is heaven for food trailers, with over 1,400 food trailers registered in Travis County alone. Of course, you can also find some of the best barbecue and breakfast tacos in the world in Austin.
There are many reasons people move to Austin, TX. An Austin-based startup, LawnStarter, points out six of them:
For those of us who live in Austin, TX, we already know how great of a city this is. How many times have we all seen the memes and blog posts on the theme of thanks for coming visit, now go home and don’t move here?
Some of the allure of the city is more focused on the culture or entertainment options / night life. Surely, those are amazing aspects of the city and the surrounding areas.
Another amazing feature this city offers is a consistently growing economy. One that contributes to both the state and national economies lucratively.
As a city that started out “weird” and cut our teeth with high tech startups, Austin is in fact a truly unique locale. Tech continues to be a driving force, both through local startups, large companies such as Apple and Facebook opening offices here, and via several well known tech conferences such as South By Southwest Interactive.
Hand in hand with that growing tech scene, we have one of the best job markets in all of the United States. We regularly find that our unemployment rate is a couple of percentage points below the national average. In fact, as of March 2014, Austin had the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in the country!
Forbes: Austin is #3 in Job Growth
The logical conclusion of such a low unemployment rate is that we are also creating jobs, and a lot of them. This was validated by Forbes in late April in their article titled The Best Cities for Jobs 2014.
First, let’s review how Forbes has chosen the frontrunners in their analysis, by way of the excerpt below:
Our rankings are based on short-, medium- and long-term job creation, going back to 2002, and factor in momentum — whether growth is slowing or accelerating.
So in other words, this isn’t just a measure of how “hot” the market is today. The low unemployment rate covers that measure. It looks at how we have done in the past 12 years, reaching all the way back before the huge recession hit us a few years ago.
It also takes into account momentum. Cities with negative job growth would have a downward drag on their ranking in this system, even if they’ve seen massive job creation in the past.
Here is the list of the top 10 metro areas they called out, in rank order.
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (aka Silicon Valley)
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California
- Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
- Raleigh-Cary North Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- New York City
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
- Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
Texas Shining Across the Board
In looking at this list, what jumps out at me immediately is that Texas sports three of the top 10 metro areas for jobs. While there are a variety of reasons why these cities are so successful, we can attribute the success at least in part by the business friendly climate in the state of Texas as a whole.
Considering how the Bay area has rebounded so aggressively to land in the top two spots after floundering for several years during the downturn, it is quite impressive to see Austin holding strong at #3 overall.
So on behalf of the locals, “Awesome, but shhhhh…don’t tell anyone how great it is. The traffic is already stacked up enough.”
If you’re stuck for a job and don’t mind relocating, though, Austin is one of the best places without having to pay Bay Area prices for cost of living that you can consider. And if you have experience fixing major traffic problems in a city growing at amazing rates, we’ll welcome you with open arms.
Thanks for reading!
Although it will come as no surprise to most of us, mobile usage finally surpassed online browsing from desktop platforms back in February of 2014. This is a monumental development, and one that means we all need to get our websites optimized for mobile immediately (for those of us who have been putting it off). Logic suggests that mobile couponing and location-based marketing efforts are now poised to explode moving forward.
Geolocation and Mobile Couponing
We’ve seen a variety of mobile and geolocation based offerings come and go over the past few years. Some of the bigger players, like Foursquare, have undergone multiple business models in search of the one that will best pay the bills. All-in-all, no one company has jumped out very far ahead of the pack.
In recent years, a range of couponing models have also come onto the scene. From Groupon to Tippr to several others in market, we’ve seen some great experiments and hits. All of these couponing companies do a decent job of logging your location via IP address or manual submission. With that location data, they can best tailor which coupons you might want to consider. The model works great, so long as the customers don’t mind using a desktop platform to find the coupons in advance.
To my knowledge, the same holds true for the smart phone apps. The offerings are primarily based on metro area or other provided information. But what if I am 50 miles away from home and want to find a great deal on a car wash nearby? That’s not an easy question to answer. But it might be soon.
In-Market Test of Location-Based Mobile Couponing
Austin-based RetailMeNot brands itself as the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace. They claim to have contributed to over $3B in retail sales as a result of their mobile couponing offering, which illustrates just how massive this industry has become.
Always looking ahead, RetailMeNot recently announced that they plan to test location based mobile coupons at the upcoming spring game for the University of Texas Longhorns men’s football team. If this test goes well, they may scale out the model to a much wider range of mobile couponing clients.
The concept is pretty simple, and surely one that will require some specialized logic to execute in the real world. Since the experiment will happen at a single location, this isn’t a true dynamic geolocation test. But on a smaller scale, as you would expect for a live market test, they should get a good idea of how much incremental business they are able to drive for the businesses involved based on targeting this precise location.
While this is a smaller use case, the potential to flesh this out into a large scale offering is rather exciting. I can envision a day where a range of coupons are available, and the user can choose to have any good deals in certain product or service categories pushed to them based on proximity. This is the long term dream of mobile marketers worldwide, so I’ll be watching to see how it turns out.
It seems some Austin company is out there doing something amazing nearly every week. We’ll look to chronicle the most interesting activities on here as we build out the site. Keep a watch on RetailMeNot and the upcoming test. Who knows; this could be the start of a huge push for mobile marketing nationwide before too long.
If you want to take part in the test, be sure to download the RetailMeNot app to your smartphone first. You can find more information about the Longhorns’ spring game at http://texassports.com/news/2014/4/14/FB_0414145724.aspx.
In a surprise development today, it was announced that Social Media Dashboard provider Spredfast and Social Media campaign management provider Mass Relevance will merge into a single, 350-person company.
This is huge news. We saw in the past how other internet and high tech companies began to consolidate as previous industries matured. Today, social media marketing and management based businesses remain somewhat fragmented in offering. You have had to go to one company to get the SEO spin, another to manage your various platforms and voice, and yet another to keep tabs on the impact of and response to your social media efforts.
By joining forces, the new company, which will operate under the existing Spredfast name, is positioned to provide full circle support, execution, and reporting for clients. This is a huge change, and one that will position both companies to better serve the enterprise and large business tiers of the market.
In other words, it’s a good move for both companies. According to the announcement, current CEO of Mass Relevance and former CMO of Bazaarvoice, Sam Decker, will remain involved and join the board of Spredfast immediately. Congratulations and best of luck to all involved.
Last week, money.cnn.com released their list of the 10 fastest growing cities in the country. We were not surprised to learn that Austin, TX ranked as the #1 city in terms of population growth. That explains the burst of traffic on our commutes!
According to their numbers, the city now sits at a population of 1.9 million, which supports the previously stated notion that we’ll be a 2 million person metro within the next year or two (statistic originally found on Austinist.com).
After residing here for over 20 years, I’ve watched the city grown leaps and bounds. It always felt like we were growing quickly, and the CNN Money ranking showed that we added nearly 48,000 new residents as of mid-2013. That is a heck of an impressive number given that it measures “net new” residents, meaning there are more people actually moving here, but some of that volume is offset by departures from Austin. You can see exactly how much we’ve grown just by comparing the skyline today vs. old pictures.
Just to put that “net new” number in perspective, it adds up to a 2.6% annualized growth rate. That means we probably have around 4% of the total population moving here each year, minus the folks who move on for new pastures (a complete guess on my part, so don’t quote these numbers for anything more than casual conversation).
Why Are All of These People Moving to Austin?
Great question! The article speculates that our “cultural vibrancy” (whatever that is) contributes heavily to the appeal. I’d wager that this relates to our outstanding art / music / creative-friendly scene, dedication to holistic healing like acupuncture and chiropractic care (among others), and our general weirdness as a metropolitan area.
Of course, it also calls out the big motivator: J-O-B-S. As mentioned on the piece, we have an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which is the lowest such rate among cities of 1M residents or more. Pretty impressive, even to someone who lives and breathes Austin like myself.
There are a few more reasons. Check out our last post Why People Are Moving to Austin for a more in depth review of the Austin allure.
What brought you to Austin? What keeps you here? Please share below!
Today we came across the following infographic by way of the ABJ. As we all know, the population of Austin has been growing at a rapid pace over the past 20 years, and has seemed to accelerate the last 5 years.
Local Web Design company Complete Web Resources recently published the following image, summarizing their take on why people are relocating to Austin and the central Texas area as a whole.
As you can see, the high tech and internet industries are toward the top of the list for industries that attract new talent. The infographic also includes some interesting data about our cost of living and cost of housing, which are apparently independent. One is going up but the other is shown as being low / competitive. Not sure how that plays out in the long run, and we think it makes sense to check out their sources.
Anyway, here’s the infographic for your viewing pleasure. If you want to see the original post, go to their page Why Everyone Is Moving to Austin. Enjoy!