One of the big differences between things that are successful and things that fail is simply staying around and staying active in the community. By those measurements, the regional Search Marketing Associations were all failures.
- SMA-UK.org - blog last updated a little over 2 years ago
- SMA-NA.org - dissolved in September of this year
- SMA-EU.org - now a PPC lander page
Cooperatives are exceptionally hard to run because you have to balance business interests, egos, recruiting new members, creating member benefits, and pull time out of your schedule for the organization. And if you don't see what the other members are doing, it seems unbalanced, so you go back to working on your own projects. Even a partnership with only a couple people can be a bit of work to balance when you add in individual business interests outside the partnership and balancing work with family life.
It is exceptionally hard to create organizations that are for everyone. Many of the top marketers in the SEO space get paid more precisely because the field has a dirty reputation. I put that theory to test a few years back when I created a non-self-promotional guide to buying SEO services, registered the domain via proxy, and, in spite of having core community members mention it, watched it fall flat on its face. It seems virtually everyone who wanted to make the industry better only wanted to see improvement if their name was attached to the improvements.
In most cases if you want to create a successful trade organization or group exclusivity is much more effective strategy than appealing to everyone.
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