What is an Internet Sherpa?

A Guide, not a Guru

The more I know, the more I understand how much I do not know. I’m sure that’s paraphrasing somebody–some genuine guru. But I’m not here to claim big “G” status. I’m just an Internet user, just like you. But with a lot of miles on me. I know these roads literally like the back of my hands. (I still look at the keyboard to type, so the back of my hands are right there all the time, so it’s actually true.)

I’ve had clients call me their web guru, or webmaster. Or designer, or developer. Or social media guy, or consultant, or marketing guy…I’ve been called all those things, but none of them fit what I really feel like I do for people. All those things are part of it—including occasional guru-ing—but none of them are the whole of it.

The whole of it is really just that I help people who own websites. And if they need it, I try to help guide them. Because I know the roads.

More “Experienced” than “Expert”

I don’t have any certifications—I’ve been self-taught since I left college in 1994. Since then, I’ve been working an average of 8-12 hours every day on things like website building, Internet marketing, social media, blogging, Content Management Systems, “social media”, discussion communities, and so on. (Along with getting “real-world” experience in local politics and activism, and training and experience in community radio and TV.)

For the past 7 years, I’ve been gradually honing my skills as a website builder and general web consultant for small business owners and “solopreneurs”. It turns out that after almost 20 years of being immersed in study of all the different things that one faces when trying to build a business and a web presence and accomplish something with it, I have learned quite a lot of useful stuff. 

I hesitate to call myself an expert in anything–even WordPress, which I’ve been using pretty much daily since it first came out in 2003. And I don’t have any degrees. But I do have a LOT of experience. Like in the 30,000+ hour range. Also, true story…I walked something like 18,000 miles over the years with my dog Cali who passed away this January. Kind of off-topic, but I do call myself a sherpa, so it’s kind of relevant, I think…and pretty crazy, right?

Heck, let’s run with it…

I’ve Walked the Miles

That really is the bottom line. I’ve been there and back a hundred times. Maybe a thousand times. 

No, I don’t like that angle. Sounds too weary. But it’s really more like road-wise. And I’m not weary at all. As anyone who’s been on the phone with me knows, I am one thing above all: enthused.

I’ve Seen the Light

That’s more like it really…but that gets us perilously close to “guru”-type stuff, and I’m not comfortable with that relationship. I do preach a bit; I’m a little bit of a social web evangelist, I’m a believer in WordPress…and I will probably drop a few sermons and pronouncements, or least some well-chosen platitudes by the campfire as we make our way up the mountain together. But I’m just a small business owner like yourself. Just a guide.

I’m not some aloof “guru”. Just a guy who likes helping people achieve things with the Web. And getting them up to the mountaintop safely.

So wait Lance—What exactly do you do? I’m not sure that helped.

Touché. I do different things for each client—oftentimes with a WordPress website as the centerpiece of our work. I help people sort out social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I help people with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I explain domain names vs hosting, and dot-com WordPress vs dot-org WordPress, and why blogging matters, and I remind people to keep breathing, and teach them new skills that make them better climbers. We deal with mundane things, and we talk about huge ideas and achieving great heights and your purpose in life and why you want to go up the mountain in the first place. And then we talk about analytics, or tweets, or whatever. Everybody’s journey is different, if I may strain this metaphor some more. ;-)

If you’ve got a list of problems with your web stuff, I’m a good guy to get in touch with. And if you’re wondering something about WordPress, I’m a great guy to get in touch with. If you feel like you don’t understand this whole new world of business and marketing on the Web, or you just need a reason to believe, I can help with that too.

I get into some more detail on my Rates and Packages page. Why don’t you pull that up and give me a call! :-)