I first met Gerhard when he joined the Alpha Test Kitchen group last summer. He surprised me with an email asking if he could participate in my class, even though his primary language was German. I jokingly told him that of course he could participate, but that I wouldn’t be able to provide him with any feedback on his homework unless it was in English. Apparently, that worked for him, and he became an ardent member of the cohort, helping out his fellow classmates, providing feedback to them and asking for their help in return.
Gerhard has continued to stay in touch with me and will pop up on the Word Chef Facebook page every few weeks to leave a comment or two. He even sent me a gift on my last birthday. (It meant a LOT to me as my birthday falls four days after Christmas and everyone always forgets. But I digress…) I’m very pleased to induct Gerhard into the Wordie Hall of Fame. It’s long overdue, and I encourage you to reach out and say hi to him on Facebook or Twitter. He loves that stuff!
WC: How long have you been working your business?
GK: I joined the online world in 1996 and worked several years as project coordinator for an IT company. Later on I became a certified eCommerce manager. In 2010 I launched my online marketing agency, initially focusing on website promotion and search engine optimization.
WC: What inspired you to start this business?
GK: Social media turned the old business networking model upside down and enhanced it with something I would like to call “Netcaring.” In the 20th century, enterprises connected and traded their goods among each other but the employees remained “workers.” According to Seth Godin we are now facing a new generation of emancipated “creators.” Social Networks allow us to get in touch with like-minded people and to communicate in an easy way. We may even develop close relationships to folks we’ve never met in “real life.” I do not believe in dividing “virtual” and “real” connections. However in some aspects it is more difficult to maintain and to grow a sustainable friendship online. I want to help and support people in dealing with their online contacts and online friends.
WC: Where does your biz name come from?
GK: “True Reach” is actually a parameter of the Klout scoring system. In Klout, “True Reach” means the number of people you influence. For me, I interpret “true reach” as the number of people you really reach, who are engaged, who love to connect and interact with you.
WC: Tell us about one of the best times you’ve ever had with a client.
GK: I had a customer in the travel industry who was experiencing constant calls and emails regarding his complex online booking module. I helped him implement an FAQ and Feedback system. On top I designed a more consistent and understandable booking procedure and illustrated it with graphics. This was not part of my job, but my client was very excited and put the changes immediately into effect. It is really worth it to exceed the expectations of clients!
WC: What’s your #1 goal for this year?
GK: I’m working on an free e-book about online relationships. My plan is to offer webinars and guides on this subject as well.
WC: Who is your ideal client?
GK: Every person who values the importance of healthy relationships and who would like to improve his online network to enrich and enhance his life.
WC: Anything else we should know?
GK: I am fond of Japanese culture and would like to stay in Nippon for a while some day. However first I have to study the Japanese language – and this will be a real challenge!
WC: Where can we find you online?