Monday, November 17, 2014

1 Important Thing That Separates the Best Companies

Have you noticed that some companies just “seem” better than others?   They just seem to provide “better service.”

What does it mean to “provide better service?”

Honestly, there are lots of answers—and most of them are very good.  However, I’ve come to realize that the BEST companies (not necessarily the most profitable ones) do ONE (1) thing that other (lesser) companies do not.

What is that one (1) thing that all great companies do?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Confidence vs. Cockiness

I’ve asked myself this question many times, “What is the difference between confidence and cockiness?”

Business owners and managers take note.  I’m beginning with a story, but I’m really talking to you (and myself).

A buddy of mine tried to be nice and bond with one of his kids by agreeing to coach his soccer team.  The team did not have a coach, and he took the spot to try and help.

BUT…There is a problem.

He doesn’t know very much about soccer.  So he asked me to help him (since at one time in my life, I was “The Soccer Guy.”)

The other night, the team had its first game, and we did not know ANY of the kids on the team…except for my buddy’s kid.

However, as I started to learn about the kids (with a ton more to learn, still), one specific kid really frustrated me.  One word that kept crossing my mind is “cocky.”  He’s a cocky kid…really cocky.

That got me thinking, what is the difference between confidence (good) and cockiness (not so good)?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Big Mistake I Made: Laptops vs. Mobile Devices

Over 50% of all searches are done on mobile devices.

I’ve been hearing and reading that statistic for a while.  In fact, I’ve provided that fact many times in my talks during the past year.

Yet, I’ve largely ignored it…at least in some ways.

I’ve been trying to help a friend of mine improve his search result rankings on Google, and while I was working with him and some of his customers, I noticed a few things.

Frankly, I’m embarrassed that I’m just now noticing this.

As embarrassing as this is for me, I bet that I’m not the only one making this mistake.  (I might be the only one to ADMIT it, but…)

For those of you who want to learn a lesson without “outing” yourself, read on…

Sunday, October 19, 2014

3 Things Smart Business Owners Do

As I write this, I’m still learning about “what it takes” to be a business owner.  I’ve figured out some things, but the more I learn, the more I realize how many others figured out MORE than me.

That’s okay.  I just try to learn from them as best as I can.

In addition to noticing the business owners who are doing well, I try to pay attention to business owners that are not doing as well. I try to compare what I see within each and do my best to identify some of the biggest differences.

Here is what I observed that the smart business owners do:

1. Sell Packages, not Commodities
2. Present According to Customer’s Wants, not Needs
3. Create Win-Win Situations for Employees and Contractors

Let me take a moment (or two) to explain each of these.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Some Smart Ways to Use Article Marketing Today

Article marketing is dead.

At least, that is what I keep reading and hearing.

While it is true the article marketing methods that worked in 2010 do not work very well today, does that mean there is NO use for article marketing?

I think article marketing still has value…IF you use it intelligently.

How can you use article marketing to help you or your business today?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Danger in Evaluating Ourselves Based on Others

"Do I have anything to offer?"

The answer to that question that always, “Yes,” but often we believe it’s, “No.”

Many of us feel like we have something to offer, only conditionally.  If we are with a group of people who are weaker than us—physically or otherwise—it’s easy to feel like you have something to offer.  It’s obvious.

However, when we are the weakest person within a group, it is easy for us to feel like we have NOTHING to offer.

Either way, we’re the same person, but why do we feel differently about ourselves?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Is Black Hat SEO really a good thing? (Hint: It CAN be. Yes, it can!)

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO – Which is better?

Recently, I’ve made a valuable realization.

Actually, BOTH White Hat and Black Hat SEO are really important!

Nobody I know is willing to admit that Black Hat SEO can be a good thing.  In fact, they get insulted if I mention that they’re doing some Black Hat marketing stuff.

How is it that Black Hat SEO techniques are good—EVER?  First, let’s take a look at what White Hat SEO really is.
(insert page break here)
Most companies say that they “want” White Hat SEO, but what does that really mean?

White Hat SEO – Another Way of Explaining It (in REAL Terms)

It means that they are either…
(a) actually doing the marketing work themselves,
(b) having that marketing reflect things that are truly happening or how they honestly feel,
(c) they are doing things that are so interesting to the public that they naturally attract news coverage, or
(d) they are so large and well-known—in advance of any marketing—that people follow them, whether or not they market.

Unless you or you represent a company that has “celebrity status,” have a lot of money to attract people, or already have a great network of people—that you know from OFFLINE activities—in advance, you can create great material all you want, but NOBODY WILL SEE IT!

Does that mean we should use Black Hat SEO techniques?

Well…Yes…and No.

There are plenty of companies that use Black Hat techniques—exclusively.  They hire someone on the cheap to create a bunch of junk, but they want to gain instant celebrity status, without really doing or being anything to deserve that celebrity status.

People will not care about you, unless you are someone worth caring about or are doing something worth caring about.

So should you use Black Hat SEO techniques?

I only respond, “Yes” if you are doing things that would provide genuine value—according to OTHER people, not you—then you might want to use Black Hat SEO techniques to “insert yourself” into the conversation.

However, even if you’re in a crowded room and keep yelling an idea that is not worth any further discussion, people will ignore you.  It will not matter how many times you repeat it or how loudly you repeat it.

If you give people NO real reason to care about you (or your company), any momentary boost you get from using Black Hat SEO techniques will not lead to anyone sharing—or caring—about what you have to say.

When does it make sense to use Black Hat SEO?

The folks at Google will not like this, but my answer is legit…and will stand the test of time.

If you are an “unknown” but have tremendous work or ideas to share, then you need help getting that in front of eyeballs.  The more eyeballs that see your (honestly) good stuff, the better it is for anyone involved: you, the readers, and ultimately the Internet.
If you’re well-known, you might not even have to have wonderful material.  It might be, but it does not have to be.  There will be plenty of people who pay attention to you, because you are who you are, the Big Shot.

However, for those of us who are NOT big shots but have big ideas that are truly worth sharing, I am putting in writing that you should use Black Hat SEO techniques to promote your awesomely White Hat SEO work that other people will agree is worth sharing…ONCE THEY SEE IT.  (Good Black Hat SEO marketing techniques will help you promote things other people should be seeing.)

Sometimes, people need to be interrupted from their daily routine to see something new and better.

When you represent that something new and better that provides value for them, I suggest that you use every White Hat and Black Hat SEO marketing technique you can find to help promote it.

When is Black Hat SEO a really bad thing?

Black Hat SEO can be really bad!

Black Hat SEO ranges somewhere between being useless and annoying when a person or company tries to BLAST things that are not helpful.  If you are being promotional or sharing unoriginal thoughts, people will not care, and you are wasting your money creating this junk.  If you decide to use Black Hat backlinking strategies to increase the chance that people will see this junk, you’re probably wasting even more money or effort.

My REAL Suggestion

Be the real thing, but use guerilla marketing techniques to make sure the world sees how great you are.

Just make sure that you are evaluating it through the customer’s viewpoint, not your own selfish one (that wants money, recognition, etc.)

Simply put, find ways to “earn” a good reputation and publicity.  Use any (legal) means necessary to make sure other people receive that benefit.

Personally, I’ve learned that I really love creating White Hat SEO marketing material to share, especially when there is something valuable to promote.  “Good” Black Hat SEO simply promotes good White Hat SEO.

White Hat without Black Hat tends to be useless since (nearly) nobody sees it.

Black Hat without White Hat tends to be useless, because nobody will care.

So should you use White Hat SEO or Black Hat SEO marketing techniques?

Simple…Use both!

What are some things you do or create that people would love…if only they knew?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

One of the Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make

Freelancing is cool.  I like the idea that someone can make some money with their skill set.  Maybe they make a little bit of money; possibly they make a lot.

However, I hear a TON of freelancers make one (1) critical mistake.  At least, I consider it to be a mistake.

Somewhere, I hear coaches make a suggestion that sounds good.  They tell their students that they need to charge what they feel their time is worth.

That seems like great advice…until we look at it more closely.

What’s wrong with that advice?