Hoping for an If

I’ve been fascinated by and have followed Formula 1 racing since high school. Unlike NASCAR or Indy racing, the technology, and the budgets of F1 are in another world. And when a team of engineers has a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, there’s no telling hat they’ll come up with. Over the years I’ve watched clever teams subjugate the rule book by chilling the fuel (lower temperatures allowed the fuel tank to hold more fuel); forcing exhaust gas over a movable rear wing to increase the car’s grip; create an electrical charge for hybrid motors by capturing the heat generated by the brakes; use pneumatic bursts of air in lieu of springs to open and close valves because a mechanical spring could never move fast enough when your engine revs to 16,000 rpm. And every year the cars become more fascinating.f1-mclaren-honda

 

And one of the best teams has always been McLaren. Founded by Denis Hulme and Bruce McLaren in the late 1960’s, their team grew to be a technical powerhouse that dominated a variety of racing disciplines. And in the mid 1980s, none other than Honda joined their team as the engine supplier. From 1983 to 1992, Honda engines powered F1 cars to 67 victories, with 44 of those coming from McLaren. And those 44 victories brought McLaren four consecutive world championships.

Following those stunning years, Honda took a hiatus from F1. They came back,sort of half-heartedly, from 2000 to 2004, but not with McLaren. And then in 2014 they announced they would be back with McLaren. And the racing world rejoiced and delighted in this. Fans wondered what sort of technical marvel Honda would produce, what sort of breathtaking innovation would come forth from the Willy Wonka factory of engine manufacturers?

Sadly their return to glory never materialized. While the car above may look like an earthbound missile, it’s been woefully uncompetitive against the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, and Williams. They have two former world champions behind the wheel, the brightest engineers in Japan and England, and a history of technical innovation on their side and they still managed to create an absolute dud of an engine, which created a dud of a car.

What went wrong?

For that you’ll have to ask someone much smarter than me but it’s gotten so bad that one of their drivers recently hoped for an if:

hoping

Did Fernando Alonso really say that?

This relationship seemed to have everything going for them. They had the best budget, team, support, leadership, drivers, and so on. And yet here they are, well into their second year as a team and their lead driver is wishing someone in front of him had wrecked because that might have given him the possibility for a podium, i.e. third place.

Trust me when I say that no one in the racing world would’ve expected this arrangement to yield these sort of results.

Which brings us to you and your business web-based goals. The clients I perform Search Engine Optimization for end up on the front page of their desired key word searches. Results like that do not come overnight, they come after research, website optimization and the publishing of essays geared towards the client’s product or service. And I believe that all the technical know how in the free world won’t achieve results unless you’ve got an intriguing storyteller.

I know I couldn’t save McLaren, but perhaps I can help you. With SEO there’s no secret formula, no white hat methods that only so-and-so knows; it’s solid common sense followed up with carefully crafted essays designed to draw the reader in, get them to engage with your website and convert them to followers and buyers.

Don’t turn over your SEO to an office volunteer then hope for an if. Your social media landscape is too important a commodity for that. My company, Jack Russell Social Media, specializes in front page SEO results. And remember, the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google’s search results.

And Now a Word on Facebook

Someone recently asked me which social media platform offers me up the most referrals.  And I almost laughed. When has someone called me out of the blue and said “I need my search engines optimized?” How about never.  And that’s just fine with me. Because I get new clients from my existing clients, that’s where. Yes even in this digital age, and the pervasiveness of social media, most of my clients come from personal referrals.

But hold on. Once I get a referral, there’s a great chance that those folks are going to Google me, search for me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, look at my reviews, etc.

Super Chef!

Flashback to that time I went out on stage in a boxer’s robe while the theme from Rocky blared on the PA system.

Your business probably has a similar track and that’s the way it should be. Even though I’m in the social media business, I rarely get the cold calls from someone I’ve never met. Is that a bad thing? Not really. If I get a cold call from someone who has no understanding of me and what I do best then that usually means I’ll be competing against a host of other folks. Ugh! That’s so time consuming…I’ll have to do some background research, figure out who else they might be talking to, devise a pitch specifically for the client, rehearse my pitch, get all dressed up, wait in an office with bad music or tattered magazines…I could keep going.

Today I walked into an office of a prospect. It’s people that know me through two other clients and they follow me on a couple of my social media platforms. They’ve seen my videos, know my voice through my updates and tweets, and love my sense of humor. And even though I wasn’t wearing my finest prospecting suit, she hugged me and exclaimed “We can’t wait to start working with you.”  That’s so much better than having to get all dressed up and sit in some uncomfortable office.

The first rule of thumb in business is: take care of business!  Take care of your existing clients, deliver the goods, communicate, visit, say hello when you’re in the area then remember to ask for referrals at the appropriate time.  You never know which one of your customers will be your rainmaker so treat all of them like gold.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to bake cookies for a client.

Cookies

 

 

Giraffe for Rent in Greenville, SC

One thing’s certain in this brave new world of digital marketing, change. The arc of the social media landscape is as predictable as a handful of popcorn kernels tossed into a hot frying pan. Just when I think I’ve got a handle on the learning curve of social media, some platform throws a monkey wrench into the works and the popcorn starts popping. Right now I’m challenged by LinkedIn wanting to be Facebook, Facebook wanting to replace cable TV, Youtube wanting to be Spotify, and Twitter forgetting what made it cool. Even Instagram has forgotten what made it fun and interesting and so popular.  And Snap Chat? Sorry kids but now that Town & Country Magazine, Huff Post, and your local TV stations have Snap Chat accounts, the end of their cool factor is near.

DSC_0952

Autumn the Giraffe has a new Daddy.

One of my clients recently approached me and wanted to spend a chunk of money and they asked me to find an outlet. The client is Mark Muncy, a well-known Pediatric Dentist in Greer.  Mark’s office is heavily decorated in a jungle motif with parrots, tigers, monkeys, and plenty of tropical green plants. He’s also been known to don the occasional giraffe costume. Hey after all, he’s a Pediatric Dentist. And he’s sort of a big kid. You’d have to be to be in that business.

Dr. Muncy Logo RGB

And this is also my work, along with Curtis Newman and Sonya Brown.

So I thought about his needs, his customers, and how best to reach them. And then I went to the Greenville Zoo and found a huge opportunity for him. As of May 1st, Mark’s office now sponsors the Giraffe Cam and Giraffe exhibit.

Five years ago, heck even a year ago I would’ve come to a different conclusion. A year ago I would’ve spent some money on Google but take a listen, mobile web searches are now taking place in a handful of apps and that’s a trend that’s going to continue. How many of use now Facebook as a search engine without even realizing it?

“Hey friends, where’s the best place to get a tune up on a Lexus sedan?”

Every time you pose such a question on Facebook, a Google programmer gets that much further way from a 12% raise.

So back to those giraffes. Here’s why I think this’ll be a home run for Mark Muncy. The zoo gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and most of those are moms with their kids. And the Giraffe Cam gets tens of thousands of hits per month and in the end of the summer, we’ll get a third giraffe, a male that’s coming here to hopefully make giraffe babies with Autumn. Let’s hope, correct?

Plus the Giraffe Cam is so darn cute. I dare you to watch Tatu the baby for less than sixty seconds because you won’t want to miss her doing something baby giraffy.

So how can I help you? Is your business looking for an out of the box cross-promotional opportunity? Then give me a call and we’ll talk. (864) 616-7171. There’s a giraffe out there waiting on you.

Super Chef!

I’m the Chef that knows his way around SEO, Google, Facebook, and a kitchen.

 

 

Googled

A thousand dollars a month.  That’s what my client was spending on Google Ads.

Yikes!

Yet when he came to me, he had one goal.  “Keep me up front on my Google search results.”  Well sure, that’s easy if one has a significant budget for Google Ads but eventually that money’s going to run out.  Then what? He had a significant following on Facebook but lately it’s been tough to get noticed on that blue juggernaut unless you’re willing to put money behind your updates.  And how do you get Facebook money turned into meaningful Google search results?  Most marketers know that one needs fresh web content to make a dent in Google, but with everyone else in a competitive segment creating fresh content, one’s content better have legs.

Legs

Will your content turn the right heads?

 

And that means publishing something of value, an essay that will be enjoyed, shared and commented on. So I wrote an emotional post on how quickly our children grow and change. That’s a familiar theme that every parent can identify with, yet I kept it around five hundred words. Then I utilized his significant Facebook following by posting at the right time, in this case on a late Sunday afternoon.  I put $20 behind the update to make sure that a majority of his followers had the opportunity to engage with his website. And 24 hours later, I had the desired results.

Keep in mind that my client is in a fairly competitive field and his business model requires a significant number of daily visits to his medical office.  His patients are his lifeblood, but his patient’s parents are paying the bills.  My post appealed to the parents, tugged at the necessary emotions and reminded them why they patronize my client in the first place.  And the client got what he was looking for: Google search results, shares, comments, and thank yous.

Would you like to read my post?  I’d love to share it but I can’t because I promise this particular client anonymity.  When his clients tell him “I love your writing”, he just smiles and says “Thank you.”

Hey, he’s signing the checks, right?

May I help you?  My rates are affordable and I can customize my services to fit your needs.  And I’m a published author that knows how to get readers. Give me a call and we’ll talk.