Imagine how much easier it would be to run your business if you didn’t have to worry about having enough customers.
Without worrying how to bring in new business, would you focus your energy on building a better product or experience for the customers you already have?
Would you direct your energies into growing your business and offering new products and services?
Would you spend more time with your family? Or would you sell your vastly more profitable business and retire?
How I Got Into Search Engine Optimization
Well, I’ll tell you what I did when I didn’t have to worry about new customers. I got out of the business I was in and launched a new, and completely different business, that is more profitable and a more enjoyable way to spend my time.
Let me fill you in on the details.
I’d been working in the corporate world ever since I graduated college. At first, I didn’t like what I was doing. Then I met a winemaker in Napa Valley, started hanging out at his beautiful winery whenever I got the chance, then I jumped into the wine business.
I started selling wine. Then I moved to Napa Valley and worked a harvest making wine (these folks that work seasonal winemaking positions are referred as “Cellar Rats”), and then worked for several years in the logistics department of a small publicly traded wine corporation.
The wine biz attracts devoted and driven individuals. The company I worked for was full of smart folks. Spending time with other successful people made me what to step up my game and better myself.
I started reading everything I could, not only about wine, but also business, psychology, marketing, and eventually, direct response copywriting.
If you study copywriting for any amount of time, you’ll get bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. That is what happened to me.
I wanted to write ads that persuaded people to take action. In other words, I wanted to write ads for businesses that would help them sell more. I figured if I could do this, I could work anywhere, and I’d get what I really wanted. Which were independence and financial freedom.
Sounds like a great idea, right?
Well, as a matter of fact, it didn’t work at all. The problem I had was I couldn’t get anyone to hire me to write sales copy for them (which also means my copywriting skills, at the time, were terrible!).
I didn’t want to give up though.
After a lot of failing, I realized, the only person that would allow me to write ads for them, the only person I could sell, was myself!
So, what could I sell? I had no idea.
My First Real Business
Then, one day at the beginning of the summer, I was in my garage. There’s a bunch of tools and junk in my garage. Among the lawnmowers, weed-whackers, and what-not was sitting my industrial strength pressure washer.
I got an idea. I’d write ads selling pressure washing services. It seemed easy enough, right? I could mail a bunch of ads to a neighborhood and show up with my pressure washer, and make money.
I figured it didn’t matter that I didn’t have any experience pressure washing houses.
So that’s what I did.
I started writing ads and mailing them to residential neighborhoods. I was sending them through the USPS service called Every Door Direct Mail or EDDM. EDDM is a service where you pick a postal route, and you mail your flyer to every mailbox on that route.
With EDDM, I researched the routes, and only picked routes in residential neighborhoods. Then I started sending out lots of flyers. And I mean lots of flyers.
My cost to print these color flyers skyrocketed. So I bought a printer and started doing all my own printing. The costs were still high. You wouldn’t believe how quickly 800 full-color flyers burn through printer toner. You also wouldn’t believe how expensive the toner is, and the paper that meets the EDDM’s specifications.
The costs just to market my business were significant. But I knew, when I had an excellent mailer, it was worth it. I could make more in a day pressure washing, than I could in a week, and sometimes in a month, at my old corporate jobs.
The problem was, I didn’t always have a good mailer. Sometimes I mailed flyers that bombed and got zero phone calls to my business.
These failures would devastate me because I spent so much time, effort, and money, creating, printing and mailer the ads. What really hurt, was that I’d have been happier and had more money if I had never even mailed those offers that didn’t work.
I mailed one of my most massive campaigns the day before the weather decided to rain, for 2 straight weeks.
I didn’t bother checking the weather before this massive mailing campaign. When it rains, no one wants to pressure wash their house. That’s just the way it is.
Sounds unfair, right? Well, it is.
I lost all my money on that mailer. I was devastated. I would’ve been better off if I had just sat on the couch and did nothing.
I had to find a better way to market my business.
Google Saved My Business
Looking for a better marketing system is what led me to search engine optimization. I built a website for my business. I knew I needed that website, the online version of my pressure washing business, to perform.
The website needed to make sales. Like my mailers, the website needed to be in front of folks that were looking for my services. I started learning about Google and what it takes to build up an online brand.
After a lot of hard work, I moved the website to the top of Google searches for “pressure washing in Durham” (this is the town I lived in at the time).
My phone started to ring, and I started getting so many jobs that I eventually stopped doing the flyers altogether.
You see, my website was a better investment of my resources. I had the online version of my business, in front of folks that were looking for my specific services. And it didn’t matter if it rained for 2 weeks straight because my website would still be there getting me calls when the weather cleared.
I couldn’t believe it worked.
I felt dumb that I didn’t figure this out before I wasted all that time, effort, and money on all those sometimes successful, sometimes complete flops of direct response mailers.
But here’s the thing, if I hadn’t gone through all those failures, I would’ve never searched for a better way to promote my business. I would’ve never learned how powerful it is to have Google bring targeted customers to my online business.
I Can Help Your Business Succeed
That’s why I founded Determined Solutions SEO. I know what it takes to get the visibility your business needs from powerful search engines.
The approach I take to search engine optimization and digital marketing, I stole straight from Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire-Hathaway. He said, “Deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”
Search Engine Optimization has had a powerful effect on my business. I know it can help companies to grow.
Mr. Munger also talks about the benefits of life-long learning, and he recommends that you become a “learning machine.”
I take these ideas seriously.
Search Engine Optimization is continuously evolving. I stay on top of the trends through relentless study, reading, and testing–to see what is working best.
My approach to business is simple. I want to deliver a great product. I want to provide a ton of value. I want to sell what I would buy if the roles were reversed.
And this is one of my secret competitive advantages. I’m open with my clients. I treat them like I want to be treated.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had business owners tell me they have signed a long-term contract with a web company and they can’t get out until the contract expires. Or they don’t own their domain, or their hosting account, or even their social media accounts. This behavior drives me nuts!
All the work I do for my clients, whether it’s creating social media accounts, citations, creating useful images or videos, it’s all the property of my clients. If I’m doing the work for my clients, then the work is theirs. Period.
And I don’t make long-term contracts. I earn your business every month, or you’re free to leave.
These ideas are basic, but I think they work well with digital marketing.
I’m limited on the number of new projects I can take on. If you are like I was, aggressively promoting your business, out in the marketplace every day selling, trying to grow. And you’re looking to add fuel to your fire; then you fit the mold of the “Ideal business” I want to work with.
To learn how the internet can bring customers to your business, fill out our Discovery Form and we will contact you soon.
P.s. As a bonus for reading this entire “About Me” page, you can Click Here to get a Free Website Audit that will be sent directly to your email.