SEO Packages Need To Die

SEO Packages Need To Die

I’m sick of SEO packages. You know the kind, where you get an email asking you to send them a proposal for what you would do for their company and what your packages and pricing are. I’m tired of companies that offer things like “10 blog posts for $150.”

Why?

This is old school small scale thinking. If you want 10 blog posts for $150 and your hourly rate is $30 per hour, write a blog post every 30 minutes for 5 hours. I bet the quality will be a lot higher than paying someone random to do it for you. Marketing “packages” don’t work. Marketing that works isn’t a product that is plug and play for every business. Depending on your business and who your customers are, and your current stage of company, different channels are going to work better or worse for you to actually get you results.

I’ll give a lot of businesses asking for packages the benefit of the doubt because they don’t know what else to call them, but the language underlying it signals to me that they view marketing consulting as transactional – I give you this and I get that. I’m sorry, but that’s not how marketing works. That’s not even how business works! If business were that easy, everyone would run their own business.

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How Getting Laid Off Led Me To Double My Salary and Follow My Entrepreneurial Dream

How Getting Laid Off Led Me To Double My Salary and Follow My Entrepreneurial Dream

Update: thanks for all the amazing reactions to this post! I have loved reading all of your emails/tweets/direct messages and hearing so many stories about people who have been laid off and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If you want to check out my company Credo, it’s right here.

I got laid off in September of this past year, somewhat unexpectedly. Things had been rough for a while as I moved to a new team internally after an acquisition and we tried to figure out how we supported my new role. Right after I moved over to the new team the GM in charge of that team left, which at the time felt like an omen and I came to realize later it was. When you lose the person who advocated to bring you to a new position, who has the vision for how that role will look, you’re going to be in for some hard challenges that you might not be able to win.

Today I want to talk about exactly the steps I have taken over the last few months that have led me to double my salary short term, which is how I am currently financing my software marketplace which is also growing substantially month over month. Read more about How Getting Laid Off Led Me To Double My Salary and Follow My Entrepreneurial Dream

How To Solve Most Consulting Agency Problems

How To Solve Most Consulting Agency Problems

Consulting or running an agency is an interesting business. On the one hand, an agency can be a cash cow because your margins can be really high if you keep headcount low. On the other hand, many consultants and agencies struggle to make ends meet and do great work for their clients.

From my years in marketing and consulting, and now running my own business in the space as well as doing some consulting myself, I’ve realized that many consulting problems can be solved by one of two things (and usually both at the same time to make the magic happen):

  • Charge more per hour or per month to increase your margins.
  • Create better processes to save time and increase your margins.

Consulting is no different from other businesses in that when you increase your margins, many of your business stresses go away. Let’s talk about the two of these. Read more about How To Solve Most Consulting Agency Problems

Want To Be Successful? Become A Doer

Want To Be Successful? Become A Doer

I’ve been working on the Internet for what feels like a long time now – 6 years. In that time, I have worked inhouse for 4 different brands and consulted with more than I can reliably count. That number is probably in the 35-50ish range.

Over time, as I have gained more business experience and expanded my skillset outside of just SEO or even digital marketing, and am now running HireGun both as a consultant and a software solopreneur, I have increasingly become convinced of one thing:

Those who win are those who do

Many companies will say that they get things done. But the truth comes out when the rubber hits the road. When I worked at Distilled, we always prided ourselves on working with our clients to help them get things done. After all, if we were going to be successful as consultants, our clients had to see a return on their investment. If they moved slow, then it would take a long time for them to see that positive return and at that point it was up to the consultant to keep the client happy (and still a client!).

Here are some of the traits I have seen of successful companies and individuals. Read more about Want To Be Successful? Become A Doer

HireGun Launched Today

HireGun Launched Today

Today I launched HireGun to the world via Medium and Product Hunt. It has been quite the road to get to this point, most of which I wrote about over on Medium, so I recommend you go there to read the full story. I’m excited to have it out to the world. I am excited […]

Why I Unplug On Vacation Every Year

Why I Unplug On Vacation Every Year

In early 2012, I was tired. I had been pushing 80+ hour weeks at work for a while. I found myself unable to be civil to clients or my coworkers. My boss at the time asked me “John, do you need a vacation?”

I did. I took 5 days (a “long weekend”) and went to Colorado with one of my good buddies to go to MountainFilm in Telluride. For those five days, I removed my email clients, Twitter, and Facebook from my phone. Instead, I watched interesting movies about outdoors issues I care about, met some intriguing people, drank awesome beer at the Telluride brewery, and spent time in the mountains hiking and rock climbing. Read more about Why I Unplug On Vacation Every Year

Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

Recently Paul Graham, a VC and entrepreneur whom I very much respect, wrote a post called Change Your Name in which he argued that a startup should seriously think about changing their name if they are not able to get the “.com” TLD for their brand name. Graham also stated some statistics that are meant to make us think that his position is mostly irrefutable. He said:

100% of the top 20 YC companies by valuation have the .com of their name. 94% of the top 50 do. But only 66% of companies in the current batch have the .com of their name. Which suggests there are lessons ahead for most of the rest, one way or another.

I’d argue that having the .com domain is not the most important thing (and I don’t think that’s what Graham was saying). What’s more important, in my opinion, is consistency. In fact, I’d even argue that not having the .com is missing the forest for the trees. Let’s dig in. Read more about Does A Startup Really Need The .Com Of Their Brand Name?

The Full Stack Marketer’s Valley Of Sorrow

The Full Stack Marketer’s Valley Of Sorrow

I recently read this post entitled The Curse of the Full Stack Marketer. I tweeted a few brief thoughts (a brief rant really) around this post, but now I think it needs a longer treatment. I also realize that there have been a few posts written as follow-ons but I’ve purposefully not read them so as to make this my own thoughts.

I think that there are a few elements at play that make this an interesting and tough topic (especially as someone who feels the tension very personally). Those include:

  1. The rockstar problem
  2. The meritocracy problem
  3. The individual vs manager dilemma
  4. The small vs big company challenges and differences

Let’s unpack each.
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