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Taking Direction For Your Business

DETROIT - The traumatic events of 2020 are unprecedented and its got business owners scrambling. for answers. Chicago, Metro Detroit, and Los Angeles are on total lockdown to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Businesses are looking to connect and stay relevant. For some, this means turning to social media and others are buying ads and building funnels. The streets have emptied and many businesses have turned out their lights. This is truly a dead time for business and that will continue until the coronavirus situation gets resolved. The pressure is mounting daily for answers.

We Unplugged From Social Media

I took my business back to 2003 as crazy as that sounds. I took it to a time when social media didn't exist. I stripped it down and went back to absolute basics. None of the social media things were working for me. Facebook now owns Instagram and they censored anything that did not align with their political agenda, Social media was also limiting in the way they positioned our posts. People would not see our posts unless we boosted them or opted for paid advertisements. So we didn't go for the gimmicky things like ISSU blog building, or Wordpress. We built web pages and focussed on heavy content. Some of our articles were 7 pages long and they were very descriptive.

Then something amazing started to happen. Our web pages started to get indexed in as little as 24 hours. The use of direct keyword-targeted content was what made the biggest difference. We were stunned to see that Google took notice of our material and ranked it on page one and for different topics. Social media posts never show up on Google anymore. The idea was that we had wanted our content to be published in a wide-open format so that anybody could find it on a browser. This would be opposed to having to sign in to the social media platform and then be able to see our content. We wanted visibility but we didn't expect to get it this quickly. The fact that we didn't have to worry about getting censored was a huge rush. Now we were getting what we wanted and that was freedom, individuality and uncensored opinions.

Problems With Social Media and Direct Marketing

Google had yanked Google+ after guys like me used it to rank our web pages on the first-page position. At the end of the day, these companies all want you to buy ads. When you work with online marketing the goal is to get to the business owner but so many of them are busy working their businesses. So who is monitoring all of these social media accounts? We were surprised to learn that they are often being worked and maintained by interns and sometimes family members. Lately, we have been seeing a lot of bots with pre-scripted responses sitting on the front end of websites and even greeting us on LinkedIn. This was a total nightmare and we were spinning our wheels.

We did have to apply some search engine optimization with our content, (SEO) and the rules there have changed quite a bit. But for the main part we wanted to do certain things with our business:

  • We wanted to skip meetings and get out of the meeting rat race. We spent a lot of time with lunches, presentations, morning breakfast clubs and that sort of thing. We wanted to scrap that.
  • We didn't want to dump a fortune into ads just to meet people. We wanted to form relationships and just interrupt people with ads as a sole strategy.
  • We wanted to tear down the wall between the screen and the audience. We wanted to create a high touch environment by offering content and useful information without selling. This meant creating content and E-media to hand off to our prospects.

Our media was outperforming the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Crains, Chicago Crains, CNN, Chicago Tribune and other news media. There is power here but it takes sincere dedication and attention to detail. To get to this level I had to fire my web guys, and even scrap some of my writers. I had to go for depth and pay attention to things like word counts, keyword counts and check a new set of social media statistics. We weren't doing this when we were handling our Wordpress accounts because we were told it was unnecessary. We were too busy installing the newest, flashiest plugins.

Following the trends proved to be our downfall. Instead of seeing results the next day or within a week we were waiting sometimes for months for results. There was nothing special about what we were offering and we fell off the bridge. We were doing lots of crazy things like hiring link builders, buying directory listings and writing articles and press releases and it was a laborious process. 

Godaddy pulled the rug from under us. We built up a lot of content on their Wordpress platform in the C Panel for a number of our websites. One day, out of the blue, they decided to change their webserver and give us no heads up. We had to try to convert all of our posts over to this new standard or risk losing it all. There was just too many posts to try to bring over and we ended up scrapping all of the work and started over. Now we didn't go crawling back to Facebook, (which only talks to 7% of the business community) and we didn't go crawling into the safety of a social media platform like LinkedIn. We wanted to be out in the open. When you type in your browser or do a vocal search on your phone we wanted our media to pop up. 


There was a time when we would boost an existing website with SEO and try to get them on page one. 90% of the businesses we consulted with would tell us that their website converts. All we had to do was add a few tags and boost a little content and that would be enough to get it noticed on the search engines. Usually, they would have a series of ten bullet points and a paragraph that describes their services. They would never give us any content to write about or point the direction of where we should go with it. Whenever we used their existing content the websites would rank but not that well. It was like pushing an elephant up a flight of stairs in most cases and they wouldn't have a budget to support our work. The cheapest budgets were the most costly for us on our end.

You had to get hyper-focused on what you wanted to go after. My wish for every local business during this COVID-19 scare is to get ready. Scrap social media and going for likes and thumbs-up signs and start building relationships. Networking the old way is a sure way to remain in the dark and now we have to really connect as our lives depend on it. The upcoming months are going to be very uncertain and every dollar counts. We found our focus since all this COVID-19 started and set up strict hours. We no longer take calls all hours of the day and night. We have a set schedule for our work and how we take on new clients. 

My wish for every local business out there is that they realize that building original content is what is going to save your bacon. Building your brand on a social media platform with a username and password keeps you in the dark from the main search engines. It never used to be that way but the big guys have gotten really greedy in the last ten years. The good news is that Google is greedy for content and will shoot you to the top if you write keyword-rich tight content that is relative to your subject.

You do not have to rely on gimmicks and the latest gizmo to get attention to your business or brand. You also do not have to get entrenched in white hat SEO or understand all the black and grey hat SEO tricks to get attention. We have followed the advice of being the most helpful guy in the room and focused on giving our ideal client what they are looking for. We want to be the most helpful person for them to the point of being indispensable. When you are making headway on the search engines and you see that it is working you want to keep delivering.

So to summarize you want to strive for the following:

  1. PUBLISH KEYWORD RICH CONTENT - Do not get tied up with the number of pages but I would shoot for anything over 3 pages. If you want to get heavy with it then shoot for 7 pages. Get into the habit of doing this as often as possible.
  2. DO NOT GET DISTRACTED - Trendy platforms like new social media platforms come and go and even the top ones change their policies. They all want to create revenue and sell ads. You will not get to express your full vision with a four-sentence advertisement. 
  3. THINK PUBLISHING -Think big and think like a publisher for your content. So many businesses don't do this and will invest in things like auto bots, and messenger bots and do the new shiny object syndrome and waste time.

That wraps it up for now. COVID-19 will be a temporary condition and it will affect us all negatively but we can keep our businesses and connections strong by following these guidelines. It is imperative to get absolutely clear on what it is that you want. You can make a dent in the search engines by getting really focussed and giving them more than what they expect. Our goal was really simple. We wanted to take our artwork and our web pages to a place where nobody else would follow. Your competitors are not going to sweat it out and put this kind of dedication into their business. Even if they hire someone to write their content it is very unlikely that they will create 5-page masterpieces of handcrafted content. This is going to put you at a huge advantage and will allow your media to come to the top of the searches.

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