by Joel Tarplin
Swallowing Pride and Learning from the Dark Lord
As you sit here and read this you’re probably making the biggest mistake any small to medium business owner or internet marketer can. This kind of error will turn wide swathes of potential clients off your company and resign products to the bargain bin all day long. You’ve probably made things ten times worse today alone, simply by making this one monumental mistake. A brand’s empire will rise and fall by this, all in a matter of hours…
Have I used enough hyperbole?
Want to me to let you in on the secret?
You’re not being vain enough.
Think about Narcissus and list the things you know about him on a piece of paper (no Wikipedia allowed.) The chances are that you’ll scribble something about him being a Greek mythological figure, and you might mention something to do with an egg (a classy Salvador Dali reference). The one thing all of you will have written is that he was incredibly vain.
The idea of vanity enthrals us all and in the modern world it’s big business. Models, advertising, show business; they’re all based on the perpetual pursuit of projected (and self-imposed) perfection. Celebrities as a group understand that they are their brand, and so they pay meticulous attention to everything about themselves. And where such things are concerned, Simon Cowell is the master.
The man rules his own image with an iron fist, in what can only be described as a form of micro-branding. From wearing t- shirts of just the right tightness to rumours of employing an SEO company to manage his image in the SERPs, the music maestro takes vanity to the nth degree.
So in his honour, here follows a crash course in Simon Style SEO and Internet Marketing —
Imagine You’re in an Audition
When presenting your brand online, try to think of it as an extension of yourself. When designing your website or writing an article about your company it may not seem like you’re in an audition, but in reality you are.
Every sales pitch is given in front of scrutinising potential clients; the only difference is that with internet marketing you can’t see the person in question. Therefore, when representing your brand online imagine you’re on stage at American Idol (with Simon, back in the glory days) or X Factor; actually envisage a potential customer reading what you’ve written or designed and you may find you want to make some hasty adjustments.
Get a facelift from the experts
Cowell has been quoted as saying that almost everyone in TV is vain, that it is the nature of the beast. He’s also admitted to having Botox, which brings me to my second point. If you’re a small to medium business owner who’s an expert in your field, good luck to you. But don’t let this prevent you from enlisting the help of web designers, internet marketing or SEO specialists (the web equivalent of cosmetic surgeons) for a little e-Botox.
Optimisation and the delicate art of coming across attractively online is not simply a case of listing your products well and detailing special offers from time to time. Invest time and money into those with experience to inject that certain something into the face of your business, and your search listings will soar higher than Cowell’s waistband in no time at all.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
If anything can be said about Simon Cowell, it’s that he isn’t a man characterised by fear, in his business dealings at least. From setting up his own record label (as part of a partnership) in his twenties to wisecracking his way through his TV shows; it’s clear that he isn’t afraid to take risks to achieve his ambitions. If you’re managing the internet marketing campaign for your own business then you’re in a very privileged position.
Of all people you should be able to take risks; because the only person you’ll let down if you fail is yourself. You don’t have bosses to please, so take advantage of the freedom to create a fresh, innovative and edgy online presence. This doesn’t mean you should act recklessly, but it does mean that you can push the boundaries; create positive controversy with exciting articles and advertising that stands out.
Feed off Failure
Now failure may not be a word you’d naturally associate with Cowell, but rest assured that he’s received his fair share of failure and criticism during his career. In the early days of his fame especially, barely a show or audition went by without Simon’s controversial comments making the morning papers, and the mogul’s first foray into setting up his own record label was ultimately unsuccessful.
Naturally; he’s scuttled away to spend his fortune in peace, right? Categorically wrong. Simon Cowell has successfully occupied the niche into which his brash and uncompromising comments originally thrust him, and not only this — he’s made it his own. He’s every TV show’s likeable villain and his commitment to standing by his own views has earned him both his empire and the respect of the public.
From this, every internet marketer or SEO Consultant can learn that failure is fuel for your campaign. If your site is sandboxed by Google even though you’ve steered well clear of black hat techniques, don’t panic, and don’t give up. Allow the challenge to spur you on and eventually you’ll see the rankings you deserve. If the online community has given you a label then embrace it and turn it into a recognisable, exposure enhancing strength.
So all things considered it seems that many companies could do worse than play a little game of Simon says. To sum up —
1. Imagine you’re in an audition
2. Get a facelift from the experts
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks
4. Feed off failure
And above all; be overwhelmingly, inexhaustibly, uncompromisingly vain.
Joel Tarplin is a Content Writer for Creare; specialists in SEO, web design, ecommerce, internet marketing, email marketing and video production.