Your Favorite Competitor

There is always one brand your startup can beat. You see them all the time, you know their weaknesses more than anyone else.

November 26, 2019

The startup world is cut throat. It seems like there is always some kind of monstrous competitor lurking around the corner ready to devour your company. At least, this is what a scarcity mindset would reinforce.

The sad thing is that even if that monster is beaten there is another one ready to take its place. Concerns about competitors are like a hydra. Cut off one head and two more take its place.

What are we to do?

Walk past them. Don't engage. Your brand has one enemy and that is who it was yesterday. The bliss embedded within such a mindset is that whether you win or lose, it's all up to you.

More you say?

Story beats Features

We are emotional beings, there is nothing we can do to resist a powerful story

11.20.2019

A few weeks ago, I saw the new, "live action" Lion King in theaters with a friend of mine. While I wasn't necessarily disappointed, it felt like something was missing that was inherent within the original. I couldn't put my finger on it, even though the new movie had far better animation, a higher budget, and an opportunity to improve on something that was already there. It just wasn't the same.

Disney + launched recently and after watching the original, I got it. The new version's characters were so realistic that they couldn't convey emotion (hard to make a lion cry or show happiness), but cartoons make it possible.

Watch any scene from the original, be it Mufasa rescuing Simba in the gorge, Scar and the Hyenas' ghoulish anthem Be Prepared, and the return of Simba as king, and it's impossible not to become emotionally invested. That is what was missing from the new rendition.

The point that I'm getting at is this: you can have the fanciest tools, the best animation, or a better mousetrap so to speak, but if you miss out on getting emotional buy-in, it falls short.

Story beats features.

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Behind the Curtain

What a local SEO expert has shown me about trust and rebellion

12.13.2019

A week ago, I had spoken with a digital marketer who expressed concerns in working with a designer on websites. Main reason being that he had seen projects go awry because most designers don't care about the canonical structure of link building or using a website as a sales/marketing engine, they just want it to look pretty. When I probed for specific examples of problems designers had caused for him, he put up a wall and said, "you just need an SEO partner."

That didn't help me at all. It would be like me telling someone their branding sucked, not telling them why, and saying they need to work with me.

Still, it sounded like I needed a second opinion on my site structures and how using SEO could make these designs better. I reached out to my network and was referred to a guy named Tyler from Socratik, by a larger branding agency.

Oh man, it was like night and day. In an hour Tyler gave me a rundown of best SEO practices, showed me tools to use, and clued me in to some of his personal tips for building out content on websites. He lifted the curtain and showed me what went on behind the scenes. Needless to say, he earned a substantial amount of my trust and I will send anybody I meet that needs SEO services his way.

Now, what about rebellion? Tyler is a rebel. Here's why: I have not met an SEO strategist who was willing to sit down and talk shop like this, ever. Since rebellion is contextual, Tyler sticks out because he did something genuinely different than the rest of his peers. That is what makes him rebellious.

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