Category Archives: Marketing

seed-journey-santander

How a retired man built a massive following with beautiful content

Yesterday I was doing some work in Santander, and while I sat on a bench in front of the breathtaking bay, a man came to me and told me: “you are sitting on the most beautiful bench of Santander”.
He then pitched me his website eltomavistasdesantander.com, which is a platform committed to documenting the life and looks of the city of Santander every day through beautiful images, videos and comments about anything that is happening in the city. Continue reading

28-DSC_1456

Those moments when being an entrepreneur is similar to being a Rockstar

 When I was 18 I wanted to be a rock star, but peer pressure prevented that from happening.

This is cool because I went on to develop a great and fulfilling professional life and found Gozen Media, but there is still a little rock star inside of me, who likes to set fire into metaphorical guitars and get his audiences’ blood pumping in excitement.

Sometimes being an entrepreneur is actually very similar to being a rock star. For example, when doing promo photos, the only difference is that entrepreneurs smile instead of giving the camera sexy duck faces and bad boy glances. 

 Earlier this month I had a photo session with the amazing Simon Pepper, who has decades of experience working in the Arts, Media and entertainment industries, including working for one of the Leading Theatrical Agencies in the UK – www.theartistspartnership.com. He is now well on his way to being a successful portraiture photographer and his work includes both artists and entrepreneurs.

We met early in the morning at his studio in Hove, but it was such a lovely sunny day that we walked down to the seafront and had a great photo session.Peru Buesa Peru Buesa
 28-DSC_1456

I must admit I am not original when it comes to business photographs; I always like to get myself photographed outdoors with a body of water in the background.

Luckily Simon directed the operation and brought new ideas to the session, so my arms found things to do, which avoided making me look like a GiJoe.

 Because I love hanging out with inspiring entrepreneurs and freelancers, I took some time to interview Simon:

Q: Why do you do what you do

 A: I love working with people. Every shoot is different, depending on the person / style and location and most importantly – the lighting!

Q: You focus a lot on making people feel comfortable. Why is this important?

 A: Its important to get people to relax so they look as natural as possible.  Some people are naturals, but I pride myself on helping all clients to relax and feel natural in front of the camera – helping them to feel at ease which helps to get the best results and people looking at their natural best! I also take pride in ensuring the experience of being in the studio or on Location is a fun and memorable one.

 

Q: When do you get really proud of your work?

A: Doing high quality images, when I’m surprised of what I do. When things come better than I expect and I get some amazing shots of people / moments – especially when working on location and using different props in the studio etc.

 

Q: How should the photography industry be?

A: Copyright of the photos. Photos are so abundant that they lose value.

 

Q: Who is doing cool things in the photography industry?

A: Ellen von Unwerth

Her Kitsch style, it looks fabulous and unique. I love the photographs of my Idol she’s done over the years – Kylie Minouge.

She also seems to fancy hot ties with bodies of water in the background.

She also seems to fancy hot ties with bodies of water in the background.

 

Alex Whiteman – Alex for his creativity and ability to create unique, beautiful and stunning images.

 

I would need to do some push ups before posing for Whiteman.

I would need to do some push ups before posing for Whiteman.

Q: What is your ambition?

 A: To photograph Kylie Minogue – An Album Cover! 

Most recently, I’ve sent balloons with a card and business cards at the Royal Albert Hall which I threw over the balcony and got them passed backstage and to her dressing room! I even visited her management office in London once and have left cards at the stage doors at her concerts, she will get the message one day! Word has it I was discussed at a dinner once years ago but with a different hat on – Personal Assistant! You could call me an obsessed fan, but I’m sure she would love me too! 

If you want to meet Simon and get some professional photos from him contact him at his photography website.

Thank you Simon!

5 Things you can do today to promote your local business online

What Can I do today to get more online presence as a local business?

Local reputation matters more than ever!

Why? because the internet is giving people more options.

I’ve always played the guitar. When I was a teenager there were two music shops in my hometown serving the 500 people who were in a band. So you have a very defined group that knew each other and shared their common interests, which included those two local musical instrument shops. Continue reading

Has SEO earned a Bad Name? and, What’s next?

 

I have been both a client and a deliverer of traditional SEO packages. These packages were offered by companies pretty much promising first page results. An it worked, but then stopped worked, and it took long to work again. It was like a hangover that never ended, and the feeling of “I will not drink again” lasted until the SEO landscape changed and ‘alcohol’ was forbidden.

Now, to some extent one has lost pride in claiming to be a SEO. But has it really earned a bad name? and should we call it in a different way?

The secret behind the magic wand

At the point when I purchased SEO packages, I did not know much about SEO and thought that it was some sort of witchcraft that only a gifted few could do. Then I got the performance reports at the end of each month, showing dozens of weird articles being created in random pages with links to our site. I still did not understand the tactics while I did understand that having links pointing to your site was something good for SEO. The truth is that we had first page results for the keywords we targeted after a month or two.

Rasputin SEO Meme

So for a company this was easy to deliver, that is why so many wannabe entrepreneurs saw an opportunity in selling SEO services. And If even the spammiest of the practices did not ensure first results, the company could turn around and say the client that the project was too difficult.

But in general, it was actually realistic to get your client to the first page. And what did that involve? Keyword stuffing, submitting to spam directories, rubbish articles in random websites pointing to your website with exact match anchor text…etc. The fact is that it was cumbersome work and although you needed to be somewhat organised, you did not need to use your  right-brain much, there was no need for strategy or long term perspective.

Something was wrong and in fact, pretty soon after that Google started turning the tables and punishing those convinced that they can get along thinking short term and trough quick-wins.

Bad habits die hard

But the buyer of SEO services grew up thinking that any SEO agency’s ultimate goal is to lift you up to first page results.

Yes, this is the ultimate goal, but the truth is that after 2012 this has become more difficult and it calls for a rethinking of SEO products and services. The internet nowadays is becoming more human and is no longer a place where you can make long term money using treacherous tactics such as black hat SEO. We need to get this  AT ONCE. The internet is becoming an extension of the real world that you can access from your devices, which is anyway what the internet aimed to be in the first place.

The implications for digital businesses are that not only the way services are delivered must change, but also the way they are sold, and sales teams need to re-educate themselves and their clients to this goal.

The New Age

SEO is about making your site relevant to searches and add value to those potential searches. Now Google’s algorithm knows if your site is connected to good and relevant websites, if people are mentioning and acknowledging your brand in Social media, the quality and value of the information in your site, and also, what people mean when they search for particular keywords!  Only when you think about this and change your website accordingly, then will the search engines give you credit.

Some companies have already delivered high quality services that do not promise first page results, but they do their best to comply with Google’s latest algorithm updates and the rules established by the main search engines, whose goal is to serve the most relevant and best results. So Google is just investing in their product, and so you should do if you want higher rankings!

 

Other companies on the other hand, fail to understand this, and they still believe that the updates are there just to scare and to stop people from continuing black hat techniques and shortcuts. This is foolish and reveals an utter lack of creativity and openness to change. It is a way of neglecting that there is a huge opportunity to do things the correct way and this will definitely maroon mediocre digital entrepreneurs and welcome excellent ones to the Ark Another way of looking at this is that these changes in search engines filter out entrepreneurs from pure opportunists.

Noah rk Google

Anybody could do SEO before 2012. Now not any more. Not only people working on SEO but also  the organisations they belong to can face obstacles understanding what needs to be done. These obstacles can be built by the company vision, which means that in order to provide competitive and contemporary SEO products, many companies need to change not only their teams or their packages, but also their mentality, which lies at the very structure of a company culture.

 

And how do you sell this to a client?

Clients need to understand that SEO is still a very important part of website marketing. For instance On page SEO is still very important, as it helps improving your crawlability and including your keywords wherever possible. Also, the content that you create on page, the actions you take to improve user experience and the way you promote and amplify that content is too part of SEO.

So SEO is by no means dead. It just touches with other inbound marketing channels, specially Social Media, because you need to use social platforms to promote your website and connect with audiences.

The truth is that it is difficult to sell services that cannot guarantee direct, fast sales to small businesses which are focused on short term cash and fast sales. SEO must be now integrated in other traffic strategies, and SEO teams must work hand in hand with other teams such as PPC and Social media. The strategies should be integrated because some cannot exist without the others.

 

seo now and then

How seo services are sold before and after 2012

 

So get creative and open your eyes. Google is a tough teacher asking you to do better; be magnanimous and cooperate.

Next time you get news of another Algo updates, relax and get creative, find opportunities by using common sense and you will be safe.