Would You Leave A Six-Figure Job To Become A Computer Artist?
John had a professional career. He was an engineer at Northrop Grumman in Southern California. He was on the most expensive military project in history. Every Friday big money was automatically deposited into his bank account. His zero-deductible health insurance was paid. His pension was building up. His 401-K was building up too. This was the kind of job people die for and nobody leaves.
Yet John was conflicted. Deep down inside he wanted to be an artist. Since childhood it had been his dream to do artistic work. As the years went on, it was becoming evident that his dream of being an artist may never be realized.
John liked his job. He enjoyed a fair amount of autonomy. He worked with large composite aerospace parts. He figured out the best way to build them. There was computer modeling involved. There was manufacturing involved. Creating aerospace assemblies posed a challenge he enjoyed.
The question that kept haunting him was, are you going to pursue your dream or not? It seems like an easy decision until you consider walking away from a nice house, a professional career, a guaranteed paycheck, health care, desirable lifestyle, and a sizeable pension.
Everyone knows they need to put their childish dreams away and just settle. When john told his best friend about his plan to leave the company he had just one response, “You’re crazy man!” Yet the dream wouldn’t die. He wanted out but didn’t know how. Finally one day while walking through the facility John noticed a secretary typing a letter. He asked what she was doing. She said, “I’m typing my resignation letter.”
He asked, “Can you type up one for me?” It was done.
John estimated his income would drop by 50 percent. You don’t jump off a building and stop half way down. You hit the ground. That’s what he did. His income was gone. He had no clients. He had no health insurance. Reality smacked him in the face. What have I done?
Should you play it safe with your life? Most people say yes. This crazy artist said no. During his first year in business John took in $3,000. During his second year he took in $8,000. During his third year he took in $18,000. This was a pittance compared to his Northrop income, but it was trending up.
During his fourth year, John met a friend who ran an established ad agency. He liked John’s work. His company created videos for Ralph’s Supermarket chain in Southern California. He hired John to create video animation. While sitting in the edit bay one day he told John, “If you really want to make money, get into the Internet.”
That’s the moment Internet Man was born. John loved the computer art and programming aspects of the Internet. He rented hosting space and created one of the first web sites on the Internet to show what he could do. His Internet business flourished. John never regretted taking off the velvet handcuffs of his Northrop job. His dream of being an artist was realized.
Local Marketing Is The Trend In Search Engine Marketing
When Someone Searches On Your Business Name You Have To Dominate
This is the Google search results page for the search term Internet Man in Los Angeles, California. As you can see everything “above the fold” is attributed to Internet Man. To an uninformed prospect Internet Man looks big – dominating the entire search results page. The three listings on the left are ours, the Google Plus profile on the right is ours, and most of the images are ours. You can’t dominate for search terms anymore but you can dominate for your business. The domination of the search results page is made possible by the right Google Plus profile. This was made possible by claiming the business in Google Maps.
Search Is Narrowing In Focus – Dominate For Your Business Name.
The Internet is maturing now. Any device that connects to the Internet competes for recognition. The answer is to become big for something small (narrow in focus). Getting recognition for your business name is a huge deal. Local search is here to stay. It is being born from both desire and necessity. These are the major forces in search you need to counteract:
1. The Internet has become more crowded
When I started in 1995 there were about 250,000 web sites. There were about 5 popular search engines. In 2016 there are about 1,000,000,000 web sites (one billion) and there are 2 popular search engines. A prominent listing is akin to winning the lottery. The numbers prohibit it. Both Google and Bing are removing generic listings above the fold to make room for paid listings. Spending money on on-screen SEO is not a good investment anymore. It was at one time but it is not now.
2. Maps (Phones)
We forget that maps (GPS) are a recent phenomenon. Maps have quickly become fundamental to everyday life. Maps are in our phones. Our phones are in our cars. Internet maps ARE the environment now. Whenever we need to know where something is we consult Internet maps. If your business is not showing up in Internet maps it is not showing up at all.
3. Social Media
I am old school. I am not a phone guy. I am a desktop guy. Still I cannot deny the importance of social media. While I may not be putting my life online I can see the trend in search engines. Search engines are querying social media sites like Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp. Social media has become an interconnected web of popular open to the public web sites. There are about 15 generally accepted social media sites that form your public Internet persona.
These three main forces in Internet marketing are pointing us in one direction: local search. You can see it at both Google and Bing. They are tweaking their algos in this direction. It makes perfect sense and here is why.
Why Search Engines Have Embraced Local Search
Search engines have become a huge business. Ad revenue reached $100 billion in 2015. To sell ads you have to have users. To get users you have to be relevant. Search engines are in fierce competition for relevance. They want to make sure that whatever they bring up in a search is relevant. They have recently discovered that bringing up businesses in New York when you are in Los Angeles is not relevant. If you search for a product or service in Los Angeles you expect to see companies in Los Angeles. This is a fundamental trend in search that all businesses need to be aware of.
Facebook has had an affect on search. The explosion of popularity of Facebook is based on its content being relevant to its users. Facebook content is as local as it could possibly be. It is the user’s personal friends and family. That is as “close to home” as it gets. The more local the content is the more relevant the content is. That is the lesson Facebook has taught the Internet.
Search engines have taken heed. They know their success depends upon relevance. The Internet is a double-edged sword. You can be in the limelight one day and gone into obscurity the next. I remember when Facebook obsoleted MySpace in a matter of weeks. That is how quickly relevance can dissipate. That is also why local search is such a strong trend. Local search is the latest trend in presenting you the most relevant content possible. The trend toward local search is underway and it will only get stronger.
Local Search As An Internet Marketing Strategy
As a business your best strategy is to enhance your local search. That begins with an acceptance that you are not going to dominate the Internet at large. The idea is to stop thinking about coming up on page one for a search term because you can’t. It is a waste of money to even try. The better approach is to try to come up on page one in your local area. That is a concept that may work.
Dominating in your hometown is still a pretty good place to be. It is no different than being the popular local store that everyone knows about. You can make a nice living being known as the go-to place for something specific in your area.
The great thing is Google and Bing is asking us to take this local search approach. They want this locally relevant information in their search results. They are actively going to Yelp, Facebook and other sites to supplement their search results with local information. This is a great development for small businesses. It is a win for the search engines too. Locally relevant search is the hottest trend in the industry.
How To Manifest A Local Search Program
What I have found in developing local search is how touchy it can be. To be successful in local search you MUST have consistent information throughout all social media web sites. By consistent information I mean:
1. One business name.
2. One physical address.
3. One phone number.
4. One email.
5. One web site.
This makes sense. Search engines are basically machines. If you give your business address as 250 Pacific St. on Facebook and 250 S. Pacific St. on Yelp that can cause the entire house-of-cards to collapse. Anyone that has done database programming knows this. It is a mechanical match. If it does not match it falls through. Do not expect Google to implement fuzzy logic to pickup your mistakes. Business owners are constantly changing business names, using PO Boxes, getting rid of the old phones, and changing emails. These seemingly innocuous changes ruin local search. They keep Google and Bing from knitting together information from your social network. You have got to be CONSISTENT in how you represent your business on everything you do on the Internet. If you do things to hide from public view, like use a PO Box for example, you kill your local search. If you make inadvertent mistakes, like alternating between two phone numbers for example, it is the same thing. You hurt your local search.
As a general Web marketing strategy I recommend moving budget away from organic SEO and putting it into Local Search. Get your business into social media sites with scrupulously consistent information. Strive for relevance in your local area through social media. That is what the search engines want us to do. Local search is best for them and local search is best for us too.
Internet Man – Internet Development, Marketing, Programming, And Email
Internet Man designed web sites look great on phones as well as desktops. Upgrade your 10 year old site. Make an new impression on prospects and customers. Be proud of your site and who you are!
Cool systems where people log in to collaborate is what we do. If you’re up against a difficult web programming problems call us. If someone says it can’t be done let us know because we can do it!
We strategically name our web page file names because it’s the key to getting ranked. We’ll get indexed by search engines. When you’re getting hot, targeted prospects good things happen!
No busy professional wants to get bogged down with email problems. Don’t tackle this yourself. Go with Internet Man. You’ll have a personal email administrator with 15 years experience!
Internet Man WordPress Sites
We are your one-stop-shop for WordPress sites. We create daring phone-compatible sites like this one. We write them, develop the artwork, purchase the images, do the programming, and set up the hosting. If you understand the importance of a great site we’re a good match. Just call us. We’ll get you something outstanding! Tell us what you want and we’ll take care of it. You’ll have a dazzling site picking up traffic from desktops, tablets, and phones. We pay attention to your social media profile too. Top notch SEO is built into every site we do. Let us take care of you. We are protective over our clients. We’ll do our best to bring you the success you deserve!
Read What Others Are Saying…
There is only one Internet Services company that I recommend to my clients and friends… That’s Internet Man, Inc., John Mills, 714-368-1500. They do great work, very creative, e-commerce guru and fair rates…
I LOVE my web host. Their programming is very reasonable. John redesigned my site. They did their job quickly. John Mills is the owner and is great to work with. I like them because they have a wonderful infrastructure with backup from a top company. My site is never down. They also have many other utilities I haven’t begun to scratch the surface to use.
I just spoke with my client. It looks like everything is working just fine. Thank you for your quick response time, professionalism and quality service. I look forward to referring more of my clients to you.
You should be hearing from John Mills tomorrow. His prices are very competitive, and I have yet to hear of any complaints from other people who I’ve referred to him. When you call, he’s always there to answer the phone personally. They do e-commerce shopping carts, Internet marketing plans, search engine placement, multimedia, hosting, and back-end database management, just to name a few.
I just got off the phone with John Mills, and he gave me a quick tour of the new back-end of our on-line database system. To say it’s impressive, is an understatment. We are now LIVE and on-line with the system, meaning the registrations are dumping into the database automatically, and Visa/Mastercards are being processed automatically, as well.
The Court multimedia presentation Interface is OUTSTANDING!!! I love it!!!!! It’s PERFECT!! You’re the King!!!
The suite of software looks super!!! I have only been looking today, but I was impressed. I will logon from home tonight to judge the speed and response. The incredible this is that John wrote all the software to do this, so if there ever is a problem, he can definitely fix it.
Dr. William J. Devers
Just wanted to quickly say thanks for setting up the virtual directories on my website (and thanks so much for walking me through it!). I’ve used it a couple of times already to get large photo files to clients and it works like a dream! Again, just a thank you for the awesome job and getting my act together.