The difference in search visibility between personal brand and corporate brand websites boggles my mind.
As individuals we have so many advantages.
It is much easier to build a twitter following for a CEO than a corporation. Seriously, check who you follow on Twitter. It’s probably people to orgs 50 to 1.
Millions of years of evolution have made us pretty good at sizing others up, and we can quickly identify whether we like, trust, or at least want to give our attention to someone. People listen to people.
Meanwhile, the bigger the brand, the less trustworthy, the more generic the marketing, the more they are pressured to maximize shareholder wealth and squeeze everyone else in the process. The current landscape has made this even more clear.
No big company wants to be “seen” making a profit right now. Meanwhile, I’m ecstatic to see individuals listening to audience needs, immediately providing relevant services, and making good money doing so.
Insurance companies are “refunding” consumers $20/each, ramping up their “we’re here for you” advertising, and donating *whatever.* Preparation for the coming shit show of planned rejected business interruption claims.
Meanwhile, no individual leaning out over the edge of problem to serve an audience would ever think like that. By nature, the expert-content-audience model is help people = make money.
So what is the problem?
Is it that capitalism is fundamentally flawed, with a wealth gap inevitably ballooning until we hit some dystopian sci-fi breaking point?
Big brands win in the SERPs because they have more resources?
I don’t think so.
Show me an expert with a lot of content serving an audience and I will show you someone actively self-sabotaging, losing money, devaluing their past work, all seemingly on purpose.
I get that we can do this unknowingly. The web and related interactions on and with it is governed by a complex mix of algorithms.
But we also repeat those mistakes time and again.
Instead of committing energy to one website, one flagship course, one product matrix, and refining, improving and expanding based on real data and insights from there, we take a fragmented or incomplete approach, ignoring much of the data freely available to us, and often leaving a wake of expired domains and broken landing pages in our path.
The blindspots we have as individuals, the array of cognitive biases, the instinct to preserve routine, and the aversion to doing things that appear hard or uncomfortable or expensive lead us to pile on a “more of the same” approach.
Today, I got a re-engagement email from a course creator I quite like,
I just want to make sure that I’m only sending emails to my readers who are getting a lot of value from them.
So I’m removing everyone who isn’t engaged from my list. My stats show that you fall into that category… Is that true?
…what? This person has sent me one email since late 2017. They are likeable, a good teacher, and always on the front of new technologies with courses – this guy had a React course before I knew what React was.
I’m sure they’ve been busy. As individuals, inevitably life happens. We don’t have departments of salaried employees pushing the ball down the field the way a big company does. But less than one email a year?
My point is it’s just not that hard to do the handful of important things right:
- consolidate and make easy to find your best work
- connect with your audience and have a method for rapid feedback in place
- track aggregate data so you can make related improvements based on opportunities and issues
- benchmark and improve
And most importantly, do it now.
If not now, when everything is changing so quickly, when many of the busiest people in the world have an unprecedented amount of free time, when what matters most should be as clear as day, then when?
Do you need help here? I’m creating a content audit + ongoing recommendations service. I want to design it around what matters to you. If you’re interested, hit reply and let’s talk.