A friend of mine was chairing a meeting, and he asked something that set my gears in motion: “What’s different this time?”
I’ve been pondering that topic for months.
Difference is the essence of change; it is a prerequisite to growth.
Yet we resist change. We want things to be different, but we don’t want things to change too much. We settle for a rut.
Not all the time, of course. But, far too often.
Sometimes the rut becomes unbearable. We make a Herculean effort to get rid of our shackles.
We’re willing to risk everything for a better life, for peace of mind, for freedom.
Most of the time, though, we settle for mediocrity and “good enough.”
How does that play out in your life?
What’s different this year, this month, this day?Difference is the essence of change; it is a prerequisite to growth.Click To Tweet
How an SEO Copywriter Settled in Central Oregon
I used to work at corporate headquarters for an international manufacturer and supplier of health-related products. I loved the job, and I loved the people I worked with. And I really loved having a gym and cafeteria on site (and the best yoga teacher anywhere).
I grew up in Oregon, though, and the company was based elsewhere. I was homesick, and I wanted my children to experience the same Pacific Northwest wonder I’d been blessed with as a kid… so we pulled up stakes and moved west.
It was a rather unusual move, complete with eerie signs in the sky, disillusionment with our initial choice of towns, and a blown truck engine that parked us less than a mile from where we now live. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I told you “God chose Bend for us.” It sure felt that way.
For years, I had helped small businesses and entrepreneurs get a business launched, get a website up, get found online, and build business with digital marketing. I can’t tell you how many owners I’ve stood beside, laughed with, cried with, and encouraged with everything I could muster.
I began feeling a bit hypocritical, though, while helping vitalize a small business incubator in Utah. There I was, helping others believe they could see their dreams come true… but afraid to step out with my own dream. You see, I wanted to start a business of my own too. But I had never taken that leap for myself.
When the billion-dollar-in-annual-revenues company recruited me to a job at headquarters, I took it. But I knew I was copping out.
On May 10, 2013, I punched a time clock for the last time. I walked out a free man (and woke up that Monday morning wondering what in the world I was thinking). I fought against the fear and got to work.
It’s been a wild ride, parlaying my skills as a freelance copywriter, SEO writer, article writer, songwriter, book writer, website content manager, webmaster — and a dozen other related skills — into an unsteady income. But I’ve loved every minute of it, and being an entrepreneur has definitely helped my prayer life 🙂I've loved every minute of it, and being an entrepreneur has definitely helped my prayer life 🙂Click To Tweet
Do Something Different – Local SEO and Marketing
Being a writer by nature, I’ve a huge problem with focus. Everything interests me. I’ve a theory that the study of one thing will lead you to a knowledge of everything. In practice, though, I’ve gone at it backwards, studying a zillion topics on my way to a focal point. It’s a maddening habit. Drilling 1,000 holes one foot deep is not as effective as drilling one hole 1,000 feet deep (when you’re looking for water).
Through the years, I’ve consistently been drawn into work with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. I love it. Generally speaking, though, the money isn’t too good and a paycheck is difficult to come by. Oftentimes, getting a website together and tweaking it to be your 24/7 marketing arm is seen as a final-stage project instead of as an integral part of the business.
Studies and statistics, though, consistently point to the importance of digital marketing — especially to local small businesses:
- 70 percent of U.S. households now use the internet when shopping locally for products and services
- 72% of marketers see the importance of online personalization but don’t know how to incorporate it
- 60% of local businesses don’t have their phone number on their website
- Only 25 percent of small businesses know how to create a mobile optimized web site
- 91% of search engine users say they always (or most of the time) find the information they are seeking when they use search engines
I know the better job a business does online, the bigger their bottom line profit is going to be. I also know that small businesses are the economic backbone of our country. That’s why I’ve decided to move my own focus away from working with global brands and towards working with local brands.
Local is where my heart is.
Are you looking for help with small business SEO and marketing? Are you ready to do something different and take your business in a fresh direction?
Contact Don Sturgill: Let’s talk.