I’m changing things up. My career has been good to me, but unless I adjust some things about it, I’m not going to be good to it. Running a profitable agency and doing consulting is not going to change. How I market myself is. You may have noticed that it has been quite a while since I’ve published something on my YouTube channel. You’ve probably noticed I’ve been pretty quiet online with a lot of marketing related things. It actually goes back to spring of 2015 when I met Gary Vaynerchuk at the #AskGaryVee Podcast 100th Episode party in New York. He repeated one of his more famous one-liners to me in a private discussion that changed me, slowly.
Stop doing shit you hate.
It isn’t that I hate what I do. Quite the opposite. I love it… within the proper context. I don’t like doing what I do just for anybody. But it wasn’t and isn’t even that simple. I had some soul searching to do. I still wanted to be the SEO Badass, but I wanted to change the context… a lot.
Mind, Body, Soul
Oh yeah… the body… ugh…
About three years ago, I began a renewed effort to get and keep myself in the best physical shape possible. It was important to me. I had spent so much time and so many of my years building my business and doing “grown up” things that I had neglected “silly” things “nobody” has time for if they are serious about their career; fitness. Well, I hit a wall with my ability to function from day to day and came to a realization that something had to change. It was nothing crucial or life threatening, but the combination of low energy and not liking what I saw in the mirror finally took its toll. So I did something about it.
The funny thing about setting and reaching a goal (e.g., a target weight), is that at some point a higher purpose needs to kick in, or it is nearly impossible to maintain long-term. I needed a reason to stay and get into better shape than just feeling good about myself and everything else that comes along with that initial rush of reaching a first benchmark. Lifting weights and doing cardio, eating vegetables and limiting my simple carbs for the sake of “it’s healthy” was not enough. Then one day my sister suggested that I needed a sport. So I found one that I love.
Happiness (Mind & Soul)…
Let me just pause here for a moment before continuing the story of my physical fitness and bring in another element. I’m OCD. Well, maybe not diagnosable, but when I get into something; nothing gets in my way. My problem was, the sport I chose was kind of taboo to half of the people I did work for (either my agency or my own consulting). The sport? 3-Gun. It is an action shooting sport that involves real guns; three of them to be exact. It is physically demanding, mentally exhausting, expensive to get into, and requires a lot of training. Perfect for me.
Except; how was I going to not talk about, not mention, or even hide this new obsession from clients? Some may say “that’s easy, just keep your personal life out of business, duh!” Sure. However, I live my life out loud, and I wasn’t about to hide my new passion from the Internet at large. I wasn’t about to be a closet shooter.
So, what I did was I started a separate Instagram and Twitter account to do my thing and only the people that would be searching appropriate hashtags were likely to find me.
Leading A Double Life
You got it. I was literally leading a double (digital) life for a couple years. I would switch between social profiles and update content on both, and engage on both. Then I started to notice something interesting after about a year. The hobby social profile was growing faster and got more engagement with less effort than my professional profiles ever did. I seem to remember telling every single one of my consulting clients about doing social media around something they are passionate about, or their efforts would eventually fizzle out and die. Well… there I was living the results of not heeding my own warning.
To give you an idea of how successful my casual social media efforts have been, I am now a sponsored competitive shooter. That’s right. I’m a sponsored athlete. Something I never thought I’d say about myself. Ever. I have a gun sponsor, an optics sponsor, a sponsor for belts and holsters, a clothing sponsor, a professional eye protection sponsor, and the list is growing. I’m overwhelmed with the success I’ve found by applying my own skills half-heartedly to something I’m actually passionate about.
So what now? Free gear. My hobby pretty much pays for itself. Is there more to this? Oh, yes there is.
A Badder SEO Badass
So, after looking casually, I just realized the entire shooting industry is a good decade (or more) behind in marketing practices. I realized there is a lot of money in the industry. I really like the people, the subject matter, and the prospects that lay ahead. So I’m going for it. I’m transitioning my own marketing consulting efforts to an industry and a cause that means something to me. My scarcity about offending or losing existing clients that may not like guns is gone. From this point onwards I’m going to be completely open about how I live my life and what I do.
This is something I should have been doing all along. This is what I help my clients do. Why I didn’t apply it to myself is the same mystery as to why the plumber’s skink always leaks.
Search engine optimization, social media marketing, PR, reputation management, and all the rest are thing I love to do, and I can’t wait to do them in a context that I will love to do them in.