Amateurish branding

Be careful about how you promote yourself. You can fool search engines, but you cannot fool intelligent people. You can claim one thing and they will see another.

Okay, let me become more specific. I was at the UPLB yesterday to fetch my wife. I learned that some employees are looking for someone who can talk about work-life balance. They searched online for possible trainers.

As they examined websites, I realized that many of these speakers are into keyword stuffing. Because they were trying to game Google search, they failed to provide their readers with the information they really need.

They opened the number website 1 on the search. He has nice photos on the front page. His headline shouts that he is a “Filipino Motivational Speaker in the Philippines”. I asked them what they felt about his page.

“He is very self-centered,” said one. “The page is all about him. All his subheadings have the phrase motivational speaker. He keeps repeating the phrase in his paragraphs.”

The page is very long and there are about ten subheadings — all shouting that he is a Filipino motivational speaker. I asked if they are going to invite him.

“I heard him talk before. Nagbenta ng libro, pero di ko nabasa. Okay naman siya, kaya lang medyo mayabang“. The group decided not to invite him.

They looked for the next one. Somewhere down the first page, they found him because they were looking for “work-life balance’.

“Oh, he is another motivational speaker. The Filipino Motivational Speaker You’ve Been Looking for..”

I noticed that the page loads faster. And like the first, he also kept reminding readers that he is a Filipino motivational speaker.

But he was able to show the many programs that he offers. I noticed them because his page is clean. He is into digital marketing, values education, leadership, entrepreneurship, and work-life integration. There are 12 topics in his list.

“He has work-life integration.” They asked if the motivational speaker is expensive.

” When you contact him don’t ask for his professional fee. Just tell him your budget.” I noticed dozens of client logos. Many of which are from schools and institutions that do not usually pay speakers. I believe his intention is to show that he has many clients.

Anyhoo.

What can we learn from this experience?

First, do not underestimate the intelligence of our readers. You can fool some people into thinking that you are the best at something by declaring it again and again. And maybe, you can fool machines and algorithms too.

But most people gut-feel know. Not only that you sound like an impostor, but you also communicate your insecurities too.

If you are a motivational speaker, then motivate people every opportunity you have. They will know who you are because of what they get from you.

Second, you do not have to imitate the number 1. You cannot beat him in his own game. Also, people will think that you are an amateur. Focus on your passion and what you really do.

For example, if you can teach people work-life integration, keep on writing and talking about that. If you talk about Work Attitude and Values Enhancement, then write about it.

Listen to your customers. They can tell you what to write about.

You don’t have to remind us that you are a Filipino motivational speaker. You don’t even have to remind us that we must be careful with those who are on top of the search engines because anyone can make a claim.

You have a place in the sun. Just show what you can do.

Jef Menguin

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