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I thought I’d walk you through my PR plans for 2020,
And in general my approach and thoughts to brand building.
For me, I think brand recognition and the public shaping of this is a huge differentiator right now.
Whether you’re planning to build an SEO agency in London like me or otherwise – it’s pretty damn important to build a body of literature online.
You only need to look at Hollywood or the whole industry of influencer marketing to demonstrate that brand influence is absolutely massive.
When I started Pearl Lemon in around April of 2017 I decided at the time I would work hard to begin the journey of carving out the Pearl Lemon brand.
When you’re in almost any industry – unless you have technology as a distinct separator – it’s difficult to demonstrate how what you do is ‘far and away’ different from what anybody else does.
Let’s talk brass tacks in the case of my SEO Agency Pearl Lemon.
We use all of the same tools that most other agencies use:
SEMRush, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and a bunch of other tools in our bid to drive clients up the SERPs.
However – let’s be honest – if we start talking about link-building, off-page SEO, on-page SEO and all – we basically fall into the same camp as any other SEO agency out there.
So whilst Pearl Lemon is very different from most agencies – there is the challenge of figuring out how to demonstrate this?
More than once I’ve been told that ‘Deepak why don’t you try doing other things’ – it’s really difficult to have a USP within SEO.
That’s not wrong.
This is true of pretty much any service-based industry – that you’ll struggle continually to differentiate yourself when it comes to showing what you do uniquely.
So with all of this in mind – this is where PR comes in.
And PR can take many forms:
- Awards – look at awards there are in your industry and look at the whole application process.
- Podcasts – there are podcasts in abundance that relate to your industry that you could be a part of
- Webinars – it’s the same as above – being part of recognised webinars is again a way to demonstrate your key differences.
- Reviews – do your best to get reviews from happy clients – it’s vitally important to make sure prospects see this
I personally enjoy taking a volume-based approach to all of the above and believe that (like anything) it’s an extended journey and over time all of the above will bear fruits.
In the first instance, it’s brand insulation and protection.
If you capitalise upon all of the good work you do and garner reviews that are publicly listed about your business (and even yourself as an individual) – over time it will massively help you beat out comparable services
At its simplest level this practically involves a couple of things:
As often as you can – gather reviews in as many (varied) places as you can to help boost the reputation of your company – furthermore it will insulate you from potential negative reviews done the road.
However – most people get ‘getting reviews’ completely wrong.
Here’s my guide on doing this is you’re a B2B services company like Pearl Lemon are:
- Ask clients individually and directly for reviews rather than sending automated emails
- Ask your internal team to leave positive reviews online (as they have worked with you so can pass judgment)
- Whenever you give free advice ask those you give it too for a review in return
- Have a link to one of your review platforms ready for when the time comes
Simply building these things above into a standard process of yours will help you drive regular reviews – and over time insulate you from any negative feedback that does come in.
A word about negative feedback
You’ll likely get some at some point – even if you try and do right by everybody – let me show you an example of the negative feedback I’ve got in totality:
4 reviews in total over 4 years of operating.
(Well 3.5 – the ‘3-star’ one you might not count)
That means I’ve pissed people enough to give cause for them to leave negative reviews about me online
In Andrew/Gabriel’s case, they took a course of mine online (250+ videos) and decided to ask for a refund even after I offered consulting and they both refused it. The other person I think is just spam.
Correction make that 6 – I’ve just found two more:
These two were not even involved in Pearl Lemon for more than a week each but have left us with damaging goodbye presents.
And it’s now beginning to affect a page 1 search result we have:
I’ve kicked up to the SEO team to look at seeing if they can help with resolving this.
With all of the above in mind I want to highlight a couple of things:
- Respond to all negative comments/reviews as robustly and as quickly as you can – this is important for those who are making judgment decisions about you to ensure that they see the business responding
- Accept that when you’re growing quickly – they will come – and ultimately there is nothing you can do to prevent them from coming
Other steps we’re taking (and so should you)
It’s important to as quickly as you can – identify platforms that you’re having the challenge with and contact them directly to see if they can help:
Here’s what I’ve sent off just now.
Furthermore, you then combine that with making sure ALL reviews on the platform, in general, are responded to because this will help shuffle the rankings
And then we’re planning to build 200+ web properties to rank for ‘Pearl Lemon Internship’ with appropriate keywords and anchor text to ensure that we dominate page 1 for the search term ‘Pearl Lemon Internship’.
In combination with taking care of reputation management – the other side of this is ensuring you’ve also got great PR about your company going out.
Actually, this happens through being a regular producer of content.
Your ability to produce regular and engaging, authentic content will determine how people perceive you online.
In absence of doing this – reviews online alone aren’t enough.
This is often where businesses fall down a little.
If you go ahead and generate 100+ reviews online – and then get 10 bad ones – and there is NOTHING else about you online other than your website.
It makes it difficult for a decision-maker to trust you.
This is where doing interviews, podcasts and similar such activity really comes into play.
Go out there…and copy me!