“I’m a kiddie lemonade stand trying to compete with Walmart” Jimmy McGill from“Better Call Saul”.
I am a big fan of Breaking Bad. I was hooked the first time I saw the show. I was working in SEO part time for my buddy and he always had the television on while he worked. It would be random movies and TV shows. I was working another full time job and would show up in the afternoon to help out.
One day I walked in and Breaking Bad was on. I had never seen it, let alone watched a whole episode. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a show about a high school chemistry teacher that gets diagnosed with cancer and goes into the meth business to leave money behind for his family.
The scene I walked into was Walter White standing in Tuco Salamanca’s office. I still remember how intense the scene was and I was completely entranced in the show. Normally I would glance at the TV and then look away and get to work. This was different. I watched the last five minutes of the show and was hooked. I had to watch the entire series.
What does this have to do with internet marketing? A lot. The success of Breaking Bad spun off the prequel of Better Call Saul. Saul Goodman aka Jimmy McGill is a struggling lawyer taking public defender cases for only $700.00 just to make ends meet. He is just like any new business owner. No money to have a real office or order supplies or marketing.
He fully knows he is a kiddie lemonade stand trying to compete with Walmart. Do you?
I’ve talked to lots of small business owners that want to compete with the big boys. The problem is that they don’t have the right products or enough resources to compete. And they don’t even know it. I’ve heard time and time again how people with specialty clothes want to compete with Nordstrom.
The blinders need to come off.
If you want to succeed in your business, you have to be realistic. If you have a lemonade stand, make it the best lemonade stand in the world. Word of mouth will help carry and propel your business. Focus on your product and your specialty.
You also need to know who your REAL competitors are. I’ve seen countless small businesses list home depot and Lowes as their competitors. If you a locksmith and make keys, they’re not your competitors. Your competitors are the businesses in your local area.
Your budget for SEO and marketing will determine if you are going to compete with Target or simply target the next small guy in town. If you really want to compete with Target, you can’t spend just $500 a month for SEO services. That’s just spinning your wheels and chasing bad money with good. $5,000 a month wouldn’t even get you to Target’s level. Just take a look at they’re backlinks. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
If I made and sold beach towels, I wouldn’t try and compete with Billabong. I’d look for other businesses that sell and manufacture beach towels. I would see what they’re doing and try and replicate it. I’d do keyword research and find out what keywords those businesses are ranking for. If you do want to compete with Billabong, you will need the products and website traffic to back it up.
“My competition is not doing SEO.” I’ve had countless people think that they are going rank overnight because their competitors are not doing any SEO. That’s unrealistic. I have yet to find a top ranking company that isn’t doing SEO or link building. This is an extremely dangerous line of thought and you can’t kid yourself. Failure is not an option for you and your business. You need to make money to pay your bills and feed your family.
You need a solid budget for marketing.
If you can only afford $500 a month for SEO, you will need to lower your expectations. A lot lower. You can’t be David beating Goliath on a shoe string budget. What you can do is battle and work to rank higher than the business 3 blocks away. And when you’re making money from that, reinvest it into more SEO and marketing to expand your reach. They you’ll make more money.
Make more money. Reinvest in SEO and Marketing. Grow your business. Rinse. Repeat.
You need to face reality and take a good, long, hard look at your business and its model. Ask yourself this question, “Is my business able to compete with big box stores or should I compete with someone smaller?” Everybody wants to be the next Facebook, but your website is not going to be Facebook or Buzzfeed if you’re a local plumber. Focus on having a killer product and build your brand that way. Make your target audience enjoy what you deliver so they want more of your product.
When you make a name for yourself, you will make more money in your local market. You are a small business and you need to embrace it to succeed, as failure is not an option. Remember the old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Hours after this post went live a SEO friend of mine posted this tweet: