I was once given some very valuable advice, that literally changed the way I approached everything I do in business. The advice was “just because someone said something, doesn’t make it true”. And that most especially applies to the web and SEO.
Even if the person in question is a so called expert. There are any of a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t always believe everything you here.
- Sometimes people lie. Most especially in our business.
- Sometimes people heard it from someone else and they heard it wrong or are perhaps missing part of the information.
- Sometimes the information has changed. So what they told you may have been true before that isn’t the case anymore.
- Sometimes people are just jackasses and they feel better about themselves if they tell you something you believe. Even if they didn’t really know the answer but hey it sounded good, right?
- Sometimes information may be true for them for one reason or another, but may not be true for you.
When I stopped taking everything everyone told me at face value, especially in terms of SEO and started doing the research myself I was blown away at the little insightful tidbits that would come to me.
When people tell me things like “but everybody says”, I just smile and say thank you. Because to me it doesn’t really matter what “everybody” says. I like to do the research and find out for myself. Maybe in the end “everybody” was right about whatever it was I am researching but in the process of trying new things, I could stumble upon something else all together, something I might not have found had I had no been doing the work myself.
It was recently revealed that a so called industry marketing expert that people like XBIZ put on panels to speak and educate the rest of us poor dumb folk, did all of his research by seeing what others had to say. So when his clients hired him to do work or ask him about marketing he would simply relay advice he learned from others.
Kind of sad huh? I mean who is to say that advice is legit? And companies like XBIZ put him on panels and invite him to host seminars to teach the rest of us. Seriously? I can’t tell you how much I lost respect for XBIZ over that one. But that’s another story for another day.
Sometimes you just can’t go with what other people tell you. Just because someone says the sky is purple, doesn’t make it so. Even if that person telling you is a leading industry expert with their own website and everything.
I’m not saying you don’t need to include what other people say as part of your own research. Heck I attend SEO and marketing classes all the time, still, even after being around since 1996. I’m just saying, don’t take everything everyone says as gospel. Unless you have done the research yourself or have seen it with your own eyes, don’t believe it.
Some experts may tell you that the best color for a join page is pink and purple. And hey, maybe for them that really is true. But how do you really know that is true for you, unless you test it out for yourself. Maybe your traffic is quite different than theirs and as a result black and red works better for you. Maybe pink and purple really is the best color, but the point is, you won’t ever really know unless you test it out for yourself.
Stop just taking people’s words for things.
Stop listening to these dumb asses that companies like XBIZ.com promotes as experts and puts on their panels. Because trust me when I say, they are no more than expert then you or my left toe are. They only got on the panel as an expert because they asked to be so or in some cases paid for that spot.
Of course it’s okay to look to others when you need help but just remember you don’t have to believe everything people tell you. Even if it sounds totally legit, take anything that anyone in our industry says with the grain of salt.
Example … someone told me they were THE leading expert in SEO. Now if you think about that statement, that’s some pretty big claim. He said he could help me with one of my sites for just a little bit of money, which turned out to be $10,000. He sent me a list of computer generated stats about the problems with the site in question to make it seem like he knew what he was talking about.
So I said, okay show me one of your sites. Since you are such an expert, surely you can show me something you’ve done before. He said something like how his client list is confidential but how in the past he has worked for this company and that company and I could ask this guy from GFY or xbiz or that guy because he knows him.
I wrote him back. So let me get this straight. You claim to be the leading expert in SEO and you don’t have a single website for yourself? Why would you not use this knowledge you have for yourself and make millions? I get you are busy with helping others but I mean come on? Who in their right mind would pass up on the millions of dollars you could be making if you were truly such an expert?
He wrote me back. Because I care about my clients more than I do myself. I just don’t have the time to spend on my own stuff.
Well that leads me to two points. #1 If you are so busy how in the world would you have time for little ‘ole me and #2 if you were making your clients so much money with your services how could not a single one of them snap you up and bring you on full time? That just doesn’t seem logical to me.
Much to no ones surprise, he stopped emailing me. LOL
Now here is the important part of this story. This person is promoted in our industry as an “expert” and he has all his little buddies on the industry message boards saying just as much.
If a person were to take what he said at face value they would be out a lot of money because the only thing he seems to really know how to do is setup email lists and copy and paste a bunch of reports from various SEO tools websites. He claims to have a waiting list that is months long and yet he somehow still has the time to spend hours a day on various industry message boards instead of actually doing any work for those supposed clients.
So consider today’s boring and long post a lesson learned in life …
Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true