Friday, August 06, 2010

Stars Falling Hard

I came across the personal blogs of some of the principals of a formerly hot shop here in Orlando. You know the type: landed one or two big clients long ago and then staked it all on those relationships, going balls-to-the-wall building a cool office with trendy art and furniture throughout; got write-ups in the paper and the local magazines mostly about how cool their space was. Now they're also-rans, big clients long gone and a website "under construction."

I went to their website looking for a job but I left in disgust. That website was your basic "look at our awards, look at our work, see how cool we still are." Then they placed links on the side to their main bigshots' personal blogs. One guy was a designer with lots of links to design stuff. Another was more personal with links to his Facebook, Flickr, etc. And one guy had turned his blog into a series of copy and paste articles on things like bridal showers and health care, sprinkling each with links to small-time clients that had ZERO to do with the articles. Just random out-of-place sentences like "For the best flower selection in Toronto, you need Flowers a Go-Go." Followed by, "And reducing your salt intake will help lower your blood pressure." (Flowers-a-Go-Go not the real name. I'd link you to it, but it's just too sad and I don't want to throw more dirt on this guy's half-buried head.)

The point, I guess, is that here's an agency telling clients they do it all - and well. They're interactive geniuses, they're social media savvy, they will bring you stellar conversions and excellent ROI - and one of their principals is practicing borderline Blackhat SEO linked right to the agency website.

If the strategy sounds shady or the magic pill sounds too good to be true... you know the rest. Sadly, most people in this business are completely full of shit - and few are the ones who will tell you straight out, "This is a wild frontier out here now. What's hot today might be dead tomorrow. We'll strike out in many directions and some of them, frankly, are going to yield dust. (MySpace) We might strike gold, but we're going to do a lot of panning before we do. We're going to play it above the board. Hang with us and be patient. You won't be an overnight viral sensation, because your business is not Ray-Ban or Nike. We're going to try it all, even the damned Yellow Pages, and we might all be surprised by what we learn."

Original image is here.

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