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As usual, Jim’s loud proclamation got everyone’s attention. I had just raised my glass of cola to my lips when Jim burst through the door – – literally!, and laid his statement on me. I was mighty parched, but knew that Jim’s need was obviously greater than mine, so I put my glass down and swiveled to face him.
He looked awful. He was perspiring profusely, though it wasn’t all that warm out. The rivulets of perspiration that had flowed from his forehead to his chin had left little trails of grime, and his eyes were as large as saucers. I noticed it had become as quiet as an abandoned mortuary, as everyone in the room strained their ears to see what Jim was going to say next.
“Jim, let’s go over to a booth and discuss this.”
He started moving with me, but he didn’t wait until we got there to continue. And, he didn’t tone it down any, either.
“Floyder, I swear to God I’ve never removed my clothes in public. I mean, I’m considered one of the pillars of the community! Good Lord, what is Martha going to think if she reads this.”
“Jim . . . JIM!!, “ I fairly shouted, until I got a look that reassured me he was finally back with me. “Jim,” I began more calmly, “what the smash are you talking about?”
“You gotta help me, Floyder. There must be something you and Randall can do.”
Jim was alluding to Randall Mains, co-owner of PATHMAKER MARKETING, a firm that specializes in Internet Marketing and Premier Blogging Services, as well as other Internet projects ranging from Online Fund Raising for Non-Profit Marketers to Search Engine Optimization Services. For the life of me, though, I couldn’t connect Jim’s nudity proclamation with Pathmaker Marketing!
Jim’s facial expression could now only be described as pleading, so I knew I was going to have to get down to the bottom of what was going on.
“Jim,” I began succinctly, “tell me exactly what happened.”
“Well, “ he began, “remember last night when you told me the importance of Search Engine Optimization, and how that both me and my Sporting Goods store should have a presence on the Internet?’
“Yes,” I assured him.
“Well, I had a few minutes this morning so I typed my own name into a Google search and it popped up right there on my computer screen that I am a Nudist. And, Floyder, it even had pictures!”
“You saw a nude picture of yourself?” I asked, my voice almost as excited as his.
“Of course not! Floyder, I already told you, I ain’t no nudist!”
More than a little confused, I whipped out my laptop and set it up. By the time I had logged in and started my search, we had quite a crowd forming a half circle around the table. Everyone was so interested I didn’t have the heart to ask them to leave, and, apparently, Jim didn’t have the inclination to. Finally the link popped up, and when I clicked on it sure enough, there was a photo. Only it wasn’t Jim, and he wasn’t nude.
“See, see what I mean. That’s not me,” Jim proclaimed.
I took a moment and read the brief bio. The gentleman pictured had the same name as Jim, of course, but was nearly forty years his senior and lived in Pensacola, Florida. Everyone drifted away, apparently disappointed the man was adorned in a bathing suit and beach robe rather than being natural, and Jim and I were again alone.
“Floyder, what am I going to do?”
“Well, Jim, you have discovered what a number of other people are learning. It is important that you protect your personal branding online – – both of your personal name and your business. What you need to do is spend either the time, or money, to make sure that when your name, and your company’s name, is typed in for a Google Search, the Jim they find is the one they are looking for.”
“Can Pathmaker do that?” Jim asked.
“Yes, we can, and very effectively I might add.”
“Good! I’m going to call Randall right now and set up an appointment. But before I do, will you do me a favor?’
“Will you call Martha and tell her I ain’t never been a nudist?’
The plea in his eyes was greater than the one in his voice, and there was no way I could say “no” to either!
Get Pathmaker Marketing to evaluate your personal brand on Google, Yahoo, Bing and AOL, and determine what you can do to displace any adverse listings that might appear. Contact us at 1-623-322-3334 for a free consultation.
“Floyder, I am ready!!!”
Not only did Jim’s proclamation get my attention, it got the attention of everyone in the place. And, like me, they could all see that Jim was, in fact, ready. The question was – – ready for what? He was attired in some of the most unique garb I have ever seen anyone wear. His outfit looked like a cross between a Haz-Mat suit and something retrieved from the prop storage unit of a really bad Science Fiction movie. Where he actually did acquire all of the various parts of his outfit was a mystery, but not as confusing as why he had chosen to dress that way – – and then announce to me that he was ready. By now everyone had actually gathered around us, and I figured we should find out what was going on.
“Jim,” I asked, “what are you prepared for?
“The contest. I heard you and Randall talking about a contest where you have to sweep steaks. I have been around enough raw meat to know that it can get more than a little nasty, so I thought I had better get an outfit that would protect me from all the yuckiness.”
If you have read many of my other blogs you already know about Jim. Owner of an independent Sporting Goods Store, he is, to the best of his ability, trying to go “Hi Tech” with his Marketing. And, as a result, he sometimes gets his wires crossed in regard to the different programs being offered. That, obviously, is what had happened this time. Jim had joined Randall Mains, Director of Pathmaker Marketing, and I the other day late in a conversation we were having regarding the various aspects of a project we are working on for a client. Pathmaker’s area of expertise is coming up with Internet Marketing Ideas, which ranges from Keyword Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Services to Premier Blogging Services and everything in between. For this particular client, the “contest program” that we are employing includes the base contest, a sweepstakes, and a giveaway. Jim, having heard only bits and pieces of what was being said, surmised that there was a contest where the winner would be the one who could best sweep steaks. I smiled at Jim as I explained to him, and all of those present, what Randall and I had actually been talking about.
The loud groan from the crowd indicated that everyone present was hoping to watch the steak sweeping actually take place. Everyone but Jim drifted away, and once we were alone he just gave me a somewhat sheepish grin. I smiled back, knowing that to him a steak-sweeping contest might actually be a valid Small Business Marketing Strategy. As I thought about it, I could almost accept that it could be an Internet Business Marketing Promotion if you reached the right Target Market with an E-mail blast.
“Floyder,” Jim said, breaking my train of thought, “is the contest program working?”
I assured him that it was. So well, in fact, that this was actually the second contest we are doing for the client. That seemed to satisfy him, and, bidding me adieu, he sauntered out of the restaurant to parts unknown. I, on the other hand, could only wonder if he would have, in fact, won the steak-sweeping contest!
To preview our real NLT Facebook Sweepstakes, Bible Contest and Giveaway, visit the linked copy in this string of text through April 30, 2010. You could enter to win one of our daily NLT Bibles or the Grand Prize of a trip to Hawaii.