Adaptability – Introspection From Jon Rawls

There is a lot of cool stuff going on in the world today… That’s what I tell myself as I jump from project to project.

Emilie Wapnick of of gave a Ted talk in April 2015 about people who are adaptable, passionate and who also bore easily. These people, she says, are Multipotentialites, Polymaths or Renaissance Men. The value that these people add to society is innovation from living on the edge of concentrations, knowing many things and applying knowledge from across a wide range of experience as opposed to a highly specialized focus.

Here is the video that started me on this train of thought this morning, Emily Wapnick talking about Multipotentialites, Polymaths and Renaissance Men:

I am excited about the economy
I am passionate about human morality
I am obsessive with SEO and Social Media

All of these things, as they come together make me a great consultant. I learned a long time ago that most business owners want to focus on their businesses, and their own set of passions. Cheese makers want to focus on cheese, gym owners want to focus on fitness and nutrition and so on. Most entrepreneurs don’t want to have to learn the ins and outs of web design in order to OWN a website. The same hold true with social media, advertising and a host of other marketing opportunities. It doesn’t help that facebook and google change the game every 4-6 months, but that’s what really excites me, there is always a new, fresh, level playing field somewhere.

idea synthesis rapid learning adaptability

Having multiple focuses can add specific value to innovation.

  • Idea Synthesis
  • Rapid Learning
  • Adaptability

“Innovation happens at the intersections”

I have told myself for a long time “I am good at figuring out what makes people tick.”, but that manifests as a whole pile of exercises and expertises.

Knowing that my business value lies in figuring things out, and then working with a specialist to apply the knowledge has been massively rewarding for me. I like spending time on twitter, with new ways to publish facebook posts, or link building on random sites just to see how it affects their google ranking. All of these traits and interests make for a great consultant. An expert in new, social marketing, that can make a huge difference in the businesses of people that want to stay focussed on their own passions.

Emilie Wapnick talked about “Innovation happening at the intersections”, which really highlighted that falling somewhere on a scale of being a “Jack of All Trades” has served me well. Honestly I think that most business owners have similar afflictions, and I am happy that there are other people out there that understand we don’t all have to be highly specialized to be effective. We can provide massive value with our careers and businesses, while still being able to explore many disciplines.

SEO Case Study : Sponsored Content

Local home page with sponsored content from the Arts Council

I have been working on pretty much non-stop for the last 3-4 months. Those of you who know me, know that when I get obsessive, cool things happen.

The first client to take me up on sponsoring articles was the Santa Cruz Arts Council. I am very grateful to them for taking a chance on our new (although passionate) project, and am very excited that we were able to show some fun and immediate results.

These articles are cool because they are legitimate articles, written by real journalists, and they are readable. These articles aren’t advertorial content, and they won’t turn readers away or leave them feeling betrayed. These sponsored articles do work like ads, with business names in the titles, logos in the content thumbnails and footer ads at the end of the article. These articles do not disappear like ads though, they continue to work week after week, reinforcing a solid and positive brand message. Once this sponsored content is up, it stays up, even after the full advertising budget has been spent. With these articles though, I was really hoping for some solid secondary gain. The secondary gain I was hoping for was exposure (or dominance) across a wide range of longtail and highly targeted search keywords, keywords that the sponsor could receive benefit from.

Because we are hiring professional, experienced writers and journalists to create unique and readable content, the search engines are immediately rewarding us. In fact, the search engines are rewarding us spectacularly, much sooner than I had hoped!

Here is an example:

(Out of the 8 articles we ran for the Arts Council on, this “Mezza9” is probably the best result.)

We wrote an article titled “Open Studios Featured Artist: Mezza9 Beecomb” about the work of artist Mezza9 Beecomb. After 8 weeks, we see that the article has not only shown up in Google, but it is ranking as #2 on a non-cookied search for the artist’s name “Mezza9 Beecomb“.

Mezza9 Beecomb article showing in Google search results

Mezza9 Beecomb article showing in Google search results

We are seeing very similar results at #3 for Sonia Calderon.

Sonia Calderon article showing in Google search results

Sonia Calderon article showing in Google search results

And another great result, for F.J. Anderson, shows up at #5 AND #6 in Google, but as an added bonus, both of our results beat out Instagram.

F.J. Anderson article showing in Google search results

F.J. Anderson article showing in Google search results

This should be exciting for this site’s article sponsors for a number of reasons:

  • The article is showing in search for new terms, and new terms mean new traffic.
  • We are creating great, positive, helpful content for these artists. Which adds value to the whole community.
  • The article names are advertising for the sponsor, (i.e.:”Open Studios Featured Artist…” includes the name of the sponsor’s program) and image results are showing the sponsors logo watermarked onto a photo.
  • These search results can get better over time, steadily or suddenly increasing in ranking.
  • These aren’t ads, they won’t disappear when an ad budget runs out, this is legitimate long-term content that could continue sending traffic and increasing brand awareness for YEARS!

The results were mixed over the full set of eight articles. Articles for Mott Jordan and Taylor Reinhold are showing on the second page of search results, but will hopefully move up over time. Serene Silva is showing as an image result with an Arts council logo (which is also cool)! And some of the articles, namely Emerson Murray and Mark Yanowsky are being drowned out by results for celebrities with the same or similar names. So, even though the articles aren’t guaranteed to show up in search, I am VERY happy with these results.

Serene Silva article showing in Google image search results with the sponsor logo

Serene Silva article showing in Google image search results with the sponsor logo

These results are great across the board. This is great for the artists, this is GREAT for the Sponsors, this is great for the writers, this is great for the whole art community in Santa Cruz!

This is organic, healthy and powerful SEO, that we will continue to cultivate and maximize for our clients!

***UPDATE 11/3/15***

These are the results, in a non-cookied (incognito) google search as of today.

  • Mezza9 Beecomb – Position 2
  • Mott Jordan – Position 3 (previously on page 2!)
  • Mark Yanowsky – Position 4 (previously not even in top 100 results)
  • F.J. Anderson – Positions 4, 6 and 7
  • Serene Silva – Position 5 and watermarked photo in position 7
  • Sonia Calderon – Position 5
  • Taylor Reinhold – Now on the FIRST Page of results at Position 8!
  • Emerson Murray – First page, Position 9 (previously not even in top 100 results)

These results will never be fixed in stone, but I am very happy to see them moving up and continuing to capture attention and drive additional traffic.

Supporting Local Artists

Artists should be able to make a living with their art. Over the last half dozen years running nomBat Branding, I feel that I have learned a thing or two about selling art, and I want to be able to share some of that knowledge with the Santa Cruz art community.

This Is Art

Before a person buys a piece of art they need to know something about that art. Before a person can be a fan they need to know something about the artist, something about the content, they need to know the story behind the art. And that is where we are hoping to come in.

The connection we are hoping to offer to artists is the introduction to the story behind the art. Our evetual goal on will be to publish a Featured Artist every day. So keep your eyes open for stories about your soon-to-be favorite artists and their connection to Santa Cruz. And if you know a great artists, please send them our way, you can find our art submission page here: Submit Your Artwork

Santa Cruz Artists

Three Strikes – Bing Maps Streetside Fail

I just remembered today that Jules and I had been out on a walk, and a bing mapping car drove by us. I think it would pretty cool to see us on the “Streetside” map, and so I went looking at bing maps. This is the first time I have used their maps for Streetside views as far as I remember, so I was interested to see them in action.

First I tried pulling the map up on my Chromebook, a computer that I am a huge fan of.

Bing Maps - chromebook

Unfortunately, bing maps doesn’t work on ANY chromebooks, they don’t have an app that supports Streetside either.

Alright, so it doesn’t play well with Chrome, lets try it out on my iphone.

Bing Maps - iphone


Well that didn’t work, since there is no Streetside feature or button at all, let’s try it on a Macbook.


Ok Bing, you failed on a Chromebook, you failed on an iPhone and failed on a Macbook Pro. Three strikes and you are out, maybe next time I am at my grandparents house I will try again on their PC running Windows XP and Internet Explorer.