What is the difference between these two lines:
“Internet Marketing is the great marriage of technology, modernity, psychology, business, marketing, pop culture, customer service, and human intelligence.”
“The internet today is a combination of technology, modernity, psychology, business, marketing, pop culture, customer service and design.”
The answer: I wrote the first one, & the second one I found on a website that sells SEO to interior designers. And, the second one doesn’t capitalize the I in Internet, which reveals a lack of professionalism as Internet is spelled with a capital I- see Wikipedia for the full explanation, if you care.
It is outright theft. And, the rest of the page was no better.
“World-class, yet affordable, Internet Marketing” is the motto of Ken & team. They judge their success not on their own profitability but rather on the return on investment (ROI) and increased profitability of their clients. Kenneth Lewis & Associates takes pride in their client’s websites reaching the top of search engine results- which they always do. This team of 5 take much joy in seeing their clients gain increased traffic, new customers, more sales, increased revenues, and greater profitability. Ken is genuinely concerned with his client’s earning high ROI from their Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization campaigns, and prices and strategizes in order to achieve this aim.”
“World-class, yet affordable, SEO and Internet Marketing” is our motto. We base our success not only on profitability, but the number of leads and new business that our clients receive. SEO for Interior Designers takes great pride in our client’s websites. Our team ensures that you gain increased traffic, new customers, more sales, increased revenues and greater profitability. Our top priority is to make sure your interior design firm is earning a high return-on-investment (ROI) from your Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization campaigns.”
This isn’t just copying marketing verbiage- it is copying my essential relationship to ethical, client-centered business. I wouldn’t care if they borrowed something that was superficial, but this is pointing at the essence of my business relationships- this is the ground I stand on.
I assumed that it was a youngster who did this, or someone from a developing country- both of which I understand their naivety. But, my investigations led me to discover that this was done by an interior designer who decided to pick up a second stream of income as an SEO. According to him, he hired someone locally who was apparently experienced in Internet Marketing, and this is what this hired guy created for him- a copy. You can imagine how original his work would be for his paying clients. (Note: I am not opposed to multiple streams of income. I am just opposed to pretending that you are more professional than you really are and plagiarizing to feed that presentation).
Here is the domain name registration details with the
thief’s designer’s name on it:
And, his design website (he uses two last names and thus the screenshot here):
The Ethics of Nickel-and-Diming
It is not fair that I target just this one provider, but since he copied my words he got my undivided attention. What he does is unfortunately the norm in this industry.
He offers website development packages that offer limited pages, as for the same prices we offer unlimited pages. He promises that this includes SEO services, but these services are just on-site SEO which constitutes a tiny percent of what goes into a real SEO campaign. Most everything he offers as add-ons for additional money we include in with no additional fees.
He says “You provide the content (simply email it to us), we’ll update your blog… Price: $50 per submission.” We do this for free for all of our clients. You can send us three blogs a week, which is almost 15 per month, and you don’t get charged a penny extra. He’d charge you $750 for that service.
Expertise and Ethics
He even copied many of my business processes. But, it needs to be clear that just because you have the tools in your kitchen doesn’t mean you can cook. The guy who delivers the produce cannot adequately stand in for the Head Chef, even if he notices and purchases the Chef’s preferred knives.
It took me almost a decade to understand the science and develop my art of SEO, and that experience is deeply embedded in every strategy in my head and goes into every click that I make on the keyboard.
He tried to conceal his identity, yet anyone who knows the online world could find it within seconds as I did (see investigation link above). Strange his name shows up on his own SEO site as a customer testimonial. He stated, on a phone call with me, that he felt that it was ethical because he says that his Internet Marketing business got top results for his Interior Design business.
I believe in disclosing conflicts of interests. I take things like this seriously. A relationship founded on deception or on withholding information can only lead to wounds. I disclose all, which is part of why my prices are so low compared to my competitors.
On his SEO “About Us” page he writes about his business philosophy (all copied from my site) and not about who he is. He conceals his identity. No surprise, as what interior designer wants to hire another interior designer to do their I.T. stuff. That would be as popular as me trying to sell interior design services to my Internet Marketing community because of my exposure to interior design through my work. So, he hides his affiliation with the SEO site and it becomes a business without a face.
He offers a page that reads: “Check out our “Picks” for some Must have WordPress plugins,” without doing the ethical thing of disclosing that all of those links are affiliate links, which means he gets paid for you buying those plugins.
“Blogging for Business E-Book we highly recommend below. You’ll get hours of blogging for business consultation for a only $49.” Again, no disclosure that this recommendation is an affiliate program that earns him cash whether or not it serves you.
One of the biggest hurdles in my business is getting trust from a potential client. So many of my potential clients come to me abused and neglected by other providers. And, they are rightly defensive and afraid- they have not been treated well by Internet Marketing providers.
These days the wounds are getting deeper and deeper. Clients aren’t getting their websites developed on time and on budget. They are getting squeezed by the providers who are always looking for more money, and they are not getting their promised results. They are getting tricked into using websites that have the wrong technologies and thus don’t provide search engine friendliness. Many of these sites are beautiful, but they are dysfunctional. These sites look like supermodels, and their insides are just as impoverished and neglected.
I offer genuine services at a fraction of what this site is selling them for. Please don’t be deceived by anyone claiming expertise. Please don’t take anyone seriously who solicits you via the phone. Please don’t test out a new company. Only use recommended providers- recommended by people you know- not by the words that they choose to post on their website. If you don’t know someone who has had Internet Marketing success for their Interior Design business than ask an industry leader for a recommendation.
I have a relationship with the interior design community. When someone recommends my services, their and my reputation are on the line. I do nothing short of being fully committed to my client’s success to continue building this trust.
I come from a lineage of customer service. My family owns and operates the top hotel in Chicago based upon “value” according to TripAdvisor reviews. Offering reasonably priced services with exceptional customer service is in my DNA. Both at the hotel and in my marketing firm, we are concerned about the well-being of our guests/clients. We choose to run our businesses on very thin margins in the name of giving the financial advantage to our guests/clients.
We are deeply concerned about their experience, their comfort, and their satisfaction. We don’t take advantage of the power imbalance that arises from having a service that they need. We treat our guests/clients as we would like to be treated.
Our hotel includes complimentary Wifi, breakfast, premium movie channels, fitness center, business center, and shuttle service. Our shuttle doesn’t just take guests two and from the nearby Midway Airport, it takes guests anywhere they’d like to go in a 2 miles radius (and often well beyond that radius). We don’t nickel and dime, and our guests appreciate it.
Our Internet Marketing packages include everything needed to build an online presence, including website development, website and email hosting, content management with unlimited postings and pages, SEO, social media management, email support, advertising support, etc. We never request additional funds from clients unless they want to do an “SEO booster” to gain quicker traction in a competitive marketplace.
That is why when I wrote it, I meant it: we offer “world-class, yet affordable, Internet Marketing.”