One year ago today, on Tuesday 7th May 2013, I took the plunge. I thought I’d mark the occasion of my freelance SEO & PPC business’ 1st birthday by answering a question I’ve been asked a few times by a fair few people: why “Morgan Online Marketing?”
First things first though… One year. Wow. It’s flown by. I’d like to take this opportunity to say: to the person who told me that “[I] wouldn’t last a day in self-employment,” not only did I prove you wrong, but I’ve done so 365 times over. How do you like that? Thanks for driving and inspiring me.
Anyway, now that that’s off my chest… Back to the name. I’ve had a range of feedback, from people telling me it’s strong and respectable, to a local business advisor simply declaring “nah, not sexy enough…” when he first heard it (which pissed me off at the time, but now, looking back, I just find it really funny).
Now I ain’t no fancy branding expert, but I put a lot of thought into the name. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I came up with it, but when I did, I decided that it’d stick – that I wouldn’t be changing it. Here’s a few thoughts on why I went with it…
Why not SEOno?
The first thing someone said to me was: why didn’t I call my business “SEOno” after this very blog? After all, the blog had been around for years before and some people (him included) see SEOno as my ‘brand.’
Honestly? A few reasons. Firstly, it’s got the word “no” in it, which is negative. Secondly, people have trouble pronouncing it – it’s “S.E.O.no” (as in “ess-ee-oh-no”), but some people think it’s “see-oh-no.”* Also, people spell it wrong all the time (usually as “SEONo” or “Seono”). Thirdly, this blog started out as a hobby, and its content is hardly professional, which is why I thought it best to keep the two entities separate.
* You’d think I would’ve learnt my lesson from when I named my backing band at uni “The So-So K.O.’s” (in honour of The Wildhearts) – with people calling it things like “The Sosokos” and “The Fifty Fifty Koss” – but apparently not…
Ego! …It’s not an ego thing
I think there’s the automatic presumption that putting your name in your business name is a bit… egotistical. I don’t think of myself as an egotistical person (although one time a prospect did call me “arrogant” – although that’s a whole other story for another time). I had other reasons…
So… Why “Morgan”?
There’s actually a few reasons I threw my surname in there.
1) The George Foreman analogy: Remember George Foreman and his grill?
He became famous for the tagline: “It’s so good I put my name on it!” Given the SEO industry’s less-than-stellar reputation – given the snake oil merchants, the bad advice givers, etc. etc. – I thought that it would be more trustworthy if I put my name on the line. After all, if it were some fly-by-night con scheme then I wouldn’t dare do that, would I?
2) The Welshness factor: Morgan is also a Welsh name, and while I don’t know how much truth there is to this, I’ve heard that Welsh businesses are patriotic bunch and ideally like to do business with other Welsh businesses. So that’s gotta help.
3) In case people know me personally: Now Morgan is a common name in Wales, but for those who already knew me before I went freelance (from networking, etc.), I was hoping that they’d hopefully hear the name and think “oh, that might be Steve.”
…And why “Online Marketing” (i.e. why not “SEO”)?
I went with “Morgan Online Marketing” and not “Morgan SEO” simply because I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself. What if I were to branch out into social media marketing and other forms of online marketing in the future? Calling myself “Morgan SEO” would certainly make things tricky if that were to happen.
This has backfired slightly though, with one of my clients assuming that the name indicates that I know absolutely everything about all areas of online marketing, and when he quizzed me about email marketing (something that I’ve not touched one iota in my entire five-and-a-half year career), I basically had to shrug and say: “iunno“…
The added bonus: its abbreviated form…
Lastly, when I found out that “Morgan Online Marketing” abbreviated to “MOM,” that’s when I knew it was a keeper.
[George Foreman Play-Doh image credit – Mike Mozart]