John Lennon, Dimebag Darrell, and SEO

guitarIn addition to being an SEO, I am also a musician. Because of this, December 8th carries a great deal of significance to me: it was the date that two of my biggest influences were slain. Both John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell Abbot (Pantera, Damageplan) not only created timeless music that helped define rock and roll, pushing it into uncharted territory, they did it with different, yet admirable approaches that I try to bring to SEO every day.

John Lennon’s Vision

“The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.”
– John Lennon

As a Beatle, he not only helped lay the blueprint of rock and roll that we still use today, he helped elevate it to something more than music. In his solo career, he saw the potential of his music to act as a vehicle for something bigger. He used music to call out injustices. He used his music to inspire hope. He used his music to make a difference.

I see the internet as something similar. The internet is a superhighway; each of our clients has a message. As an SEO, I can help be part of the vehicle that gets the message in front of the people for whom it will make a difference, whether that difference is: helping people plan for retirement so they don’t have to work forever, helping those with cancer find new/different treatment options, helping young couples find interior design materials that can help turn their first house into a home, and more.

Each of our clients exist because their products or services make a difference to their consumers. Remembering that what we do, as SEOs, makes a difference in the lives of thousands (even millions) of people is both motivating and rewarding.

Dimebag Darrell’s Passion

“When I tried to play something and screwed up, I’d hear some other note that would come into play. Then I started trying different things to find the beauty in it.”
-Dimebag Darrell

Heavy metal, baby. Whether you love it, or whether you don’t, like any genre of music, it has its prominent figures. In heavy metal, Dimebag Darrell is a character who cast a long shadow. In the early ’90s when grunge and alt-rock were rolling across the rock landscape, many metal bands tried changing to fit in. Some simply quit.

Not Pantera.

They stayed the course. And they turned out some of the most well-respected and best-selling albums in heavy metal history. Through it all, however, Darrell’s position was never militant or about “fighting the fight in the name of heavy metal”; it was about giving your everything to the things you love and believe in. He loved heavy metal. He lived heavy metal. As a result, his passion translated into the music. It was in every note he played, every riff he wrote, every show he played, even the one he was playing when his was life ended on stage – following his passion and doing what he loved to do.

I’m fortunate, as an SEO, to be doing something I love for a living. I don’t just punch the clock and go through the process. I read up on my own time. I take a ridiculous amount of notes. I keep an eagle eye on how the changes I implement are making a difference for my clients. And while a number one ranking on every keyword for each of my clients may not be a realistic goal, it’s a goal I strive for nonetheless – because passion is never discouraged by “the odds.”

And I love that I’m surrounded by co-workers who share that same passion.

So What About You?

Who are your influences? What have you learned from them? Are you using that in your own life? In your own work? And if not, is it because you simply haven’t taken the time to see where their influence can apply in your life?

Isn’t it time you did?