Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seeing Needs

This is my last blog on here; however, you can read this blog at agentspayingforward.blogspot.com

Be well,



For those of us who grew up with cartoons like G.I Joe and Duck Tales, we forever have mantras such as “And knowing is half the battle!” and “Work smarter, not harderer!” stuck in our heads. By now, many of you know that I am the guy who runs SEOBridges.com, and I have connected with many of you via Facebook or Twitter. A week after I launched my site, I am on the top of Google’s list, but I need to keep gaining knowledge in order to stay there.

Right now, I am gathering addresses of potential clients here in the San Diego area.After I gather all 560 or so of those address, I will research several of those companies. It doesn’t make sense to research an entire population, when a sample will do the job.Then, I will provide services to meet the needs of those companies. After that, I will send out letters of introduction to those companies. Yes, actual letters.

It’s important to slow down and take the time to development relationships with people. I have come to understand that people care what you know, as well as who you know, but they also care that you know their needs.

When I get ready to send out those letters of introduction, I will take the time, as best I can, to find out those companies’ needs. Running a business is about developing relationships, seeing needs, and letting your clients know you care about their well being.

Until next week,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's in a name?

About a month ago, I came to the painful conclusion that I was fighting an uphill battle by offering to write SEO content, yet offering it on erickpettersen.com. I chose to name my site erickpettersen.com for two reasons. The first was that I consider myself a man of many talents and the other was that I wanted to get my name out there before I got my product out there. Now, that I have chosen which of my many talents I feel is the most financially lucrative, as well as I feel I have gotten my name out there, it is time for me to start marketing the service I offer.

So, yesterday I launch my new site (http://www.seobridges.com), which features a slightly new design and different services than before. I chose this name because for the last few months the saying, “Building social bridges one word at a time” has appeared on almost every page of my site. So, when I checked Godaddy and saw that that name was available, I snatched it up. Then, for the next month, which has been for about the last month, I redesigned my site.

After a month of hard work, the work is not yet over. The work is never over. For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, we know that the work is never over. Yet, for us, it’s almost like the ultimate chess game of the mind.

When I lived in Boston I adopted the motto, “the approach is everything,” and that attitude landed me a pretty decent job in the hospitality industry. When I started looking for a job, I had little money, but I knew if I didn’t look the part no one would take me seriously. And if nothing else, I knew I wouldn’t take me seriously. So, I shelled out some big bucks for a new suit and a nice pair of shoes. I think I wore them three or four times, but that fourth time was the golden ticket.

During my tenure with that company, which required me to act ac liaison between our clients and other businesses, a client asked me why I chose to use a certain business over others. (I can’t tell you much because they might be listening; though, the company was Circles, for those of you who might know of them). Anyhow, I told my client that I chose that business for two reasons: when I looked at their website, it was very professionally done; and when I called and told them of the reason for my call, they were very polite and answered all of my questions. In their case, the approach was everything. The next day, my client called me back, after I had put her in contact with the business and she said she was very pleased that I had chosen them.

So, I am not wearing a suit. I haven’t worn a suit for more than 6 months. I dress nice when I go out, but a suite would be overkill. The approach is everything. Now that I’ve gotten my name out there, it’s time to start getting my business out there. Erickpettersen.com was my way of introducing myself to the San Diego community. Now that I feel I have done that, it’s time for the service I offer to take the lead. In that sense, introducing myself, and now introducing my services is the approach.

Check out my services. I offer various packages and specials, especially for non-profits organizations; and you can hire me on Agentspayingforward.com. In the future, I hope to offer my services as Green SEO content, but first I need to focus on what’s right in front of me.
Keep connecting,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Qualities of Leadership

This last weekend, a national audience viewed a great example of how not to connect.  At the end one of the greatest upsets in sports history, the leader of that team left the game without shaking the hands of the players on the other team.  The day after that event, that player faced accusations of his unsportsmanlike like conduct, excused his behavior rather than accepting responsibility.  In the same way that a player or coach walking off of a court without shaking the hands of their opponents shows something about their character, any business person who does not conduct him/herself in a team like manner reveals something about their character.

I played high school baseball, and my coach told us that we practice like we play.   Everyday we dressed in full uniform and practiced like we played.  Over a three year period (I transferred my sr. yr.) we went 29-1 during the regular seasons.  I believe ‘presentation is everything,’ and I surround myself with people who also follow that principle.

It is important that you practice like you play; though, it’s just important that you surround yourself with others who also practice like they play.  First, always dress in full uniform.  Everyday, I wake at 5, take a shower, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, and read.  Everyday, I make sure I’m working in a clean room with a made bed.  I work at home, and my clients don’t care what I or my room looks like.  They only care that I get the job done.  The environment we create for ourselves begins at home.

Whether you are self-employed, an employer, or a co-worker, the people on your team are part of your environment just as much as your daily routine.  The clients you attract is evidenced by the team you create, and the team you create is evidenced by how you conduct yourself in all situations.   

Since that sports upset this past weekend, Sports analyst have begun to question the future of that one player and that team.  I suspect that like other teams that have experienced major upsets, how that one player conducts himself in the months and years to come will determine the future of that organization.  In the same way, if you are a leader of any type of organization,  how you conduct yourself in all circumstances will determine the future of your organization.


Until next week, Keep connecting.  And come join the growing list of people on People Connect and AgentsPayingForward.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Connecting Through Our Word

Good morning,

So, it’s Thursday, and usually I post these on Tuesdays.  A friend once told me an apology comes without ‘ifs, ands, or buts,’ so I apologize for the two day delay of this blog. 

Yesterday, I had such  an awesome customer service experience that I wanted to share it with you.  Several months ago, I bought a pair of jeans at Eddie Bauer.  Last week, the back of one of the knees came out of the dryer shredded.  Eddie Bauer stands behind all of their products with a 100% no excuses guarantee, so I decide to try that guarantee out.

Last night, I walked into a local Eddie Bauer.  When the sales lady greeted me, I held up the pants and told her the story.  She looked at the tears, asked me if I wanted to look for another pair.  After I said yes, she said she would hold the ripped pair behind the counter.

A few minutes later, after I found my size, and tried them on, just to be on the extra safe side, I brought them to the front counter.  The guy behind the counter asked me if I had a receipt. Thinking that my lack of a receipt would get me something like a $25 store credit, which would leave me with a bill of $25 or more, I admitted to my lack of a receipt.  He said ‘no problem,’ continued on with the transaction, asked me if I wanted a bag (As a Green travel writer, my conscious and my mouth said no), then handed me a receipt.  I thanked him and walked out of the store with a brand new pair of Eddie Bauer jeans no questions asked.

Few people know the history of Eddie Bauer.  Few people know that he was the first person to use Down in jackets, which he provided to our soldiers in World War II.  Few people know the story of the guy who brought a tennis racket (When Eddie made tennis rackets) back to him, said it got ruined, and Eddie restrung the racket in spite of examining it and determining that the racket got ruined in the rain. 

One thing everybody who buys Eddie Bauer merchandise knows is that years after Eddie Bauer’s death his legacy lives on.  Eddie Bauer made a name for himself by standing behind his products, an he demonstrated that by naming his store Eddie Bauer.  Yesterday, they earned themselves another life long customer.

If you want to connect with people, be a man or woman of your word.  Among many others, one of my mottos is, “If I can’t be anything else, I can be a man of my word.”  I created the concept of People Connect because I want to connect with people who realize if they can’t be anything else, they can be men or women of their word.  Today, I encourage you to connect, but I encourage you to connect by standing behind whatever service or product you offer.

As a nation, we have come to a place of absolute desperation, because we don’t know whom to trust anymore.  And we don’t know who to trust because we’ve become a nation of isolationists who stand within the shadows rather than by our word.  If we’re going to get out of this economic slump, if we’re going to learn to trust our teammates, we need to connect with each other.  That means we need to hold each other accountable, and we need to be men and women of our word.


Until next week, keep connecting.




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your Anchor

Family is awesome। Okay, my family is awesome. My 16 year old Nephew just walked into my room to use my bathroom, so he can head off to his first day at the local high school. Across the hall from me, my brother and sister-in-law, who flew to California from Minnesota with their family, sleep off another long day of keeping up with their four kids and one granddaughter. Over the weekend, my household went from three to 15, which happens every few years. Sometimes it gets up to about twenty, but my sister Kristina went to Cancun. Since neither of her daughter’s drives, they can’t come down here. Though, there is not shortage of laughter.

I cherish the summer days that my brother and his family spend with us, because while they do not happen that often, they happen। For several years, my brother Tom and his family never came to California. I don’t know why, but I assume it always came down to money. During those years, if I wanted to see him, I had to fly to Minnesota; and since all of my money went to paying for college, rather than taking leisurely trips, I went for several years without seeing my brother and his family. In fact, his two youngest children reached and passed several of their childhood years before I met either of them. Now, when Tom and his family fly out here, all of my surrounding family from southern California, Arizona, and Nevada takes a week off and joins the festivities.

For an entire week, we play card games, throw each other in the pool, update each other with stories about our life’s happenings, and eat brawts। Yesterday, Tom told me he is thinking about moving out this way, but he said right now the slow economy keeps him in northern Minnesota। Last night, after we finished the dinner my sister-in-law Mary cooked for the family, we celebrated my niece Brittany’s upcoming 15th birthday with Cake (my brother John forgot the ice cream), then five of us sat around the dining room table and shared more stories. After we finished our series of stories, we took our plates to the kitchen, I swiped a finger full of cake frosting onto my finger, wiped the rest of the frosting into the garbage, and set my plate and fork on the counter. Standing behind Tom’s wife Tammy, I reached out my cake frosted finger in front of her, and smeared it on her face. She called me a ‘dork,’ told me to sleep with one eye open, and went to clean her face. Our days of laughter, story telling, watching each other’s children grow into young men and women, and enjoying each other’s company will end.

For now, I enjoy them, because life will change. I tend not to hang around one spot for too long, so a year from now I may be in northern California or in a different state (I doubt it will be that soon). For now I enjoy the incessant noise, one or another of my nieces or nephews walking into my room and using my shower (I don’t even mind that they squeeze the toothpaste from the middle), my great niece looking wide eyed at the big people, and my sister Deb explaining the rules of Rummy 500 to me for the umpteenth time. Life may go on, but opportunities to enjoy today and the people who surround you today will end.

In all of your connections with people throughout your life, keep your family closest. I spent two years in Boston while my family enjoyed each other 3,000 miles away. And while I will always remember and be thankful for my time in Boston, the loneliness of holidays spent alone, birthdays singing ‘happy birthday to me,’ late night subway rides on the orange line hoping I didn’t get mugged, and breaking up potential bar fights between my Laker buddies and Celtic fanatics made me realize that of all of the connections I wanted to make in order to pursue my life goals, none of those connections mattered without family.

At the cost of sounding preachy, I am going to encourage you today to make your first and strongest connections with your family। All of those connections you make throughout your life are like a chain, but your family is the anchor that keeps your ship from drifting too far. You can make all of the connections in the world that will lead to wherever you want to get to, but without that anchor that is your family the ship that is your life will drift out to sea.

I am going to go enjoy my family। Until next week, keep connecting.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Quick Tips to Connecting People (Virtually)

Today, I’m going to write a crash course on my methods to connect people to people by getting people to your web site.  Right now, I am working on multiple projects.  Some of them have a little more steam under them than others.  Those that have steam, I fuel; those that don’t I fuel from the flames of those projects that have steam.

Go to SDgreenlife.com.  If you go to the about section, you will notice a guy who stole my picture and my name writes for that website.  I confess, it’s me.  We’re growing and getting some attention.  If you enter in the words ‘San Diego Green Life’ SDgreenlife is the second result.  Though, I’m sure we’ll go back to No. 1, since the UCSD link is date specific. 

Okay, so our site's listing on Google dramatically changes when you delete the word ‘Green.’  Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Erick, marketing isn’t your strong suit.”  Sure it is, and the numbers show.  The other night, I got an e-mail from the publisher, who said my efforts are paying off.  In the first three days of May, we already had 75% of the readership we had throughout the entire month of April. 

The first thing I did was find out who our competitors were.  After that, I did a little keyword research.  SDgreenlife is rich with such keywords as ‘Green,’ ‘Sustainable,’ and other words.  A little more than a month ago I started a Facebook page for SDgreenlife.  This last weekend I accepted our 100th friend, so to celebrate I started Tweeting.  As of this morning, just 48 hours later, we have 80 followers all over the world.  Okay, so we’re no Ashton Kutcher, but he’s overrated.

When I started the FB page, I decided to focus on finding friends who would be the most interested in our project.  People in San Diego, who take an interest in Green issues.  Now, a little more than a month later, 73 of our 102 friends are here in San Diego.  This last week, I interviewed a couple of people from our Facebook page for articles that you will be able to see in next month’s issue.  I am using our FB page to get San Diegans involved.

Okay, so when I started Twitter, I focused on an exchange of information, rather than Green San Diegans.  For me, Twitter is like a news wire.  Like standing at a virtual water cooler.  Honestly, I neither have the time nor the interest in reading Tweets about the latest Hollywood gossip.  I am using Twitter as a news source, which I can pass on to other Green people.

You’re business relies on developing lasting partnerships, whether you find those relationships through Google, Facebook, your local church, or hiring a skywriter to write ‘Eat at Joes’ over the beach at sunset. 

Of course, this is my method and may not work for every person, or in every situation, but this is the one that works for me.  If you would like to follow SDgreenlife on Twitter or join our Facebook page, we would welcome your friendship.


Until next week keep connecting,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Power of Positive Thoughts

I will stay healthy, during this pandemic of the Swine Flu, because I think positive thoughts.  Positive thoughts got me through a 1984 brain surgery (A.V. Malformation).  Positive thoughts got me through a 2003 car collision, in which I hit the back of a stopped minivan, while going 70 mph.  And they will get me through the Swine Flu outbreak.  Throughout my life, positive thoughts helped me get from one day to the next. 

Sometimes positive thoughts are like lifting mental weights, other times they are like a mental tug of war match.  When they are like lifting mental weights, the results depend on your thoughts.  Those are the times when you want mental spotters who believe in your goals, but achieving those goals depends on you.  When they are like tug of war, you can think positive thoughts all you want, but if your opponents (less than positive thinkers) outweigh your positive thoughts their less than positive thoughts will prevail.  Of course, in the mental tug of war example, you need other positive thinkers, but they take a more active role. 

I think forward.  I see myself in my mind’s eye signing books after my first novel’s published, celebrating a loved one’s birthday, running with my dog on the beach, and just enjoying life.  I learned the power of thought during my early childhood, when I noticed many of my thoughts came true.  When I thought positive thoughts, positive things happened; but when I thought not so positive thoughs, not so positive things happened.  Over time, I trained my mind to think positive thoughts by visualizing positive outcomes. 

Think positive thoughts.  They will get you through this economic crisis, they will get you through the Swine Flu pandemic.  So, what happens if you think positive thoughts and not so positive things happen?  Keep thinking positive thoughts.  

Here are some news sites that focus on positive thoughts.

Good News Network Happy News Good News Daily


Keep Connecting,