If you came here looking for Megabolt Digital & got confused, don’t worry: you’re still in the right place. We just got a face lift. Let me explain why.
I love Megabolt Digital … but it felt small
I love the Megabolt Digital brand. I love the superhero theme, I love my little supergirl comic (I even colored her hair to look like mine!), I love the empowering copy.
But after a few years, I started to wince when I was introducing myself instead of feeling proud. I hated having to explain that it was “my superhero nickname,” and I didn’t like needing to spell it out. I didn’t like that I felt like all my copy had to fit into a superhero box, or like I had to keep up with the latest movies to keep my brand feeling fresh. I never compared digital marketing to Thanos’ gauntlet or anything … but after a while it started to feel forced & contrived instead of fun & playful.
I wanted to grow beyond Megabolt Digital
When I rebranded from “Casebolt Creative” to “Megabolt Digital,” that unveiling was the first time that I publicly declared a specialty in SEO … and the decision to specialize totally transformed my business. I started getting known as the go-to gal for SEO. My referral pipeline took off. Request for interviews & trainings rolled in.
I suddenly had more work than time. And that’s a wonderful problem to have … but it’s still a problem. I knew I needed to scale somehow, to be able to get more done in less time.
I read quite a few business books on the topic: Run Like Clockwork, E-Myth Revisited, Built to Sell. And one thing that came up in all of them was how I needed to focus my time on the things only I can do, and hire a team to take care of the “technician” tasks.
But when I started hiring my small team, it felt weird to bring them under the Megabolt Digital name. Megabolt is me. It’s my nickname, it’s a personal brand so closely aligned with my personality that putting someone else’s name on an @megaboltdigital email address just felt strange. Unprofessional, even.
(I know there are plenty of people who scale their personal brands, and I think if my actual name had been my brand and I was adding people to an @megcasebolt email, it would have been less weird … but I’ve never wanted that brand, because too many people assume my name is Megan (it’s Margaret), and building a business on my name never felt like a good idea for me.)
Be the guide, not the hero
If you’ve read Building a Storybrand or listened to the awesome podcast, this concept should feel familiar. A good brand positions the customer as the hero, and the brand is the guide who can take them on a journey … the customer is Luke Skywalker, and the brand is Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The Megabolt brand had this locked in, thanks to the copy brilliance of Natalie Taylor at The Missing Ink:
“My favorite heroes aren’t the ones you’ll find on the silver screen. The heroes I care most about are my clients. They’re the small business owners who swapped colorful capes and flashy superpowers for hard work and an unflinching commitment to changing their corner of the world — in small but important ways, every single day.”
I loved my client-as-hero copy … but having my nickname as the flagship superhero still felt too focused on me and my role, instead of my superhero clients & students.
Plus, whenever I teach SEO, I talk all the freaking time about being focused on the problems that you’re solving for your ideal clients so that you can show up in their search results when they’re trying to find a solution. Yet that didn’t feel like it was showing up in my superhero brand.
I could feel myself outgrowing my brand, but didn’t know what the next phase looked like. What’s a girl to do?
Introducing: Love at First Search
Then one day last fall, while I was writing one of my
140194 30 emails for SEOctober, the words flowed out of me. “I’ve always been a Google fangirl. I’ve been on Gmail for 15 years, I have 8 Google calendars going at all times, and the first time I opened Google Analytics, it felt like the internet made sense to me. When it comes to Google, for me it was love at first search.“
As soon as the words exited my fingertips, it was electric. I’d found my name — the thing that was going to pull it all together.
The Megabolt Digital brand has been amazing at helping people feel less uncomfortable about getting search traffic — demystifying all the jargon, and breaking it down into simple enough steps that non-techy people feel like they can actually do it.
But decreasing fear isn’t the same as increasing love. Obviously both need to happen — you can’t really love something you fear — but just making people not afraid to start didn’t feel like enough. I also wanted to cultivate a feeling of, “YES, I got another lead from Google! YES, I made it to #5 in the search results! OMG, I love how easy it is to get leads now!” ANd I wanted THAT to be the new expectation.
Would I rather be feared or loved? Umm…easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me. – Michael Scott, The Office
Love can’t exist alone — it has to be in relationship — and I’ve been talking for years about how SEO isn’t really about robots, it’s about building long-term relationships.
Love at First Search isn’t about me. It’s about YOU. And about US, working together, to get your brilliance found, finding ways to help people people find you & fall in love with you.
Plus, the Love at First Search brand felt like it could easily support the team that felt odd as I scaled Megabolt Digital … because it feels like something bigger than just me.
I’m not planning to exit my business anytime soon, but building it around my nickname made it feel like I never could — like it had to be me everywhere, like I needed to have my hand in most decisions, and be involved in most client interactions, because people expected me. I know this isn’t true — there are plenty of personal brands that have grown into teams — but for me personally, it felt like a limitation. And knowing that I’m building it so that I could sell it down the road, and have the brand be an asset not a liability, feels like an important step in the right direction.
So what does this re-brand change?
Not much, at least in the short term. It’s still me, Meg Casebolt, at the helm of the ship … but it’s growing into a bigger ship, so you may hear some new voices around here.
We’ll still be providing SEO services, both directly to business owners and also in partnership with agencies & service providers, but the way we deliver them will look a little different so that the systems can be replicatable & the team can ease the process.
And the Attract & Activate™ program isn’t going anywhere, but I’ll have some team members helping out in supporting students more thoroughly, which gives me time flexibility to build additional SEO trainings.
And the re-brand itself has been a team effort
When the words “love at first search” first arrived, my first thought was how I would make time to re-write the copy & re-design the website. But as I looked at my calendar & my waitlist of clients & my launch goals, I realized that I would never be able to do the brand justice if I was going to squeeze it into the little pockets of time I had. If I wanted to change my brand in order to grow a team, I had to build a team in order to change my brand.
So I’m incredibly grateful to Lacy Boggs of The Content Direction Agency for taking the copy I loved and giving it a facelift to be focused on love without falling into romantic.
I’m eternally impressed by Natalie deGoey of ndg creative, who took all my weird juxtapositions — “bold but sweet, playful but not juvenile, polished but not corporate” — and turned into something welcoming & warm, professional & inviting. (Breathing new life into my amazing personal brand photos from Lori & Erin Photography.)
And I couldn’t have done it without Theresa Baretta and her team at LoopLink Coachsulting, who kept the timeline on track, remembered things that slipped my mind, created a communication system … and daily prevents me from melting down & burning out.