With the founding of SearchManipulator 12 years ago, Matthew Peters had the vision of providing clients with the most advanced technology available for controlling their online reputations. As an engineer rather than a salesperson, Matthew has a strong understanding of how to navigate the complex landscape of the online world and everything that goes along with it.
Online reputations are vastly more expansive than an individual’s personal reputation, which is limited by word of mouth and other antiquated ways of communication. Whether it’s from an upset customer or an angry ex, an untruthful review can have severe effects for an individual’s personal or professional life. Additionally, developing companies or entrepreneurs who do not yet have a big internet presence will benefit from SearchManipulator’s services in order to broaden their audience. SearchManipulator, driven by a genuine desire to help, offers programs that allow consumers to regain control while SearchManipulator handles the heavy lifting. SearchManipulator is a professional search engine optimization company that places all of the positive information about a person or company at the top of search results pages using expert search engine optimization. Therefore, when that person or business is searched for online, only the reputation they desire is presented. When it comes to each customer, SearchManipulator is able to personalize each plan in order to maximize success depending on each client’s specific goals and requirements. SearchManipulator is able to assist their clients in achieving their goals more swiftly and with long-lasting success because of their in-depth grasp of continuously changing algorithms and connections to outlets that the average consumer would not have.
Keeping his company small enough to minimize needless expenses, Matthew is able to pass on the savings he makes to those who use his services. SearchManipulator provides the most effective combination of experience, cutting-edge approaches, and reasonable pricing available today. Unlike many others, Matthew, who goes above and beyond on a regular basis, does not stop there. He additionally offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on his products.
Matthew earned with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University in New York City. On the Huffington Post, CBS Money Watch, and ESPN Radio’s Lunch N Learn, he has shared his thoughts on money and investing.
How did you get started in your industry?
I started working in the online reputation management industry here in San Francisco for the company that pioneered the field. I was developing software for their outsourced overseas employees. That is when the thought occurred to me that consumers should also have access to a DIY version of online reputation management. I believed it should be in their hands rather than having to pay a company an exorbitant amount of money for something they could potentially be doing themselves. As a result, we founded the company on the basis of a do-it-yourself software package for managing your online reputation. However, we found that people didn’t care for the do-it-yourself route and wanted the services done for them. As a result, we expanded our offerings to include professional services as well.
How do you make money in your field?
We sell professional services to control how you look online. We do this through two main avenues: online reputation management where we suppress negative information and highlight the positives and then we have clients that may want to be found easier or to outrank their competitors which we help them achieve through search engine optimization (SEO).
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
When we started out selling the DIY software, we ironically became profitable when we upped the price of it from $30 to $100. I think it was a mental obstacle for some at the lower price, they didn’t trust that the software could do all we were promising whereas at the higher price it seemed more trustworthy.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Yes, I learned a hard lesson in hiring. I had hired a young man that was brilliant to create software for me. The problem was that he used his expertise to create a program that made it appear as though he was working when in fact, he wasn’t. So, he stole a large amount of money by being paid for the fraudulent work. The experience really soured me on the industry for a moment, but I chose to learn from it, and I am now much more careful about whom I employ, and how I manage things.
Do you remember how you got your first client?
Aside from the first clients obtained via Google Ads, the most important one of our first clients was an accountant that had an unfair complaint against her. She was so happy with the work we did for her that she invested in SearchManipulator and is now our CFO!
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We have gotten to the point where we are very good at what we do and no longer need to advertise our services. Some of our work actually comes from competitors that pass on a client because it is too difficult for them to handle but we can. Before we reached this level, we would advertise thru sources like Google Ads or LinkedIn Ads and made sure to watch the return on investment.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
One thing that is always tough is when an employee has to be let go. I have to be discerning when it comes to the team I choose to work with. We offer our clients a quick turnaround so I need my employees to produce quick results and if I can no longer rely on someone, I sometimes have to make that difficult decision to let them go.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
We really try to differentiate ourselves from the competition in this industry. We do this by offering our guarantee and by going above and beyond for every client that comes to us at what is often an incredibly stressful time in their life.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Honestly, every time we are able to make a client happy. Like I just mentioned, when clients call us up, it is usually because they are going through a very tough and stressful time. When we can help them alleviate that stress and turn the situation around, we are so happy to have made a positive impact on someone’s life.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I look forward to not necessarily adding quantity but adding quality to what we are already doing. By growing in our strengths, we can continue to stand out as a company that provides an excellent client experience.
What business books have inspired you?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a classic for any entrepreneur to read and Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins goes into the philosophy behind success.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t put clients through a cookie cutter process. Coming from another company, the other engineers that I founded the company with, and I had an idea of one process to carry out for all clients. We quickly learned that a superior way to operate was to treat each client as an individual and tailor the process to them and not the other way around.