CEO of SearchManipulator, Matthew Peters, founded the company 12 years ago with the goal of providing clients with the best technology available for managing their online reputations. As an engineer, rather than a salesperson, Matthew is well-versed in navigating the complicated landscape of the online world and all that it entails.
Unlike an individual’s personal reputation, which is constrained by word of mouth and archaic modes of communication, their online reputation is significantly more expansive. Untruthful reviews by an upset customer or a wrathful ex can have devastating consequences for a person’s life or business. Additionally, emerging brands or entrepreneurs without a significant online presence can leverage SearchManipulator’s services to expand their reach. Motivated by a genuine desire to assist, SearchManipulator offers plans that reintroduce control to the consumer while taking care of the heavy lifting. Through expert search engine optimization, SearchManipulator elevates all positive information about a person or company to the top of search results. As a result, when that individual or business is searched for, the reputation they desire is presented. SearchManipulator is able to customize each plan for each client in order to maximize success based on each client’s unique goals and needs. With an in-depth understanding of constantly changing algorithms and connections to outlets that the average consumer would not have, SearchManipulator is able to help their clients achieve their goals more quickly and with long-lasting positive results.
By keeping his business small enough to avoid unnecessary overhead, Matthew is able to pass on those savings to his clients. Indeed, SearchManipulator is the best combination of experience, innovative techniques, and affordable pricing. Matthew, who is constantly going above and beyond, does not stop there. Additionally, he provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Matthew graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has appeared on Huffington Post, CBS Money Watch, and ESPN Radio’s Lunch N Learn.
Where did the idea for SearchManipulator come from?
I was working in San Francisco for the company that pioneered the online reputation management industry, developing software for their outsourced overseas workers, when it occurred to me that “hey, the consumer should have this.” I thought it should be in their hands at a reasonable cost. We knew that online reputation management was the future and wanted to be involved with it. As a result, we founded the company on the basis of a DIY software for managing your online reputation. But people came back saying “I don’t have time for this; can’t you just do it for me?” So, we expanded into professional services. We also wanted to set ourselves apart from the scammers that can often be found in this industry and demonstrate that we are unique, so, we operate most of our services on a month-to-month basis with no long-term commitment, and the first month is backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied for any reason.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically wake up around 8am and catch up on the messages I may have from my West Coast clients. Then I organize my team and send out messages to check in and correspond with them. On any given day I am usually talking to both new and existing clients. I work long hours, probably too much, but I love what I do.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through communication. I like to start with a gameplan that I brainstorm with the client, then I will expand on it by collaborating with my team. From there, we work out the steps that need to take place to enact the idea and the final step is to delegate the pieces to the proper people so that it comes to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am happy to see that during the past year, businesses really started embracing the digital world even more fully. By moving content that was previously on paper into digital form, we reduce our carbon footprint. More companies realized that their employees could work from home too. This meant less travel which further helped with the environmental impact. I worry about the world we are leaving behind for our future generations and by continuing to change our practices, we can make a big difference. Now the caveat is that you also have to be very cautious, because if you are careless about what you are posting online, it can hurt you and even your chances at getting a future job. So, I urge everyone, especially young ones, to think about the online reputation they are building for themselves. It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being a positive person. You can waste a lot of time on negativity which produces absolutely nothing. Even when challenges arise, it is more helpful to remember to focus on the positive. You will find solutions to problems much quicker and keep a clearer mind. It also helps you to deliver results and retain your clients.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t subject your clients to a one-size-fits-all approach. Because I had previously worked for another company, the other engineers with whom I co-founded the company, and I had an idea for a single process that could be used for all clients. We quickly discovered that treating each client as an individual and tailoring the process to their needs, rather than the other way around, was the most effective way to operate.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Ketchup is gross.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Status updates for your clients. Clients hate feeling left in the dark or having to ask for updates. I know how busy it can get when you are running a business, but this is one thing you can do that will directly impact your client retention and help you to stand out as having excellent customer service.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I hired a coach as soon as I could afford to do it, and I wish I had done it sThe subscription model works really well. It is more efficient and effective when you work this way rather than a la carte.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had hired a smart young man to develop software for me, but he ended up taking advantage of me by using his knowledge to develop a program that made it appear as though he was working when, in fact, he was not working. As a result of being paid for the fraudulent work, he was able to steal a substantial sum of money. Although the experience left me with a negative attitude toward the industry for a short period of time, I chose to learn from it, and I am now much more selective about who and how I hire and manage my employees.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have a specific startup idea, or I probably would have done it by now. The landscape for new businesses is definitely digital though, so I would start by looking in that direction.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I like to show appreciation for those that help me, so I sent a $100 tip to one of the people that has put up with my incessant questions and requests.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Zoom has been incredibly useful to meet face-to-face digitally with clients and to keep up with my team too.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is, of course, a classic for any entrepreneur to read.
What is your favorite quote?
“Think before you speak”.
- Having excellent communication is a great way to bring ideas to life.
- Stay positive because negativity wastes time and kills productivity.
- Give regular status updates to your clients.
- Show appreciation to those that work hard for you.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.