Thumbnail: The 3-1-3 Challenge with Ryan Foland- Jason Barnard – Google Your Reputation

Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy, sits in the 3-1-3 hot seat to strengthen your online reputation. Hear how to control what happens when someone googles your name, the importance of Brand SERP, how to optimize for Google, manage your reputation online, and Jason’s stories from being a popular cartoon blue dog. Connect with Jason at and on LinkedIn.

Talking About the Current State of the Life of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) In Paris

[00:00:00] Ryan Foland: This week’s guest in the hot seat is Jason Barnard. We talked about how to control what comes up when people google your name, how to manage your reputation online, and his stories from being a cartoon blue dog. Yes, he was a cartoon blue dog named blue dog. All right. You ready? I am. Let’s go.

[00:00:26] Ryan Foland: All right. Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of The 3-1-3 Challenge. Today in the hot seat is Mr. Jason Barnard, and he is wearing a red shirt, whether you believe it or not. And I think it’s the temperature starting to rise. Jason, how are you doing today? And where in the world are you speaking from?

[00:00:45] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you for having me, Ryan. It’s absolutely brilliant. The red shirt is something I always wear. I can tell you that story. It’s quite a cool story. I’m in Paris in France. The lockdown is now finished, COVID-19 lockdown. And Paris has turned into one big cafe terrace, which is really cool because they’ve closed the streets, burn off the parking spaces, and put cafe terraces in the play.

[00:01:10] Ryan Foland: Well, see, I always envisioned that that’s kind of what it was in the first place. So, that’s maybe in its purest form, right? 

[00:01:18] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It is what we thought it was. It’s now become that, which is very cool.

Feeling Like Being in the Past, Present, and Future at the Same Time

[00:01:22] Ryan Foland: And that was, that’s where all the artists and intellects and all the who was who. That’s it. So, you’re you as you. There you are. And I feel like we’re in the past and the future at the same time. So, this is very exciting, very metal. 

[00:01:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. I don’t want to correct you, but we’re also in the present. 

[00:01:40] Ryan Foland: Oh, shoot. Yeah. I forgot about that one. 

[00:01:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. So, we’re in the past, we’re in the future, and we’re in the present. And I’m up to, I’m really happy to be here. We had a conversation on my podcast, which is amazing. And now, it’s your turn to try. 

[00:01:55] Ryan Foland: Which by the way, because of your genius and the problem that you’ve solved, of all the YouTube videos of my entire life, now you’re still ranked up there with our one awesome little podcast that we did with some of the salt based sprinkles that you just put all over it.

[00:02:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. That was interesting. I was looking at your Brand SERP. I’m obsessed by Brand SERPs.

The Definition of a Brand SERP

[00:02:16] Ryan Foland: Now, wait a minute. We’re going to do a GTO. We haven’t done this in awhile. This is called a grandma time out. When you say a Brand SERP, tell me what that means. 

[00:02:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A Brand SERP is what appears on Google when somebody searches your brand name or in your case, your personal name. And I think it’s something that people think, okay, yeah, it looks after itself. And it doesn’t. You can actually design. You can make sure that what appears when somebody searches your brand name, if you’re a company or your personal name as an individual like yourself or myself, is positive, accurate, and convincing. And you actually have almost a hundred percent control over it, and I don’t think people realise that. And it’s very, very powerful.

[00:03:02] Ryan Foland: Okay. Now, this sounds like a powerful solution to a problem that many people have, including myself in a world where you are digitally connected with certain people. And after a certain point or after a certain series of situations or as people move on with life, you want to detach with that digital separation.

The Story That Represents Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) The Most Is Being a Cartoon Blue Dog

[00:03:21] Ryan Foland: But before we get attached to that talk of detach, I want to start off just to let people know a little bit more about you but not traditionally with here’s your long form bio, but tell me a story. And from what I understand, you were full of stories. And so, pick one of those off the shelf, one that actually for somebody who has no idea, who’s never searched your name, no Brand SERP serpentine. And it’s just like this pure story that you think if they hear it, they’ll get a good idea of who you are. What would that story be? No pressure by the way. 

[00:03:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. No pressure. That sounded like a lot of pressure. What represents me the most is actually the blue dog. 

[00:04:06] Ryan Foland: So, a blue dog, your blue dog, or this blue dog that you’re referring to that’s in Paris outside on the patio. 

[00:04:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. A real imaginary blue dog, if that makes sense. 

[00:04:17] Ryan Foland: It doesn’t. Go on. I’m interested. 

[00:04:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was a blue dog I created with my wife, a TV series. It was actually a website generally. We created it, and it was a blue dog in a yellow koala who were best friends. And it turned into a TV series, and it was very successful. And I played the role of the blue dog. And what represents me as a human being the most is that blue dog. And what was interesting about it was I think I’m generally a nice empathetic kind considerate person. And when I played that role for 10 years, and the role of the blue dog was to be the kind empathetic older brother at the yellow koala. It was a bit childish and a bit annoying, let’s say. And her role was that, and my role was the blue dog. I became more like the blue dog, and I think it just amplified one aspect of my personality. So, that for me defines me from the last 40 years.

What Does It Mean for Jason When His Wikipedia Page Got Deleted?

[00:05:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the more recent stuff, which is you mentioned, I got deleted from Wikipedia. I had a Wikipedia page because I’d made this blue dog, and it was famous. I was in a folk punk band that was quite famous in France. They deleted it. And my ego took a really big hit, and that was very disappointing to me. So, that’s the more recent who am I is that I do have an ego, and it took a hit. How can I say that? I’m a little bit ashamed I think that my ego took a hit from having my Wikipedia page deleted.

Wikipedia Gives a False Sense of Achievement; It’s Crowdsourced and Isn’t Necessarily True

[00:05:50] Ryan Foland: Now, when your Wikipedia page gets deleted, is that something that I’m supposed to, is that like, I’m sorry for your loss, is it like condolences? I’m not sure what the proper response is. And I think the whole Wikipedia is really its own rabbit hole that probably blue dogs and koalas get lost in as well as I do. But for in layman’s terms, Wikipedia is essentially crowdsourced information to make sure that it’s verifiable because it’s editable, and it’s showcasing you and all your good, bad, and ugly, right? As though you are part of Encyclopedia Britannica, if it was about people and who they really were.

[00:06:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I love that. That’s absolutely brilliant. And it’s exactly that. I felt I’d go into the Encyclopedia Britannica, and I was somebody who had achieved something who was important. And it’s a completely false sense in my opinion now of achievement. It isn’t for Wikipedia to judge what I’ve achieved. And as you rightly said, it’s something that is crowdsourced that isn’t necessarily true.

[00:07:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And Rand Fishkin on my podcast said it very well. They get it wrong. If it’s about what happened in Star Trek, episode number 4, season 23, fine. They’re going to get it a hundred percent right. If it’s who founded Moz, who put the money into Moz, which is Rand Fishkin’s example, they get it wrong. So, Wikipedia is kind of, it’s a dangerous area to get involved in if you’re not within the knowledge of the people who actually run it.

Wikipedia Is Biased Towards the Western World Since Most of Them Come From There  

[00:07:32] Ryan Foland: So, is there a human error that really at the core? It’s kind of a duality where they’re using humans to keep humans accountable, yet it’s the humans that are the ones that are not able to make sure that it’s totally true. 

[00:07:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I’ll probably get more Wikipedia or Wikidata stuff deleted for saying this, but it’s incredibly biased towards the Western world, specifically the white probably American community. But certainly if you want to know, Dixon Jones, who’s a great guide from a company called InLinks who’s talk, he gave the example a pier in Ethiopia. I don’t know why he came up with a pier in Ethiopia. But if a pier in Ethiopia is important to Ethiopian history, who are Wikipedians to say that it shouldn’t be. They don’t know. The majority of Wikipedia editors come from the Western world. The majority are white. The majority are male. So, it’s a very biased opinion of the world. And in fact, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but it feeds into Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is Google’s understanding of the world. And that is very important.

Learning the Qualities From What You Do Over a Period of Time  

[00:08:45] Ryan Foland: Yeah. And I think just stitch it all back to where your story of the blue dog actually has given me a bit more insight to you and the human experiences that I believe in order to get better at blank, you simply do blank more. And I think that it’s what we do over a period of time is what ends up representing who we think we are. And if you are a kind compassionate character that’s playing a dog and you’re doing that for 10 years, it only makes sense that you’re going to get better at those types of qualities. It only makes sense that that’s going to be your bread trail across the internet. But if that bread trail then is eaten by a Wiki monster, and then it’s like there’s this empty feeling like, oh crap, I need to start all over again. And the people who have never started in the first place feel that same anxiety from the get-go that nobody can find them. Nobody even knows what kind of damn dog they are.

Find what you want to do. Do it more and more. You enjoy it. You get better at it. You learn and you evolve. And it’s by doing that you become the expert on the authority and the trustworthy source.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:09:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s an absolutely lovely way of putting it. Nobody knows what damn dog they are. That’s a great, we’re going to quote you on that, but I do agree. It is find what you want to do. Do it more and more. You enjoy it. You get better at it. You become, I think we talked about that on my podcast, you learn and you evolve. And it’s by doing that you become the expert on the authority and the trustworthy source, which is all very SEO oriented. And when you said it, I said, oh. But now, I agree. I’m a hundred percent. I’m with you. 

[00:10:15] Ryan Foland: And I think that before we decide to try something new, it’s super intimidating. Brand SERP is super intimidating for me, but it’s essentially like it’s everything when it comes to being found online. And so, when I found out about you and your course, which I’m taking, I’m excited because there’s something to learn, but it seems like such an uphill battle that it’s hard to do.

[00:10:36] Ryan Foland: And I relate that back to this show, The 3-1-3 Challenge. I’ve done the 3-1-3 with thousands of people. And it’s always exciting because it’s a little bit different. But each time I go through it, I get a little bit better. And each time you hone in your messaging, you get a little bit better. And it’s like this kind of a weird invisible Wiki, and you’re the Google trying to figure out searching internally what words you use and what words you choose to let people, okay, we are our own Google engines. When somebody asks us a question, we go internally do, do, do, do, do, and then we spit out our answers. But if we haven’t developed our own messaging over 10 years that’s consistent, sometimes it’s hard to just use the gift of gab that’s saying what’s happening. And that’s why I’m really interested to pick your brain, not only on how you communicate what you do, but actually what you do because I think you have the solution to some problems that I personally have.

Doing the 3-1-3 Challenge With The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard)

[00:11:38] Ryan Foland: So, let’s jump into The 3-1-3 Challenge, and we’ll see where it goes. This would be like a special edition here, the no one knows you’re a damn dog special.

[00:11:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Wonderful.

[00:11:48] Ryan Foland: So, two clarifying questions before we get going I always ask. So, what is your existing understanding of this 3-1-3 thing? 

[00:11:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I did this incredibly intelligent thing is I looked it up on Google. And you have the featured snippet so I didn’t even need to leave Google to read what it was. It just actually summarises. It says you’ve got three sentences. You need to bring that down to one sentence and then down to three words. So, I looked in Google and found out what I needed to prepare for this particular conversation without ever visiting your site, and it had pulled the information from your site. So that’s a first really great insight is on SERP SEO, i.e. what Google will show directly to its users without them visiting your site is incredibly important. You need to be very careful not to give the whole game away so that people have to visit your site.

[00:12:46] Ryan Foland: Right. And so because my blue dog has been the 3-1-3 for so many years, it’s no doubt that that pops up everywhere. And if all of that got taken away from me, then I also would feel like I had a loss internally. So, I feel you. Okay. So, I like that. That was the first person who said, I googled the 3-1-3 and got everything I needed.

[00:13:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Really?

[00:13:05] Ryan Foland: Yeah.

[00:13:06] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, wow. Sorry. I’m astonished. I thought that that’s what…

[00:13:09] Ryan Foland: Maybe they did it, but they just didn’t share that with me. I think a lot of people use Google as Siri, but it’s not like I’m going to tell you that Siri told me something. I’m just going to accept it and then sort of translate it.

[00:13:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, in fact, Google told me that you told me as it works so then Google told me, but it did inform me that it was Ryan who had told me that this was what I was preparing for.

[00:13:31] Ryan Foland: Well, Google and I are working on building a trusting relationship. So, I’m glad that it was telling you that. Okay. So the second question is, and this is more theoretical, fundamental, channel your inner blue dog for this one.

[00:13:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay.

Do People Care More About What You Do or Do They Care More About the Problem You Solve?

[00:13:47] Ryan Foland: Do you think that people care more about what you do or do you think that they care more about the problem that you solve? Now, this is not saying you shouldn’t love people and be good and kind and equal and everything. But just hypothetically, do you think people really care about what this whole Brand SERP is and what you do physically or do they really care about the problem that having an effective Brand SERP can do for them? 

[00:14:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s a really good example. Can I take two answers to that? 

[00:14:17] Ryan Foland: Yes. Two ounces. I’m not sure the conversion, but definitely do it. 

[00:14:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. As the blue dog, people cared about what I did.

[00:14:23] Ryan Foland: Yes.

[00:14:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That was that it. For the Brand SERP, nobody cares at all about what I’m saying. Nobody’s interested in all the stuff I talk about. What they will be interested when they’ve understood or when they’ve thought it through, what appears when somebody googles your name or your brand name, they will become interested in how do I control it, and that’s what I do.

Jason’s Final Answer: People Care More About the Problem That You Solve Because It Presumably Affects Them 

[00:14:48] Ryan Foland: Okay. All right. Okay. Yeah. We’re going to hold you like this is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. You’re going to have to give your final answer. Final answer, do you think people, all things considered, including blue dogs, do you think people genuinely care more about what people do or do you think people care more about the problems that people solve? 

[00:15:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, the answer there is people care more about the problems that you solve because it presumably affects them, if you can solve a problem for them. 

[00:15:22] Ryan Foland: That’s your first bell of the day. That’s the correct answer according to me, according to my Google Brand SERP.

[00:15:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But the thing is, as human beings, we all want everybody to be interested in what we do. So, I actually told you the answer that I thought was right rather than the answer that I feel in my heart of hearts that I thought is right.

The Most Frequently Asked Question of Our Adult Lives Is What Do You Do

[00:15:38] Ryan Foland: And just like Wiki, that might be some bias information going in to get an answer that you might think. And I’ll just sidetrack momentarily, just pull off on the road for a second. Historically, the most frequently asked question I think of our adult lives is what do you do?

[00:15:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Ooh, ooh.

[00:15:58] Ryan Foland: And I think that fundamentally, it’s just a surface level question that we asked, but we really don’t care. In fact, we asked that question in hopes that they will ask us the same question in hopes that they will care what we do, but we forget that we don’t care what they do in the first place. And the reason why we asked them is so that they would ask us.

[00:16:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I love it. The thing is I’m actually sitting in a curb or coworking in Paris. And everyone sits around the table at lunchtime, and it’s a really friendly place. It’s really nice for the nice people. But lunchtime, everyone sits around. And the first question everybody asks somebody who’s near is what do you do?

Instead of Asking What Do You Do, Ask What Is the Problem You Solve

[00:16:33] Ryan Foland: Yeah. Now, imagine a world where instead you asked that person, so what is the problem that you solve?

[00:16:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay.

[00:16:43] Ryan Foland: You’re going to get, you’re going to not only be interested, but eventually what they do to solve that problem, it’s going to come out in the conversation, just not first. And so, this is a great transition into the 3-1-3, the challenge. We’re going to work through the process here, and then we’ll talk about some of these other things, things that’ll serve me and my listeners, right? That’s part of the deal.

[00:17:03] Ryan Foland: So if we agree, people don’t care what you do, but they care about the problem that you solve. And when they come up to the table at lunch, they ask you, what do you do? I encourage people to say, well, it’s really not what I do that’s super important. What is important is the problem that I solve. And if you stop talking, the person who asked you what you do will then say, huh, so what problem do you solve? A hundred percent of the time, they will ask that.

[00:17:31] Ryan Foland: So my question to you, first part of the challenge, in one sentence, can you tell me the problem that you solve, this single problem that you solve without any mention of what you do? And if you mention what you do, if you say I help people get found or I help or any indication, you got a buzzer with your name on it. The buzzer is very unforgiving. But if you do a good job, there’s a bell, right? It’s like a dog.

[00:18:04] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Trying to Explain in One Sentence the Problem That He Solves

[00:18:04] Ryan Foland: So the question to you, can you explain in one sentence the problem that you solve with no mention of what you do? Ready, go. 

[00:18:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I ensure that… I didn’t even get past three words. 

[00:18:22] Ryan Foland: I know. But think about what you did. I ensure. That’s the same thing as saying I help. Anything that will come after that, in my brain, I’m going to assume that’s what you do. But remember, we don’t care what you do. So, instead of what you ensure, just take you out of it. It’s like the problem is blank or when this happens to people, it’s a nightmare. Sorry for the buzzer, but sorry not sorry. Let’s try again. 

[00:18:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay. No. This is brilliant because I actually thought about this before, and I still got it completely wrong.

[00:18:58] Ryan Foland: Next time, ask Google the problem that you solve, and maybe it’ll tell you.

Trying Again to Explain the Problem for the Second Time 

[00:19:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Your business card on Google is rubbish, and I help you to make it… I couldn’t do it. 

[00:19:12] Ryan Foland: You are safe for a minute, and then you just snap back into the…

[00:19:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, no, no. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. 

[00:19:20] Ryan Foland: It’s so unnatural for us to say anything other than what we do because that is the question we’ve always been asked.

[00:19:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yup. No. I’m actually trying to think. The thing is that most people don’t have a problem as such. I kind of preemptively solve it. Sorry. Don’t bug me there. That wasn’t part of the answer. 

[00:19:43] Ryan Foland: Wait a minute. This is interesting. We’re going to touch back on this in the market because I argue that you shouldn’t be for everyone. You physically can’t service everyone. So, think of those people that actually do have the problem and what would that problem be. And again, let’s do a reverse data search for you. Imagine if you were doing…

[00:20:03] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, I know. Sorry,

[00:20:04] Ryan Foland: Oh, no. Go, go.

Third Try On Explaining the Problem That He Solves

[00:20:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): When somebody searches your brand name or your personal name, the result that appears is imperfect.

[00:20:11] Ryan Foland: And that is a problem. 

[00:20:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That is a problem. And it could be absolutely perfect as a future possibility.

[00:20:22] Ryan Foland: Yeah. You don’t want to. I think you covered yourself, and it’s okay to get, you can error on the side of the stats going your way. Because for those people that it speaks to, it makes sense. But the sentence that you said, didn’t mention the word problem. And that’s a challenge because we’re programmed to hear problems.

[00:20:40] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh. I’ve got it. Sorry. 

[00:20:41] Ryan Foland: No, no, no. This is good. Go.

A Clearer Explanation of the Problem That The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard) Solves

[00:20:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Your problem is that when somebody searches your name or your brand name or your personal name, the result isn’t as good as you would like it to be. 

[00:20:52] Ryan Foland: Okay. You did not get a buzzer. Okay. So, you got to get a bell on that. That’s cool. 

[00:20:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That was close though.

[00:20:58] Ryan Foland: That was close.

[00:20:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): How about, come on, try again. I’ll keep trying. When somebody searches your name or your brand name or your personal name, sorry, on Google, the result is not convincing.

Hypothetical Questions on Having a Paper Cut and Having a Finger Chopped Off  

[00:21:11] Ryan Foland: Okay. I like that. Now, let me ask you a hypothetical question, and I don’t want to get macabre, but have you ever had a paper cut? 

[00:21:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A paper cut? On my finger?

[00:21:21] Ryan Foland: Yeah. Yeah. Like cut.

[00:21:23] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. It hurts loads, but it looks like nothing. And all the people that should be terribly sympathetic about it just say stop weeping like an old grandmother. I don’t know. 

[00:21:35] Ryan Foland: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know a lot of grandmothers that are strong, but maybe like a wounded dog or something, okay?

[00:21:41] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Okay. A wounded blue dog. Stop weeping like a wounded blue dog and complaining. A paper cut is much more painful than it would appear. 

[00:21:49] Ryan Foland: Okay. Now, have you ever had your finger chopped off, as in actually like your finger being chopped off? 

[00:21:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): He’s showing me a finger that’s been chopped off, which is slightly creepy. No. I haven’t had a major injury of that sort. I did have a finger dislocated once when I was a child.

What Is the Difference Between a Paper Cut and a Finger Being Chopped Off? 

[00:22:12] Ryan Foland: Okay. Okay. That’s not as aggressive as a finger cut. So, the real question is what is the difference between a paper cut and a finger being chopped off? Set me up for success here. 

[00:22:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Ooh, ooh. Deary me. I didn’t expect question. Well, a finger cut repairs itself. A finger chop doesn’t. 

[00:22:34] Ryan Foland: Okay. There’s a few different answers we can go through. The one that ends up getting the bell is I believe one of the biggest differences is the implicit reaction that happens when you share it with someone else. If you go up to somebody, you’re like, oh my gosh, I have a paper cut. And they go, you literally said it. You’re like, just stop being such a weak blue dog. Get on with your life. There’s no big deal. That happens. Right?

[00:22:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yup.

[00:22:57] Ryan Foland: But if you had actually chopped off your finger, that’s serious. And so, people will stop, and they will think to themselves, do I need to call 911 or do I need to get some ice? Do I need to call for help? Instantly as humans, we’re altruistic. And I think that we want to help others. So if you describe the problem that you solve like it’s a paper cut, problem that you have is when somebody searches your name, the results could vary. You’re like, yeah, it’s the internet. Hello, I don’t see that as a problem. But then if you say, look, the problem is if you’re trying to build a brand and no one can find you when they search your name, you will never build a brand or something more dramatise or something that a little bit more hyperbole. And it’s not trying to over-exaggerate. You’re just trying to get people to take the problem seriously when you’re describing it.

The Problem of When the Worst Possible Thing Said to You Online Comes up Number One When Somebody Googles Your Brand Name

[00:23:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Can I make a suggestion? Because the thing is… 

[00:23:48] Ryan Foland: Of course. Stop asking. Pretend like that this is your show. Let’s go. This is our show. 

[00:23:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. I was brought up being polite, and the blue dog was very polite. 

[00:23:56] Ryan Foland: But all that is erased. 

[00:23:58] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So I have to say, thank you. And please, may I interject. If somebody searches your name or your brand name, if it’s your personal name, the probability is that the person will not see you. Google will not resurface you because personal names are very ambiguous. Brand names tend to be less so. But in fact, the problem you’re referring to is if somebody Googles your brand name or your personal name, what happens if the worst possible thing that anybody said about you online comes up number one. That’s the killer.

[00:24:28] Ryan Foland: That could be a big problem. And I’ve had that problem. I’ve had a run in with the FTC. And part of the reason why I decided to build a brand was to let people know that was not the blue dog that I wanted to be associated with. I moved through that. I had my lessons I learned. And you search my name now, and it’s sort of buried, but it’s not buried as in hidden because I own it, and it’s part of my story.

[00:24:48] Ryan Foland: And I think the challenge that you have about describing one problem is that there are multiple problems when it comes to this. So this whole 3-1-3, it’s not like the end all, be all. It’s just the idea of. If you can tell me one problem, the biggest problem that you solve, and you get me to agree that it is problem, which I do agree, and then actually, if it’s a problem that I now recognise I might have, then I’m absolutely genuinely a hundred percent interested in what you do, even though you have made no mention to any certainness or anything like that. That just wouldn’t resonate with me. So, you have me hooked on the problem. The little worm on the hook is the problem.

Being Afraid That Some Things That Has Been Said Would Resurface 

[00:25:35] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I’ll tell you something I actually haven’t told anybody, and you’ve actually kind of brought me into, which is quite interesting, is the reason I started all this was because I was afraid that the one thing that has been said about me online would resurface. And I wanted to make sure, as you said, it was buried, not buried in the sense that it doesn’t exist, I own my past, I own what’s happened, but buried to the point at which that you would really have to look to be able to find it. 

[00:26:06] Ryan Foland: Because the first impression is everything online, right? 

[00:26:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. Yeah. No. But what you’ve just done is pointed out to me that I’ve been dilly-dallying around the question. In fact, that the root reason is saying, look, somebody is always going to say something horrible about you online. You want to make sure that stays right at the back because it doesn’t represent who you are and what you do today. 

[00:26:29] Ryan Foland: Whatever that was right there, even the way that you said it, it was so natural. And I’m getting goosebumps because I personally had that experience. And people are afraid to put themselves out there. People are afraid to say, search me on Google because they don’t have control. And that one thing might show up, and that might be the one thing that loses the deal before you even know you had it.

[00:26:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. And so, as you rightly say, that one thing about me, about you, whatever it might be, I decided I will take control and make sure it never appears.

The 3-1-3 Challenge Offer 

[00:27:00] Ryan Foland: And now, a word from our sponsor, which is me. So, I just have to take a moment here. I’m having so much fun with Jason trying to really tease out the best messaging possible. Now, yeah, it’s stressful. Sure, it’s difficult, and it can be maybe agonising. But I’m having fun, and I like to make this process fun. So if you want me to help you tease out your core messaging, if you want me to help you lock in your 3-1-3, it can happen. And it doesn’t have to happen on air in front of everyone. I do this on a one-to-one basis. You, me, and the 3-1-3.

[00:27:40] Ryan Foland: And the good news for you is that instead of the normal thousand dollar pricing, I’ve got special pandemic pricing for you, $313. That’s right. So, think of it as like a personal private podcast that you pay for. If you’ve listened to any of these episodes, you see how much my guests get out of it, and I want you to get the same in a comfortable environment. So, you can head over to and just click on the 3-1-3 tab, and it’ll give you more information and a place to purchase. Okay. Let’s get back to Jason and his 3-1-3 challenge. He’s got this.

Summarising What The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard) Does in One Sentence

[00:28:16] Ryan Foland: So now, you’ve literally got us to the spot where I’m hanging onto the edge of the cliff being like, just tell me what you do, right? Because now I know the problem, I want to know what the solution is. So the second part of the 3-1-3 challenge is, can you tell me your solution, what you do in one sentence? And this is like what everybody is usually ready to say. So, one sentence, what you do. And I’m going to make a clarification. I’m asking you what you do, not how you do it. Okay. That’s the one hint. So, can you tell me what you do in just one sentence? 

[00:29:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I take control of the brand message that is transmitted or projected or reflected by Google to people who search your name.

[00:29:13] Ryan Foland: I like it.

[00:29:14] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ve never said that in my life before. That’s brilliant, Ryan. You’ve just got me to say something I’ve never said before.

Considering the Problem Said Earlier, Does the Solution Solve It?

[00:29:20] Ryan Foland: This is good. There’s a lot of brilliance going on here. My question to you, which you get to answer, this is your verification or not, not me. You determine the bell or buzz at this point. Does your solution, as you stated, does that solve the problem that we talked about?

[00:29:36] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A hundred percent. 

[00:29:40] Ryan Foland: And you’d be surprised how many times there’s a disconnect. I’ll ask somebody, we’ll have this conversation about the problem, and they’ll be like a Plinko board, like this problem, that problem. Okay. And then they’re like, yes, this is the problem. And I go, cool, tell me how you solve it. And they say something and I go, does that solve the problem? And they go, oh crap. So, I think that again for somebody that’s hearing the idea new, it’s not about fancy words or buzzing Stein. It’s just clearly, does that solution solve the problem? And if it does, you’ve already got me interested in the problem.

[00:30:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. I’m always tempted to explain the details of what I actually do. But in fact, you’re saying the bad stuff or the less positive stuff or the inaccurate stuff about me that is online, and we all have this stuff out online, whether we’re a brand or a person or whatever, needs to be push back to the background. And I need to make sure that what is showing on page one, which is all people look at today when they search my name or my brand name on Google, is positive, accurate, and convincing. And I’ve gone off again from that idea. I don’t like the idea that I’m pushing the bad stuff back, and I’m saying I’m trying to push the good stuff forwards.

[00:30:59] Ryan Foland: And so, that could be an indication of retweaking the way that you talk about the problem that you solve. It’s like a checks and balances. The one thing I will point out to you, if you do have the patience to listen to yourself again, how you just tried to describe that right there, that wasn’t as clear, and it confused me. And it was multiple sentences, and I could see your thoughts going everywhere.

Understanding a Good Approach in Explaining How Things Work 

[00:31:21] Ryan Foland: So, the difference between saying what I do, and literally you should go get that sentence because that was very clear, is different than how you do it. And if you just tell people what you do and then stop and just revel in that silence, the next question I was going to ask you is, can you please tell me how this works? And you felt like you wanted to explain how, but I wanted to learn how. So if you just let me ask, then all of a sudden I’m all ears, especially with technical kind of Googly God. It’s a little bit intimidating. 

[00:32:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A hundred percent. It is very, very, very interesting to understand how anchored in our being that what I do approach is and how difficult it is to actually change that. We’ve been talking for maybe half an hour now, and I’m still having trouble getting my brain around it. And I knew what to expect.

[00:32:24] Ryan Foland: But I will tell you, this doesn’t make you any less of an expert. And this is very important.

[00:32:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, thank you. That’s a relief.

[00:32:32] Ryan Foland: But here’s the thing. If you continue to not be able to explain what you do in the most compelling way, you’re still going to help people out because your service is work, but you might not get to that, you might not get the people that are confused by it or you might not get the volume that you need. And so, I really love teasing this stuff out because your passion comes through, and your experience comes through, and that is your expertise. It’s just sometimes just like a Google search doesn’t create a hundred percent accuracy in the results. If I ask you a question like your Google about your business, sometimes you don’t have the most accurate results. And that’s because Google takes a lot of time to make sure that they’re accurate, and this is essentially what they’re doing.

The Negative Message Is When Your Brand SERP Is Not Accurate, Positive, and Convincing

[00:33:15] Ryan Foland: Now, I do want to point out that we got solved on this one or this problem of something bad or somebody says something bad to you. There’s so many different ways to frame that because I have a problem that makes me think of when it comes to searching. I had a business partner, Leonard Kim, who I was with for five years, built a kick-ass company, and I left six months ago. So, there’s a digital detachment, a physical detachment. We’re not working together anymore. I wish him the best. But when somebody searches me, it pulls him up as well. And so, that’s a problem that I have. And the way that you described the problem, even though you talked just about bad stuff or things that come up, you can do some slight tweaks that also incorporates being digitally tied to people or digitally tied to information is bad. Okay. I’m rambling. Go on.

[00:34:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. I was thinking if I may criticise something like what’s really bad and what’s terribly negative that’s going to really get people to wake up. But in fact, the message is when somebody googles your name or your personal name or your brand name, what happens when what turns up is not accurate, positive, and convincing.

[00:34:30] Ryan Foland: Well, wait, instead of that, what if you play on the fact that you can’t control what shows up. Because for me…

[00:34:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s very nice.

Having Control Over What Google Shows to Your Audience

[00:34:40] Ryan Foland: The frustrating part is that I don’t have control over what Google determines. Now, we could talk for a while about this. I have this concept to help develop the problem statement, and it’s called the problem pyramid, but I’m not going to get into it. But the idea is if you wanted to share that more than one problem, and you wanted to say the problem is that you don’t have control over what happens. The problem is it can be something bad. It can associate you with people that you don’t want to be associated with. It could be false information. Those are four big problems.

[00:35:13] Ryan Foland: But if you told me you solve those four problems, it’s very easy for me to be like, well, I don’t have that problem so I don’t need your help. I don’t have that problem so I don’t need your help. You actually increase the chance people won’t see you as a full solution if you share multiple problems. Now, after you’ve got me sold on the one problem, you can always share that all these other things I can help you solve.

[00:35:36] Ryan Foland: So from a communication standpoint, try something like this. The problem is big problem which could result in baby, baby, baby problem. So, imagine the problem is that when somebody searches your name online, you have no control of what Google finds, which could result in false information, negative information, or being associated with people that you wouldn’t want to. It sounds like four problems, but really the problem is the control factor.

[00:36:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay. Can I?

[00:36:10] Ryan Foland: Please, please, please. You’ve been super patient, super patient.

Control Is What Makes Your Brand SERP Positive, Accurate, and Convincing 

[00:36:13] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A friend of mine, Andrea Volpini, I’ve got a Brand SERP measurement system, and I measure quality and control. And I was going, oh, quality is not incredibly important. It has to look brilliant, it has to be accurate, it has to be positive, and it has to be convincing, which is my little sales pitch. He said, but actually the control is what matters because, and he’s right. The control is what allows you to make it positive, accurate, and convincing. And so in fact, yes.

[00:36:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Imagine a situation where you don’t control what appears when somebody googles your brand name. And that’s going to go to everybody, oh, that’s exactly the situation for all of us because what could happen is it would be inaccurate, it would be negative, and it would not be convincing to those people who matter to your business or to your person who are searching your brand name or your personal brand name. So in fact, you’re a hundred percent right turning it all around. 

[00:37:04] Ryan Foland: But just change the word would to could. Okay.

[00:37:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I can’t remember what I said. Sorry.

[00:37:11] Ryan Foland: No, no, no. You said this idea of lack of control makes it so that you would find information that’s bad, you would find information that’s inaccurate, and you would find information that’s…

[00:37:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. Could, could, could.

Identifying the Problems One Could Have if There Is a Lack of Control 

[00:37:23] Ryan Foland: If you change would to could, then those are the subproblems that just could happen from that one main one. 

[00:37:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, you’re a genius, Ryan. Sorry. I was talking to another friend of mine, and he actually pointed out to me that we talked a year ago about this problem. And he said to me, I don’t care. And I explained it all to him, and he’s a smart guy. And he then had one of these problems, the problems that you could have. And he said, thank you for talking to me about that a year ago because I actually took control of my Brand SERP, and I sorted it out in a week. If I hadn’t taken control, it would have taken me a year. 

[00:38:02] Ryan Foland: Yeah. And if you try to tell people something is happening and then they Google themselves and they don’t see that it’s happened, then you lose that strength of what could happen. And I can show you a case study, an example. I can tell you that there’s going to be an earthquake. Get a damn bag that’s a go bag, Ryan. You’re in California, right? 

[00:38:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Oh, no, no, no. Sorry. I actually spent today thinking how can I change how I’m presenting this to people and didn’t expect to come on the show and learn how I should change. So, I do thank you for that.

The Solution Is Helping People Take Control of Their Results

[00:38:33] Ryan Foland: We’re learning together. Okay. So if we look at this from a high level, you have your problem in one sentence, which it can be maybe the control thing which results in these other things, but just something that’s singular focused. Your solution is that you help people take control of what’s found.

[00:38:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Can I make an admission, a terrible admission? I actually have a Google doc in front of me where I went for the three sentence, one sentence, three words, and none of them said the three words that you’ve just pulled out of me, which is control Brand SERPs. 

[00:39:10] Ryan Foland: Yep. Okay. 

[00:39:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I was saying optimise. I was saying beautify. I was saying design. 

[00:39:16] Ryan Foland: People want control. I want to control the results that Google has for me. 

[00:39:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Genius. So in fact, sorry, I just went into my Google doc while we were talking to change it to control so I could cheat and pretend that I actually did write control. 

[00:39:29] Ryan Foland: Hey, only you know. As long as you’re comfortable, that’s cool.

Who Is the Target Market of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) In One Sentence?

[00:39:33] Ryan Foland: Okay. So, we want to get this to three sentences. So, we have the problem in one sentence, your solution in one sentence, and the final for the three sentences is the market. So, can you tell me in one sentence your target market? And you are going to get a buzzer if you say the a word or e the word. 

[00:39:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): The e word being everyone.

[00:39:55] Ryan Foland: Yeah. That’s correct. What do you think the a word is? 

[00:39:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): People? 

[00:40:00] Ryan Foland: Anyone because all people is two words, but I’m not counting or anything. 

[00:40:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I have this terrible problem is that Brand SERPs apply. 

[00:40:10] Ryan Foland: Okay. I’m just, I’m going to cut you off because I’m going to ask you in one sentence to tell me your target market. 

[00:40:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Entities who want control of what people see when they google your brand name.

Getting More Specific About the People Who Hires Jason 

[00:40:27] Ryan Foland: You’re just trying to get everybody in there. Okay. So, how can we make that more specific? And I don’t want to go too far away, but the actual people who hire you, do they have an inciting incident? Are these people that…

[00:40:43] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Most of them have egos, actually, to be honest.

[00:40:46] Ryan Foland: Okay.

[00:40:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But there is that thing. People who worry about what appears when somebody searches their name or their brand. Well, if it’s a personal name, it tends to be ego. If it’s a brand name, it tends to be protecting their brand image.

Describing Some Clients Who Don’t Have Money to Pay High Fees 

[00:41:01] Ryan Foland: Okay. Protecting brand image. I like that. So now, you can say for enterprises or entrepreneurs who have a business solely focused on being found online and are concerned that a reputation could make them lose business or something, right? Because again, if there’s no business tied to it, do you really want to work with somebody who doesn’t have a business but just wants to be found? They’re probably not going to have the money to pay your high fees.

[00:41:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I hate to say this, but I actually have a client, and he fits in exactly that category.

[00:41:36] Ryan Foland: Okay.

[00:41:37] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s purely, it’s not ego. It’s kind of I want to look good. 

[00:41:43] Ryan Foland: So, maybe you have two buckets, right? And this is how we explore. So, first of all, I’m not for everybody. You should just get in the habit of saying that. Because as soon as you say that, I’m actually interested because I don’t want to work with somebody who’s going to take on 3 billion clients. So first of all, Ryan, I don’t work with everybody, but I do particularly work with two types of clients, one who wants to make sure that they have control over what’s found when they’re searched, and it could be a celebrity. It could be somebody who has a public profile, had their images, everything. And then, for those people who run businesses where reputation is everything, in particular, when it comes to consumer goods or digital products or a bob up, I’m just saying don’t be afraid to get specific. Because your first sentence that you got buzzed on, that would not have inspired me to make any introductions to you at all.

[00:42:38] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay.

What Is Jason’s Favourite Client Like?

[00:42:39] Ryan Foland: But I’m going to give you one more chance to talk to me about not just your target client, but your favourite client. Think of your favourite client and describe them without naming their name. And I bet you, I can find somebody in my network that has similar traits and qualities or similar problems. 

[00:42:56] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): You’re right. My favourite client is somebody who wants to make sure that they control everything on page one of Google. 

[00:43:07] Ryan Foland: I’ve two people I can refer you to. 

[00:43:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And it’s down to the tiniest detail. And that’s what I love is looking at it and saying, is this my message? If it’s not my message a hundred percent, I want to make sure it is. I want to change the things that aren’t. And there are so many elements on a page that you can do or that you can affect and that you can influence to make that message a hundred percent yours. So, my favourite client is anybody or any brand who wants to…

[00:43:36] Ryan Foland: You said a keyword.

Expounding More About His Favourite Client

[00:43:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, sorry. No. Anybody, sorry, is our people and brands who want to ensure that the message that is transmitted by Google on their Brand SERP when somebody searches their brand name is theirs to control and theirs a hundred percent. They own it.

[00:43:58] Ryan Foland: Okay. You actually, the more general you got. Okay. Have you ever seen Back to the Future when Marty McSorley has little cards, and he’s looking at the people disappear, right? As time changes.

[00:44:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Yup, yup, yup.

[00:44:12] Ryan Foland: That was exactly what happened. I had a, what was it, a Polaroid picture in my mind of two people based on your my favourite people to work with are these people. And then as soon as you started to say, well, my favourite or for any businesses or any people that do, and you got wider and wider, and those people just faded away. 

[00:44:31] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So, I think Marty McFly with his photo. It’s any, sorry, oh, I didn’t say anything. Well, I did say anything. I’ll pretend I didn’t.

Another Interpretation of Jason’s Favourite Client

[00:44:42] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): My favourite client is somebody who wants to control what appears a hundred percent when somebody googles their brand name. 

[00:44:48] Ryan Foland: Every aspect of what appears. 

[00:44:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Every aspect. And if I can push that a bit further, it’s not just saying I want nice text, nice descriptions, and blue links. It’s I want the Knowledge Panel. I want video boxes, and I want the videos that appear to be the videos that I want to appear that make me look great.

[00:45:09] Ryan Foland: Okay. So whatever, take those two sentences and put them together. So, you have my favourite people to work with are those that want to control even the smallest details of what happens when people search. For example, 1, 2, 3.

[00:45:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant.

[00:45:23] Ryan Foland: Right? Because I want my videos to be searched. But the fact that they’re the videos that I want to be found, that’s so important. 

[00:45:30] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Okay. You’re putting it in as a second small point, as you said earlier on, these examples. Whereas, I’m trying to put it into the same level as the initial pitch. And that’s where I’m getting it wrong.

[00:45:45] Ryan Foland: Because see if you convinced me on the level that two people that I know of actually might be really good clients, that’s 200% more than I would have felt comfortable recommending to you if you just tried to play this crazy overall generalist type of thing. 

[00:45:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yep. So, I’m getting it phenomenally wrong, which is wonderful.

Realising That What Jason Actually Does Is Reputation Control  

[00:46:04] Ryan Foland: Okay. So if we really look at like the last almost 45 minutes now, we’ve taken all of that, and it can be communicated in three sentences: the problem you solve, your solution, and your market. With the problem, making sure it’s plotty and not what you do. The solution being what you do and not how you do it. And then finally your market, the more specific and targeted and that you can paint the picture, those pictures will come up on Marty McSorley’s Polaroid camera in their mind to think to connect you. Why? Because those people have the problem that you mentioned. I assume that your solution will work. And because you specialise in those type of individuals, I would feel confident putting my reputation to make that connection.

[00:46:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. So, it actually comes down. I think I’ve been in denial. It’s actually reputation management. What I initially started saying five or six years ago was proactive reputation management. And that obviously doesn’t…

[00:47:04] Ryan Foland: But remember, proactive is that they don’t have that problem. It’s hard to sell somebody when they don’t realise that they have that problem. And so for the person that’s your favourite person to work with, it doesn’t sound like they have a reputation issue. They just want to create an amazing reflection of who they are.

[00:47:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): In which case, it’s not reputation management. It’s reputation control. 

[00:47:24] Ryan Foland: Yeah. That’s kind of cool. I like that.

[00:47:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But I’ve only got two words.

[00:47:29] Ryan Foland: Oh, no, no. Okay. But three words is totally different, and we’re going to get to that in one second.

[00:47:33] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, no.

Taking the Three Elements (Problem, Solution, Market) and You Can Explain What You Do In One Sentence Six Different Ways

[00:47:34] Ryan Foland: Three sentences. Okay. So, you’re good at mathematics. How many different combinations of three things can you combine? So, let’s say A, B, and C, three items. How many different ways can you juggle them around to be unique, linear, different sequences?

[00:47:50] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. You put me on the spot there by saying I’m actually good at maths. It’s nine. 

[00:47:55] Ryan Foland: It’s not. It’s six, but you are correct in that you’re not good with math. You know what’s funny is that for the first few years of doing this on stages, I was saying that it was nine, and people actually ended up coming up to me enough and saying that my math was wrong. So, I was also wrong. It’s three factorial. Three items arranged in different ways is three times two times one is six. If it was four, four times three times two times one. Anyways.

[00:48:21] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Okay. Yup.

[00:48:22] Ryan Foland: I do that to make you realise it is six. So, you can take P, S, and M, problem, solution, market, just like ABC, and you can combine them in six ways when you have it locked down. So, I solve this problem P for these people M with my solution S. And you could say, this is my solution that these people need to solve this problem. It’s just moving them around. We’re not going to spend time here, but you could take those three elements, and you could explain what you do in one sentence six different ways, if you’ve got that locked up. Okay.

[00:49:01] Ryan Foland: But let’s dig into the three words. It’s not a tagline. It’s not reputation management done well. It’s nothing like that.

[00:49:08] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, no. Yeah. Sorry. I love the fact that you said tagline because reputation management or proactive reputation management is a tagline that is pretty empty at the end of the day.

Comparing Oneself to a Superhero and Being Known to Your Profession as That Hero 

[00:49:18] Ryan Foland: It doesn’t leave any room for unique personal experience, influenced interpretation. I just made that up. Experiential interpretation happens when you use metaphor and analogy. So if you’re like the genie in the bottle when it comes to SEO, I imagine the genie coming out, and he rubbing, well, I’d rub the bottle, not the genie. And then I’d ask the question, it would just magically appear. Have you ever really been drawn to a certain superhero? 

[00:49:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Ooh. What’s it called? Bolt the dog.

[00:49:56] Ryan Foland: Bolt the dog. Okay. Okay. Sure.

[00:50:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s a dog who thinks he’s a superhero with the sound. What’s he called? John Travolta who does the voice. I like it because he’s so naive. 

[00:50:10] Ryan Foland: Okay. Maybe this isn’t the best, but you could be that character of a Brand SERP. 

[00:50:16] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right. Okay. Sorry. Yeah. I can probably come up with somebody better than that then. 

[00:50:21] Ryan Foland: Yeah. You don’t want to be the naive person. But see that’s the power of the metaphor is that we’re using a brand halo off of one thing and then a brand halo off of something else. The first thing is how you do business, you as a person, the way that you go about life, the way that you go about your business. Are you the MacGyver of SERP? Are you the scrappy guy? Or are you the Mary Poppins of SERP, right? Or do you just come in and everybody else is angry and you’re like, let’s put a spoonful of sugar to make this Google search go down?

Being the Sherlock Holmes of Brand Reputation Control

[00:50:49] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. In that case, I’m the Sherlock Holmes a hundred percent because the entire thing is based on figuring out what the source of the problem is, solving that source because the rest of it, in French, we say cul de source. It comes out of the spring, and it’s natural.

[00:51:06] Ryan Foland: So, a hundred percent. You are the Sherlock Holmes of, and then what do you want to call the industry? What do you want to call this thing? 

[00:51:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brand reputation control. 

[00:51:15] Ryan Foland: Okay. That’s a little much, but Sherlock Holmes of brand control or the Sherlock Holmes of brand identity or the Sherlock Holmes of Google searching or right? There’s so many different variations. 

[00:51:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But online brand identity would do it. 

[00:51:31] Ryan Foland: Sure, but just online brand identity is it’s hard to put that in my mind as if I say Scooby-Doo, I know what’s Scooby-Doo is, or if I say something, it’s like I know what it is. You’re trying to stitch all those together. But what’s one level above that or one level below that? Sherlock Holmes of? 

[00:51:53] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, the Sherlock Holmes would be the controller element of it. Sherlock Holmes would figure out how you can control all this stuff, which is the very difficult parts. Control has to be in there. The Sherlock Holmes of…

Shortening It to the Sherlock Holmes of Reputation 

[00:52:08] Ryan Foland: What are you trying to control, right? You might not have to say the word control.

[00:52:11] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Reputation.

[00:52:12] Ryan Foland: Sherlock Holmes of reputation. That’s a bit cleaner. And what it does, all you’re trying to do is get them three out of five.

[00:52:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): For anybody who’s listening, I’m not watching. I’m looking up at the ceiling trying to get make sense of all this. But the Sherlock Holmes of reputation, the Sherlock Holmes of, I’m so tempted to say controlling reputation, but I can’t. Sorry. You finish off Ryan. I interrupted you.

A Better Way of Putting: the Sherlock Holmes of Google or the Google Whisperer

[00:52:37] Ryan Foland: No, no. It’s okay. The idea though is it’s more of like a metaphor and an analogy. So, the Sherlock Holmes of something. And I don’t know exactly what that is, but that’s the concept. Your three words are that. Maybe it’s not Sherlock Holmes. Maybe it’s, well, you’re not a private investigator. Maybe you’re the Sherlock Holmes of Google.

[00:53:00] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah.

[00:53:01] Ryan Foland: And if you think about that for a second… 

[00:53:05] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Sorry. It’s not a superhero, but the Google whisperer would be a very good way of putting it.

[00:53:11] Ryan Foland: It is, the Google whisperer, and you’re definitely, you’re leveraging that. But for me, that’s like a direct metaphor, and using two things sometimes is more, it lets people connect those dots. So maybe, I don’t know, for me, the Sherlock Holmes of Google makes me uniquely think. And again, this is just one example of how you can communicate what you do in three words. When I say three words, it’s really two things that are connected by a relational term. What you do is if Sherlock Holmes had a baby with Google, right? If Sherlock Holmes had a baby with Google, that’s what I do. You can paint them in different ways. 

[00:53:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Okay. Yup. No, no. Okay. I think coming back to what I love doing and what the clients I love is anybody in any situation where I have to figure out what the root of the problem is, because that allows me to show them the solution to that problem, and Google is the platform on which that problem exists.

[00:54:18] Ryan Foland: And that right there is the kind of fun conversation that you have with somebody after you drop the fact that you’re the Sherlock Holmes of Google. And they’re like, wait, what? That sounds. And you’re like, okay, okay. So here’s this, and here’s this. Right? The idea is giving them just enough information for them to make connections on their own, but for you to not control. Because when you tell a tagline, you are in control of the message. But when you use metaphor and analogy, you let that person have control. And as we know, it’s all about control. 

[00:54:51] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. That’s a wonderful end.

Some More Ending Points; Every Problem Is Completely Unique So Every Solution Is Completely Unique 

[00:54:54] Ryan Foland: Well, Jason, this was a ton of fun. Thank you for surviving the hot seat. I gave you some extra bells here, but I learned a lot. And again, one of those people on that Polaroid was me.

[00:55:09] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Oh, right.

[00:55:10] Ryan Foland: So, I’d love to continue to work with you and see how you can help me solve a real problem that I have to digitally disconnect with some people that I want to move away from and to have more control over the videos that I want to be seen and the messages that I want to portray as I build my brand.

[00:55:26] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Can I make a really quick point actually? And it’s something, because several people have connected with me over the last few days saying I’ve got this specific problem. And every single problem is completely unique. So, every solution is completely unique. And that’s that kind of the Sherlock Holmes thing is saying every time somebody comes to me with a problem, I can look at that. And I say, all this experience, all of these, all the things I’ve done in the past can help me to understand what the potential solution will be or what the solution will be because the solution has never been seen before because the problem has never been addressed before. 

[00:56:01] Ryan Foland: And so the problem that you face is how do you take those unique problems and identify what top level problem will be the stitch that starts them to understand that that’s a problem that you can solve.

[00:56:17] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant. Wonderful.

[00:56:18] Ryan Foland: All right. All right. All right. Hey, well, this has been a lot of fun. I guess I’ll search you online later, but we’ll connect, and I’m excited that we were able to have this fun conversation.

[00:56:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was a hotter, hot seat than I expected. Thank you very much, Ryan. 

[00:56:33] Ryan Foland: But hot in the best way, like cooked to perfection, right? We’re always cooking. If you’re not cooking, then you don’t have any food to eat, and then we would all be no mercy or rhyme. 

[00:56:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No. I just feel like a beautifully basted Turkey. Thank you.

[00:56:52] Ryan Foland: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Jason, because you fought your way through the 3-1-3 challenge, like the Sherlock Holmes of Google. That’s right. And thank you listeners for tuning into another 3-1-3 challenge. If you think that you’re up for the challenge, I challenge you to go to, and you can apply to be in the hot seat. Do you want me to help you tease out your message, and you don’t want to be in the hot seat? That’s okay, too. You can contact me, and I can do the 3-1-3 with just me and you. And there’s pandemic pricing, which means it’s only going to cost you $313. Go to to learn more. You can keep up with all of these 3-1-3 challenges by subscribing on your favourite app. Don’t forget to leave a five star review on Apple Podcasts, and you can find us on Goodpods. That’s it, unless you want to connect with me on social media and continue the conversation. Until next time. Keep it simple.

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