What Marvel Comics Taught me about Starting an SEO Company

Marvel Universe

I know, I know. Geeky, right? Mind you, the fact that you’re reading this connotes that we’re on the same boat. Marvel Comics have been one of my most adored childhood memories. Thanks to the internet and the ever-awesome scanner, I got to read a ton of Marvel comics on my Tablet. And you know what? It taught me a lot about SEO.

The Invincible Iron Man

Invincible Iron Man

Billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark wouldn’t have gone in to the superhero business if he wasn’t ambushed and almost killed in a very unfortunate, depressing terrorist attack. I don’t want to go anywhere near risking my neck but when I started SEO Hacker, that’s exactly how it felt. Leaving that secure job for an untested startup in an unfamiliar industry.

The thing I love about Tony Stark is his visionary trait. He can almost see the future to the point that he invests in anti-calamity plans that one one else will see coming. His focus on the futuristic possibilities and his skill to calculate risks most accurately is something that I’ve always admired.

In SEO, there’s few things more important than envisioning what ‘calamities’ Google can bring your way. You have to be a visionary to invest in plans that will keep your SEO company running.

The Amazing Spider Man


Accidents do happen and sometimes a lost, radioactive spider can catapult you into becoming one of the most renowned superheroes of all time. There were times when a client suddenly pops out of nowhere to inquire of our services. They don’t seem radioactive and they don’t seem like they have the budget to push through – but they end up signing a sizeable contract with us.

And you know what? Those clients have been able to save our financial status and keep us going.

What I love about Spidey is his ability to unconsciously detect threats before they approach fruition. He can dodge punches, bombs, bullets – you name it. We don’t have spider senses. But there were more than a handful of times when we escaped unseen threats by making sure our SEO strategy is centered around solid Content Marketing.

Captain America

Captain America

Steve Rogers was the first and only success of the super soldier serum concocted by Dr. Abraham Erskine. Unfortunately, he got his body trapped in ice for centuries. The First Avenger who inspired superheroism for the generations to come.

There is no super SEO serum with which I got started with – but being the thought leader who will inspire other SEO companies in my country and around the world is a cause I’m trying to undertake. There are lots of Steve Rogers in our industry who promote integrity, quality of work, camaraderie and healthy competition.

It’s something that I think is critical for an industry to thrive.

The Uncanny X-men

Uncanny X Men

You would see how Professor X treats his students as individually special in their own way. He understands that the differences between skills and mutations of each individual can be their defining identity. And identity is one of the most important things in life – even at work.

I’m not anywhere near a psychic (I wish I was!) but knowing each of your teammate’s individual differences can direct the course of your company.

Because of individual differences, it makes the each of your teammates indispensable. Consequently, the strongest bond that holds a together as a team can either be one of two things: Pride and praise, or loyalty and camaraderie.

Pride and praise is when they can do something awesome just because they can do it – and they’re the only ones who can.

Cyclops can shoot force beams out of his eyes and has a special knack in expressing leadership and authority.

Wolverine has a powerful healing factor and a heightened sense of smell. Making him the team’s bloodhound and hand-to-hand combatant.

Colossus has organic steel skin. Putting him in a position of a heavy hitter and barricade.

These things that make each individual special can easily boost the ego and get into one’s own head. This isn’t a good reason to stay in the team even if it can be a good short-term strategy to keep a team together.

Loyalty and camaraderie is when you have a mutual respect for each individual’s skill-set and character. When you have one vision, one leader and you treat each other as more than just necessary pieces of a puzzle – you are a family. This is what the X-men have. This is what I want my team to have.

And that is where we are going right now as a team. Yes, skills and competency are important and I always tell my team that we’re “running a business, not a charity.” However, without that bond of loyalty and camaraderie, we wouldn’t be able to ask favors and/or reprimand mistakes of each other as easily as we could right now.

The Incredible Hulk

Incredible Hulk

Bruce Banner’s accident on exposing himself to Gamma Radiation is both the best and worst thing that has happened to him. There was a time in the Marvel universe when Bruce Banner can willingly turn himself into the hulk and back. He could control his rage and the hulk was his servant.

I learned that sometimes you have to be angry enough at the status quo to grow your business. You have to be angry enough at your comfort and angry enough with cruising your business to take yourself and your team and your income to a whole new level. The status quo is the riskiest place you can be. Cruising with your business’ current income is the most dangerous lie you can ever believe.

In a world of cut-throat competition, staying in one place too long can make you too easy of a target.

I’m Not a Geek. Promise.

It’s just that I love the way Marvel does their content. More visuals. More graphics. More action. Less words. That’s actually where I derived the design for the SEO lessons we have over at SEO Hacker School. In fact, here’s a sample lesson for you to chew on:

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If you want to know more about my journey in starting up an SEO company, check out my presentation on 15 Important Lessons I Learned as an SEO Start up

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  • angster

    <— X-Men!

  • shubhangi srivastava

    hi sean,
    Great post in very simple language. You have very clear vision about your goal that’s why you are inspired by Marvel comics.

    Thanks sean again for sharing such a nice post

  • CarissaColes

    Wow, you nailed it Sean. I am a fan of few Marvel heroes. I can totally relate with Spidey. Someone says “keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on maybe, perhaps when you are least expecting it”.

    • h3sean

      Exactly! You can never go wrong in just trying and trying to close every opportunity. There are going to be behind-the-back deals and you’ll be thankful that you gave it some time, thought, and effort. Thanks Carissa!

  • Charles Floate

    I want to be Iron Man.

    • h3sean

      Don’t we all?

  • alam syah

    Great idea to connet super hero with SEO, I like it, the iron man is the best!

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Sean!

    Kudos for this post! I am actually one of your fans. I do read your blog “God and You” and I totally like your posts there. Anyway, I also do believe that there are lots of Steve Rogers in our industry who promote integrity, quality of work, friendship and healthy competition. Looking forward for another posts of yours :)

    • h3sean

      Thanks man. I really appreciate your readership. God bless you!

  • guptaabhijit318

    Wonderful article for me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It helps most the people who involved in SEO. . You have added a lot of information to us. This will surely help us.

  • Leena Dudeja

    Great post.I like it. Iron man is the best.

  • I can totally relate with Tony Stark, if it wasn’t for those “calamities” in life, I wouldn’t have gone to where I am today. I love his visionary traits as well. I guess he’s one of my mentors when it comes to “anti-calamity” planning. :D

    Very creative post, Sean. Marvel (Iron man) fan here!

    • Val,
      Surprised to see you here :)
      Who wouldn’t like Tony Stark? He has the best-fitted actor (Robert Downey Jr.) Thus far in Marvel’s collection of movies. At least, that’s what I think. Hope to see more of you here Val :)

  • Wow. What a creative mind. I also love the Avengers. I really love the part when you talk about the differences among members of the team. Keep it up Sir Sean!