A friend of mine owns a couple of rental properties here in Reno. A few weeks ago I ran into him at The Home Depot. He was buying drywall supplies... evidently one of his tenants had destroyed a five foot area of drywall. So there he was buying his supplies, getting ready to fix the damaged wall.
I talked to him a little while later and asked about the drywall. He said it took him 5 days and about $450 to fix the wall. When I asked him how it looked, he replied, "It'll work".
That conversation got me thinking about business owners, their websites and online maketing. There are a ton of "do-it-yourselfers" in business. People who ask the question, "Why should I pay someone to build website? I can do it myself."
Of course you can build your own website. There are tons of free services out there that will allow you to do just that. But, the end result usually works out like my buddy who repaired his own drywall: learn how to do it, spend a lot of money and time, and end-up with something less-than desirable. Something that "will do".
As business owners, we justified learning how to do things ourselves in order to save the cost of paying someone else to do it. I think this philosophy works for some specific business issues. But it won't work for your website, your pay-per-click campaigns or your search engine optimization.
These online initiatives are simply too complex to handle yourself (that is, if you want to see results). In today's world, your website is more important than your storefront. Spend the money and get professional help.
I got a call today from one of our clients about some false claims on a website blog. The comments were in-fact, completely untrue... but, nonetheless hurt my client's image.
Here's the deal guys, conversations are being held on the web with or without our consent, some of these conversations can have a negative impact on your brand.
Take time each day to monitor your brand. Find out what people are saying about you and your company online. News travels fast on the web--good or bad. It's your job to make sure you're on top of it.
I'm a bus dev guy. That is my passion. I currently own two businesses and am working on a third. Being an entrepreneur is hard. In addition to the long hours and hard work, there is a lot of ups and downs! And, (in most cases) when you first start out, you have to do--and learn--everything: accounting, marketing, sales, operations, legal, fixing the toilet... et cetera. Is it worth it? Totally!
When I first started my web design and development company Bullsprig I didn't quit my day job. Let's face it, I needed to pay the bills somehow. What I did was work on the business at night, after my "real job". I would come home from work and spend time with my wife (girlfriend at the time) then, when she went to bed, I would get to work. This is what it takes guys. Hard work. Period. No other way about it.
I have a lot of entrepreneur / start-up business clients at Bullsprig. I love it because I love helping people achieve their dream of financial independence. Over the past couple of months, I have taken a good, 360 degree, look at my business. What are my clients really looking for? What do my clients want from me?
There is obviously a lot of answers to these questions, but I think I have really narrowed it down.
So, what's the point of this post? Well, I want to tell all my beloved readers and clients I'm taking Bullsprig in a new direction. Yes, we will continue to provide web design and development services and online marketing services. But, we're going to go a step further and provide more consulting services regarding their online and social media presence. We're going to help our clients build brand equity online.
The process of web design and development is never really done. Updating, and adding on to your website is something you should always be doing.
Having a website and communicating to your customers is how you get real feedback about your business. Writing blog posts, new FAQ's, announcements, Tweets... all these tools help your customers find out more about you and your business. It's not enough to build a website and call it good. You have to work at it.
We recently designed and developed a website for St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School. The very first blog post created a dozen comments from parents wanting specific additions to the website. As a business owner, you must read (and respond) to comments written on your website. Listen to your customers and give them what they want.
When you engage with your customers, you will find more and more people interested in your products and services. And, most importantly, your customers will tell you what they want and need. Be open to new ideas and perspectives and watch your business grow!
The video below outlines why Steve Jobs is such a captivating speaker. The video is about 7 minutes, by Carmine Gallo.
In watching the video, I kept thinking back to our recent client presentations. I think Bullsprig is an awesome web design company! I think we do great work... our clients tell us we do great work! But sometimes, we get lost talking about "techie" subjects that--as a company--we care deeply about, but often times, our clients don't.
Carmine Gallo illustrates some great points, including: If you're enthusiastic and excited about your product or services, your client will be enthusiastic and excited about your product or services as well. Have a theme to your presentation and stick with it. (Don't let lost in "techie" stuff).
The tips and techniques in the video below will help anyone trying to sell products and/or services. Enjoy!
I am a huge fan of Napoleon Hill. Hill's works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal and business success.
Recently I read the following by Napoleon Hill:
Where will you be ten years from now if you keep on going the way you are going?
Many people fail to realize that big success is the result of little successes achieved, often over a very long period of time. Truly successful people are long-term thinkers. They know that they must build upon each achievement and constantly learn new and better ways of doing things. A regular review of your progress is an essential part of goal-setting. A goal is little more than a wish unless it has a timetable for completion. Make sure your plan for your life includes short, medium, and long-term goals. Revise your goals as circumstances dictate, check them off when they are completed, and set new and bigger goals for yourself as you grow. And take time to reflect often to make sure you are on the right course-for you.
Pretty powerful stuff. Let me break down this information.
Truly successful people are long-term thinkers.
Thinking long-term is easier said than done. Especially in the current business climate. You might wonder where you next sale is going to come from. Or, will my business survive this period. Every business owner has these thoughts. What's important is that you do something about it.
You need to look hard at your current marketing initiatives. What are you doing now? Is it working? Is your website working hard for you and your business? What is your conversion rate in your pay-per-click campaigns? Did that email blast generate any leads or sales? And so on.
If your online marketing initiatives are not working, you must do something different.
Successful people constantly learn new and better ways of doing things.
How much time do you spend on your website? Are you updating content, photos, FAQ's? How often do you talk with your web design firm / marketing agency? What type of funnels do you have on your website? Are they generating leads or selling your products?
There are so many better ways of doing business online. At Bullsprig, we have modules that allow you to update your website from any computer with an internet connection. How much time do you spend on social media? Ever wonder how to reduce the time you spend? If you have a Google AdWords account, do you have any keywords with a low quality score? What are you, or your web design agency doing about it?
With Bullsprig as your online business partner, we can help you find new and better ways of doing business online.
Make sure your plan for your life includes short, medium, and long-term goals.
At Bullsprig, we have an internal roadmap of goals. We are constantly working and moving forward to create new, better ways of marketing online. Better ways of designing websites, building ecommerce stores.
What are your online goals? Do you have any?
It's okay if you don't have goals... you might not know where to start. Listen, we know the web is complex. We're in business to help people and companies understand the web. We’re about streamlining the complex stuff so that anyone can understand it. Our products are designed so business owners and individuals can start small and grow with it as their business does.
We are actively involved with each of our clients. We work with business owners to define online business goals and make a roadmap to complete those goals.
Reflect often to make sure you are on the right course-for you.
Success online is the result of constant communication. We talk with our clients once a week: What's working? What's not working? How can we fix it?
We believe in providing you great technology, built to help you succeed, at an affordable price.
If your website design agency is not helping your business succeed online, it's time to look elsewhere. Contact Bullsprig today. Let's start the conversation.
Let's talk a little about copywriting for your website.
What is copywriting? When talking web design, it's your site's content... what people read. This includes Headlines, Subheads and body copy. Writing is always difficult (for most people anyway). We tell each of our clients to estimate the amount of time you think it will take to write copy for your site, then DOUBLE IT! Internal content creation always takes longer than you expect!
Right now, we have 5 websites that are completely finished, beta tested, layout approved, all ready to go... but WAITING for finalized copy. It's always copy that holds up a website launch!
My minor in college was Journalism. I didn't know how to write very good at all. One of the first classes I took was on writing. My professor actually asked me if wanted to change my minor and do something else! At any rate, I learned how to write. I wasn't the star student, but I powered my way through it and learned a lot. So can you!
Here's some help for those of you who may need some help, here is a great article: The Art of the Paragraph.
The www.copyblogger.com is a great website to learn how to write and to bring out your inner writer. Read the articles. Learn.
Keep your fingers crossed that we get the copy soon. We have some awesome sites to unveil, stay tuned!
Let's cut right to it: First impressions matter. A lot. Both personally and in business. In this article we're going to talk about the importance and impact of your marketing design... both online (custom websites) and offline (your print marketing materials).
We just finished a huge project for DirecTV. It's just the beginning. We created a 50 page capabilities presentation for their VP of marketing to review. Getting this right was super important. Presenting the ideas in the best possible light was worth all the extra time and effort.
But, let's step back for a moment. You might be wondering how a Reno web design agency located in Reno Nevada could get the opportunity to present concepts for a huge company like DirecTV. The answer is great design.
So what is great design? Design is like art, it is subjective. At Bullsprig, we classify great design as work that solves business objectives... and so do our clients. Every single one of our clients has come from word-of-mouth marketing. These businesses love our work, and they tell their colleagues. It's pretty neat to see... overwhelming at times.
Just this week, we're received 3 requests for proposal. "How'd you hear about us?" we ask. "Oh, a friend told me about you. We looked at your website and really like the work." Boom.
We got the lead from word-of-mouth. But the connection happened when they visited our website and looked at our work. First impression. Well maybe second impression, but you get the idea--first impressions count.
Presenting your business in the best possible light is well worth the investment. It is worth the time, effort and money to get it right. Your website is the connection between your customers and your business. The quality of a site's design and functionality tell a lot about a company and its values.
What about your print marketing? Same thing. We educate all our clients about the right way to design print materials. More than 90% of our interactive clients contract Bullsprig to handle their print materials. If you are looking for a Reno design agency (or any design agency) ask them if they can handle both print and online marketing. It's super important to have all your marketing materials come from the same place. Using this strategy will insure your brand's integrity.
The quality of a company's graphic design and interactive design speaks volumes and builds trust. It's important to contract with an experienced design agency when putting together your website and building your print marketing materials. Quality design is critical for a company to get results and solve business objectives.