Marketing, E-Commerce & Web Design
At times I felt like the primary rule of survival comes from Alice in Wonderland - "You got to run fast just to stay in the same place." Yet also like Wonderland, the rules seem to always be changing. This technology is so new and in a continual state of improvement, that real wisdom has a hard time getting a foothold. What was smart E-marketing practice six months ago can be a total waste of time today.
The "Surreal" world of E-business and E-marketing. The Dot-Com implosion of 2001 brought reality back into Internet E-business. The message that the old rules of business didn't apply seems now to have come from the Psychic Friends Network. Building volume without profit doesn't work after all and creating a beautiful "field of dreams" with the expectation that the business will magically appear is the stuff of Hollywood - but not business or professional practice reality.
Also responding to the reality that the bottom line is important are the fact of various Search Services and Directories like Yahoo, MSN Search, Alta-Vista, Google are struggling to find viable formulas for profitability and have changed their attitude about the value of giving away something for "free." So the heretofore "free" List Your Site service rapidly disappeared to be replaced by a fee system. In that *new* Internet world of making a profit (in this quarter rather than this decade), it is now "pay to play" that dominates. All the survivors in the Search Engine and Search Directory meltdown are experimenting with various forms of pay per click, pay per view, pay for inclusion. But since nothing seems to stay the same, this too passed and various free and more complex systems are being offered to assist in getting your website listed on the WWW.
In the earlier days of Internet Marketing it was possible to build a terrific web site and then wait for the surfing public to beat a path to your door. Never more. Now many, many things must be done 'right' to have a chance of grabbing your share of the market (putting aside the rather sticky issue of making money off that share!).
Among them is relationship-building.
Remember back in the early 1990s when everybody was "networking" to get a better job or "networking" to build a client base, etc.? Well networking in a more literal sense is also vital to Internet marketing success (and people skills in establishing these networks are important too.) We are discovering that skill in crafting value-added partnerships across the Net is a key element to success. My sense is that this is one piece of advise that won't change . . . as it mirrors business (with some special twists) in the "brick and mortar" world.
My Special Skill Set. Integrating and synthesizing are major themes of how I approach my job as an Internet marketer and Web builder. Elements of this integration are: insights from my 30 years of business and professional practice experience, recent developments in the Internet marketing world, a bit of forecast where the Internet is going, and your business needs and goals. How this all translates into the work I do is a bit more difficult to specify - yet I know it plays a role in the overall results. My point is that I see doing a good job as quite a bit more than employing the technical skills of computer programming, graphic design, web architecture, etc.
Yet technical skill is also important to delivering quality to my customer. So let me list a few that I've acquired.
I see this broad skill set as allowing me to cover many bases for a client - reducing the need of coordinating a cast of specialists and the inherent disconnects that this brings. However, I also appreciate the craftsmanship of a true specialist and willingly yield to their involvement. In this case, my more advanced knowledge of the particular craft allows me to better integrate that specialist's contribution into the overall plan.
Page with Proprietary Name
To give you some idea of costs, here's some numbers to crunch. Registering your name will cost you $70 (good for two years). Site hosting (essentially leasing "office" space on a server) will be about $15 -$30 per month. [A site hosting provider we like is Earthlink ] Developing and building your site: a good rule of thumb is $150 a page (i.e. a five page site would cost $750). Once your site is developed, you have to maintain it yourself or hire someone to keep it updated with fresh material and an occasional makeover. [Our basic maintenance service begins at $120/year] So even for a modest site, a minimum of a $1000 will be needed for your first year, with somewhat less than that in succeeding years.
Here are three professional services clients with proprietary name sites. All three sites were built from the ground up in consultation with the client. All are hosted by Earthlink.net:
Naturally, an e-commerce or e-tailing site like www.Wisconsinmade.com will cost a good deal more than the above estimates. If you are willing to live within some standardized restrictions, many hosting and application service provider organizations offer various levels of leased "plug-in" systems you can add to your site for a reasonable cost. Then as your needs expand, you can upgrade or eventually build your own shopping cart system that meets your exact requirements.
Here's a couple of recent non-e-commerce client websites as examples. The first one is a work in progress and will evolve into some e-commerce applications involving the sale of sheet music. The second site is a family produce farm website that will undergo only minor editorial changes from time to time. The third site, promoting unique and elegant wedding cakes, is a quasi-e-commerce site that will eventually refer into a shopping cart website.
Personal or Basic Professional
Practice Home Page
Yet this route is a very economical entré to the Web. Later, you can convert to a proprietary site should the budget and determination be there.
Assistance Marketing & Maintaining
These are just some of the challenges in effectively marketing on the web that we'd be happy to assist with. We welcome a partnership with do-it-yourself projects, can provide tips on optimizing your site, and other ways to make your site realize the potential that is there to connect with others via the world wide web.
I would enjoy handling your inquiry into the particulars of how we might help promote your business, professional practice or consulting interests over the World Wide Web.