Have You Hired One of These Web Designers?

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This is actually an article I wrote 3 or 4 years ago, but I came across it when I was looking for content for a clients newsletter and though I would share it with you.. It's a fun run through of some of the unique "characters" we run into in the web designer/developer world. If I missed a type l let me know in the comments.

1. The Human Flash –

This individual believes that every website should be flash. They will tell you that NOBODY uses html anymore. They will justify the website costing 5-10 times as much to do everything in flash by saying that it will look a LOT cooler.

2. The Dark Horse -

Will only do black backgrounds and white text. Doesn't really care that your target audience isn't 18-25 year old Goths or gamers. Designs the site the way they like it.

3. The Microsoft Manipulator -

Yep I'm picking on everybody – The Microsoft Manipulator will always go for Microsoft based tools without reviewing the actual customer requirements. He'll also refuse to make sure that his web site works on Firefox or a Mac stating they SHOULD be using Internet Explorer.

 4. Egomaniacial Coder –

This individual feels that they need to write everything from scratch and charge you for it. – warning sign – he tells you that the e-mail programs out there are all designed wrong and that he is going to write a new one for you

 5. The Widget Warrior -

this individual will fill your page up with so many widgets and spinning objects that it will take a week to download on the average home PC – Famous phrase – it works fine on my machine

 6. The Mac Maniac -

This individual believe that Microsoft is the enemy and will tell you that at every turn. They are welcome to their opinion. But since most of the world uses Internet Explorer it REALLY IS important that it displays correctly on IE. Phrase to watch out for, Well everyone should be using a Mac…it's better

 7. The Linux Lackey –

This individual is the geekier, less hip version of the Mac Monster. He also believes that Microsoft is the enemy, everything should be open source and everyone should be using Opera or Firefox for their browser.

 8. The Bored B.A. –

they've found that the only way that they can make a living with their Art degree is to do websites. Warning signs – they tell you that they have a wonderful inspiration for your web design as they pull out the watercolors or pencils….

 9. Jeremy – 

The neighbor kid, friends' kid etc – He's usually named Jeremy. He had a class in html in high school and has built a one page website. The biggest issue with these kids is that they are usually a combination of several of the above without and real knowledge or direction.

10. The Cranky Copywriter -

"Images are a waste of space — copy is what sells"

11. The Lazy Layout artist –

Every one of their websites looks exactly alike

12. Last but not least … The Perky Perfectionist –

They are ALWAYS "almost" done…kind of like this list of the top 7, I mean 10, I mean 12 Scariest Web Designers!

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PayPal What are you thinking???

Dear PayPal

I'm thinking about breaking up with you.

We've been together for almost a decade. A decade where I've bought and sold 10s of thousands of dollars of items using your service. I've loved the simplicity and the security that you provide me when I make purchases from people I don't know all over the world. I love how you make it easy for me to sell things online without having to go through setting up bank processing.

I evangelize you to friends, family, students and clients.Recommending that the simplicity that you provide far outweighs the higher transaction fees when selling and that the security you provide when ordering is unparalleled.

I look for the PayPal button when I'm making purchases and always use PayPal when it's available.

I even remember stubbornly ignoring Ebay's attempts to get me to use BillPay. I ranted to my friends about Ebay's attempts to replace you when you were so vital to Ebay's growth. Even when Ebay made us go through extra steps to use you I persevered. I thought you were in the right and I like to think that people like me are the reason that Ebay relented and bought you for $1.5 billion.

But I don't know what you're thinking right now.

I'm not sure if you've just gotten too big and forgotten your roots. Your service is still awesome, I've even had great customer service experiences the couple of times that I've had issues.

You have to remember that it's not the big things that kill relationships.

It's the little things. Like forgetting to put the toothpaste cap back on or leaving the toilet seat up.

Those things that just annoy you,

The first couple of times, you don't even notice

But after a while you mention it and explain why it bothers you

Then when it happens again…

You're mad

This is one of those things…

Why in the hell do I have to click "NO" I do not want to use your "Bill me later" service EVERY time I pay for something????

Once was fine…"Oh they have a new service…"

Even the second time, I thought "Oh there it is again…"

But then you started freezing the page to make me select yes or no on it.

That was annoying

But I dealt with it, thinking to  myself, "This is a little aggressive for a $5 purchase"

and it happened again

and again

and again

WTF are you doing??? Who programmed that thing. There are two issues here:

1. Why would someone want to use Bill me later on a $5 purchase?? Maybe a $500 purchase, BUT a $5 purchase???

2. Why should I have to say "NO" more than once. Hell even a 30 day cookie would be fine. A one day cookie would make it a little easier to bear…

Really…I don't get it. how much will you really earn on my $5 purchase if I use Bill Me Later…

Sincerely,

Former raving fan

 

Fir those that don't use PayPal here's the offending picture:

 

 

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Want to Build Your Business – Get Involved

I believe in giving back to my local community. I'm on the board of Junior Achievement, I co-founded the Save Our Parade committee and saved the Billings St Patrick's Day Parade five years ago, I helped with our Billings Swords For Kids run at the  Pepsi Refresh grant #17 out of over 300, I help with the Yellowstone Highland Games and I give free presentations on online marketing and social media for a variety of organizations.

How do I give back?

I prefer to give back using my skills: public relations, marketing strategy and social media /online marketing and tend to do that for the different groups I get involved with. Most of the time that's simply because i have the most experience other times it's because I request to fill that roll.

I believe that anytime you can fill a roll that fits your work skills it's best. It's not that I'm allergic to setting up tents or manning a ticket booth, but I know that my skills are best suited lining up and doing TV and radio interviews. So try to fill in where your skills are best suited. If you're a carpenter, build things, if you're a graphic designer design things, if you are extremely organized, manage the projects there is no end to the number of roles that are available to you.

How do I benefit?

There are a lot of great benefits from giving back. I truly enjoy teaching kids in the Junior Achievement program. It's so much fun seeing the look in a kids eyes when a concept hits home. I also get a chance to hang out with some amazing people that I may not have met without getting involved.

My business has benefited because I've been able to get to know a number of the local reporters and have been interviewed on camera as the local social media and online marketing expert and provided commentary on Facebook changes and Cyber Monday. This has helped me get speaking opportunities and new clients without doing anything but giving free information.

So get out and get involved in your local community, you'll feel great, you'll meet some great people and you can build your business. Now I need to run the St Patrick's Parade lineup starts in 1/2 an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Viral Marketing Strategy

I almost called this article how I found out I was a mongoose, but it doesn't Serengeti Bookmake sense until you go take the quiz. My friend Jonathan Rivera, you can find him at Real-TechGuy.com did a video and post about Surviving Your Serengeti. <– affiliate link.

The book sounds interesting and he gave it a great review I don't know much about the book beyond his review.  But their marketing has been amazing.

One of the things they are doing is a quiz that helps you determine what animal you are, that's how I found out I was a weasel. It's a simple quiz and we're all curious to find out if the quiz is "right." But on the quiz page they have three different ways you could virally share. #1 like the page on Facebook, #2 like the book on Amazon and #3 like ActiveRain on Facebook.

Once you've gone through the quiz they show you what animal you are and give you multiple ways to share your type. I'll detail three of them here:

#1 They ask you to share your results with your friends. This generates the wall post below 

#2 The ask you to share the Quiz which generates a wall post.

#3 They have Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons

That's not counting the links on the two sides of the and they have a Facebook Profile badge generator that I didn't get a screenshot of, but here's Jonathan's. He's a mongoose too. My guess is that most of my online entrepreneur friends will be mongooses because we're resourceful.

They hit it from all of the normal book launch channels as well, but how they used social media to virally promote was extremely well done. And it looks like it worked:

I'm buying my copy based on Jonathan's review, but their marketing was top-notch. You can learn a lot from this campaign.
One of the core take-away's is to not be afraid to use multiple method because you never know when someone with a large audience will share your page and drive a significant share of traffic.

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Social Media Mistake – Not starting with a plan

The most common social mSocial Media Mistakesedia mistake I see my clients making is starting their social media without a plan. Their are several scenarios that happen.

  1. You hear someone talking about how much success they've had with social media so you jump in and set up a Facebook profile. 
  2. Your boss comes in and says, "We need to get on that FaceTube or YouBook thing, and you need to take care of it."
  3. You realize that your old advertising methods aren't working and you need something new so you give it a shot.

In most of the scenarios above you end up failing. Why do you fail? Primarily you fail because you don't start with the right questions:

  1. What are my goals for social media?
  2. Who is my customer?
  3. Where is my customer active in social media?
  4. What information does my customer want to know?

The thing to remember about social media marketing is that it cuts both ways. It's better to not be involved than to do it poorly.

Let's dig into these questions

What are my goals for social media?

There are several metrics that you can track:

Engagement:

  1. # of new people on your email list
  2. # of fans/followers
  3. # of comments / likes / share of your content

Revenue

  1. # of online sales if you have an online store
  2. # of new customers coming into your store

Who is my customer?

Who is my customer?

I'm always surprised when I ask prospective clients who their customer is and they say everyone. It's not everyone, you might take everyone's money, but that doesn't mean you should be working with everyone or that everyone will buy your product or service. Build a profile of your best customer: age, sex, likes, occupation etc.

Where is my customer active on social media?

There are several ways to find this out:

  1. Ask them – this is the one that most of my online peers miss. Ask them in your store, ask them when you're meeting with them, email them if you have a list, but ask them.
  2. On Facebook –
    • Go to advertising
    • Start an ad
    • Adjust the demographics to fit your demographics
    • Ask yourself if that's enough people

What does my customer want to know?

This will depend on your business. Bars need to let people know what specials, events and music they have coming up. Clothing stores should share sales, dressing tips, Real Estate agents can share tips for lowering your mortgage rate etc… You can also do some of the following to find out what they are interested in.

  1. Ask them…
  2. Search.Twitter.com – search based on your business type and keyword phrases
  3. Do a Google search with the keyword phrases for your business – look for social media sites that could be a good fit
    • "Keyword phrase" blog
    • "Keyword phrase" forum
    • "keyword phrase" in video
    • "keyword phrase" in News

Feel free to ask any questions about planning in the comments below.

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