This morning I got a couple of e-mails from Gerald from Canada who is starting his own web design business . I am including our exchange on my blog since I think this is a good topic that relates to marketing any type of business.
My name is Gerald and I came across an article that was written last year making the point that many small businesses do not have a website. You made the following comment with regards to the article.
“This is a great article. I had no idea the numbers of businesses without websites was so high, but it does not surprise me since I started a business this year doing websites for small businesses. Having been a small business owner myself I knew what the hurdles were to getting a site done and we have built out business based on overcoming these issues. We named our business New Tricks, and our motto is, “It’s never too late!”
I have started in the same space in Ottawa Canada and was interested to get your feedback to overcoming the “I don’t need a website” or “I’ve been doing just fine for 10 years on my own” mentality.
Any advice you can provide to assist my business up here would be greatly appreciated.
My advice to you is to pick the low hanging fruit. There are many people who already know their websites are not so great. They know that they could be adding content and easily updating the site themselves and sending content to Facebook and Linked-In and Twitter, but they think it is too overwhelming and don’t know where to start. Find them and make it easy for them to work with you. There are other people who are not ever going to buy what you are selling, without your knocking your head against the wall. Why do that to yourself?
Find your niche. In your case go after business owners who are ready, who have been feeling like they need to change but didn’t know where to turn. Go out and speak, hang out and talk to people at coffee shops, talk to people wherever you go. When you find someone who is interested, educate them about WordPress and how easy it is to manage as a small business and how you can help them. They will work with you and they will love you. Good Luck.
Gerald responded back,
Thanks again, I appreciate your advice and help. That’s good advice Judi thank you… One last question if I may… What would your response be to those business owners who say that they are swamped with business and don’t need a website?
I responded back:
Gerald, Although I feel like a WordPress Missionary, I know I can’t save everyone. I’d say to that person, Good Work and Good Luck! There will always be late adapters or obstreperous individuals such as those who brag that they will not ever get on Facebook. These folks barely have a microwave let alone an I-Phone. Let them be.
Determine your “Ideal Client Profile” and stick with directing your efforts towards them. You should very specifically write down the definition of your “ideal client” so you can target your approach, your posts and your time on finding and converting them. I did this and it really helps direct my time and attention.
Here is the exercise I did:
Great Marketing Exercise for a Small Business or Entrepreneur:
My Ideal Client:
• Has an old school brochure style website that is difficult to keep current and maintain.
• Wants to be able to increase and easily cultivate an on-going relationship with their customer base
• Has some understanding of what is possible with social media and web 2.0 but has been overwhelmed and not known where to start.
• Has tried to use or considered using their sister-in-law’s nephew just out of college or a template from Go Daddy and realize they will get what they paid for, and is ready to invest the time and money into doing it right.
• Understands the value of experience, expertise and reputation.
• Wants to be an active participant in using their web presence and social media as an important part of their marketing plan.
• Will make the time, and the money, energy and support people, required to get good results.
• Is interesting, honest, ethical, responsible and appreciative.
My Target Markets:
• Individuals starting freelance careers in their chosen professions after leaving corporate positions.
• Small businesses that need to project a top notch image with their brand and website both in design and usability.
• New and Established Entrepreneurs.
• Artists, Creative professionals, and Small Food Service and Retail.
- Who are you? My name is Judi Knight. I am a web-designer, marketing coach and entrepreneur. My company is called New Tricks and our motto is, “It’s never too late” .
- What do you do? I help small businesses create an on-line presence that resonates with who they are, using the latest web 2.0 technologies. I am passionate about teaching entrepreneurs to manage their own sites and use social media tools to create a client base who knows, likes and trusts them in order to grow their businesses.
- Who are your clients? My clients are small business owners both new and established who need to create or improve their on-line presence using the latest web technologies that they can then maintain themselves. My ideal client understands the value of a polished, search engine optimized, web presence tied into social media tools and wants to be able to work it themselves. However they realize the benefit of having a expert who understands business, design and marketing set it up and teach them to use it.
My short introduction:
My name is Judi Knight, my business is New Tricks. I work with small business owners and entrepreneurs to create branded WordPress Websites and I teach them to use them with Social Media to grow their businesses.
Try this yourself and you will be sure to get more clarity in your marketing efforts.
As you grow your business sometimes your ideal client profile changes too. Here is my updated version:
My ideal client:
- Is starting a business they are serious about and have been successful in other ventures.
- Has an existing business and understands the value of a more professional website with current technology.
- Wants to work with a company that brings business and marketing experience to the design process.
- Knows the value of a Content Management Website.
- Needs help creating their brand, logo and overall website layout and design.
- Has an interesting business and is fun to work with
- Respects the value of my time and my work.