I love to get my clients onto the web for the first time. No I'm not talking about installing broadband for them!
There are many artisans, tradespeople, sole traders and the like that still aren't on the web. They often don't see the value for them, they are busy enough at this point in time, hassled enough without having to deal with emails, updating web-pages and getting distracted from the day job.
I can understand this. But you know what? And I would say this: but everybody who wants to get more customers needs to be online and in a way that makes them look professional and trustworthy - not like they've thrown something together with the assistance of next-doors cat who has just done a night class in HTML (so that's what cats get up to at night then?)
Dean Baumber was one of these people. He was recommended to me by one of my long-standing clients after they got chatting about work and business whilst providing a specialist, heritage and lead roofing service. Baumbers have never had a website but have been established since 1919 - no there weren't websites back then I know.
Here's how the initial conversation with Dean went:
Dean: I've been recommended to you by your client as he said you can design me a decent website.
AA: You've come to the right place and I can certainly help you.
Dean: I've never had a website and I'm not convinced I need one now to be honest.
AA: Well you provide a specialised service, you're not just a run-of-the-mill roofer who people might find in Yellow Pages. Sure, you'll get a lot of your business through recommendation and referrals but people will be looking for someone like you online. They'll Google something like 'lead roofers in Lincolnshire' and if you don't have a website of your own, people will be going to get quotes from your competitors. Now you don't want that, do you?
Dean: I can see your point, but I don't really have any pictures of my work to show - I never get round to taking pictures of my work as you can imagine.
AA: (Thinking hard at this point!) Do you have any testimonials from happy customers?
Dean: I've got tons of those. I get customers writing to me all the time saying how happy they were with my work.
AA: Great. (we have an angle here now) Ok, so you don't have pictures to show, but let's face it, lead roofing isn't the most glamorous thing to look at pictures of, is it? But with all these genuine hand-written and typed testimonials I can scan them and they can in effect be your portfolio, your gallery.
Dean: That sounds good. You know what, let's get on with it and get a website done for us.
AA: Ok, first thing is we'll get the best domain name registered for you. Result! baumbers.com is available - it sounds great as a domain name, perfectly matches the company name, is short, easy to remember and already sounds like a brand name. Ideal.
So I set about designing www.baumbers.com, which included creating a logo for Baumbers. I suggested that they could have a tagline that includes the year they were established - why not make the most of your credentials - don't hide your light under a bushel. Baumbers were delighted at this idea. I got the wording written for the website by a copywriter - I don't know how but she can write about everything from insurance to sausages. I presented a design to Dean and he was delighted, I put in all the pages and the testimonials.
The site was put live.
About three weeks later...
I just thought I would drop you a line to say thanks once again, I’ve just got my first job sorted as a direct result of someone visiting the website.
This was Dean Baumber telling me that the website was already bringing him in business.
Since then I carried on doing updates to the Baumbers website to assist them in getting more business from people searching for this service online. I don't like to think of my service as being just website design or logo design - these are just concepts that doesn't mean a great deal to people outside of the industry. But instead I bring my branding knowledge, creativity, resourcefulness, marketing and promotional ideas, flair and passion, to deliver something that really helps clients get more business.
And a final quote from Dean who you can tell by now thinks I am mustard:
My business has changed, all for the better.. a large percentage of the work that I'm doing is as of a direct result of the website that you designed for me.