“Hi there. Who Are You and What Do You Do?”
“Getting right to the point…I like that. How did you get into building websites?”
In a nutshell, I first worked as a financial advisor in a bank. After few year and a couple of promotions, I started wondering what the rest of the world outside of Germany would look like.
And so I traveled. Along the way, I organized a couple of treks in Laos and worked as a dive guide in Vietnam. But eventually, I ended up in Montreal leading a team of Customer Service Specialists as well as training new colleagues for all of the 17 languages the company I worked for served.
“But that has NOTHING TO DO with website building…”
Trying to find a good work-life balance, I started doing yoga and by coincidence, I met this great teacher. He was so good, it literally blew my mind. Being very excited about the yoga, I wanted to help him. And help others as well, to actually find him on the internet. As you can imagine, yoga teachers are not so much into websites and marketing online, there was a lot of work to do. This is how I started.
“Ok, so you helped ONE guy to have a website…but what makes you any better then all the other people out there building websites?”
Well, he was just the first one. Over the years, I kept meeting more amazing people: nutrition specialists, life coaches, business consultants, tattoo artists, chefs, photographers.
All of them excelled at their jobs but most were challenged with marketing and finding customers, despite their great knowledge. So I kept building their websites and giving tips on how to find new clients.
Slowly but surely I understood that my own experiences in sales and marketing combined with my geeky nature were a combination that worked great for them.
“I see. But still…there is tons of people out there who have a degree in Computer Science. How is your experience in marketing and sales any better than that for building a website?”
I am glad you asked. All of my clients were either freelancers, small businesses or entrepreneurs that just started out. That meant they needed
- A professional web presence
- That was solid and easy enough to use so they could focus on their jobs.
- They also needed help with crafting their marketing message.
- And they needed all of that while being on a tight budget.
When focusing on these points and building on top of a recognized platform that adheres to the current standards, the amount of custom coding and design is minimized, as is the cost.
Sorry for being geeky…what I mean is that with today’s technologies, you don’t need to study programming for 3 to 5 years before you can build a website.
Using the right framework, you can access the work of exceptional programmers and designers, people who DID study for years in their fields, and combine it in the best way for you. And you end up with a professional and customized website.
“What do you mean by “right framework”?”
I build all of my sites on top of WordPress, like 24% of all the sites on the internet are. That is more than 76 million websites. Since its inception in 2003, it has been updated more than 100 times. As an Open Source Initiative, it will stay free forever.
But most importantly, it has been designed with the idea to make it as easy as possible for everyone to use it. Meaning that you don’t actually need to be a programmer yourself to add new content, update your site or keep it safe and running. Most of that can be done with a few clicks.
“That doesn’t sound very unique to me…”
But it is…You see, WordPress is built in a modular way. That means that functionality and design are like Lego bricks that can be combined with each other.
Each functionality is created via a plugin. For example there is a plugin to add a Facebook button to your site. Another plugin is for managing the comments that people leave on your site. On top of that, there are thousands of different designs to chose from. I am talking world-class design. Following the Lego analogy, you can use these bricks to build a site that is fully compliant to the latest standards while at the same time unique to you and your business.
Have a look at the website you’re on right now. Or some of the work in my portfolio. Can you see how each site has it’s own unique character while maintaining a professional appearance?
Not to mention that besides being on the internet since years, none of them has been HACKED.
“If that is so easy, what do I need you for?”
Technically, you don’t. You can pull this off all by yourself.
- Doing your research.
- Learning about the underlying technology.
- Trying the myriad of options and combinations to see what works.
- Then start testing what actually works best.
- If something goes wrong, as it always does at one point or another, you can google your way through some websites and post a little bit on the techie forums. With a little patience, you will get everything to work again.
- And please, don’t forget your regular security updates and backing up your site.
“Oh my, that does sound like a lot of work…”
Indeed it is. And this is where I come in. Because, believe it or not, I LOVE that stuff… Blame it on Macbooks, iPhones, and all the other gadgets, I am a geek through and through. And let’s not forget
MASTERY. It’s one thing to duct-tape something together like your 18-year old nephew does. But it’s a whole different world to build and maintain a “lean, mean (website) machine”.
After all, do you want to focus your time and energy on keeping that website running or would you rather focus on growing your business?
“MY BUSINESS, of course! So, tell me about your process. How does it work?”
First, I send you a guide with some information and some questions. To make most out of your time it’s best to prepare a little bit.
Then we meet and sit down together in person or via Skype. You tell me all about yourself, your business and your ideas. How you want things to be.
Then I ask you a couple of questions to make sure I understand EXACTLY what you want and what needs to be done on my part. You know, the basic structure of the site, what functionality you’d like and how everything should look. Stuff like that.
After that, mostly the day after our conversation, I will send you my quote. If you agree, the next thing you will receive is a number of mockups, usually between three and five.
You also get another document with your “homework”, everything you need to work out on your part, such as the website name, text, as well logos and images you might already have.
You choose a design and send me what you got and I start building your site. Along the way, I will ask your feedback two or three more times, to make sure I get it right.
And voila, a couple of days and few nods on your part later, your website is good to go. Then we will take care of your website domain and hosting. Because all of that will be set up under your name to guarantee you full control over your site.
“How long will that take?”
That mainly depends on you, your level of preparation and how fast you can get me everything I need. I went through the whole process above in as little as 4 days. But that client was well prepared and eager to have his website.