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January 9, 2009 at 9:30 am #964061January 9, 2009 at 11:59 am #1002785::
Just a real quick comment … you need a more professional looking website.
I also believe to be successful (well to successfully sell from your website) you need to have really well written copy.
Your business area is one that 99% of people “think” that they can do themselves.
What about “Mr X increased sales by 80% after using our professional services!” .. as a really bad example at 11pm at night after a long day
Good luckJanuary 10, 2009 at 5:58 am #1002786::
Thanks for the advice. After reading your reply we thought you might be a web developer, and our suspicions proved right when we looked at the website you had created.
After seeing your website and comparing ours with yours we find we are still very happy with our website and what we have created.
99% of people could create their own website but choose to come to you, just like we hope people who think they can write their own newsletters will choose to come to us regardless.
Thanks all the same though.
Lynda and JaydeJanuary 10, 2009 at 10:31 am #1002787::
Hi Lynda and Jayde,
I only do web development for myself these days and was in no way trying to sell you any services.
My personal website is very poor and really just a play ground – it’s not meant to be an advertising for my work (so don’t compare your website with mine!). If you do want to compare websites go searching for businesses that compete with you.
If you gain most of your customers through other means and your website is for general support information only it would be acceptable, but I can’t see you gaining customers with your current website only.
All the best
RayJanuary 11, 2009 at 10:54 pm #1002788Heidi PriceMember
- Total posts: 218
Just a quick note – the very great majority of members of this forum are here to support, learn from, and assist the other members while hopefully making some new friends who share a love of soloism.
We aren’t out to hit each other over the head with sales pitches. The comments Ray made were an opinion, not an attempt to sell to a prospective client.
If you include a link to your site, most of us will go have a look. And us web developers (Yes, us too!) are going to have an opinion. If we have suggestions that we think will help, we can’t help but make them!January 12, 2009 at 2:46 am #1002789::
We joined the forum for that exact reason. We want to network with and support other small business owners. And while it was nice of Ray to offer his advice, we felt like we were getting shot down before we had even started.
Not only did he think our website was not very good but he didn’t think much of the service we are providing either! We enjoy our work and our customers (the few that we have had in our short time in business) like what we do and contrary to what Ray believes, there is a market for it.
Hopefully things will be more positive from here though. People will have opinions and we will take all the advice we can get, but a little tact would have been appreciated.
Jayde and LyndaJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:59 am #1002790LeelaCosgroveMember
- Total posts: 634
I think you totally misinterpreted that Jayde and Lynda.
I assume you mean where he said 99% of people think they can do this stuff for themselves.
Let me tell you, as a writer who has worked in the industry for a number of years he is spot on. A lot of people think they really CAN just do it themselves. It’s our job to show them the differences between what they think is ‘good enough’ and what professional writing can really do for their business.
And you’ll need to get used to constructive criticism if you’re going to hang out on business forums. People are going to tell you what they think, whether you like it or not. If you don’t agree with them, the best thing you can do is – just like anywhere in business – smile sweetly and thank them for taking the time to respond.
You don’t have to do anything with it. But snapping at people who are trying to be helpful will only earn you a reputation … and I’m sure that’s not what you want!January 12, 2009 at 3:11 am #1002791::Publishing428, post: 1776 wrote:Not only did he think our website was not very good but he didn’t think much of the service we are providing either! We enjoy our work and our customers (the few that we have had in our short time in business) like what we do and contrary to what Ray believes, there is a market for it.
Jayde and Lynda
I apologise that you took offense to my comment. That wasn’t the intent.
I do think you can improve your website and copy.
I never wrote or inferred that there isn’t a market. I wrote that since 99% of people “think” they can do what you do you need very good copy to be able to sell your services.
All the best, and again I apologise for any unintended offense.January 12, 2009 at 3:28 am #1002792Adam RandallMember
- Total posts: 382
Dont knock it, Ray gave you some excellent advice and it was given for free.
I know exactly what it is like to work many hours on a web site and then be shot down in flames.
I just wish you could see the pictures to realise how bad it was.
I went to a web site forum for a review and the comments I got were far worse than anyone here would ever give.
After having a similar reaction to you, I went away and realised they were right and then went about modifying till I got it to an acceptable standard.
First you need to realise that comments here are all about business, they are not designed to hurt peoples feelings.
I am sure that if the site was within 20% of being acceptable then no comments would have been made, but it is well below an acceptable business standard which is what I am sure triggered the comment.
The other thing is that you are advertising that you do web content, the best place to show that you are an expert in this area is on your web site.
One bit of advice to get the ball rolling is to optimise your images, the one on the left is about 62K which is about twice the size your whole page should be, this means many people will give up waiting for the site to load.
Also you have no title for your main page which means the likelyhood of anyone finding you other than through direct links is unlikely.January 12, 2009 at 6:05 am #1002793::
Thanks for the feedback everyone. We will work on those things and make the improvements you have all suggested.
Ray, we did misunderstand what you were trying to say. Please accept our apologies for getting our backs up about it.January 12, 2009 at 6:38 am #1002794sam_leaderMember
- Total posts: 660
Welcome to the forums!
It’s great that you’re taking members’ comments on board. They’re a tough crowd! But then so, assumably, are your more general audience so hopefully you’ll be able to do something constructive with the feedback you’ve received to date.
To that end, you might want to ask your web person to do some browser testing, i.e. checking how your site appears in browsers other than Internet Explorer. Firefox is my browser of choice, as it is for about 1 in 8 users, and at the moment your site isn’t rendering properly.
I hope you get alot out of your participation in the forums.
SamJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm #1002795::
Thanks for the welcome and for your suggestions.
We had no idea that our site had those issues so we will get onto it straight away.
We have started our business from scratch with no budget at all, so we did the site oursleves. Our aim was to make improvements along the way but after the feedback it sounds like we better fix things now.
Thanks again for the welcome.
Jayde and LyndaJanuary 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm #1002796gregpritchard.virtualcioMember
- Total posts: 51
Hi Jayde and Lynda,
Firstly, congratulations on taking the plunge into business.
They’re a tough crowd!
Per Sam’s comment, the upshot of a tough crowd is that the forum members are actually providing you feedback; tactfully or otherwise. The harsh reality of business is that prospective clients provide feedback by never contacting you in the first place. Take the forum!
If you are under extreme budget constraints; consider Googling for “website templates”. These templates are a short-term option, not necessarily perfectly coded, but will give you lots of good ideas for designing your site.
Once your budget grows; get in touch with a good web designer and have them work with you to revamp the site. Expect to revamp your site at annually, if not more often. Tweak and evaluate the effectiveness of your site often, and continue evolving your site to highlight the benefits clients receive from your services.January 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm #1002797::
Thanks for your kind wishes and your feedback.
We are working with a designer now and hopefully will fix everything up this week. We are going to get the browser testing done, fix up the optimisation of the logo pic, and work on our copy for the site. We will work on improving it continuously as you have suggested.
Thanks to everyone for your feedback. We had no idea it had so many issues!! Even though we had our backs up at the start, we are really thankful to Ray for waking us up and saving us from further embarrassment.
Jayde and LyndaJanuary 15, 2009 at 1:16 am #1002798JexleyMember
- Total posts: 382
When I first got going, I had what I thought was a killer idea, a solid bidness plan, loads of potential and a site that “would do for now”. MAN did I take a hammering on the forums for that mess.
The web is more than just another form of media that you’re supposed to slot into these days, it’s its own animal, and to stay with it you’ve got to do it right. Working with a designer is the right first step, and paying close attention to all the feedback you get (on each iteration of the design) is important.
It doesn’t always have to break the bank either. Heck, I bartered SEO with a designer to get mine done 2 years ago, and am in the process of doing that for the redesign too.
You guys are on the right track though, I wish you luck and advise you to definitely bump this thread when you’ve got a redesign mocked up. These folks are more than just savvy and experienced, they can also represent some of your best customers. Trust their feedback, it’s GOLD.
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