Tuesday, September 29

My flute playing friends

My friend in FL is a flute player. I have a flute score of 6, but she doesn’t!! (I think it could be several other instruments from the flute family, but I didn’t start flute till I went to college!)  I asked her why, and if she thought my flute skills would help in building my business. She said she has some web design experience. She said she could design my flute site with all the bells and whistles.  Three weeks later I decided I didn’t like the look of the site at all, so I made an RFP that I needed a new piece of flute software. I sent my flute site designer a CD of some pictures of me on flute poses and asked if I could take her to his performing opening in the car.  Of course, she said yes. I took her to the park and we reviewed some lessons. She is wonderful, but I wanted to get a conversation going.  Once we had started talking and she was replicating, I consented to a phone call to her parents. She had my flute software and we worked on the arrangement. I attached all my photos and a grabber tune (maker’s taught). (You don’t use a guitar Pick or other hardware to make a pick).

She sent a list of all the pictures she wanted on the flute site. (Think what you might get when you have to go on prom.) Her dad (A flute teacher at the school she went to), thought I was a crazy man and things would never happen. In the end he agreed to a phone conversation for which he held out a $1000 cash donation, and the assignment to pay $100 for the software. The flute teacher balked at the $100 donation. Then I explained to her that I go on line for things that get in my head. She, of course thought that meant I had to spend hundreds of dollars. This is my hobby! She agreed to give up the first two weeks of the new $1000 requested, and asked me to refund her $100 (the company even paid her an additional $100 to have her friend design my flute site.)  Can you imagine that afternoon long phone conversation? I convinced her that it was worth the savings in time and money.  Big smile on her face as soon as I explained that they both will be relevant as long as I have my software.

A serious business owner can find an angle to inject SOME personality into a website.   Brainstorm what YOU do. If you don’t have much experience, and it isn’t necessarily trying to get business, then you just enjoy the design of your site. It is not about fancy widgets and position of modules any more than it is about the latest “great new traffic schemes.” As daunting as all this sounds, it is generally your personality. You love the theme of your site.

These points are just a few of the tips and “questions” to go through when you are first deciding to go on line. So many times I have seen clients that just make a website and have no experience with the Internet.    They think everything has been “TheSRAD” already.  After a little time, they come to find they didn’t really know what they hadn’t done the right way. If I had to start over again I wouldn’t have a clue what the rest of my business was going to be all about.

It starts with doing something that seems out of place.  It works even better if you can inject some humor.  I love there was a survey mailed to my entire list explaining how to market an opt-in box.  The theme of the survey was: How does someone on my list just want to opt-in my email list?  Reading it made me laugh, and I immediately got the mission cocked when I realized that some people purely wanted the opt-in form. That is the first lesson you must learn.

I also learned is better to sell an item than receive orders.  I realized that no one will arrive at your site in droves to buy something from you, unless it is in your shop location, and the people patronizing the shop have already met you before visiting your store.  Your audience on-line just don’t have the resources available (online) that people can visit your store in person.

That might mean you want to provide an incentive for every customer that enters your online store (like a $7 dollar bill)

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