JBJLawn.com is refreshing their Web Presence. They’ve adopted a WordPress.com site and are busy preparing to move forward with blogging about thier activities in the field — communicating online with clients and prospects about what they do, how it looks before and after and other aspects of “Engaging” a new generation of followers. Congratulations John & Maryann! Notably, the site is optimized for viewing from Mobile appliances — with their phone number on the front page customers can dial them directly from their smart phone web browser.
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the new Robert D. Reed Publishers Store online. We’re using Shopify.com and as things progress, you might be interested to follow some of the results.
The old store is Now OFFLINE
The new store is http://robert-reed-publishers.myshopify.com/
In a matter of a few days, we’ll redirect the web traffic for their domain, but for now it’s an honor and a great pleasure to assist.
An open letter based on dialogue with an agency we did some volunteer work for recently…
So! You registered a domain and directed traffic to a WordPress or Wix (wherever) website. Perhaps you’ve even built Facebook pages and are thinking about Twitter.
You’ve established a toe-hold in the process… consider these thoughts as you pursue development of your Web Presence.
If you’re an NGO/NPO — you’ll always need to design from the perspective of Succession Planning. If you use personal tools, it will be clumsy to transition to the next volunteer or director. Generic identities built upon email forwards and list management tools online like MailChimp.com or EventBrite.com are indispensable.
For an NGO / NPO – the identity of the franchise drives development of all of the web properties and this branding needs to be consistent across all aspects of internet tools. NOT those of the leader — their personal style and character evaporate after they leave.
- Facebook will require a bit of fitting before implementation and small bit of effort to connect, and then some instruction on publication / use. There are some “agency” best practices operating for NGO/NPO — that helps answer the successor issue. We shouldn’t be using personal page login credentials but be posting as the Page. — I know, confusing.
- Learning the fundamentals of page and post attributes and using the media library, the CMS, and other page content / menu processes will require effort.
- Content generation and refinement for the Static pages is not urgent, but it’s critical — long run. If your English isn’t excellent, you’ll want to find a good, fast copy editor.
- If you’re considering a Twitter feed, same subset of issues as Facebook.
- A weekly rhythm of posting should begin just prior to site “Launch”
In all these cases and others, the site needs to reflect your vision.
So, these Items require an investment of time. Put in the hours that will result in a significantly disruptive change for you – something people will notice and be moved to follow. Bear in mind, you’re moving from never operating a web presence to launching a really good one.
So what, in a nutshell, do you intend to accomplish with your site? Begin with that clearly in view, and you’ll move the ball forward.
I know your schedule is cramped. And as site owner, the initiative to push ahead / timeline is yours to manage. A consultant can help!
Launch: At some point you’ll want to consider what kind of a “Launch” you want.
“soft launch” is normal — just go live (toggle out of sandbox mode) and circulate email.
But also, your launch could be optimized into a full-blown media blitz, with count-down clock culminating in cocktail hour and live event push with a tight focus on snagging followers / subscribers in the moment. These can be really fun and generate buzz.
- Embed an EventBrite widget sell tickets to fundraise — the app can be used to manage your email contacts list and capture new ones.
- A couple of months is a good planning horizon.
By the way, your launch method can be a combination / some measure of both.
Email campaigns – there is a whole range of list management and contact / relationship tools you should begin to incorporate – principally owing to your diligent consideration of successor planning in the NGO/NPO space. Your personal contacts can’t be readily “handed off” — and retain any sense of history. This is an area you should find some time to address. A consultant can help.
Conversely, it’s worth mentioning – by realizing these simple facts – that you haven’t spent a great deal of money, and very few even know you’ve begun. Therefore, if the bubble of work required to satisfactorily accomplish an attractive / professional presence isn’t feasible — you’re not harmed so much if you just let things go.
But you could be harmed if your site is launched and is full of errors (text, for instance – nothing is more off-putting to contributors and sponsors than poor use of English.)
In some cases – consultants are asked to use their experience / awareness of your context and best practices in your space to set things up. Then folks live with it for a few seasons. A consult can be responsive to your needs and will / can continue to do so if you feed content to them, and help iterate improvements so that your vision is reflected.
We strongly suggest you find an intern / volunteer that can assume some or all of the content creation and maintenance aspects. Now is an excellent time to appoint that person into the role. Who within your membership has a son or daughter in HS or fresh out of college?
We hope you hit a home run with your effort.
Owing to suggestions that I do so, I have rolled up our Facebook Page and rebranded it: “InterWestIT.” You’re welcome to follow us there if this is convenient.
A certain segment of readers prefer this channel, and we are responding by clarifying this aspect of our Web Presence.
Unfortunately, this abandons all of the search history and page ranking afforded the prior brand. Check this out by Googling “CherryIntermedia.” One would think that Facebook would be “smart enough” to redirect the traffic, to the new brand. But alas, evidently not. I’m still looking to see if there might be a means to accomplish this, but it doesn’t look good…
Appreciate the observant comments on this in the past. Tons, actually. It was an experiment to see if any of this really mattered. Results indicate they do!
We’ve encountered the same issues in the past and managed through them with Client brands — the results have changed with time of course. This report has meaning only at this juncture — if you’re reading this at some point in the future, you’d be wise to re-investigate the redirection issue before rebranding.
Postponing compensation as results are generated. Is this the infamous “Test drive” or “Try before you buy?” Perhaps.
I’ve been observing a process (organization to remain unnamed) at an affiliation of experts “starting up” their brand. The question of compensation models emerged, and has taken a rather long time to craft into a page they published online.
They call it Value-Based Compensation. I wonder if it’s wise? I’ll admit this could be “disruptive” in their space, but is it really the business model they plan to retain?
We used to call the collaborative pay-upon-success approach — “Process Co-Ownership” — stakeholders, each having an interest. Success based on the performance of the partners attaining “milestones”.
Our discovery? That too much time (value) was hemorrhaged trying to plan and document — then — agree on progress assessments. Relationships dissolved owing to … many factors. As a recourse, we fell back on T&M engagements and ignored opportunities of this kind with great prejudice.
If you try this — avoid the perception of being “too hungry.” It’s downside risk of these kinds of agreements, honestly.
And there are two aspects that you’d be wise to evaluate:
- Why is the client willing to engage thus? Are they looking an “agent of blame” (as contrast to an ‘agent of change’) — will it be more convenient for them to fail, than to succeed?
- Why am I willing to engage thus? Inking a deal MUST bear some tangible value of some kind and it must manifest immediately…
Call this the “present-value’ of future work, payments differed. It’s a similar concept to the financial computation, except that the value balloon is at the front.
If you’re engaged in co-successful projects, at the point of ink — require permission to:
- Add the client to your client lists
- Make press releases, announcements with pictures
- Obligate client principles to say good things about the engagement — script these in advance — the where’s and when’s.
- Be sure that those good things are public…
- Get them in written form, publish them as testimonials.
Do all of that UPFRONT.
These are a hedge against lack of attention, and diluted involvement issues — reputations needed be invested.
Create Present Value for your business — And then manage the engagement to cash payments later.
You’ll need to balance events like this with paying gigs. Continue to prefer T&M clients that cover your current bills until the bigger ships can come in.
Sometimes those ships may not, but your PR will remain.
This is a soft launch – pushing a series of interesting ideas forward to a circle of thinking acquaintances.
First, IWIT has opened a dialogue with CyberlynxOregon — and has volunteered to present some high-level thoughts (abstract below) at a small meeting in late 2Q.
But it’s what’s happening in parallel that’s really interesting and a pleasure to report — CyberLynx’s receptiveness to an idea I’d been incubating. I was engaged in those thoughts owing to some recent exposure to community issues and news channels: How to take the “community training” idea to a new level? A more comprehensive, participative one. As contrasted with the usual orientation of training folks on “how to” use various tools and then leaving it up to individuals to connect all the dots. Let’s train the whole group! And make “IT” … well, “go.”
The nutshell version:
We solicit the network of NPO’s and Volunteer organizations we have contact with — find a group with needs (little to none, or perhaps an antiquated Web Presence) and begin work with them. Then — that we schedule an evening, meet and actually PRODUCE a “state of the art” Presence for them, including building it all up from the Domain level — email, website, social media. Posting, categories, tags and connecting all the appliances from desktops and notebooks to tablets and smartphones. Do this all on stage, with computer(s) connected to projectors — pull back the covers on how all of this stuff gets done and build followers for the charity.
The objective: use low cost to no cost / free services available on the Internet to accomplish “IT”.
Further — What if we PROMOTE the event? “Sell tickets” (I have more ideas here) to the “working lecture” — so others can “observe” and learn from the process — all proceeds going to that charity of course. And have the “audience” use their mobile appliances to connect to the new “Web Presence” to follow and share about the Charity in whichever channel they prefer.
What do you think?
“How hard can IT be?”R
|dggerhart posted: “Giving a talk in Bandon at the public Library June 25th.Schedule and venue details at Cyberlynxoregon.com “Anatomy of a Web Presence. “
Abstract: A high-level discussion of how services like Email, Websites, Social Media, “Cloud Computing” and “
Giving a talk in Bandon at the public Library June 25th.
Schedule and venue details at Cyberlynxoregon.com
“Anatomy of a Web Presence. “
A high-level discussion of how services like Email, Websites, Social Media, “Cloud Computing” and our appliances – phones, tablets, notebooks and desktop computers – relate to the ecology that we know as the Internet. How to buy, consume and enjoy them.
One thing is certain: Technology evolves. So, more and more aspects of our daily experience become dependent on “networking”. From the GPS in our car, to the music we listen to, games, TV and even the lights in our homes — depend on connections. Our ability to receive news, messages and phone calls — stay in touch with our world — are all carried in a matrix of services we pay for. We need to grasp how those services work.
Operating in this environment can seem very intimidating and ultimately become more expensive than is should. Knowing how these services are interrelated will help us direct our learning so that we can remain aware of — and ahead of — the tides of change.
In our discussion we will look “under the hood” of a theoretical “Small Business” Web Presence — how a website, social media, computers, appliances and other features are knit together in an affordable, usable, responsive amalgam of functions.
We explore what enables the business to engage their clients, prospect for new ones and remain relevant in a very fast paced environment of change.