Gini Dietrich

Website Content Every Organization Needs

By: Gini Dietrich | March 27, 2013 | 
161

Website Content Every Organization NeedsThe other day, I was scrolling through my shiny, new Feedly (which I love and am so happy Google Reader forced me to try) and I saw website content that caught my eye.

On Marcus Sheridan’s website there is an image of a gorgeous pool and the headline says, “Considering an Inground Pool? Get Started with Pool 101.

Right below that is a thumbnail of a video with copy that reads, “Watch the video and learn how to make your backyard dreams a reality.”

The redesign of the Arment Dietrich site is on my task list and this struck me as very, very interesting.

Why not give new visitors 101, 201, and 301 content?

From our perspective, it could be start-ups and small businesses, mid-sized organizations, and Fortune 500.

Then, yesterday, I received a nice note from a friend. In it she said it’s time for them to grow their business and she wanted to know our process for working with new clients.

Huh. We don’t have content for that, either.

Then I read Laura Click’s, “Your Corporate Website: Four Deadly Mistakes” and I took the Arment Dietrich site on the task list from “nice to get it done in Q2” to “we’re starting this now and it will be finished by May.”

It’s time for the shoemaker’s children to get new shoes!

Business Owner’s Disease

The reason I’ve been dragging my feet on getting this done is because I have business owner’s disease. You know the one where you think your business is different and what works for our clients won’t work for us? After all, we’re a professional services firm and most of our clients sell widgets.

Why would someone fill out a form on a landing page to get an ebook or white paper or attend a webinar for a professional services firm? What would we use to market to them to help them through the funnel so they eventually buy?

These are questions I ask myself constantly, which is why we spend all of our time on Spin Sucks and not on the Arment Dietrich site.

I’m calling baloney on myself…and the image of Marcus’s site got me there.

Sure, I could tell myself he sells swimming pools. His customer is a consumer. And those things could continue to dissuade me. But I prefer to look at it, instead, as we make our clients see things: Content marketing works.

Website Content

I’ve created the beginning of a list of things we can include on the site:

  1. Content for start-ups and small businesses, particularly for those doing software as a service
  2. Content for mid-sized organizations, particularly for those in manufacturing
  3. Content for Fortune 500, particularly for those who want to emulate some of the best-known companies of our time
  4. Our process for working with new clients
  5. Pricing
  6. Calls-to-action
  7. Personality (while the home page has a video that changes weekly, the rest of the site is devoid of personality)
  8. Tops of the funnel content: Blog (woo hoo! Already has this one down!), company news, how-tos, podcasts, and videos
  9. Middle of the funnel content: eBooks, longer podcasts and videos, white papers
  10. Bottom of the funnel content: Frequently asked questions, live Q&As, case studies, and testimonials

One of the things I really want to do is write an eBook called, “Communications According to Arment Dietrich” and send that to prospects before I meet with them either in person or on the phone.

While we do a pretty good job of qualifying before my time is spent with someone, I think this would help even more.

What am I missing? What else does an organization need on their website?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • belllindsay

    Love love LOVE this post! Number 8 made me laugh out loud. 🙂 Rolling up my sleeves and feeling motivated! 😀

    • @belllindsay The blog part?! At least we’re not total dolts.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich We are NOT dolts. Well, ok, *I* am, but…..

        • @belllindsay Where is that send button?

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Yeah, and I have a beef with your FB button…

        • belllindsay

          @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Me too Ken. Me too. 😉

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Good. Make it work! And while you’re at it, add that Send to Kindle button. This has become my preferred way of reading blogs very quickly via the Kindle app on my android.

        • @KenMueller  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich “Send to Kindle” is interesting, but I’m not certain that it’s going to be the gateway to buying eBooks that you posited in your post yesterday.
           
          I think we’ll soon see Amazon offering free Kindle devices — hook ’em with the hardware.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich I think it could be If you get people used to using your app and devices, they are more likely to use them down the line. It’s standard technology theory, and how radio and television both started. The initial content/program developers were the manufacturers of the devices. And Amazon has said that free hardware is definitely not in the works, but they will be offering less expensive options. Which is why they have the free apps for desktop, Android, Apple, and other OS’s.

        • @KenMueller  Sure – but the technology (and people’s familiarity and comfort) with the eBook is pretty well established at this point. The Kindle (various forms) sits top of the pile in sales numbers for the past several years.  
           
          I absolutely agree with the underlying theory. Where I disagree is where we are in the adoption cycle. eBook readers have seen huge spikes in popularity over the past five years.

        • @KenMueller Good discussion, BTW!

        • @jasonkonopinski Well,then we’re in agreement, because that was the point of my post. That eBooks are incredibly popular, but that there is still a very large portion of the public that won’t use them, in many cases because they are die hard physical book lovers. This, then, becomes a gateway drug to introduce them to the concept in small doses.

  • As I work on my redesign and content reboot, this helps. a lot. Thanks. You’re the best.

    • @KenMueller I’m such a big help to you! First the drain problem and now this.

      • @ginidietrich yeah, about that drain problem. the plumber is arriving for day two here in just a few minutes…
         
        also, about pricing. you’re gonna put that on your site ? I don’t wanna do that.

        • HowieG

          @KenMueller  @ginidietrich I think for certain services you can do this. I spoke with a principal at IdeaVibe who help startups with business plans and help them get funding. They had 4 levels of business plans flat rate. The helping to get funding was not price listed. Depends on how narrow or uniform the work would be across different companies. And you can always state the pricing is an estimate.
           
          Ken how many clients request hot coffee only vs hot and iced from you?

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich Yeah, for me, every client gets something completely custom made for them. No template. 
           
          Hot coffee, Iced Tea. Never the opposite, thank you.

  • Thanks for shout out, Gini! Appreciate it. 🙂 A redesign is in the works for me too – shoes for all of the cobbler’s kids!!! 🙂 
     
    One thing I would add to the list is testimonials, stories and case studies. I think these can be super-powerful if you’re able to get them. I’m doing testimonial videos for a law firm client right now and the stuff they are saying is way better than any copy we can write. People love hearing from folks that have worked with you – and I think it’s even more powerful if you can capture it with video.
     
    And, if I may humbly suggest something else for your site – bios and photos of your people! You’ve got a great team, so show them off! 🙂

    • @lauraclick I go back and forth on the team bios and photos. Five years ago we had them on there and recruiters used them to poach! Most people told me about it, but two people left because of it. I don’t want to make the job of the recruiter easier. But, on the other side, if you pay attention online, you know who works here so I suppose it’s not all some big secret.

      • @ginidietrich I can see that. On the other hand, maybe people who don’t come over here would want to see the depth of your team and their expertise. It might not be a must-have for you, but it could also help when people are considering hiring your firm. Just my two cents for what it’s worth.

        • @lauraclick Yeah – I definitely see what you’re saying. I may just have to get over myself.

        • HowieG

          @ginidietrich  @lauraclick what about Space Cocktails? Was wondering if I should still include that when I build my next site.

        • @ginidietrich  @lauraclick We have had team pics & bios up for a long time now. I can’t tell you how much positive feedback we get from it.  Most clients or potentials tells them it makes us appear more approachable, real, and gives them a idea of what we are like.  With 99% of our staff being highly technical, it humanizes them.  Our non-technical clients like that they get a real feel for our staff versus what they might perceive a programmer to be.
           
          We have not had a huge problem with recruiters on this issue & PHP developers are very hard to find (even recruiters will tell you that).  Honestly, most can find out who is on your staff in many other ways, pretty easily.

  • I would strongly consider having a page devoted to who you will not work with.
     
    I’ve seen more than a few law firms use this to solid effect. Or a page that acts as an above the funnel filter where you want to weed out bad prospects based on either organizational traits or in aligning their expectations. It could start out like this:
     
    If all you want is publicity, we’re not for you.
    If all you want is media relations, we’re not for you.
    If you want us to measure the results of our efforts using advertising value equivalency, we’re not for you….
     
    And so on.

    • @Sean McGinnis LOVE this. I’ve talked about the type of companies we want to work with, but I like this even more. Great idea, Sean!

      • HowieG

        @lauraclick  @Sean McGinnis I certainly refuse to ever work with Sean. Editing my website as we speak! Laura once I have my complete list of people and businesses to avoid I will let you know so you can cut and paste and add to your site.

        • @HowieG  @lauraclick Very wise man Howie. 😉

        • @HowieG  @Sean McGinnis Thanks for saving me some work! 😉

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @Sean McGinnis I love this Sean!

    • @Sean McGinnis I hate to admit I really love this idea. Thank you! Now I don’t have to be nice to you at dinner because I was nice to you here.

      • @ginidietrich I’ll be sure to alert the media so we can have cameras present this evening… 😉

        • HowieG

          @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich depending on who is picking up the tab I might crash the dinner.

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich If you crash, then you’re definitely picking up the tab. BTW there are two others in addition to Gini & I.

        • HowieG

          @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich I wasn’t invited to speak at this Social Slam but was told they are holding a keynote slot for me next year. Topic ‘The Print Media Comeback:Is it time to shutdown your website”

        • @Sean McGinnis They’ll capture me being mean to you. I can’t go a full day being nice to you. Inconceivable.

        • @ginidietrich Or not. 😉 Great to see you. Nice to remember what you actually look like. LOL!

    • @Sean McGinnis That’s something I will be doing, at least in terms of “What I WON’T do for you”. I end up telling potential clients this right up front.  But I like your idea.
       
      “If all you want is a Facebook page with a lot of fans, we’re not for you”
      If all you want is instant results, we’re not for you.

      • @KenMueller Exactly Ken. The lawyers I’ve seen use it to good effect are the ones who have to deal with a high volume of inquiries and are very selective in whom they work with.
         
        Prospect calls the firm. Lawyer asks, have you read this page yet? Nope. OK. Go do that and if you’re still interested, then call me back.
         
        He also has some info in there about a paid consult and rates, etc…
         
        Not everyone can get away with this, but it has helped him a lot.

    • John_Trader1

      @Sean McGinnis Wow. Epic idea Sean.

    • @Sean McGinnis I’m playing with a “start here” concept for my own site that does something similar, which reminds me that I need to add an “who I work with” portion to the content I started writing last night…

      • @Erin F.  @Sean McGinnis Love it, Erin!

    • @Sean McGinnis DUDE. Fantastic idea.

  • DickCarlson

    “11. Who the hell is ‘Arment’?”

    • @DickCarlson Do you not know this story? http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/management/leadership-training/4-ways-businesswomen-can-combat-bias.aspx?fbid=KFBAs1KGOpw
       
      You raise a good point, though. I’m totally putting it on the site!

      • DickCarlson

        @ginidietrich I had no idea.  But my friend Jamie had a similar experience.  http://www.copyblogger.com/james-chartrand-underpants/

        • @DickCarlson Whoa. That’s an incredible story. It makes me proud and angry all at once.

        • @DickCarlson  @ginidietrich I remember when the James/Jamie situation came to light. I was floored!
           
          Something similar just happened (on a slightly smaller scale) with a FB page that I follow. It’s a science page that shares super-cool science facts, usually sprinkled heavily with colorful language. I’m not sure if it’s the topic or the language that made everybody assume a guy was behind it — but it’s actually run by a woman. She recently joined Twitter and put a link to her profile on the page and there were over 1300 comments almost immediately from people who were SHOCKED that a woman created the page. CBS actually just featured her because of this — http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50143686n
           
          My business partner and I are both women and we talk about this a lot.

    • KevinVandever

      @DickCarlson This is Arment http://youtu.be/XRT-YAFT2ys @ginidietrich

      • DickCarlson

        @KevinVandever  @ginidietrich So glad to hear there’s a firm, hairy hand gripping the tiller.

  • All great ideas to show what Arment Dietrich is about and (not about). I  agree with @lauraclick on the case studies, the who, what , when, where and what you do best , how.  This is by far your best asset as Spin Sucks displays daily.
     
    I am a fan of seeing the bios and pics of the team. As you say, if they follow the blog, they will know but if you are working from the 101 principal on the website it is the introduction while the blog is the personality.  It is the first thing I look for when landing on a website.  I like to know who is behind the corporate name. 
     
    I can’t wait to take a dip in the new site.

  • HowieG

    You are channeling me this week for some reason. I should stop sending you harassing emails all day.

    • @HowieG Don’t you ever stop!

    • @HowieG Don’t stop! But also get your site done and blog moved and all that!

      • HowieG

        @ginidietrich I am ready. It should be done I am hoping by a week from tomorrow.

  • ginidietrich

    AstiAlexandria Thanks Asti!!

  • ginidietrich

    MargieClayman One more thing on my already overflowing plate.

    • MargieClayman

      ginidietrich I hear ya sister 🙂

  • The timing of @lauraclick ‘s post yesterday and this one today is uncanny. I’ve been working quietly on completely redesigning my site for the past few weeks and taking a good hard look at how my content fits and whether it really gives people a good strong sense of what I do. My site is becoming more than a blog (as it should) and needs to showcase my work, capabilities, and processes more clearly.  
     
    It’s getting there. I’m stuck on pricing. I know what I charge and how I estimate jobs, but it doesn’t often translate cleanly into simple and direct pricing, so I prefer to begin scoping a potential project instead of having “packages” of services available. 
     
    Lots to think about and lots to test. Thanks!

    • @jasonkonopinski  @lauraclick And I got a sneak peek!! It looks amazing so far, love it!!

      • @yvettepistorio  @jasonkonopinski I did too – and I think it’s great! Nice work, Jason!
         
        As for pricing, I’m with you on that. The answer is often “it depends”. I’m considering for some of my services (especially project-based work), doing something like “starting at $X” so I’m not wasting time talking to people who can’t afford to work with me.
         
        What are you thinking about doing?

        • @lauraclick  @yvettepistorio That might be a way to work through it. Set a floor and work from there. In my own work, I’m moving away from billing hourly (except in a few legacy situations) and offering project rate instead.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @lauraclick  @yvettepistorio Our clients prefer project rate instead.  The only time we give a hourly is if its maintenance or above and beyond our project quote.

        • @sydcon_mktg  @lauraclick  @yvettepistorio Aye – and I quote most small jobs knowing the hours that will be involved in producing a chunk of writing. I know I can pull together a 1,000 word ghostwritten blog post in two hours, so I typically quote my hourly x 2.

        • @sydcon_mktg  @jasonkonopinski  @yvettepistorio Yup. Most everything we do is project based too…unless it’s a long-term relationship approach and then it’s different altogether. But, I agree that showing a base price can be helpful.

        • HowieG

          @lauraclick  @sydcon_mktg  @jasonkonopinski  @yvettepistorio I am dealing with this right now. If like me you actually run social networks for a client including content curation, posting, community management etc flat rate is fine but they have to know the hours spent. If I am paid for 1 hr a day to run Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest they need to expect what 20 mins a day for each will result in…which really isn’t much.

        • @HowieG  @lauraclick  @sydcon_mktg  @jasonkonopinski I completely agree, 20 minutes a day can only do so much. It takes time to build and nurture communities/relationships. A lot of people just want it to happen in the blink of an eye.

        • HowieG

          @yvettepistorio  @lauraclick  @sydcon_mktg  @jasonkonopinski I read on Mashable…everyday…that if I start a Facebook page I will have people flocking to it.

    • @jasonkonopinski  As a potential buyer of your services, it helps me to know your hourly rate. That way I can scope out how many hours I think it’ll take and provide an estimate to a client that way.

  • Thanks for this G! I spend a lot of time thinking of how better utilize our site. My problem is- the decision maker isn’t the purchaser, and the purchaser doesn’t want to buy, and steals. A lot. I like how you’ve segregated different content for different segments- now how to use that to appeal to the ones that just don’t want to be there.

    • @RebeccaTodd Hmmmm…this would be a good Skype conversation. I’ll bet we could figure it out.

      • @ginidietrich Thanks. Although after how the team responded to my idea yesterday, I am not sure I will ever be suggesting anything again.

  • As you know, I got over my “business owner’s disease” last month and finally launched the new t60productions.com.  Sooooo glad I’m cured! 🙂  
     
    It’s definitely a work in progress.  Laura’s post reminded me I need some sort of a call to action, so I’m going to work that in.  Overall though… you will feel much better having a website you’re excited about.  
     
    –Tony Gnau

    • @T60Productions Lindsay gave me a task today. She read your blog post about creating a video for About Us. So now I have to do that for here, AD, and Spin Sucks Pro. I told her I’d do it in May. Well, you’ll do it in May. I’ll just be the talent.

      • HowieG

        @ginidietrich  @T60Productions Tony do you love @lauraclick ‘s post yesterday? I think not >8)

      • @ginidietrich Tony: yay!

  • Business owners disease, hey we suffer from that affliction too!! Our own stuff always takes a back seat to our clients. As a result, revamping our own site took far longer than I wanted or hoped. I am glad its almost done – there is one section of our new site I need to get the developers to redo, but to do that I have to pull one off a billable job, sigh!
     
    As for some key content areas, we struggle in similar aspects you mentioned. Pricing. We have yet to come up with anyway to put pricing on our site,  We have no specific “box” starting point.  EVERYTHING we do is totally custom, no two projects are alike enough to say we start at “X”.  Our client base is clients who need programming so far out of the norm of what web design firms and most marketing firms offer.  We solve complex issues with custom solutions, based specifically on each individual clients business needs.  How do you put up a pricing menu for that?
     
    I also enjoyed @lauraclick post yesterday. In the comments using industry jargon was mentioned. For us, its a must!! Our clients typically want to know if we offer a specific language. When they find us in a search, they are not just looking for a web developer….they might need specifically a “PHP” one, jargon required.  
     
    For a lot of these reasons it is proof that your website has to be living, breathing and constantly updated. As technology advances people will always find you by searching for something new, its important to keep up with your industry and have your content reflect that.

    • @sydcon_mktg  @lauraclick On pricing, one thing I’ve seen and I think makes sense for firms that do mostly custom work…..is a hybrid of @Sean McGinnis idea from below where he talks about having a page for people you won’t work with.
       
      Essentially, having a page w/webform that allows clients to submit details and ask for a quote, but on that page also detail the core of what you are (and what you are not), thus communicating the value and also letting people know you’re not a one-off type of place.

      • @JoeCardillo  @sydcon_mktg  @lauraclick  @Sean McGinnis OOOH. I like that idea.

      • @JoeCardillo  @lauraclick  @Sean McGinnis Thats a interesting idea.  We kind of use this analogy. If you want a custom home built, your price would vary on everything from what kind of pipes you want to counter tops, to faucets, etc. Thats how our projects are.  E-commerce, sure, but there are 100’s of scenarios we that could fluctuate your price, etc.  I mean anything from who is the merchant, sales tax, shipping, coupons, etc. Basically we create custom software solutions that are web based. So not a typical “Website” (although we can and do, do that).  
         
        The only people we wont do work for is adult entertainment industry types, gambling,  hacking, etc things of that nature.
         
        We do have a contact us page. Free quote is tough, because 99.9% of the time the specs we get generate many questions that we need answered to give a quote. More often than not its just behind the scenes items potential clients never consider.

        • @sydcon_mktg  @lauraclick  @Sean McGinnis That makes sense, for that I’d agree w/Gini’s response below. Setting a minimum is fair to you and clients so that no one’s time is wasted.

    • @sydcon_mktg  You know how I answer the pricing question…you experienced it yesterday. We have a minimum because, like you, we customize our programs based on research and the organization’s marketing goals. But we also know how much it costs to do what we do really well so that’s what we put on the site.

  • SpinSucks

    howiegoldfarb Thanks Howie!!!

  • SpinSucks

    sydcon_mktg Thanks for sharing Jennifer!!

    • sydcon_mktg

      SpinSucks My pleasure!!

  • SpinSucks

    John_Trader1 Thanks John!!

  • SpinSucks

    ReedStockman Thanks for sharing Reed!

  • SpinSucks

    GrandmaOnDeck Thanks for sharing Gloria!!

  • SpinSucks

    yaseend Thanks for sharing Yaseen!

  • Right on Gini! Thanks for the kick in the pants. I’ve been dragging my feet on creating some new content for my site too, so I’m glad I’m not the only one. haha. Time to get to it…

    • @spacebarpress We should hold one another accountable.

  • well, my task list just grew.

    • @terence.stephens Sorry to add to it. But it’s a fun task!

  • Funny, I’ve been having similar cognitive dissonance about my own site and just moved redesign up on my task list, too. I am toying with the idea of incorporating a learning center that’s separate from the blog and with simplifying the overall navigation. How long will we all be content with those standard (and unimaginative) “Home + About + Services + Portfolio + Blog + Contact” header links?

    • @Adam_Green I really hate the typical navigation, but my user experience friends tell me it’s necessary because people know what to expect when they click on those. What will you include in your learning center? I like that idea!

      • @ginidietrich  It definitely won’t be easy to kill the predictable navigation links, but I’m hashing out a few different ideas. And while I haven’t nailed down the specific content that will go in the learning center either (heh, sounds like I haven’t done anything at all!), the overall idea is to separate regular blog content, which will be sure enough, time-specific, date-specific updates from the more “evergreen” content – things like how I work, what the process is like, what it’s like to engage me for one service vs. another, etc. It’s also where I’ll include all high-level digital marketing articles. Maybe. When it happens.

  • Jake Meador

    Gini – We’re wrestling with how to do our redesign right now. We’re trying to create something that is simple, easy to use, and tells people what they need to know instead of giving them the entire mountain of information we think they ought to know. I think we’re going to end up with five main buttons at the top (Home, Products, Case Studies, Free Resources, and Blog) and build out from there. 
     
    We’re in the multifamily industry and something we always tell our clients is that their website needs to be a lease-generating tool. We know how to create websites like that. Now we’re trying to figure out how to create a website that generates sales for us. I feel like I see this a lot–companies who know what works for their clients but struggle to figure out how the same principles apply to their own marketing.

    • @JakeMeador That’s how we are, too! Do lots and lots of website content for clients. Create lots and lots of sitemaps. Develop lots and lots of content with calls-to-action, yet our site has none of that.
       
      I really like your navigation ideas – especially free resources. It goes to @jdrobertson ‘s idea of having something for dummies.

  • Providing an ebook to prospects is an idea I’d like to hear more about @ginidietrich, but I’m seeing an infographic for prospects, especially with that title.

    • @Word Ninja I did a webinar with Marcus Sheridan, Craig McBreen, and Brent Carnduff a few weeks ago and we talked about this idea. Marcus thinks everyone should have an ebook that details their philosophy, how they think, and what it’s like to work with you. In a sense, this blog is that, but I am thinking I anthologize some posts here, make it into something pretty and easy to read, and send it along when people call wanting my time for a meeting. That and our minimum pricing will help people make decisions on working with us without requiring a lot of my time until they’re ready.

      • @ginidietrich  Thanks for the details! With the addition of the posts, it’s a nice resource for the prospective client. About 10 minutes after I posted the infographic idea, I saw your video about not liking infographics. As much as I love words, I’m also a visual person. Sorry I missed the webinar.

        • @Word Ninja I’m in the 16% of the world who learns by reading. Most people are visual learners so you don’t have to apologize to me! Where they really annoy me is on Pinterest. You have to scroll and scroll and scroll just to get to the next image.

        • @Word Ninja BTW, this made me laugh out loud: “freelance writer and editor (because my nunchuck skills are underappreciated).”

        • @ginidietrich  @Word Ninja Count me in the 16% too. I almost HAVE to read it if I am going to absorb it. If a webinar comes with a transcript, I am in heaven I tell ya! Heaven.

        • @ginidietrich Laughing is good for you. I do it every day. I hate aerobics. (And here’s my BTW…This blog is incredible. I started my bus. comm. blog several months ago, and you’ve inspired me to step it up…which kinda sounds like aerobics…)

        • @Word Ninja That’s so nice of you to say. Thank you! And…aerobics are good for you, plus you can eat more.

  • rdopping

    Please don’t put pricing on the site. It dissuades so many people. If the first thing a client asks me is “how much” I always have a very strong urge to walk away, er, run away. Sure, you need to be competitive and your cost is critical to your success and understanding your client’s budget is very important but should never be a lead in. If you survey the architecture industry’s websites price NEVER is displayed. Skills, market sectors, projects, case studies, client testimonials and all the great things that make us desirable are the main focus.
     
    Having said that, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, right @belllindsay ? Or, in your case a puppy….hehe.

    • @rdopping  I want to dissuade prospects, though. The reason I do it is because lots and lots and LOTS of people call wanting our services only to find out they can’t afford us. That’s why we have a minimum. If they can’t afford us, I always refer them to a cadre of freelancers I know will do good work. And you know what happens? Two or three years later, when they can afford us, they call me again. Happens all the time.

      • rdopping

        @ginidietrich I guess it scales differently in your world. I get what you are saying and it makes sense. I have always wondered what you guys charge away.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @rdopping I posted a comment to Ralph’s comment. And now it’s gone. #sadface

        • @belllindsay  That’s so weird. I saw – and read – it.

      • @ginidietrich  @rdopping
         Bravo! A basic tenet of leadership is to avoid the negative. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to a prospective client to be able to walk away thinking you actually care. A reputation espousing, “if they can’t help you – they know who can” will get you everywhere!

    • belllindsay

      @rdopping I have to respectfully disagree Ralph (re: pricing, not Hank LOL). I despise going to a website that doesn’t list prices. It always strikes me as smug and condescending, “Dah-ling, if you have to ASK, you can’t afford it!” I don’t care whether it’s for an article of clothing, a stunning piece of mid-century modern furniture (right??) or a service worth potentially thousands of dollars. I want to be able to make my own mind up whether or not to call. And it’s the inquiry itself is an extra step I am usually not inclined to take. 🙂

      • @belllindsay  Wait. Here it is!

      • rdopping

        @belllindsay Well then you really could make some waves in the Architecture industry. Until we know the scope of what you want we don’t even want tot start talking about how much it’s going to cost. I just think there is a difference in how services are rendered in our industries. What works in PR (don’t shoot me for lumping it together ’cause I don’t know the exact distinctions) won’t exactly work for the Architecture world. Clearly.
         
        I had no intention to give the impression about whether anyone can afford the services or not or any type of entitlement. Furniture is a widget and can’t be valued the same way as intellectual property.

        • belllindsay

          @rdopping Well, yes, I agree it would a BIT different were you looking to build a house! LOL And of course you weren’t inferring that I was poor – which I am. LMAO!!!

      • HowieG

        @belllindsay  @rdopping @ginidietrich this reminds me of the monty python scene where the guy refuses to haggle. Not sure where @johnfalchetto has been but I am sure he knows places that still prefer to haggle. Like Montreal and Greenland.

        • rdopping

          @HowieG @belllindsay @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto I love you Howie.

  • How about a ‘website for dummies’ section where you really hammer on: How to know if your site is really really REALLY, “user friendly?”

    • @jdrobertson I like the dummies idea a lot! So much so, in fact, I may steal it!

  • I’ve never heard it called ‘Business Owner’s Disease’ but I definitely suffer from it. We have way too many wish list items on our list — things that we do regularly for our clients but never seem to find the time to do for ourselves. A website overhaul is at the top of the list. And I love the ideas that @Sean McGinnis and others have thrown out regarding pricing (something that I struggle with.) Right now we don’t have prices on our site, but we are in the process of tweaking our business model to work solely ‘behind the scenes’ for SEO, PR and marketing firms rather than with end users, so making that clear on our website is something that will be critical.

    • @TaraGeissinger  I totally made that up because I hear the same things from business owners: My business is unique. We don’t have time to do that. Clients come first. Blah, blah, blah. It drives me crazy when people say that and yet…

      • @ginidietrich I think it stems from being so darn close to everything as a business owner that you simply can’t see what you’re lacking. If I were to ‘analyze’ my marketing (like I would for a client), it would be glaringly obvious. Sounds like a blog post to me — Things I Would Tell Myself If I Were My Own Client. 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    IAmAdamGreen Lol!! Great minds think alike!

    • IAmAdamGreen

      SpinSucks indeed 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    LV8comm Thanks!

  • ginidietrich

    ClaritySol Thank you!

    • ClaritySol

      ginidietrich You’re very welcome! Great reminder.. I’ve been subject to that with my accounting systems as well. Sigh.

  • shane_mahoney

    ginidietrich I know some guys who can help you with your website(s) redesign. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      shane_mahoney Which reminds me…I need to send you this creative brief. Argh!

  • shane_mahoney

    ginidietrich Yr point about ‘owners disease’ is spot on – users are who need to benefit, learn and transact from yr website, not the owner.

  • AstiAlexandria

    What not to do…

  • AstiAlexandria

    when you should delegate and when you shouldn’t

  • KevinVandever

    Think you’ve covered the secondary requirements. Primary, of course, is to make sure to keep your awesome tag line. I’m almost certain that any success you and your business has achieved can be linked to that.

    • @KevinVandever Yes, of course. We would never want to lose that awesome and award-winning tagline.

      • KevinVandever

        @ginidietrich Right! Award-winning. Almost forgot about that.

  • All I know is you can never have too much insurance, so that’s all I have to say on my website. And whatever you say should be on a website, then I’m copying you because I know you are smart like that.
     
    Website design and/or content is not something to be asking me…:)…I have other skills…no, really…

    • @bdorman264 I think you should have an image of a really big accident on your home page and a headline that says, “You can never have too much insurance.” 
       
      You’re welcome.

      • @ginidietrich See….I knew you were smart like that….brilliant….

        • HowieG

          @bdorman264  @ginidietrich Bill doesn’t insure easy stuff like homes. He insures crazy things like Nuclear Plants, Cargo Ship, and Off Shore Oil Platforms. Maybe have a picture of a cargo ship crashing into a nuclear powered oil platform?

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich While being struck by a falling satellite we insure……
           
          I do insure http://www.fantasyofflight.com/ and it has planes, boats, cars, balloons, ropes course and people, lot’s of people coming in the doors. 
           
          And you know what I tell them? Repeat after me….’you can never have too much insurance’……:).

  • lauraclick

    ginidietrich TheSalesLion Hey, now. There was no butt kicking involved! But, I’m glad we inspired you! I need to make web changes too!

  • How to use Killer Dolphins and Attack Squirrels to drive your competition out of business is the kind of ebook everyone wants to read. Just ask @HowieG

    • @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @HowieG Fine. Let’s co-author it. You write the killer dolphin pieces and I’ll write the attack squirrels piece.

      • HowieG

        @ginidietrich  @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Considering the White Papers and EBooks I get offered by the likes of Wildfire, Brian Solis, etc this would be the way to go.
         
        BTW while I seriously questioned why Google bought Wildfire, and while they haven’t fixed the bullshit yet it was brilliant for two reasons. They have a foothold in the Facebookverse and I bet they are working on 3rd party aps for G+

  • This pleases me no end. We have great stories to tell about the work we do and I am excited to see the task bumped up on the list. Also appreciate the list you’ve included in this post because so many will get value from having it spelled out simply, in list form, for them. Yay!

    • @allenmireles I bumped it up mostly so a lot of the work gets done while I’m taking my writing vacation.

  • SpinSucks

    JmeSolis Thanks Jamie!

    • JmeSolis

      SpinSucks Anytime 🙂

  • I’m right there with you, Gini! This cobbler is in such need of new shoes, it’s not even funny. Now, all the little ‘fixes’ that we do to the site end up looking like duct tape on an old pair of shoes, with some fun pink laces thrown in so that we distract from the real issue! Thanks for the kick in the pants.
     
    My challenge? I have to figure out a way to slide that into the mix of business planning; capturing existing systems that live in my head and translating them for a growing team; and client work. Oy.

    • @EricaAllison Oh I am well aware. That’s why it’s been on my list for more than a year.

  • ginidietrich

    ericamallison Smooches!

  • TimelapseStrats

    jkcallas ginidietrich I like that you promote that professional services firms take their own medicine. It doesn’t happen nearly enough!

    • ginidietrich

      TimelapseStrats Well, I have to take that medicine too. Working on it! jkcallas

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  • I think that reviewing things, directions and goals is part of life of every human being and especially of business owners. Given that every blog or website is a business, or kinda like, thinking how to make things better is or should be normal. Not that it has to develop into a burden though because even changing things every month has drawbacks.
     
    Last two months I edited all my posts, and deleted a couple of them; fortunately I have just 80 and almost all needed a refresh, and a bit of tuning. Now I’m working on the homepage, and next who knows. The difficult part is using readers’ shoes also because what seems great to us might be unimportant for readers who seldomly leave hints on what they like.
     
    Well, it’s all part of the game, isn’t it?
     
    As for Marcus, well, that man knows what he does and most importantly of all when he does something “wrong” he says it. Not that we should all do what he does as every niche is different but we can surely get hints about what works and what doesn’t. Or what we should do, at the end he did it, right?
     
    Happy Easter Gini! And everyone else too!

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