Suggestions for site advertising web services ---

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Hey Guys --

I've done websites for folks for years, but I'm finally starting to
turn it into some sort of business and want to get a site up
advertising my services.  Since it's just me though, I'm not sure how
to approach it.  Do you guys suggest a personal-type site introducing
myself, and being basically a first-person type page, or should I come
at it non-personal just saying 'we can offer you this'.

My goal is to write sites for smaller, local businesses, so i want that
one-on-one feel, so I'm thinking the first-person approach is best.
But if I go this route, how formal or informal should I be?  Most of
the other local web guys totally stick it to the businesses because
they're trying to make this a full-time job - -which they're not very
good at.  I'm talking a 2-3 page site thrown together in Frontpage and
charging like $800 or more plus $50 and up a month for hosting.

Something else I want to really push is that I don't nickle and dime
and no bull.  I also want to be as fair as possible, and since this is
mostly a way to make some side money (and to fund my computer and ham
radio hobby) I'm sure my cost is MUCH lower to others making a
full-time thing outta web programming.  I don't want to totally diss
them, but Iwant to prove my value...

Just some thoughts...  Thanks for any suggestions or if you don't mind
pointing me to your site or others, please do.  

Sam Alex

Re: Suggestions for site advertising web services ---

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Some thoughts:

    Talk about yourself and what you can do for the customer, don't get into
pointing out the what you perceive as the negatives of others, because you
could be wrong or not have all the facts.  IE: when you say "plus $50 and up
a month for hosting."  Is that too much?  Do you know what all that hosting
entails?  Is there maybe a reason, that you don't know, why hosting costs
that much?  Everybody has different needs and $3 per month hosting is out
there, but it won't suit the needs of everybody.

    For the question of how to write it up (as one-on-one or from the "what
we can do for you" approach) alot of that should depend on how you are going
to market and promote your site.  If you are going to be primarily cold
calling and networking with people then you should probably go with the
personal touch and that whole one-on-one way of writing it up.  If you are
mainly going to be advertising through the yellow pages, newspaper ads or
other forms of advertising then you could go with either method.

    Be proactive, not reactive.  If you build this website you can't just
throw it up on the internet and then sit back and wait for the jobs to roll
in... they won't.  The only people that will come to your site through
internet search engines are going to be other web developers who are there
to either steal your designs, steal your customers or to check and compare
your rates with theirs.

    Just because this is going to be a hobby business on the side for you
doesn't mean you have to undersell your services.  People in other fields
don't do that, and you shouldn't feel the need to as well just because its
part time.  Its better to have 1 job every 2 months at the full price than
to have 2 jobs per month at 25% of the full price.  Doing 4 jobs in 2 months
@ 25% might pay the same as 1 every 2 months @ 100%, but the one job would
give you more time to spend doing other things or looking for more jobs.

    You say "since its just me".  You should know that alot of the web
designers out there are also "just me" companies.  Their websites might make
them sound like a company with an office and dozens of staff, but often they
are just the one person working out of his/her home.

    In the end this might just be a side business or a hobby you have to
kill time after work at your "real" job, but you should still treat it like
a real business.

Re: Suggestions for site advertising web services ---

Auggie wrote:
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The main thing to remember is the customer isn't interested in "I can
do this & that technical thing", rather, he's interested in "what
benefits ME if I choose you over so&so?"

Place yourself in the customer's position. And totally agreed on the
negativity - don't put others down, show why you're better.

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Amen! I've repeated it here often enough - when I charged crap, I got
crap jobs and never enough. When I charged more in line with industry
standard, I got better jobs and they were easier to find.

Re: Suggestions for site advertising web services ---

Alex wrote:
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Make sure YOUR site works:

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