Archives For small business marketing

don't-let-your-web-designer-hold-you-hostage-blog

Every week, without exception, I run across someone who is being held hostage by their web designer. And this is what I mean by “being held hostage”.

Let’s say, for example, you become dissatisfied with your web designer. They are not returning your phone calls, not doing the work as quickly as you would like, or whatever the case may be. And you want someone else to take over the site.

Do you have access to all your usernames, passwords, and all your other online collateral so you can do this? Or do you have to go through your web designer?

Unfortunately, what usually happens is you have to go through your web designer, and they will not let you have your stuff. If that is the case, your only option is to start from scratch with a new web designer, which can cost more money and more time.

Be wary of any web designer who says, “Oh, I’ll take care of that for you” or “You own everything”. If you do not have access to usernames and passwords for everything, you do not truly own everything.

Here is how you can lay a solid foundation for your online marketing strategy and avoid being held hostage.

1. Register your domain name through GoDaddy. Create your own GoDaddy account. Do not use the web designer’s account.Go to my GoDaddy affiliate link at mikecolemanwebservices.com to set up an account with GoDaddy.

2. Set up a hosting account on GoDaddy. Same applies here. Create your own hosting account. Do not use the web designer’s hosting account. Go to my GoDaddy affiliate link at mikecolemanwebservices.com to set up an account with GoDaddy.

3. Use WordPress to create your site. You have much more flexibility and there are WordPress web designers everywhere.

4. Use Constant Contact or AWeber for your newsletter campaign. Click Here to go to my Constant Contact affiliate link and set up a trial account.

5. Set up your Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and any other social media profiles.

6. One other bit of information you will need is FTP info. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and allows you to access your files online. You use FTP to upload or download files. If they refuse to give you this info, find someone else to do your website.

7. Your web designer should give you a sheet with the following information: usernames and passwords for everything (domain name, hosting, social media, WordPress, etc.) and FTP information.

Take responsibility for your business early in the process to avoid pain and heartache later. It doesn’t take that much time to be aware of what’s going on in your business.

There is no excuse for not doing the things I outlined above. You do not need to be a “techie”. You just have to be aware of what’s going on in your business and obtain all the information listed above.

And if you are unsure about what you should do, turn to a trusted advisor who can point you in the right direction before spending your hard-earned dollars. If you do steps 1 thru 7 above, you will never be held hostage again.

Whether using iCloud for my Mac devices or using Microsoft’s SkyDrive to create a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation, these are great tools to keep track of important information in your business. and they are available to everyone on the Cloud.

Most people have several devices to keep up with, such as an iPhone, iPad, laptop. And keeping all these devices in sync is almost impossible without using iCloud.

iCloud allows you to enter your information on any device and it automatically updates all your other devices almost immediately. It works with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and allows you to keep your calendar synced. Im sure you’ve seen the Mac commercials, so you get the idea. It works. And you get 5GB of free storage.

Microsoft’s SkyDrive is another tool you can use to keep all your data in the cloud. The additional advantage of SkyDrive is you have access to free versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint that you can use within SkyDrive to create a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation. You can then share it or download it to your computer.

Amazon also has their version of the cloud. I currently use iCloud and SkyDrive but haven’t yet experienced Amazon’s Cloud. They also give you 5GB of free storage.

There are several advantages to using the cloud. It offers a cost-effective way to get more storage and allows you the flexibility of being able to share your documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, pictures, etc. with anyone regardless of your location.

Cloud storage also allows you to easily scale up or down depending on your storage needs.

So check out these great free tools and welcome to the 21st century.

Who is on Facebook? More than 800,000,000 active users.

Businesses are realizing more and more the importance of having a unique presence on Facebook. It’s a great way to generate buzz for your business or service, and it’s a great way to connect with your target audience.

Most businesses now have a Facebook Page, but they are missing opportunities because of the way the page is set up.

Earlier this year, Facebook started allowing users to use HTML on their Facebook Page instead of FBML, which was Facebook’s proprietary language.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what HTML is, because all you have to know is that now you can do anything on your Facebook Page that you can do on your website.

Here’s how it works. In the center of your Facebook page, you have 500 pixels of real estate where you can put anything you want. So keep in mind that any images you use on the page are limited to 500 pixels in width.

You can have a video of your product, a signup form for your newsletter, a place where your visitor can purchase your product, or anything else you can think of. Basically, this can be an extension of your website.

To use this feature in Facebook, you will need to know something about HTML. So, you may need to get your web designer to do this for you (and this is also a service I offer to my clients).

To use this feature you will also need to download the static HTML app in Facebook. Login to your account and enter “static HTML” into the search box at the top of any Facebook page. Click on the” Static HTML: iframe tabs”.

Then click on “Add Static HTML to a Page”. On the next page, select the page where you want to add the app.

Go to your Facebook Fan Page where you added the app, and you will see the app listed in the left column. Click on the app (it will have a star beside it), and it will bring up the edit window where you can enter your HTML code. At this point, if you don’t know HTML, contact your web designer or give me a call at 615-308-8078 and I’ll help you get everything set up.

I set up a page at www.facebook.com/mikecolemanmarketing so you can see a very simple example of what you can do. I’ll be adding a lot more to the page so make sure you “Like” my page while you’re there.

Now you can have a custom Facebook Page that extends your brand, and you can do anything on your Facebook Page that you can do on your website.