contributed by Michael A. Thomas, FASID, CAPS [interior designer / speaker / author / owner, Design Collective Group]
There is little doubt that technology moves at the speed of lightning. And for many in the design profession, keeping current and understanding how “tech stuff” works can be challenging. First of all it takes a commitment of time and resources to just stay up with what’s out there, whether it is publishing an effective website, writing a blog, learning how to use drawing software like Sketch-Up or posting pictures to sites such as Picasa as an on-line design portfolio. But it is important to keep up with the evolving forms of technology since the world wide web plays an ever increasing and important role for everyone – not only for those of us in the profession but also to stay in front of those potential clients who are researching information and options.
For businesses of all shapes and sizes, the focus of many marketing efforts is often to create and manage an effective website. It requires effort to not only formulate and publish one’s brand message but the bigger challenge is keeping a website updated with fresh content consistently so that the site achieves visibility from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. That should always remain a prime objective since getting to page one of Google can mean the difference of a potential client seeing you – or not.
Looking to update my own web presence, I realized my sites were falling behind in a number of ways. I had been working with an independent web consultant for a number of years and was generally satisfied with the results. But I discovered a few things as I began to evolve my firm’s brand message and personality to adapt to this new economy.
First, my consultant was not a marketing expert. As I learned from others, many believe IT people are in fact superior marketing experts. But many are not. Such was the case with me. He could certainly write computer code but there was this disconnect with what I wanted my website to say about “me” and my practice. Plus my website was no longer getting the ranking that it once did. Imagine my frustrations, all of which led to a significant marketing decision.
That decision” Do it myself.
Early in this year, I made the determined choice to take charge of my own web presence. And what I discovered is there are a number of on-line tools and techniques that not only are easy to learn, but permit changes and additions to any website in real time. And with such tools, it makes it simple and easy that even a caveman – and designer – can do it.
I have spent the last several months testing numerous resources to determine the best ones for these endeavors. And today, my firm’s five sites are up and running with a redesigned face, format and image. Today each is being routinely indexed and regularly ranked by the search engines.
Now if I wish to post pictures of a recent design project, I no longer wait for my web expert to do that for me. If I want to blog, it is easy to add a post to my blogs “within each site” when inspired to write something to appeal to prospects. And should I want to evolve my brand message in the body of the home page, I only need to log-in and use my password to make the change.
If you would like to discover how to do the same, my newest webinar will show the steps to design, publish and control your web identity. Even if you have no interest in doing this work on your own, this class will give you the terms and jargon to help you “talk tech” with your IT specialist.
To learn more details about this live webinar or to register to join me on Wednesday, August 31, 2011, for this one-plus hour event, just go to designbusinesssuccess.org/e-workshops.