| by Judy Vorfeld
Do you ever feel over-saturated with Internet marketing and design ideas as you
strive to build a business presence? Have you searched through self-help books and
articles, attended seminars, bought tapes and videos, even visualized ways to market your
business successfully, yet your heart and your bank account remain empty, unfulfilled?
In the final analysis, all words and ideas must be
filtered through the screens of our character, personality, and goals. We must have
well-designed sites, but to fully, accurately reveal ourselves as professionals, we must
not only have something to give, but we must provide information about ourselves.
Most of us don't fit in the same category with amazon.com or disney.com. We
are more in the province of NewKidOnTheWeb.com. Whether you sell 3,000 products, a
service, or one-of-a-kind toothbrushes for people ages 35-50, you want to build a unique
Internet presence. How can we do this effectively? By filtering through all the online
information and find what is important for your business.
I've visited some stunning sites: perfect balance
between graphics, text, navigation, and content. Only one thing missing: character. As a
potential client, I want more than knowledge of the product or service: I want to know
"About Them." Further, if the site has graphic links and text links, the
"About Us" should be on both areas of each page, and just as prevalent as the
e-mail address (which should both be linked and spelled out for best results).
"But talking about myself is bragging!"
you might say. Not with appropriate presentation. You can do a simple text summary of the
business and/or the owner, or offer a business profile similar to a résumé. If you
volunteer in your community, or on the Internet, mention it. If you belong to any
professional associations, make note of it. Create a page of testimonials from satisfied
customers/clients. All or any of these paint a picture of who you are and what customers
or clients can expect if they decide to transact business with you.
Another method for completing your portrait is to
give away either an item (e.g., holding contests and having drawings) or information. Are
you tired of hearing about "giving first"? Wait a moment. We benefit enormously
from the many free tutorials, tips, articles, discussion boards, and e-zines, right?
People giving so generously of their time probably helped enhance you as a professional.
Why not do the same for others?
Take time to create something that will act as a
gift for your visitors, even if it's a page of resources on a device that stretches nasal
passages. Think of the nose-related subjects: sinusitis, allergies, anti-snoring devices,
sneezing suppression, a listing of respected ENT specialists, soft paper tissues that say
"I love you" when you blow your nose, makeup, even plastic surgery!
You are unique. One way or another, you're going to
have to find ways to reflect your distinct characteristics. Visitors may not need this
data, but they may want it, and if you're not willing to provide it, they may simply leave
your site. Hey, you started your business because you have courage, intelligence, and
ingenuity. If you haven't already done so, go build some (or more) credibility.
Article by Judy Vorfeld, owner of Office Support Services.
Judy, a.k.a. Webgrammar, owns Office Support Services, a home-based secretarial service
and Web design/renovation business. In addition to typing, design, editing, research, and
analysis, she mentors others, and offers free resources on her Webgrammar pages. Reach
Judy at email@example.com
or visit her site at http://www.ossweb.com.
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