I spent about 6 years as an online advertising consultant in Portland, Or. for two of the largest fish in the online advertising shark tank. (Names omitted to protect the innocent) Without exaggerating, 75% of those advertising consultations had a singular reoccurring obstacle to overcome:
Business Owners Mistrusted Anything To Do With Internet Marketing.They were extremely negative - negative at times to the point of anger.Why, you may be wondering? The answer is a mixed bag of lack of knowledge, the speed of change on the internet, a natural resistance to change, essentially;
b) or they had been taken advantage of,
c) or their website was outdated or substandard (you know what I'm talking about-"my son made it", or "I've had this site since I bought the business 10 years ago...")
Hardly successful tools for a winning campaign that would generate renewals and lasting relationships. How could I sell advertising knowing how poor the results might be? It should be noted that this was not always the case. Many times the campaigns created very happy customers, but I digress.
Now I can provide them with a website that brands the company, represents the personality of the company and has upward expansion setup for SEO, SEM, and Social Media Interaction as those steps are taken. I absolutely love this creative part of my job. I REALLY LOVE the expressions on my clients faces when they see a website they never imagined they would own. Sometimes there are tears, and sometimes there are changes but one things always happens: my clients know I took the time to get to know who they are. I listened to them and built the site for the business they want, not what everyone else in there industry has.
Today I am excited to help educate biz owners on how easy it is to track a ROI in real time and how this can help in all aspects of their business plan from marketing to product launches. I am passionate about sharing these tools with local business owners, especially given the current state of the economy where every penny counts. Ok, sometimes their eyes glaze over, but I try to keep myself in check. I enjoy the freedom of being honest with a client and helping them for free, just cause its the right thing to do. I'm no longer selling something just to make quota and no ones telling me I have to be in the office at 8am and again at 5pm or I have to make 200 calls on Tuesday. In spite of this my business is successful beyond my projections and I have just taken on some part-time help-yikes!
I love working for myself even though it can be lonely at times. Its hard when I'm not sure how to do something, or I can't make something work, or I don't know how much to charge and there's no one to ask for advice. Then I present a website to a client I forget all the loneliness and late nights.That sense of accomplishment makes it all worth while.
Another benefit; I have two 18 month old grand-babies living in Cali. I can grab my laptop, fly down there and spoil them with love, help their mom and still make a living. Life is very, very good, thank you for asking!
One last thing, recently I was offered my old job back. It was amazing to be able to say "No thank you, however, if any of your clients need help with their online reputation, here's my card." That felt ggggRREEAATT!