I don’t think it has been addressed yet, surprisingly, but a
WELL-DONE website is a MUST HAVE. I don’t know if you have a website
or not, but either way, if you don’t have the skills to create a nice
presentation online, set aside funds to hire someone. If you do have
skills for that, GREAT (and disregard the rest of this post, but it
may help someone else)!
Do some research on websites you like, the styles and themes you
prefer, and hire a freelancer to do it. In general, I would not use
"web design firms" unless you need really technically difficult
features, and they will cost you an arm and a leg even for simple
A poorly designed website is detrimental to business, and can negate
much of the tangible marketing you do. I’ve seen many fabulous
artists struggle due to poor online presentations, and strangely many
"ok" artists succeed with great websites. Fascinating.
Unfortunately most of the public (in general) quite often associate
the quality of the product, based on the quality of the presentation
of the product-- and it all happens subconsciously. If you already
have a website and it can use some fresh curtains, do not hesitate to
do so. A redesign is much cheaper than losing potential clients.
If it costs you more than $3,000 for a small to medium sized website,
you are probably getting ripped off. A good deal would be around
$1,500 - $1,800. Also make sure the one you hire KNOWS what they’re
doing and has a great track record.
I would highly suggest NOT doing Search Engine Marketing in the
beginning, as that can strip your marketing budget down in a hurry.
Wait until you have a very refined website and identity, and firstly
rely on your business cards, postcards, and word of mouth. Only do
Search Engine Marketing when you are hurting or ready to expand. But,
if you have the extra funds do to it, it can’t hurt too much.
Another tip is to keep track of the cost, time, and response for each
marketing method. Quarterly you can then see what methods are
working, worth keeping, adjusting, or dumping altogether. Holidays
are tricky. Some methods may fail in one quarter but work great in
another quarter. Keeping good records will ensure it doesn’t turn
into a crapshoot gamble.
If you want I’ll address your website needs and offer some tips and
suggestions at no charge. I’m on hiatus, so please don’t take this as
solicitation, as I’m getting involved in jewelry
Looking forward to your feedback.
Jim Sprague Jr.