On a Mission to Save my Hometown
I’ve recently been on a mission to save my hometown businesses from not getting the kind of exposure they need to help them succeed. I came up with the idea to go to my local Chamber of Commerce’s website and record all the businesses on that site, then do a Google search on them and see just where they rate. I couldn’t believe the results.
My hometown is a tourist’s dream come true; a quaint little Vermont town, a great place for someone driving through Vermont to see the scenery to park and just walk up and down our streets and have a spectacular shopping experience. Yet of the 20 businesses I checked out, less than half of them have websites or a social media presence.
So what I am doing is choosing a business per week, and doing extensive research on them, finding out what I can about them through the internet, checking their social media channels (most of the businesses have Facebook pages, they just don’t keep them updated), and finding out what I can about the owners. Then I am crafting a personal letter to tell them who I am and what I can do for them.
I recently had some lovely brochures made, ones that I had designed myself and ordered from Vistaprint. This is included in the envelope with the letter, as well as two articles I found on the web. One article is titled “Why you should have a website” and the other is “Why you should be using social media marketing”.
Then, after I send the letter, I wait four of five days, and then I call the business to set up an appointment to visit the owner, and talk to him or her about how they feel about having a website. So far I’ve gotten some hesitation. Many of the businesses feel they aren’t at a point where they are financially ready to commit to a website. So that is when I realized I had to polish my online pricing list and have a physical copy of it in my hand when I go to see these businesses. Many business owners believe it costs thousands of dollars to have a website, and if they go with another agency in my area, they are justified in believing so. But I am hoping that they will be relieved when they see my prices. I haven’t yet tested this theory, but am planning on visiting my first business armed with the pricing list tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.
So why am I telling you all of this? Well, I want to be clear to my current and prospective customers that I am not just a cookie cutter take on any client that approaches me kind of web designer. I care about my customers, and am not just out to get rich off them. I especially want to see my hometown grow and prosper. When they succeed, we all succeed.
If you are looking for a big firm that will build you a big website at a big price, I am not that firm. I am looking to help small businesses succeed, starting with the ones around me.
If you are looking for a quality website at a very reasonable price, from somebody who answers the phone personally when you call (you’ll never have trouble remembering who to ask for when you call, as I am the only designer), then I am the web designer you are looking for.
Let’s do business together, shall we?