BLOG

By Development Team 01 Jun, 2017

Ok, a serious blog today about a serious question. Automated website builders? We see it every day and we get constantly asked if we believe automated site builders can create great customer attraction programs. Every time I get asked this question, I think of a great scene from the movie I,Robot when the character played by Will Smith is trying to explain why he really dislikes robots.

Will Smiths says: “Um, look, this isn't what I do, but I've got an idea for one of your commercials. You see... a carpenter, making a beautiful chair. And then one of your robots comes in and makes a better chair twice as fast. And then you superimpose on the screen, "USR: Shittin' on the Little Guy". That would be the fade-out”.

Maybe I’m old school like Will Smith was in the movie. But, my feelings are that everything that is creative in this world? A human does it better. A robot must be programmed to do it. It’s not natural, it doesn’t come from the heart. So, do I believe automatic site builders are a good thing? The answer is a big NO. What’s more, I love the joy I see on a fresh graduate’s face when they start a new job and design their first site. I love it when one of our crew make a design that a customer sends them a big huge rap and grateful words. I love what our crew create.

Now before I get attacked by all the technocrats on being old school, let me add in some details that are not emotionally motivated.

The auto builder features that say they can just search all your current sites details and content and copy it over to a new site? Yes, possible but it’s a bit all over the place and a human must take over and make it look at least clean and tidy. An auto builder using a template and your typing input? Yep, that can work but you end up with a bunch of clone sites.

Customer attraction programs is what we call them not websites. And, if your site is going to be the first web impression potential customers see of your business, don’t you want them to see the best?

So, maybe it costs a few dollars more. Maybe there is a little back and forth. But in the end, it’s all about no second chance on a first impression. And, you should let your customers see the best of you.

Unless…Your selling to Robots huh.

By Development Team 02 May, 2017

Do you remember that show? Wow, they would have a bunch of people go through a series of three stunts, all super dangerous, like driving fast cars over a bridge, or through fire and explosions. But, the stunts that usually got everybody talking were the eating strange disgusting things or lying in a glass case having a close encounter with all sorts of nasty stuff.

Some of the things they made people eat were shocking. A quick sample of delicacies include African cave dwelling spiders – nasty things with big long legs with claws at the end of them, and hello they were alive and had to be chewed before swallowing.

What about sheep’s eyes? Yep, these lovely little balls of cooked joy are bad enough but to make it worse, the contestants were surrounded by live sheep looking at them straight in the eye whilst the contestant devoured one of their relatives former looking glass of life.

Tarantulas, snakes, raw sewerage, all sorts of fun and joy made for a super show. Yes, just the thought of this stuff was enough to elevate the “FEAR” factor but the host, Joe Rogan, was also famous for really talking up the fear. Telling the contestants how disgusting the thing was they were about to eat, really talking it up before the contestant could look at it and have attempt to do the task. The silly part? Often the stuff they had to eat although looking awful really had no taste or wasn’t that bad at all, you just must get it past the lips! LOL.

When it comes to talking up the fear factor in the web world? I tell you, Joe Rogan does not compare to what the SPAM emailers get up to. They can send you information so awful and frightening that you will swear your super sexy website is a disaster and has every problem except for maybe the plague!

I read them, customers read them, then get me to read them and it is very scary. They will have stats upon stats telling us how we have “100’s” of issues with our website. The fear factor they build up is terrible and you get to the point you’re even worried your customers might catch a virus if they look at it. Yes folks, the fear factor driven up by these email spammers form all sorts of strange and wonderful lands is not just scary, it’s a pain in the you know what.

Is the fear real? In most cases no. They will pick all sorts of obscure, mean-nothing, technical issues that really have zero to do with the performance of your site. All they want to do is create the illusion of a tarantula on the plate, a rat in the sewer and make you as scared as possible for you to email them back and sign up for something that really you don’t need.

So, if you get those emails? You can be on the safe side. Don’t even get involved in the show, do a quick check with google or your web developer to settle your nerves, then maybe find a crunchy bowl of scorpions to munch on whilst you watch Joe talk it up on the reruns.


Have a great day!

 


 

 

By Development Team 31 Mar, 2017

Back in the day, the 70’s to be exact, you could hear the sweet sounds of Simon and Garfunkel singing “Bridge over troubled water” whilst you cruised the streets in your 1970 Ford Galaxy. The song was number one and the figures for the Galaxy? Wow, you would be so excited as you achieved an average of 12mpg! Which was okay as gas was only 36 cents a gallon.

But fast forward ten years and wow what a difference. You’re now squashed into a Honda Hatchback as gas has hit $1.31 a gallon and you’re singing along to blondie belting out the hit “Call me”

Yes, ten years is not a long time but wow did things change for the car industry back in the 70s. The old gas guzzlers just could not do it anymore and no longer fit the market. But the big three kept making them and sooner than later they had acres of unsold cars whilst the Japanese imports had a waiting list and people ready with pen in hand to sign on the dotted line.

The website business in 2017 has a lot in common with the 1970s Car industry, and the gas guzzler now are desktop sites. The big game changer is not the price of gas, it’s the evolution and expansion of the mobile connection.

3g, 4g, Wireless, Fiber Optic – all these speed demons have made it so we are now a Mobile World. You won’t see people walking around the streets carrying a gas guzzling desktop computer on their back. They will have the mobile in hand or they will be sitting on the toilet looking at their next consumer purchase on the new awesome IPad.

Yes folks, for the desktop design? There is a “bridge over troubled water”!

But? Like the big three back in the day, a lot of business will stick to the old, gotta look awesome on the 26-inch screen, and let’s just shrink it down for those customers that choose the phone or the tablet to look for us.

The fact is? The thinking should be the reverse. We should be thinking, “wow, how can make the site look awesome on mobile and the desktop should be the end game”. We should be focusing on how to make our websites’ Customer Attraction Programs that get consumers wanting to book and buy rather than sit there and read.

So, guys and gals, let’s not sing when you’re weary feeling small, let’s get all excited, let’s get into the new age, break away from those troubled waters, give the gas guzzler a rest and get into the Mobile Evolution, and if you need help? Call me…

Big Hugs from TheCamel


By Development Team 01 Mar, 2017
Okay, so you have the manual. You have all the shiny new tools. You have just purchased from the local hardware store. All the bits and pieces of your soon to be party venue pergola are laying there and ready to go. You even bought a pair of super tradesman overalls so you would at least look the part. Yes, you’re about to become a DIY person. Heck, you even have the iPad sitting on a side table with YouTube how-to videos paused and waiting.

But, half way into the operation, your fingers are swelling from being whacked with the hammer one too many times, the neighbors have called the police to report offensive language, your dog is hiding under the table as he is scared the hammer throw might greet him, your partner and kids have packed their bags and taken to the shelter of a Motel down the road.

Worse, still you’re finding more parts and wondering where they were supposed to go?

It’s at this time you fall to your knees, clasp your hands and beg to the DIY Gods, “Send me a Professional!”

Folks, there is no shame in using a Professional. Plus, it saves medical bills, potential jail terms, relationships, and is kind to animals!

I don’t hear of this everyday with the Pergola crew, but I do hear horror stories with business people trying to build a website. Even more, we get professional building them that cry out for help when things are not going according to plan and a little extra skill is needed.

Let me say it once again, there is no shame in asking for help.

Think about it, like the carpenter that builds Pergolas for a living, he has most likely built many of them so he knows what he is doing. He probably has more tools. Guarantee you, he has some special ones that make the job faster, easier and more precise.

Websites are like that as well. Most business people are busy running a business they might build a website once in a lifetime. We build 100’s a month, we have the latest computers, software, designers that are up to date on all the latest trends as well, we should as that’s the business we are in.

So, like the professional carpenter, a professional web fulfillment partner is a great idea.

And there is no shame in using a Professional.

Be kind to your pet, family and look after your health. When building a website, or if you get into a little bit of a bind, don’t throw the keyboard at the wall, call a professional fulfillment partner and let us do the work whilst you play games on the tablet or walk the dog.
By Development Team 01 Feb, 2017
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” - Steuart H. Britt

Yes folks, a lot of business today are winking at customers in the dark. No nice way of putting it and it’s about time you turn on the lights.

Yes, I know you have spent the cookie jar on the brand new super sexy website. I also know that you are spending money every single month on SEO, Social Media Marketing maybe even pay per click. You might have an AdSense account that’s crippling your credit card and still you’re not lining up to put a deposit on that Ferrari from the awesome profits of your business!

Well maybe, just maybe, you are getting the people to look at that super sexy website. Maybe you are also ranking well on the good old google search. Yes, that dark room maybe full of men and women ready to joyously receive that wink, but as the title goes…It’s time to turn on the lights.

I see it so often when I look at a business stats whilst they are offloading to me over good old skype, I hear the cry, “I’m getting traffic, why am I not getting sales”, or “why do people look at my website and quicker than you can say lost sale, they leave?”

Well maybe, just maybe, when they go to that super sexy website that’s all they see. Yes, it looks sensational, has all the latest flashy video sliders, awesome pictures of you, testimonials from super happy customers. But something must be missing, what would that be? Incentive.

Yes, a great website, Google rankings, PPC, Social Media Marketing even AdSense are all designed to do one thing. What is that you might say? Well, they are designed to send people to your website, once they have achieved that, their job is done. What’s the next job? Give the customer a reason to call you, to book, to make a reservation, to ask for a visit, take a test drive, give them an…Incentive.

With our websites, it’s easy we have a feature called InSite. It can be a pop up, it can be activated by time of day, device type, geo locations, all sorts of ways. It can be activated when somebody gets to your site first time, second time, or every time. What they will then see is an offer, an incentive, a discount, whatever you like. If the website is the hook? A super special awesome designed correctly programmed InSite will be the bait.

An InSite incentive is the light of your website, a special offer. Yes, that’s the wink to show them you’re interested. So, make it part of your advertising ideas each month. Look at special events you can link to promotions, think about what second time customers are looking for, think about the sort of discounts a first-time customer might want to see, think of announcements, news, anything. Just start turning on the lights of that website for all to see.

And who knows that first wink? Might end up with a date or even more!

Hugs from TheCamel.
By Development Team 02 Jan, 2017
Years ago, Bell helmets (You know, those things that protect your head when you hit the ground) had a game changer marketing idea. It was very simple, “Ten Dollar Helmets for Ten Dollar Heads”. You see, Bell helmets were not cheap. You could buy a helmet for $10, Bell was five times that. But the big question Bell got you to ask yourself? What is your precious skull worth? Bell sold a lot of helmets.
   
Bell, did it again only recently with their campaign, “Does your kid have $100-feet and a $10-dollar head”. They were after the bicycle and skateboard market of children. Basically shaming the parents into the fact they would spend $100’s on the latest Nike shoes but pick up a $10 head protector for the little pride of their life from the local store. It worked again, Bell sold a lot of helmets to protect the future leaders of the world!
   
So, what am I thinking? Well, it goes like this.

“If you have a $10 business, build your own website”

Why can I say that? Well if 75%+ consumers are using the internet to search for a product or service that you and many offer, you best make sure that the first impression they get of your business is a good one, or else, more than likely they will go somewhere else.

You best make sure the site is all ready for mobile and looks super special. You better make sure that all the images are spot on, that the text is right, that keywords are the best, you best make sure of all that.

You better make sure, it’s to the point, has call to actions, and don’t forget information must be easy to find so the site should be a navigational joy, or else, they will go somewhere else. And don’t get me started on make sure the site is not slow.

Yes, you best make sure your DIY website is a winner, or else it could quickly turn your business into a loser.

They don’t, “Let their fingers do the walking in yellow pages” and call you up and ask what’s on the menu. No, they whip out the trusty phone or lay in bed looking at the iPad and search away. Nowadays? It’s close to the movie Wall-E and you can search book and buy from the comfort of your good old recliner chair.
   
So, you best make sure your first impression they see is super special, eye catching, awesome in setup and ready to take them by the hand and lead them down the buyer and booker aisle.

Yep, Bell was right, and I think in this case? So is TheCamel.

If you value your Business more than $10? Get a professional to help make the first impression awesome.
By Development Team 30 Nov, 2016
Two versions of Armageddon – there is the biblical version which is all about the last big fight between the Good Guys (God and Angels) and the Bad Guys (Devil and his mob), huge big nasty brawl erupts, but in the end the Good Guys win.

The second version? Is a Movie where a huge asteroid is on a collision course to earth, if it hits, there will be Global Destruction (Armageddon). But like the Godly version, yippee there is a happy ending. Bruce Willis presses the button, nuclear bomb explodes and the asteroid is blown up and the earth is saved. All of this happens whilst Aerosmith sings in the background. Wow, what an ending!

Now, why are we talking about Armageddon? Well, this week we had the worst of the worst technical disaster with one of our hosting companies. It was Technical Armageddon for them. The good was attacked by evil and next thing you know, all their servers were blown up by a nuclear explosion and nothing was left to salvage (All files gone!).

What did this do? Well, it killed all our emails plus a few of our clients, lots of our of painstakingly created online forms disappeared. It was an issue. For us, we had a back-up plan and quickly were up and running with good old Gmail. For the clients, however? Well, we fell into the Godly version of Armageddon, that being Good versus Evil, and sorry it’s your (Ours) fault.

I say Good versus Evil as when things go wrong, good people can very quickly turn evil. Yep, you mess with the emails of a lovely old couple running a florist shop, you disconnect their e-commerce gateway in anyway and they will turn into fire breathing dragons quicker than you can say “Law Suit”! And hello, I don’t care what happened “It’s your fault” will be the signature of every text message/Facebook posting/Twitter tweet, heck, they will even screen shot the issue and post it on Instagram.

Now, regardless of the fact that it’s a supplier that had the Armageddon moment, that lightning had struck the building where the server was held or even an asteroid (keeping with the movie theme) had demolished the entire city, regardless of what the soon to be poor supplier is telling you about ETA of the issue being rectified, the mature age florist gives you the same sentence each time you chat….It’s your fault and get it fixed now.

It’s a terrible thing times like this. Customers are yelling at you, all you’re hearing is, “When will it be fixed?” “You’re ruining my business” “I will sue you” and you’re also harassing the poor server guy who is trying to rebuild life amongst the rubble of melted hard disks.

So, what are my pearls of wisdom for these Armageddon moments? Keep people informed.

Yes, regardless of how much abuse you will get, tell your customers what’s going on before they ask you, keep emailing them, post messages on your Facebook page, good news bad news anything is better than NO news.

And remember, either the Godly Armageddon, the Bruce Willis movie or your technical meltdown?

There will be a happy ending.

Hugs from the Camel
By Development Team 01 Nov, 2016
“You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave”. What an awesome song, and would you believe it was recorded by The Eagles 40 years ago? Like hello you can go to any bar anywhere in the world and once the karaoke is on you can be guaranteed you will hear some Chinese, Indian, African, German, Italian you name it nationality belting that song out and playing Air Guitar when the lead break arrives.

Is this blog about international singing and drinking? No, but the theme behind this month’s blog is that one line in that awesome song, “You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave” Yes that one line sums it up and an issue in the business world of today, something that has become almost an addiction to all those that have hung up a shingle and printed business cards.

Yes, if a new song was written maybe the verse would relate to the Hotel Google, and once you check in, once you get addicted to the holy grail called "Front Page" and the never-ending quest to find it, you can never leave.

Yep, you’re stuck in that Hotel and you will never visit another as that quest for Front Page, the belief that has been driven by the 'You need that Front page, it’s all that matters' of many an enticing SEO Email from some obscure place in India or some place that ends in STAN, tells you no way can check out baby. Yes, it doesn’t matter what else you do it’s that front page that is going to make you a gold card holding success story ready to sign up for the corporate jet!

But you know what? I think there is another song we need to start playing, we need to start humming the tune to another Eagles song when opening those emails, we need to sing along to “Lying Eyes”

Yes, folks, I think we have been sold the biggest lemon story of all time, there is more to life than just spending all our hard-earned cash chasing that front-page position, there are other ways to get those customers pounding on the front door, getting that phone to ring off the hook, get those tables reserved, sell those awesome clothes, get people dancing in those new shoes, it’s an age-old system that was around way before Larry Page and Sergey Bin went through puberty (Google Founders).

That system? Promotion driven by another lost art called Imagination all wrapped up in good old fashioned hard work.

But let me make it simple, Promotion? Tell people you’re in business. Yep, hand out business cards, blast it on Facebook, use your website, change it often. Tell people you have great offers, write them on the back of business cards, post them on Facebook have them as popups on your website and get them to tell others and reward them for doing so. Yes, repeat business, referral business will do awesome things for your business and it’s a lot cheaper than what the friendly Indian or Uzbekistan SEO hero is going to charge.

So, consider those “Lying Eyes” and “Check out of that Hotel”, get creative with your website and your promotions and I guarantee you that soon you will be drinking those “Tequila Sunrise” as you enjoy “Life in the fast Lane” (Wow I got four eagles Songs into the ending LOL)

Big Hugs from TheCamel
By Development Team 03 Oct, 2016
You know, when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. Doesn’t matter how much sun it gets, without water, bit of daily TLC it will simply just fade away.

Relationships? Well, If you love someone and they reject and neglect you, if there is very little TLC, you gotta move on, there’s no point in running around in circles for someone when there’s no reward.

I had a friend that did a lot of marriage and relationship counselling, I asked what is the major issue in relationship problems. Is it being unfaithful, not seeing eye to eye, lack of communication, what is it that causes many people to split? Was a simple reply, “Not enough TLC”?

Yes, those little hugs, simple notes, occasional SMS, little gifts for no reason, date nights, all those little TLC thingies’ that make our hearts go “Pitter Patter” and let us feel like we are young lover again.

Sad part about it? When I asked the same person what is the number one cause of infidelity, what is the key ingredient that starts people to look at others? Well, it’s also TLC he told me. Yep, when you’re not getting TLC from the one you love and you start getting it from another, a random compliment, a gentle smile, some flirting. Sooner or later the little neglected flower inside of you will start to feel the sunshine and start to “sprout”.

So if you want to keep the love of your life on the line? Try a little tenderness.

Statistically? “We know that it costs more to acquire a new customer (roughly seven times) than it does to sell to an existing customer, so it makes sense to spend much more of your marketing effort “Giving some TLC” with people who know you rather than with absolute strangers.”

Ok, so we SPAM them with email marketing campaigns, we send them Happy Birthday to you, but end it with, “Time to Renew”, Merry Xmas, Happy New Year, Valentine’s day, you name it. But, we often end it with a salutation that leads to a prod to a Sale.

Sort of like buying your wife a mop, or your husband a lawn mower for a gift (or to be politically correct, either way around) The sentiment is nice but they know what you really want!

Drop the, “and by the way part” of those emails or phone calls and just a simple say “Hi” and say thanks for being my customer, I appreciate you. Send a reward, offer a discount, give them something that doesn’t require them to buy something.

Don’t always offer the mop or the lawn mower, start sending some roses, or maybe give them a call and hum a few bars of Grenade…I’d catch a grenade for you, throw my hand on a blade for you..Yeh Yeh
By Development Team 01 Sep, 2016
I really love UFC, yes I know violent sports are bad but hello have you checked out the Video games your kids play (or you play) or the tunes they are playing? So let’s leave the “Righteousness” and let me get on with my blog.

In UFC I have a favorite, I love Conor McGregor, Irish Guy super star. Yes he did lose but yes he won the return bout and I love his attitude. He is so exciting, so awesome that he took UFC to another level, when asked what it is that gives him awesome attitude he replied with this: "This is an obsession. Talent does not exist; we are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that's that. I am not talented, I am obsessed."

Yep, there was, is and will be, “Talented” people in the UFC, but how many will have that, “Obsession” In business I have met so many with awesome Talent, but ZERO Obsession, and I have seen them beaten soundly by people with less talent but huge amount of “Obsession”

Every month we see resume after resume pass over our desk of people that have great talent in design, SEO skills, admin but when you talk to them, well the feeling of the conversation is like when choosing dead fish at the market for Dinner, the fish doesn’t talk much!


But let’s get back to people with “Obsession” like Conor, why is it so awesome to work, to be part of a team, to be served by, sold to by people that have got real Attitude, real excitement are so awesome to work with, to buy from, to be with? Rather than look at a Salmon laying on ice!

Because it makes it a Joy, not a pain.

Yes, when you're involved with great attitudes, it’s a Joy to come to work, it’s a joy to hand over your cash for a purchase, it’s a joy to get in the car after it's been serviced, it’s a joy to eat that meal that’s just been served. You walk, drive gee you even skip down the street with an awesome attitude yourself, sure beats that, “Wish I wasn’t here feeling”

So what is the main point I’m trying to get across today? I would say it’s to think about that Salmon that’s lying on the bed of ice, looking at you, you're looking back at thinking about what you will do with it, how you can make a really great meal out of, how it will please other’s that eat it. You have an awesome attitude about what you’re going to do with that poor dead fish.

So, if you want to get more out of your business, if you want a team that makes you want to jump out of bed to work with, if you a service department that people are queuing up to be looked after by, if you want a restaurant that people are lining up for?

Be Obsessed about what you do, don’t be a Salmon on ice!
More Posts
Share by: