Is Integrity in This Industry Verboten?

Does lack of personality and a disdain for talking to clients have to be a prerequisite to work as a web developer? It just might! You don’t know how many times I have heard: “You answer your phone! That’s awesome! My previous web guy never did.”

Our industry is overrun with folks who have no personality, know-how, or skill, yet proclaim to be web marketing pundits. Wanna-be web marketing experts read a book over a weekend and proclaim expertise the following Monday. These new SEO “experts” whisper sweet nothings into potential clients ears, promise amazing results for pennies, often screwing things up beyond repair.

You, the business owner, need leads generated. You’d like to do it as cost effectively as possible. You want to maximize profit by maximizing sales and minimizing cost. You want to grow, and so you get sucked into these low-cost schemes that simply don’t work, and instead make things worse.

Proper Education Trumps:

Did you know that you can now get Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Web Marketing? These are four to six year degrees in which students don’t just learn the technical side of implementing web marketing, but how to map a blueprint for getting it done the right way. We love our work with OCPS. Every time we meet with them about curriculum updates, we get to see how their students are growing and learning. Often these kids get to partner with crazy individuals like us to get the hands-on experience needed to work with folks like you. That, to me, is the type of person you should entrust your business to.

Partner Selection:

Looking to date? Not so fast! Half the battle is selecting a company you click with. Hiring someone who has influence over your brand, and generating leads for you, can’t be a “speed-dating” process. You need to assure you work with a company that you trust and feel comfortable with. Make sure to…

  1. Work with a company you like: Look at the people and the chemistry.
  2. Check results: Do not believe claims.
  3. Make sure you feel understood.
  4. Assure the company understands all avenues of marketing, not just web.
  1. Judge integrity by community involvement.
  2. See what others say: A great reputation means a lot.
  3. Work with a company you like. (Yeah, I wrote it twice on purpose)
  4. Make sure the ROI is logical.


You want to make more of it. You want to select a partner who will get you the most bang for your buck. I love the people who make the argument that you can’t create a ROI for social media or even organic web marketing. That’s completely asinine. Here’s why: While you can’t pinpoint ROI to perhaps a specific action, it still factors into the overall business activity. If your business does not produce positive cash flow after a foreseeable future, you are going to pack your bags, and it’s “sayonara business endeavor”. So, everyone at some point in time has to look at their business expenditures as an investment, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. You “expend” marketing dollars in a calculating manner. You make every attempt to minimize risk, in the hopes of your marketing “paying off”, and thus producing positive cash flow.

The Great Disconnect:

Small business owners are failing to connect with their consumer base on the web because they do not understand how to communicate with their target market. Most folks we start to work with worry too much about being professional. They are concerned with how they will be perceived if they dare to be a little different. I’m here to tell you to stop worrying. You are not a company helping a client. You are not a business servicing a customer. You are a person helping another person. It’s personal. It always has been and it always will be. Connect with customers on a personal level. Don’t disconnect for fear of being unprofessional.

Your Website:

You may think of your website in terms of marketing and design. Don’t! Think of your website in terms of sales and ROI. Your website needs to help you make money. If it doesn’t, it’s a failure.

Always remember, people purchase with emotion and later justify their purchase with logic. Assure your website ties into your viewers emotion and your leads will flourish. I hope one of these days some of my colleagues will understand this as well.

Your website needs to be a 24/7 sales bullhorn to the rest of the world. You are selling your customer on the idea that you are the best solution to their need. Perhaps you are able to conquer one of your customer’s fears. Perhaps you provide a logical financial solution. Perhaps you are just funny and like to have a good time providing great customer service. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the website itself needs to provide an answer to the viewer’s emotion.

Always remember, people purchase with emotion and later justify their purchase with logic. Assure your website ties into your viewers emotion and your leads will flourish. I hope one of these days some of my colleagues will understand this as well.

Be a Monster Killer

I’d like to leave you with the following thought. Find your business monster. What is the monster that stops your potential customers from selecting you? Figure that out, and your business will thrive.