FreelanceSwitch’s 12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them

I’ve just discovered FreelanceSwitch and boy am I glad I did.

Their post: 12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them provides great insight. Rather than just bagging out clients they describe 12 common types of client and give advice on how to work with them. Types include:

  • The Low-Tech Client
  • The Hands-On Client
  • The Appreciative Client
  • The I-Know-It -When-I-See-It Client
  • The Always-Urgent Client
  • The Budget Client

I’ve worked with a lot of clients in my time and can tell you the list is pretty spot on. For some rare insight into client types and how to make sure you work well with them the post is a must read.

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To .COM or .COM.AU?

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when deciding to get a website is what your domain name will be. There’s lots of good advice on ensuring your domain is easy to spell, quick to type, memorable and brandable. But what about the domain extension? If you are outside of the US do you go with the ubiquitous .COM extension or do you add your country code – which in Australia is .AU?

In this instance I strongly recommend you go for a domain with the country code you are in. You should only go for a .COM domain if your website is focusing on an international market.

Why? There’s a number of reasons:

  • You will appeal to the community you are marketing too. If I’m looking for a local business I am far more likely to gravitate towards websites that are obviously within my locale. A .COM.AU in the domain name tells me they are Australian and therefore relevant to me.
  • People will often assume that your website address ends in a .COM.AU or equivalent country code. In these instances they will automatically type that in and wonder why your site isn’t where it should be. They also may not think to try the .COM version.
  • If you want traffic from the search engines, and who doesn’t, a domain within your country code will help you rank for search terms in local versions of the search engines, such as google.com.au. It can also be a lot less competitive than trying to rank against multitudes of .COM websites.
  • There is also a much better chance you’ll be able to snap up a great domain. There aint a lot of choice left in the .COM space.

If you’re able to pick up the .COM version of your domain I’d recommend it (I have thinkprospect.com) to make sure no one else gets it. But when it comes to marketing and promotion I’d use the one with the country code. Every time.

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Keeping Your Target Audience In Mind

When designing a website one of the most fundamental rules is ensuring that you’re designing with your target audience in mind. If the site doesn’t appeal to them it’s less than useless. The most obvious example of this is the Bunurong Memorial Park. As someone who has recently lost a loved one I can assure you: “NEW GRAVES SITES AVAILABLE PHONE 9788 9488 NOW!” in huge letters ain’t gonna get my business.

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If I Build It Will They Come?

I’ve been building websites for a long time. Over 12 years in fact. In the early days it was relatively easy to put up a site, let a few search engines know about it and voila – success! This was at a time when the web was new and the competition was lacking. It was a great time but not one I expected to last. And it didn’t.

These days having a website is no guarantee of success. It takes blood, sweat and… yep you guess it marketing to make your online venture a success. Unfortunately too many people still think if they put a site online the masses will flock to them. And then wonder why they don’t. It’s also a myth that people like to perpetuate. Put a site online and you’ll be making millions within days.

In reality your website needs to be carefully planned, built and marketed just like any other business venture. Start by defining your strategy and determining how you want to make money from your website. Make sure you choose a web designer who understands good design principles, usability, SEO and internet marketing. And last but not least develop your marketing strategy.

I’ll go over some of these strategies in future posts but for now at least consider:

  • Web Design – build a website that focuses on calls to action and conversions. Pretty ain’t enough.
  • SEO – make sure you build a search engine friendly website from the get go.
  • Pay Per Click Advertising – look at PPC advertising. It is a great way to drive traffic while you are waiting for your SEO results to kick in and long term can be a useful way to drive additional, targeted traffic to your website.
  • Online Newsletter – send out a regular newsletter.
  • Blog – start a blog.
  • Network.
  • Write articles for both online and offline publications.
  • Get links to your website.
  • Join online forums.
  • Write e-books.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s a good start. By creating a marketing strategy and working on it steadily you’ll achieve the online success you’ve been searching for. Good luck!

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Miriam Tackles the isms of SM

Social Media Marketing is currently the BIG thing in search marketing. I’ve heard both positives and negatives for it but until now now have not delved into it too deeply. Luckily
Miriam Ellis-Loraditch of Solas Web Design has taken the plunge with a great article talking to a number of search marketers, including me, about their experiences with Social Media Marketing.

There’s some great stuff in it and it’s well worth a read.

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