(Left to right) Jim Kirkos, Pres. Meadowlands Chamber, Gene Sower, SamsonMedia.net, Dave Rubin Johnson or Berish, Bud Kraus, Joy of Code

While presenting at the Website Bootcamp workshop, sponsored by the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, I realized that I’m a lot like Sy Syms, the clothing retailer, who coined the memorable phrase, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”

That’s why I see educating my clients as an important part of my job.  In fact, many of my clients see Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing in general as something akin to witchcraft and the supernatural.  My job is to demystify the process and put it into terms that relate to benefits and business objectives rather than about code and search engine algorithms. 

Bud Kraus, one of my fellow panelists and the owner of The Joy Of Code, stressed the importance of creating a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) when hiring a website designer.  Going through the RFP process helps you, the business owner, articulate what you want the website to DO in order to meet your business objectives.  Do you want it to build a lead list, sell things, generate foot traffic in your store?  These are the types of objectives you, the business owner should be focusing on rather than saying to your designer in the first conversation things like, “I want the website to be green with spinning mirror balls and birds that chirp.”  Don’t laugh.  It happens all the time!

Dave Rubin, my other co-panelist and owner of Johnson or Berish, showed repeated examples about how something as simple as a well thought out business card and a descriptive tagline makes it easier for people to do business with you.  It allows you, the business owner, to have a more meaningful conversation with prospects.  Having a consistent and meaningful brand identity gives your prospects a better idea about what you do and the services you offer rather then some generic looking logo and business card that has no real relationship with the services you offer or the clients you want to attract. 

It all sounds pretty basic, right?  Well, to me it does because that’s my business.  But I never assume for a second that it seems obvious to anyone else.  That’s why for me, educating my clients to become better customers begins with that first phone call or conversation.  Sy Syms, we salute you!