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Latest Project: Telling the Story of a Business at American-Marble.com

Latest Project: Telling the Story of a Business at American-Marble.com

Telling the Story of a Business

Telling the story of a businessUnless you are a stone fabrication connoisseur, you may not realize the level of precision and craftsmanship that our client, American Marble and Granite or AMG, bring to their installations. I knew they did nice work because Evolutn Homes + Remodeling (Workshed Partner Brian is an owner) uses their services, but how they achieve their results is impressive. Our mission was simple: to create a website that reflects the quality and care you’d receive by working with American Marble and Granite.

Reflecting Quality

American Marble and Granite has been in business for over two decades. During that time, they’ve built a reputation based on precision installations using innovative technologies backed by outstanding customer service. Like many businesses, their focus was (is) on producing great work and their digital personality (website and social media) started to fall behind what  you’d  expect to see from a company of their caliber.

Telling the story of a business

This is a common story for many businesses, and it’s exactly why Workshed exists. Just having a website isn’t enough, especially if the business you are in has any competition. Most of your customers are going to check you out online before making a decision. When they do, what are they going to see? What story does your website tell?

In the case of AMG, they have an incredibly sophisticated process and set of tools that they utilize on every project. For example, a routine granite kitchen would start by being laser measured and templated. To minimize the visibility of seams, the slabs then get laid out and photographically arranged before finally getting cut by a water jet machine that has tolerances into the thousandths of an inch.
Their old website didn’t effectively convey the their expertise or capacity for innovation.

Projects We Love

This is exactly the type of project we love. Client’s that are exceptional at what they do, and busy enough to need help executing an effective marketing plan for their business. In reality, a great website is just a start; it forms the basic infrastructure that is needed to support the important stuff…content.
In addition to their website, Workshed also created or “remodeled” the AMG social media presence and customized a video intro and ending to use with a series of videos they have planned (we also found a smartphone app for editing the video and combining it with the intro and ending). One of our mantras is to make it easy for the customer to do business with you, on the web that means publishing your content anywhere your customers are so they can find it. American Marble and Granite saw the value in this, and we helped deliver their vision to the virtual world.

If you are considering having granite, marble, or quartz installed in your home you’d be crazy not to give Paul and Ellen (the owners) a call. Their staff and innovative tools allow them to do countertops that other companies simply can’t, and we haven’t even mentioned they have the largest inventory of stone in Southwest Washington.

Give them a call.

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers (and other Businesses)

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers (and other Businesses)

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers

How to pick your next blog post topic for financial advisersWriting a blog post with any regularity is challenging.  Writing for your business needs to generate results in order to justify the investment in time and effort.  A few years ago one of the companies in my portfolio was in the news and I wrote a post about my thoughts on the potential consequences. Mainly I did it because I was sick of repeating myself to clients on the phone so I thought that writing a blog post about it would save me some time.  While it may have saved me a little time and prevented some boredom, it wasn’t until several months later that I discovered the real benefit.

The Long Tail

One afternoon while I was checking my blog stats instead of making calls, I noticed some search traffic related to the investment I had written about months before.  It wasn’t much, but it was the first time I’d noticed organic traffic for something so specific.  For months I’d get a hit or two every few days, nothing significant, but it was consistent.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d stumbled on to what’s now commonly referred to as “long tail keywords.”

By this time I’d already read Chris Anderson’s book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More,” but I didn’t connect the dots between selling things and search terms.  Essentially its the same thing. People are searching for something they want, be it products or information.  Similar to the way you can find almost any product on Amazon…Google does the same for information.

Why It Matters

Google has an army of brilliant engineers trying to make sure you get good information when using their search engine. If you write something that is relevant to a question someone asks in Google you stand a good chance of getting found…assuming the question they are asking is specific enough IE a long tail question.  In the example I used earlier, the particular investment I wrote about wasn’t well known, and when people started searching about it, there wasn’t much information available so my blog post was ranked high enough in the search results to get read.

Leveraging the Long Tail

I blogged sporadically over the next few years, but in 2013 I put what I learned about long tails to good use.  An investment in my portfolio was making plans to go public and the information they were providing was vague and confusing.  Recalling what I had observed a few years prior, I tried to identify questions people would be asking about the investment.  Whenever the company released new information, I’d write a blog post.  Eventually I created a special page on my website so people could easily read through all the information I’d collected.

Yreka!

At one point in my little experiment, I was ranked on the first page in the search results and I was getting over 500 page views a day.  I realize that this isn’t much traffic in the grand scheme of things, but these were people who had no idea who I was…and they were asking me for advice.  Some of my posts from that period had dozens of comments which led to multiple phone conversations with people who needed my help.

Your Turn

The next time you are trying to pick your next blog post topic, be sure to check your analytics to see if there are any search terms you can use as a starting point.  If you don’t have that kind of data (contact me), try to recall recent questions from clients.  Is there something there you can write about?

Let me know how it works for you, I’d love to hear your stories or answer any questions.

If writing blog posts isn’t your thing that’s cool too, we’d be happy to do it for you! Email us at adviser@workshed.com and we can set up a time to talk.

Latest Project: Mutual Fund Website Design for Bandon

Latest Project: Mutual Fund Website Design for Bandon

UPDATE:

Bandon Capital Management was acquired by Logan Circle Partners in late 2014. The beautiful website we spent months building was unceremoniously retired as part of the transaction.

Mutual Fund website design made easy

Mutual Fund Website Design for BandonPublicly communicating anything in the investment world is difficult to do (but we know how to do it, more here), and creating a website that is both informative  and visually stimulating the primary objective for our client.  Bandon Capital Management is a pioneer in the investment (absolute return long – short bonds if you are wondering) world and they’ve taken that same approach to their website design. Eschewing stock photos and cliche images of old men in suits, they opted for a design that was fresh, modern, and full of custom graphics and images.

A few details

In addition to good design, they had a few other requirements to make their website compliant with FINRA.  One of those was the ability to make certain content only accessible to financial professionals, but still be easy to use and maintain.  To accomplish this we customized a lightweight membership plugin to keep it simple, yet still do the job. The other was a separate section for BandonFunds.com that used the same data base, but didn’t run afoul of the regulators (how we accomplished that was a challenge!)

Another interesting add on was a quiz to test visitors knowledge of Long – Short debt.  It’s a fun and clever way to help educate people on what they do without being boring. A nice little add on is the ability to share results with your friends (or not if you didn’t do so well).  Take the Long – Short Challenge.

Great clients make great projects

All in all it was a great project to work on.  The team at Bandon is very knowledgeable, yet they allowed us to use our expertise to help communicate their message.   We look forward to continuing our relationship as we move into an ongoing marketing role where we’ll help create content and continue to broadcast their message with the goal of attracting more investors in the fund.  (If you are worried about the possibility of rising interest rates, give them a call or tell your broker to look at BANIX)

What do you think?

50% off a Social Media Makeover for WIN NW

50% off a Social Media Makeover for WIN NW

New Women in Networking Profile ImageSocial Media Makeover for WIN members

For the rest of March, we’re taking half off our social media makeover!

Social media is one of the first places new customers are going to “meet” you and your company. What will that first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube profiles send the right message.

What’s Included?

Photography

If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.

Facebook Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

Google Plus Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

YouTube Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Channel Art

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Twitter Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Background Image Custom Header

LinkedIn Page

Custom Header Image Custom Standard Logo Custom Square Logo

Get Started
3 Things You Can Do To Get Your Website Noticed

3 Things You Can Do To Get Your Website Noticed

Well, you built a website or had someone build one, you added the url to your business card and now the online leads and sales are going to start rolling in, right? Well…not really. Many companies take the technological leap onto the Internet and don’t see the benefits. They get discouraged and this leads to a belief that you wasted time, money or both on a website. However, I am here to tell you that isn’t the case.

A website is successful when you take it from being two dimensional to three dimensional. You do this by giving your website a personality and realizing that you have customers out there, even if you can’t see them. Here are 3 things you can do to help get your website noticed!

#1 – Update Your Content
Many people don’t see immediate results from their website, so they neglect to keep their content relevant. Depending on the type of business you have, some ideas to keep your website up to date are text changes on your pages, adding products, updating your services, offering promotions or by creating blog posts. This not only tells people that you care about your business, it’s a great way to get noticed by the search engines as well, which helps your site move closer to the top of search results.

#2 – Promote Your Website In House
Making your website an interactive part of your business is essential to online success. Creating a steady stream of traffic will help drive your site to the top of the search engines. If you have services, have people schedule online for a small discount or offer other incentives to sign up for your service online. If you are selling goods, have sales that are website exclusive and promote this both IN store AND online so that people see that using your website can be a valuable resource and as a bonus, saves them money.

#3 – Use Social Media
On facebook, for every one person that likes your page – an average of 130 people see it, giving them a chance to like your page as well. The power of social media should not be underestimated and you can use this power for good. Think of creative ways to invite people to come to your website and conversely, offer people incentives to “like” your facebook page, follow you on twitter or connect with you on LinkedIn. By creating a greater web of contacts, you can reach more people with your promotions, your updates or…just to say hello.