A Simple Question
What do we (Workshed) do? The imprecise answer is that we build websites and help businesses with marketing; it’s also an oversimplification of what’s really going on. The reality is that these are just outcomes – solutions to a challenge, but not really what we are actually doing. If you were to start asking why we do various things, you’d quickly realize that the why, is what Workshed is all about.
Asking this one question (why) over and over allows us to understand the core issues facing our clients; even if they don’t. In the day to day running of a business, it can be difficult to discern areas of inefficiency. Our objectivity allows us to observe operations without the biases that come from years of experience.
In addition to understanding the how’s and why’s of your business, we also have to acquaint ourselves with your customer. During this get-to-know, you phase of a project we are (among other things) seeking to understand your customers. Who are they, why do they buy, what need are they attempting to satisfy, and how you can optimally serve them (taking into account your own goals and values).
Once we know what you do and whom you should be doing it for, we start to craft solutions to bring the two of you together. This is where the websites, social media, and marketing come in. They are specific methods crafted to connect you with your ideal client. The outcome is the focus, not the tool. We are solution agnostic.
When you’re a hammer, all you see is nails.
When the tool takes precedence over the objective (to sell stuff) it’s easy to waste time and money. If you start with a clearly defined objective, the probability of success is dramatically increased.
What’s the Difference?
It all boils down to perspective. You might be tempted to assume that because our process usually ends up in a website that our websites are just like that of any other web design firm.
You’d be wrong.
I Thought You Built Websites for Business
Workshed is a team of passionate problem solvers who help businesses succeed as a way of expressing that passion. Contrast what we do with the typical web design company who build websites as an expression of their interest in technology. The technology might be cool, but if it doesn’t attract paying customers it isn’t getting results.
We get results because we focus on them.
The Simple Answer
So what does Workshed do? We get you the right kind of customers and more of them!
How do we do it?
By focusing on the solution rather than the tool.
Do you need more ideal customers?
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We believe in using inbound marketing to attract clients rather than ‘interruption marketing’ where you pester customers to buy from you. Think of inbound marketing as Connection Marketing. You connect with your ideal customers by helping them.
How does inbound work?
It starts with knowing your goals.
- Who are you hoping to attract? (Ideal customer)
- Where do they live on the internet/social media? (Demographics, gender, lifestyle, etc)
- How do you deliver meaningful content to them? (Content strategy)
- How is that content created and distributed? (Who does the work)
Next we create a plan for meeting the defined goals. We determine when and how the content will be delivered then create the infrastructure to deliver it to our target audience. The keys to effective infrastructure are:
- A robust, mobile-responsive WordPress website typically built on a supported framework that complies with web standards (search engine friendly)
- Social Media platforms used by your ideal customer/clients with links to and from your website
- Email marketing campaigns with great analytics like MailChimp
- Website analytics and reporting
Content is King
With the right infrastructure in place, it’s time to create content. Our agency makes awesome content that connects with your ideal customer. We determine the best medium to communicate your message; video, photography, articles, e-books, white papers, newsletters and more. Then we distribute it via our infrastructure and continually measure the results.
That which is measured improves
Next, we measure and report the results. Since the data is gathered in real-time, we can quickly see what is working well and what isn’t and make adjustments fast. Being nimble ensures that our client’s marketing budget is being maximized and that we’re generating a real ROI (return on investment).
Nothing in life is a sure thing (except death and taxes perhaps), but inbound marketing is pretty darn close to a sure thing when it comes to bringing in more business from the customers you want. We’re ready to help you grow with inbound marketing. Let’s talk.
A Little History
For those of you unfamiliar with my (Joe’s) other life, I’ve spent the last 12 years (until Tuesday that is) as an investment adviser helping clients prepare for and maintain their retirement. While researching investments, I had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics from a diverse mix of sources. Initially the focus was specific companies, then it expanded and I began to look at entire industries, and ultimately the economy as a whole. Along the way, I started sense that something was missing; an important piece to the puzzle that was being ignored.
That missing piece was and is local investing.
Most of the reasons for local investing are beyond the scope of this post, but one important factor is the re-circulation (or local multiplier) rate. The re-circulation rate is one measurement used to determine how long money stays in a community (and gets reused over and over); since the turn of the century it’s fallen from 25-30, to less than 10. A declining rate is like ajr slowly leaking from a tire, if not fixed it goes flat. With a city or town, it’s how they lose their vibrancy. Reversing that trend is why I decided to leave my primary profession and why I bought Workshed with Brian.
How Will That Help?
You might be wondering how a website/ marketing company can help fix the economy. By working with local businesses and entrepreneurs directly (at Workshed) we are able to see first hand what is working, what is missing, and what’s needed to operate a sustainable (as in earning enough money to stay in business) business. Access to capital is part of that equation, but so is access to the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others. With every project, we learn a little more about how to make that happen and can share it with past and future clients. So far, we’ve achieved modest success with the client’s we’ve worked with, and our work is positively contributing to their sales!
If you need help with something business related give us a call, we don’t have all the answers, but so far we haven’t been stumped.
But Wait There is More!
And another thing, don’t let cost be an issue. We won’t do a project if we don’t think it will generate a positive return for our clients and we are willing to offer payment arrangement to accommodate most budgets.
GIVE US A CALL
A Small Investment in Time
There are many ways to improve how you operate a business. One of the easiest ways is to learn from others, it’s also the cheapest…especially if you use the library. Fortunately, most great business books don’t come from Harvard and many of them could be read in a weekend.
Obviously this list is only a start, but if you read just these three and applied just some of what they say, your business would be better for it. Heck, I’d even have your employees read them…but maybe that’s another post?
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What books have changed the way you work?
Add it to the comments.
How to choose?
I collect quotes, so I anticipated selecting a single favorite might be more difficult than it turned out to be. In order to narrow the range of initial possibilities from my spreadsheet, I wanted to select a quote that applied to a broad range of circumstances. As soon as I set that one criteria in my mind…I knew immediately what my quote was.
Ignorance is voluntary misfortune.
Short and sweet.
Misfortune is defined as simply being bad luck, and why should we suffer unnecessary misfortune as a result of self imposed ignorance? This quote reminds us that through our own efforts to become more informed, we can avoid, or at least mitigate bad things from happening.
The implication is that we have a choice. Ignorance or understanding. Through education (not to be confused with schooling, but that’s another post) we can turn what may have been voluntary misfortune into opportunity. Or, as Seneca the Younger put it:
The important distinction is that we have a choice. Ignorance or understanding. Through education (not to be confused with schooling, but that’s another post) we can turn what may have been voluntary misfortune into opportunity. Or, as Seneca the Younger put it:
Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
This is my favorite quote because it reminds me of how important being informed is. Ignorance may be bliss for a while, but it can also end in misfortune.
What is your favorite quote? Please share it in the comments.