The truth about the cost of websites


Many people looking to get a website will often be confused with why there is such a variance in the cost of websites. They will initially encounter web designers who propose to get their entire websites done for as little as 10k, all the way to several hundreds of thousands and often they won’t understand why this is so.

So how can you ensure that you get value for your money, avoid being duped and and eventually get a sucky website? There are 3 key factors that play a role in the pricing of websites:

1. Skill level of the web designer

It goes without saying that once you’ve found a web designer you will checkout their portfolio and make sure you like their works and design style. additionally you will want to checkout how long they’ve been doing this for and how many projects they’ve handled. Also are they really a web designer or a broker?

What you will find is that the longer their experience and the more projects they’ve handled the more likely they are to be more stable and are in this for the long-term and that this is a full time job for them, which is really what you want when you call on them a few years down the line. However with this stability and experience comes a more expensive person since not only are you more certain to get a great looking website based on your original concept but you are also likely to be happy with the overall service.

In addition to what is mentioned above an experienced designer can help you solve some real business problems using the website since they are also involved in their own marketing and sales efforts.

2. Level of service you require

I’ve met people who initially explained to their web designer that all they needed was something “very simple” or “just standard”. Now often they will say this during the initial negotiation phases so that they get the best deal. Additionally while they might get several quotes and then go with the cheapest usually they haven’t communicated the full scope of the project other than the usual standard features. The problem with this is that once the project is underway their very basic project suddenly becomes a high maintenance project with multiple changes and multiple people from the organization and even friends of the client that will start giving them their input and suddenly you start modifying the concept you wanted initially into something else, needless to say this now costs the designer their time and pretty soon (since this was a fixed scope project) they start loosing money and start dragging their heels and looking for their next project elsewhere. The best way to avoid this however is to ensure you know what you really want, look at other websites and get the concept you want then secondly involve your other stake holders during the initial meeting with the designer to ensure they all communicate the ideas they have across during this initial meeting. then finally you can agree on a good price for both you and the designer.

In certain cases you might not have the full scope of the project in mind or you might be representing a board or directors who for some reason don’t want to involve themselves in the creative meetings especially in the beginning. Whenever you have this the best solution as an organization is to simply pay on a per hour basis which will obviously be more expensive but its the cost of being able to execute different ideas from different stakeholders or to get the full scope of the project where a clear one doesn’t exist in the beginning.

Personally I like splitting the project into 4 stages. The 1st where we discuss with all stakeholders and get the concept. The 2nd stage where I produce the initial version of the website then the clients can see the initial design and give their input (again all stake holders present to ensure all ideas are captured). Then a 3rd stage where their changes are implemented and the rest of the website is done. Finally a 4th finetuning stage after the launch for an additional 30 days to iron out any additional issues.

3. Scope of work

Although I left this for last it’s also one of the most important things that will affect the cost of your website. Any experienced web designer has obviously been asked to design a Facebook knockoff with 2 or 3 special features and the real kicker was when they heard how much the person was willing to pay…now you know why some designers throw tantrums especially if they initially agreed to such a project unless it was all just for fun.

Scope of work for a website project will often involve detailing to the minute level what you want to see at the end of the day and not just some vague generality. It’s often best to open a similar website and point out a specific exact feature if you have one in mind than just mention it verbally in the passing. One of the things that I like to do when scoping out the project during the initial meeting is to not only open specific websites but to also sketch out the website and the different pages based on your concept. What I’ve found is that once everyone is looking at the screen and also once it’s on paper there is a higher level of clarity.

Hopefully this has opened your eyes to understanding the true cost of what goes into a website. If you are looking for more insight or have a few more questions please get in touch by clicking here.

Latest [COVID-19] Changes


It has been an interesting last couple of months here at Tandos. First we know we did slow down on a lot of things including posting some of the latest websites that we’ve launched and then Covid 19 happened which made things – more ‘crazy’ to say the least.

So just as Covid was breaking out I was getting married, we were lucky to get married on the Saturday just before they banned all weddings, funerals and church services on Sunday. That said we are now back in full swing at possibly the worst of times.

Now due to the new restrictions on social distancing and curfews, we’ve decided to change how we conduct our meetings into 2 modes – The old mode of face to face but with safety measures in place & Secondly using Zoom for those that would prefer a virtual meeting instead.

Please checkout the video below to learn how to join a zoom meeting if you’ve never done one before.

Need to check out out some of the website’s we’ve built for other clients? Click here.   If you would like to get in touch with us click here.

The Ultimate Marketing Strategy


 

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/fstephan/software-craftsmanship-imperative-or-hype-7724070

One of my most influential mentors when it came to sales was Chet Holmes (RIP), who’s sales philosophy can be found in his classic “The ultimate sales machine” where he wrote about the 12 pillars to become successful in building the sales machine. Prior to that I’d had scatter brain chasing multiple strategies and tactics to try and help me improve my marketing.

One time while listening to Dan Kennedy drawl on on YouTube about marketing,  he said that everyone was on the lookout for lots of information and content while really ‘one line’ of the right information would suffice. In the information marketing world which he focuses on – most people are looking for more information and most people looking for training see more value in big training manuals, long courses and longer sessions than in a simple summarized idea. So they then make more money selling longer but less valuable courses because people only see value in length, edutainment and certifications even among the entrepreneur audience (which is surprising) rather than a focus on direct sales and results.

His simple system (not easy, just simple), consistent boring repetition and massive accountability has proven to be the secret sauce that’s not so secret.

In the beginning of learning how I could improve my marketing and selling skills, I’ve come to see that the idea presented by Chet and Dan actually holds true – you really only see results through the boring repetition of one or just a few tactics over and over again. Mastery is only achieved from this consistent boring repetition of a very simple activity.

While Dan Kennedy has mastered selling people what they want (i.e. “do you want more content so you feel good paying more $$$ for this course? Then here it is, oh and here’s an extra bonus plus an extra bundle…” – in the end the most valuable idea get buried in tons of mundane content). Mike Ferry in the real-estate training space has simply focused on a very simple system and consistently hammered in the same simple system and content over and over again which is why he’s influenced my current system than any other sales coach out there.

We see the same theme recurring in the most successful people in any field over and over again, from Warren Buffet to Michael Jordan, they all simply focused on a few simple principles and repeated them over and over again until they achieved mastery in just those few things, while most of their competitors got distracted in the shiny objects syndrome of the latest newest technique and they therefore didn’t stick around enough to see the results and gain mastery.

However his relentless focus on his one simple system has garnered him critics who have said that he only has one system that isn’t  great for some personalities; the current times and overall value in paying to learn the same system over and over again, however what none of them can say is that they have produced the same massive results in their clients that he has – both in sales volume and the bottom-line net. His simple system (not easy, just simple), consistent boring repetition and massive accountability has proven to be the secret sauce that’s not so secret.

how to use your website to shorten your enrollment / sales cycle


however most of us have also ended up with too many people who were taking too long to enroll or “think about it”. If you are like me then you may have realized that while these people were for the most part eventually enrolling into your organization or buying your products or services, they were also taking too long to do this.

We have all at one time or another found ourselves with many people interested and inquiring about our organization or the services we offer, however most of us have also ended up with too many people who were taking too long to enroll or “think about it”. If you are like me then you may have realized that while these people were for the most part eventually enrolling into your organization or buying your products or services, they were however taking too long to do this.

The problem with this is obvious if you are new in the area or if you are introducing a new package or service to your community. First off the longer you take to find new users the more you increase your chances of failure either from giving up on the idea that you feel isn’t working or from the encroaching expenses.

1st off – understanding your enrollment / sales process

The sales process is the series of steps you take to enroll a new parent, patient or client into your organization. Contrary to what many people think enrolling a new person isn’t based on luck but is a process just like in a manufacturing plant. For instance your sales process might start from an advertisement in the newspaper that leads to getting an inquiry where you then convince the led to come in for a consultation or visit where you then sign them up.

Now what if, this person is still not ready to come in? Or after they come in they are still not ready to go with you? Do you throw them away and forget about them?

Integrating your website into your sales process

1. Pre-Sell them on why you are the best option compared to other options that they have available

Lets say you first got your initial lead or inquiry, then right after your first phone conversation your goal should be to try and direct this person to your website so they can find out more about you, see how you are unique compared to other people & most importantly for you, to help you determine if they are a good fit for you. This is especially important since you don’t want to meet with everybody who claims they are interested. If you have served other people in the past then you would know that not all customers are equal and that there are those you would rather not take on due to either the stress they might inflict on you or simply because they might not be able to afford and end up negotiating too much and devaluing the service you provide. Your website should thus serve to position you the right way while also building rapport and trust with them.

2. Post selling them after your appointment

If you finally met with the interested person then the next step whether or not they enrolled or didn’t is to followup with them right away, this has 2 effects:

  1. If they just enrolled then it helps reduce the buyer remorse that they might feel latter on by reminding them the reasons they chose you in the first place.
  2. If they didn’t enroll the extra ‘touch’ could be just what they needed to tip them over.

Needless to say the structure of what to say, when to say it and what medium to use to say it, is also very critical.

3. Keep nurturing them till ready or next time

Even if you fail to turn them around with your communication from step 2, you then launch into your ongoing nurture program where you take these leads and keep staying in communication with them till they get ready or even if they went with a competitor you still want to remain in their radar in case something changes.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for most organizations will be in categorizing the various leads, past clients and general contacts that they have dealt with into different buckets and then deciding on the most relevant content to drip on each category.

An important thing to note here is that your website should always be the hub of all your communication & content.

 

How To Use Your Testimonials & Reviews To Turn Doubtful Prospects Into Long-term Clients


We’ve generally heard testimonials from open air preachers, tv commercials of the woman who used a particular detergent and it cleared some tough stains and even from friends who’ve used certain recipees that really turned around their meals. Most small and medium sized organizations will however shy away from using testimonials mainly because they aren’t aware of their power over their marketing and the effect it can leverage on your word of mouth and referral marketing.

The best testimonials are those that will explain in emotional detail the pains that the person went through in such detail so much so that other people who are going the same problem will be able to identify with that exact problem and mentally proclaim “hey that’s me”.

Most of us have had raving customers who have experienced our wonderful service and most of these happy customers will often tell their friends when they start looking for your particular service. Unfortunately most of these people also have a finite number of people in their network that they might tell, for instance they might only tell 10 people of your wonderful service or even that they simply know someone that they trust in your line of work. This is where officially gathering the testimonials works. A simple example for instance is where a church has had miracles in the past and the testimonies from those healed and so on are gathered and printed out as a small booklet or magazine which is then given to hundreds of potential believers – this little pamplet is then able to amplify your testiminial which may have been proclaimed once but is now being repeated everytime a person reads this.

Now imagine being able to do this for your school, church, ngo or company? In fact it’s already being done – people on social media are already mentioning you & your service whether in a good way or a bad way – but getting in control of the process will definately help you control the narrative and  amplify your marketing results.

So which testimonials work

The best testimonials are those that will explain in emotional detail the pains that the person went through in such detail so much so that other people who are going the same problem will be able to identify with that exact problem and mentally proclaim “hey that’s me”.

To be able to however elicit this reaction from the most number of people you will need to realize that our audience will also consist of different categories of people each with different problems – however the overal categories may be only three. For instance your church members might have people who are looking to resolve their “Lack of love”, “Lack of a job” and a “Lack of spiritual fulfilment” . What this means is that your testimonials will then follow a certain vein covering the three topic categories.

For instance your first testimonial may be “how i saved my marriage” the second maybe “how I got a job” and the third maybe “how I found a husband despite being blind” note that the third is covered under the first topic category but the title is still unique unto itself. This way you can now use 20 testimonials each unique but all covered under your 3 key topic categories.

If your testimonial can get them to that point, then you will have them ready to listen to the next part of the testimonial which is ‘What I did’ – that ties to you and your organization.

Another way to pick the testimonial categories is to simply look at what objections you might be getting during your selling process. for instance they keep saying that you might leave their project halfway through and not deliver – your tesimonial would therefore run alon gthe lines of – “I had doubts that he could deliver, but I gave him a shot and he surprised me with the end result.”

As you cab see testimonials dispel doublts, they speed up the sales process and also reveal problems people didnt even realize they had. Knowing  what you now know how do you then go about the process of collecting these testimonials? I’ll be sure to cover this in a future article.

A Look at 3 Interesting Animated Side Ad Banners


First off, Most of these ad banners were either featured on related websites e.g. small business and tech websites for the tech products and others were mainly re-targeting ads I’d seen based on previous research, this means they didn’t need to provide a lot of descriptive information like for instance explaining what is QuickBooks and what does it do. These appeared on sidebars of other websites, mainly content websites like forbes.com. Most of these we swapped in mid 2016. 

The cleanest of the 3 below is obviously the QuickBooks banner, which highlights both the new offer “40% off” and also the call to action “buy now” since it’s sold online. The Headline they choose to highlight their benefit is also interesting to look at “Easy accounting for SMBs”. Although personally the only reason I would use QuickBooks could be 3 fold:  1.”The most Popular accounting software”  2.”used by over 1,000,000 companies” and 3.”The standard software tool for most accountants, hence lower costs managing your company’s books”. That said, as with all ads, they probably tested their strongest benefits and used the other benefits on the other slides of the animation.

The use of animated banners was obviously powerful in getting noticed quickly on the websites they were advertised on. 

An Amazing Sales Page Design Swipe


Recently I was checking out a sales page for an offer from Grant Cardone and unlike most sales pages you can tell he’s spending quite a bit to have the modern look and personalization which I should beleive is helping with increasing the conversions on the page.  I just had to swipe it for that reason alone. Unlike most sales pages the page isn’t all that long, they’ve cut out segments like explaining who this is etc probably because the page is being seen by people who already know who this is and who have been following his work, so the page is going straight for the close.

 

How to drive more people from facebook to your website in less than a minute


Lately I’ve been receiving this question from several clients about how they can quickly drive more people on facebook (Fb) to their site other than of course adding their website link in the facebook page profile.

If you are thinking about this you might be just curious or you may be  serious about engaging your Fb users and getting more of them interested in what you offer. So how do you do this in a quick way several times in a day?

First off your site would have to have a blog, news or resources page available in order for this to work. Next ensure that each post or article on the site also has a cool featured image attached. The 3 things this article or post should have are:

  1. A compelling headline that is of great interest to your audience e.g. if you are a medical practioner it could be ‘how to know if that lump is cancer’. The headline is the most important part of your story; this is what will cause them to stop and read your story.
  2. A first paragraph that ends with a hook. Going with the obvious example this could be ‘Have you or a family member had any unexplained lumps on your skin that may get be hard or soft, painful or painless? Find out the signs that could indicate that this is cancer’. The goal of this first paragraph is to create interest and secondly, the first few lines or words are the ones that Fb will capture and display in other people’s timelines.
  3. A captivating photo that will capture the readers. This goes hand in hand with the ‘catchy’ headline in making sure it stops readers right on their tracks.

Once your article is done it is now time to publish it in Fb and to do this simply go to the article page on your site and copy the URL or link to this particular story then go to Fb and where you post your new messages paste this link and publish.

What happens next is that Fb will automatically pull your headline, photo and a portion of your first paragraph into Facebook and this will appear on the timelines of people who have also liked your page.

Now the next time readers see your compelling title and click to read more they will be directed to your website where they can finally read the article and also learn more about your practice.

Once you have several of these articles then posting and relating them on Fb should be as easy as copy, paste and publish and in less than a minute you’ll be in on your way to faster growth.

Now while there’s obviously more to this, this is probably the simplest way to get started and get going in driving more people to your site.

How to convert your print banner for the web


Have you ever wanted to promote something on your website which is currently running on the ground? Perhaps you have posters that are plustered all over your neighborhood and an advert in the paper and you also want the same to appear on your website. And so you try to get your print banner to fit in the space but somehow the fonts are way too small or some graphics are way too large. Sounds familiar? So what do we do in this situation?

image source                                                                                                                              image source

While some banners might easily work on the web most simply don’t. Majority of banners are unclear or appear to have too much going and the visibilty on the website is therefore compromised.

First off you may need to understand some standard banner sizes then determine how big the spot you want to fit this banner is. To do that you can install a simple adon like ‘measure it’ on your chrome browser that will allow you to measure the size of the area that you want your banner to fit.

Size, length or width are measured by pixels on the web so that is what you will use when communicating with your designer. 

Next you can go online and checkout several banners to get an idea of the kind of banner design you really want. Since you can really waste a lot of time going back and forth between you and the designer if your concept isn’t clear. 

Generally the best banners will have a solid background –with maybe a simple subtle pattern – and a bold communicative photo with the words or copy next to this. While this might be an oversimplification, using many photos will generally turn it to a cluttered frankensteins monster.

Incase your intention in the beginning was to create a sophisticated look such as those used to promote events like parties and even church events then it’s best to refer to the previous stage where you do your research online and checkout other banners that you might really like.

 

Top Valentines Day Banner Designs & Offers


Having enjoyed writing about the swap of the website I pulled from my 2015 swap files last time and with Valentines Day around the corner I’ve decided to pull out a few swaps with this particular theme.

First off lets view a 2016 valentine’s offer banner that I swiped from ‘Transformers Chapel’. Now I haven’t really checked if they have done any banners for this year but this looked really nice that I swapped it at the time. 

Most of the online banners that i’ll often swap with are those that really stop you on your tracks and pull you in, which is really what you want anyway before you can then communicate your message.

The next one below is from Ythera.co.ke which is an online store for romantic gifts. While there isn’t much to write home about in terms of their website, the Facebook banners they have been doing have been really cool. Just check out the banner below

Of course the show-stopper is the lady … then the unique pose they use … then the message which is in sync with their brand and that just says it all. Nice to see how they avoided red for the font and used pink to rhyme with her dress, Perhaps the only thing i’d change slightly is the blurred font. They have also done several other banners like the one above.

The beauty of the ad is the optimistic idea for potential customers particularly gentlemen who may feel like they have discovered where to get that perfect Valentine’s gift without making a big blunder. 

So … are you working on your valentine’s offer for your clients or prospects? Perhaps we can ‘swap’ an idea or two from other industries too.