Why not get a free pass from your web designer?
Almost any web design firm will provide their kind of web consulting for free. Of course there is a hook in the deal and you know this. It's no secret that they want to design your website and it seems like a good deal all around.
However, when a design firm provides consulting they don't mean that they will provide insight into the fundamentally different types of web marketing available to you. Things like choosing short term goals or choosing long term goals - but not both; or like understanding how your web market is of two minds. Nor do they mean that they intend to show you more effective and less expensive ways to design and market your web business.
Take a look around
You are now on a website that has a great deal of information and web knowledge that does not use technical language but can be easily understood in business terms. You could learn all the important aspects of achieving long term web marketing goals right here, but that's not all. If your website is for a 'Green' business or for marketing your inventive and entrepreneurial solutions then you can receive web consulting for a very low fee.
How low? And why?
A lot of what business owners have previously been told, and sold, with a web design is not to be found in this website. What is to be found here is help with web marketing in a virtual web environment. The web is not a material marketing environment and your web market behaves differently.
The web has swallowed all other marketing media and then changed the rules for their behaviour. To be precise, it is the way people use the web and how people behave differently on the web that has changed the rules for how other media integrate with web functions.
Just as the web changed how former media behave online it also reveals a different way to think about web marketing.
What is it that is really different?
This is true of all markets through any marketing medium, but it was always the ready buyer that advertising had been focused on. The undecided portion of the market was ignored for practical reasons - it was always too time consuming and expensive to educate people. The web has changed this and made the undecided buyer a viable portion of the market to pursue by providing useful information to help them become knowledgeable buyers.
Most buyers engage in a buying cycle even if they are not aware of doing so. Within this buying cycle there are two groups that form. There are those that are still learning about their problem and the best solutions. Then there are those that finally know what they want and they are ready to buy. These two groups want a web experience that is different from one another.
A ready buyer has little need for more information as they have already completed their research. What they need is a quick comparison of brands with the benefits and features. The uncertain buyers who were costly to educate in a material reality are now affordable in a virtual web reality. Your web page can provide knowledge and bring thousands of people up to speed every month at no extra cost. And it is the same knowledge you would provide face to face with any customer.
Your choice comes first
Which of these two extremes are the kind of people you want to reach? The answer is important because you cannot reach both with the same attitude.
See for yourself
Long term marketing goals based on sharing can be termed "Pull Marketing" because sharing attracts; and the short term goals using advertising can be termed as "Push Marketing" because they push for the sale.
Push marketing and pull marketing are so very different in nature that to use both on the same page is a schizophrenic behavior. This kind of confusing message is usually seen in a business website that looks like a full page ad with token use of industry knowledge and information. In contrast to this are two meaningful web design models.
You can hire someone else to direct and delegate the work for your web business, or you can learn some basic principles of the web and call your own shots. Being able to call your own shots is helpful in the building stage as well. To make the best decisions it helps to see your website as a business and to have a business attitude.
Start local and build your niche
It's common sense to start locally and get the near-by market first. You'll learn a lot from the local market as you expand to regional markets then national markets and finally a global market.
How big does your business want to grow?
Try asking a business question
Why take the time to learn web technology when you can force all technical conversations to be answered in business terms? You never had to learn plumbing or electrical trades in order to build or renovate your home. Why not expect web technicians to speak in simple practical terms?
Business questions should always trump technical lingo and this puts the controls securely in your hands.