My Realization: Most Business Websites Are Built the Wrong Way
Early on in college, I, Timothy Howse, pondered a full-time job doing web design / development. So I spent several summers website design and development for their franchise members for one of the nation’s largest B2B franchising companies and contemplated a career in web design.
As much as it was cool to build web pages for people, it was incomplete. My web design instructor showed us how to code web pages in HTML / CSS and some techniques to make it look pretty - but never answered the key question: how do you actually make it profitable?
I knew there had to be a way to build websites, and spent hundreds of hours pouring through books and doing research to find it. I discovered some powerful methods to make a business website profitable. And I found that hardly anyone in the Detroit area, at the time, offered what local businesses really needed - a website that sells.
I Set Out To Help Businesses Make Their Websites Actually Sell
In October of 2010, I opened up shop, went to a local networking group and talked about my services. There, I landed my very first client, a little boutique hair salon in a nearby small town. The owner was intrigued by my methods, and hired me.
My only problem was: I knew nothing about hair salons! Here I was....a guy that spends a maximum of 30 seconds in the morning, marketing to women who style, perm, comb and dry it before going to work. Nonetheless, I figured it out. I developed a special report for her, “4 Secrets to Great Hair Every Day” on their website, and branded them as the salon that would help women make their hair look great every day, not just the day they’d walk into the salon. His work quickly paid for itself in the matter of months. She was a happy camper, and she loved the branding! I was off and running.
I worked with a lot of different businesses - a guy offering biker boots for women (I’m not really into motorcycles!), a technology startup, a resume writing / personal branding service, a nursery on the west side of the state and many other local businesses.
A Local Heating & Air Conditioning Business Phone Rings Off the Hook With My Help
Another campaign involved a guy that operated a small heating and air conditioning company in my hometown. He was getting a lot of referrals from existing clients, was nowhere to be found on the Internet.
I branded them as the heating and air conditioning company that could show up the same day – not tomorrow or next week. No ifs, ands or buts. His investment quickly paid for itself again within months, as they were ranked on the first page of Google for heating and air conditioning companies in their city.
Building On This Success, The Home Services Marketing Guy Is Launched
We expanded their Internet marketing into other avenues, doing some pay per click advertising and building out a mobile website.
We managed to convert 28% of website visitors into phone calls for a heating & air conditioning company in Southeast Michigan via a Google Adwords campaign (which are the ads that you see at the top of the page & on the right hand side), and add over $80,000 per year in annual revenues.
The project’s success helped me realize the value of going deep by focusing on one industry, rather than working in many different industries. So I decided to focus on helping home service companies increase their revenue, and launched The Home Service Marketing Guy (a division of my marketing agency, Information Lighthouse).