Crafting the Perfect “About Me” Page for Web Designers

For web designers specifically, one of the most reliable and effective ways of turning a prospective client into a buying client is by providing a detailed, yet straight-to-the-point “About Me” page. It is essential to have a page that tells about yourself and your work. With today’s ever developing technology and Internet communication connections, clients need to find out who you are without speaking to you.

To develop a great “About Me” page, there are several tips below to help you.

1. Know your audience: The first step in crafting a really great “About Me” page is to know who you are talking to or who you are trying to engage. Time and time again, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of knowing your audience, however, even with an “About Me” page the same rules apply. Start by asking yourself who you want to attract, what projects you want to work on and in what area or field. Do you want small businesses or large businesses or individuals? Also, being specific as possible is a great idea. Do so by identifying your audience into gender, ages, locations and possibly, occupation. With having your prospects identified, your “About Me” page will encompass your top talents and skills in the areas of your prospects interest.

Tip: Be the Client: Re-read your “About Me” page results and view it as if you were the client. Are all you questions addressed? Be sure to take into consideration your past clients opinions or questions they may have asked. This will help to develop a great “About Me” page.

2. Be the Problem Solver: the main reason a client will view your “About Me” page is to see if you have the necessary skill, talent, and effectiveness to complete their tasks. When developing your “About Me” page, keeping in mind these issues and addressing each one will help the client make the decision to hire you. Projecting an image of your worthiness to their web design project is a must, especially if you want satisfying and great projects to work on. When writing your “About Me” page, begin with a few personality traits and move into a real-life experience that shows your commitment and skills necessary to overcome whatever that experience was. After that move on to your background experience, education, and location. You don’t want it to sound too much like a resume, but rather a few interesting key points about you. Here is a basic outline for your “About Me” page:

1. Address your full name and occupation
2. Describe your niche or area of interest
3. Address your experience in Web Design, Web Developing or both
4. Slip in some personality traits – be both detailed and short
5. Provide links to awards, past projects, interviews etc.
6. Provide information about your work experience and education
7. Reveal more personal information like family, location, age, and personal hobbies etc.

Tip: Be sure to use the same order of topics because if you start from the bottom and move up, the client will not be interested. You must first, give them a reason to be there before telling them information about yourself that may be viewed as useless info.

3. Use a Photo: Simply stated, consider adding a semi-professional photo of you so the client can see who they are working with. It’s not required, but it definitely has a positive impact on the hiring process. Sometimes, photos can even be credited with leaving a trusting impression on the client.

4. Contact Information: Do NOT forget to include contact information. Although it seems like common sense, people forget it all the time OR put it in a small corner where no one will see it unless they spend the time hunting for it, in which most people will not. However, most web designers do have a page dedicated to contact information only; it’s not a bad idea to put it on your “About Me” page too. This way, if a client feels inclined to speak to you promptly, your contact information will be right there.

It’s important to stress the factor that an “About Me” page is essential to your success as a web designer or web developer. The same stress should be applied to the crafting of the “About Me” page, because a bad page will not get you more work. Use the tips above to craft a really great “About Me” page and keep in mind that you need to project professionalism, personality and influence.

The Benefits of Webinars For Learning How to Develop Websites

The Problem

Many small businesses and organizations in the United States are located in rural and often remote areas. This is especially true for wood businesses, whose emphasis is the use of local, sustainably harvested raw materials. However, no matter how remote, these businesses still have to reach a market with information about their product to survive, ie. Market their Product!

A website is a great tool to make your information available to the widest possible audience. Many business owners and organizations will contract with a web developer without knowing anything about what their website should do for them or whether they have found a competent and ethical web developer. Others will attempt to build their own websites without the benefit of web development training.

A few of these folks will put together fine websites with the aid of books and tutorials. Some will find a great developer who does a great job. After almost 10 years of teaching web development classes for business owners, I have found that for many, that won’t be the case. Whether business owners contract their website development or do it in-house, they need to understand the business and marketing principles of the web environment, the technical principles of web development, and how people use websites. That training is available at most community college and adult education centers around the country, but those colleges and centers aren’t necessarily accessible to rural businesses. Webinars can deliver the live and interactive training to any location that has internet access.

What is a Webinar

A webinar is live training that is delivered over the internet through your web browser. Teacher and students can be anywhere there is internet access. I have taught webinars from the back of a restaurant, a university office, a home office, and a hotel lobby. My students have attended the webinars from their offices, their homes, and I don’t know where because I can’t see them!

I can’t see the students, but I can talk to them. In fact, everyone attending can talk to each other via cell phone, desk phone or a headset plugged into their computers. While I prefer to teach conversationally, where the attendees can jump in with questions or comments, I can set it so that my voice – lecture style – is the only one heard. Of course, without the interchange, the students might actually be playing solitaire or maybe only the dog is at the computer, but then students play solitaire and check their email in regular lab courses too. At least, I can’t hear them snoring!

With a webinar, my students can see a PowerPoint presentation I have prepared right on their computers. Or the webinar software can show them what I have on my computer, if I prefer, allowing me to demonstrate how to do something while they give it a try. If a student has a problem completing a task, that student can choose to “share” what is on his or her computer, to get step-by-step help as I watch their computer screen on mine! Of course, that also means that I might see the Solitaire game in process too!

Using a Webinar

The process of attending a webinar is:

  1. Register for the webinar. Some are free, and some require payment.
  2. You will receive various emails from the webinar system confirming your registration and giving you a link to the webinar and possibly a call in number for discussion.
  3. About 15 – 20 minutes before your webinar is scheduled to start, Make sure your internet connection is working and go to the website linked in the emails. You may need to enter a code, depending on which webinar system it is.
  4. If the webinar will be through a headset, make sure the volume on your computer is turned up!
  5. If the webinar is through a phone call, call the number in the emails. Again, you may have to enter a confirmation number, which should be in the emails.
  6. After the software loads in your browser, you should see a list of the folks who have already signed in and a central area for the presentation materials.
  7. There may also be a chat box where you can ask questions before, during, or after the webinar.
  8. Just like in a regular classroom, some webinar presenters like to be interrupted with questions and comments, and others don’t. Whether you can interject questions and comments depends on the set up and software too. The presenter should tell you at the beginning of the webinar, although using the chat system doesn’t interrupt the webinar and is usually available the whole time.
  9. After the webinar is finished, you may be able to download a recorded copy for review.

Other Uses for Webinar Software

The webinar format is also excellent for one-on-one or small group training. I have trained people half way across the country, whom I’ve never met in person, how to work on their own website through webinars. Because the webinar system allows us to talk to each other and look at each other’s computer, it can become as comfortable as a classroom setting.

Webinars can also be used for group discussions and meetings. People all over the country can get together without travel costs and time. It is also a great format for a planning meeting because someone can type in the Notes area and everyone can have a copy of the Notes.

Conclusion

At first, not seeing the people behind the voices can be a little disconcerting. And, your internet connection might cut out or your headset might quit working, or your cell phone battery might die. But in the end, it’s a great system.

The National Network of Forest Practitioners has conducted various webinar topics for wood cooperatives and sustainable wood businesses. If the guys out in the woods can to it; so can you!

How a Professional Website Developer Can Help Your Business

A website is a necessity in today’s business environment. It is your online opportunity to connect to the millions of potential customers for your product or service. Your website is also a very visual representation of your business, and as such it is vitally important to project a professional image.

There are a number of web site design programs that can be used to generate a basic web site. They use basic templates for pages and limit the customization that can be done. These web sites are usually created by end users for their personal needs and for that they do an adequate job. However, for your business the last thing you need or want is a cookie cutter web site created by one of your employees, or worse, someone you paid to create that kind of site for you. A web development company or web design firm uses professional grade tools and programming languages to create a customizable, unique web site that will provide you with something a template designed site can’t give, pizazz!

Did you know that the average first time visitor spends only 30 seconds on your website? If your site doesn’t grab the viewers attention quickly they’re going to move on and probably not return. Even if you do keep them around you can still lose up to 45% of those visitors on their second visit if they don’t perceive that your site has something new to offer. By using professionally designed graphics a web design firm can help you keep those first time visitors at your site longer, retain your existing visitors and those same professionally designed images make your business look its best.

By using dynamic content, content that changes based on criteria you set up or based on user preferences, a web development company can help you retain more of your visitors after their second visit to your site. Interactive tools, only available through a web design firm can keep your visitors engaged so that they stay longer and want to come back. A clean, logical, easy to navigate site structure makes it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for fast and with minimal effort, and that translates into money for your business.

Of course the biggest challenge any business faces is getting your web site found among the millions of web sites on the net, or even among the admittedly fewer sites of your competitors. Using a technique called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a professional web development firm can raise your site’s rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or MSN. By using specific keywords search engine friendly design and programming techniques a professional web design firm can have your site listed at or near the top of every category in which your business fits.

Web site design and development firms provide consultation services with design specialists who will work with you to get the most pleasing design for your business. Graphic designers will use their years of training and experience to assure that your site is not only visually pleasing and easy to navigate, but that has the added benefit of being a unique representation of your business, now and in the future. A web site is not a static entity. It must keep up with trends in design as well as project a fresh face to your customers. Periodic redesigns or more frequent minor face lifts will ensure that your business projects a professional, relevant and timely image.

A professional web design company, well versed in SEO and graphic design, is your best partner in the battle to drive visitors to, and keep visitors on, your site.