Everyone seems to be a web designer these days. From your uncle?s neighbor?s nephew to Aunt Mildred, everyone claims webmaster status. How can you, a real web designer, developer, and/or host separate yourself from these part-time, low quality look-alikes?
1. Create a Business Directory
Many legitimate web design companies have started this way. Create an online business directory. Splurge and purchase a catchy domain name ? maybe yourtown.com or something easy to remember and easy to pass on.
On the website, provide a free business directory of local businesses. Make a section on important and emergency contact information. Have a section on other local phone numbers of interest, such as the library and schools.
Feature a different business each month. If you are good, you can call the business that you?d like to feature, tell them about the site, and tell them that you?re going to feature them for free. This may lead to a conversation about a website. If they don?t have one, or its out of date, your foot is already in the door.
2. Offer a Community Forum
Forums are quite popular nowadays. People love to express their views on unlimited subjects. Harness this by providing a free place for area residents to post thoughts on upcoming elections, construction, and even comment on local restaurants. Put a small ad at the top of the forum, mentioning humbly that the forum is sponsored by your business and is provided as a free service to the community.
3. Consider purchasing software such as TownLink (yourtownlink.com).
Offer reduced advertising to area businesses to get the site off the ground. Promote the site as another free service that your company provides to the community.
4. Create a website that promotes local apartments and homes for sale.
This is actually pretty easy if you use software such as OpenRealty (open-realty.org). Configure the software for your community, and promote listings to real estate companies and apartment managers in the area. Once again, offer this website as a free service to residents who may be looking for a new home or outside residents who are wondering about the area.
Make sure that no matter which of these services that you use that you point back to your own company in a small, non-intrusive way. Make it known that you are providing these things, and that you are a local-owned company. Always purchase separate domains for each ? then put them all over town!