SiteSwan of the Week: Black Belt Tae Kwon Do Academy
Black Belt Tae Kwon Do is a martial arts academy located in El Paso, TX. The Academy is lead by the teachings of Grandmaster Yong Kim, 9th Degree Black Belt, and his son, Master Dave Kim, 5th Degree Black Belt. Together, they bring more then 75 years of Tae Kwon Do expertise and have come up with a wholesome Tae Kwon Do Program that stands out amongst the rest.
Why we like it
This design features a custom background image that brought the academy’s key colors to the site. The header utilizes some transparency to create a floating effect over the navigation bar. Master Kim is now able to update his site with ease and add class updates as well as photos from recent competitions. The built-in SEO is earning the academy great local search results for people looking for a martial art academy in El Paso, TX. Great job! Visit this site
In a recent article, Clay Christensen talks about how newspapers have been notorious for avoiding taking the necessary steps to survive, even long after the disruptions of digital media became apparent. Mostly due to the fact that many newspapers have continued to enjoy strong growth and profits in their core business and traditional media, managers continue to ignore the obvious trends and threats of digital and emerging media. For those publishers that don’t begin to position themselves to provide multimedia solutions for their readers and advertisers, they are likely to find the cliff of their demise to be a sharp drop rather than a slow downturn, making it too late to transform and adjust before it’s too late.
1 – Staying at the top of the mountain – Newspapers have enjoyed generations of media dominance but their downturn is proving to be a much faster transition. However that does not mean that newspapers can’t remain at the top of the mountain, especially among smaller community newspapers. Already established as the hub between reader/consumer and advertiser, newspapers have earned a trusted reputation in their respected markets. They hold the key to to communication between buyer and seller and need to continue to maintain this position in order to establish a long-term future. The true value is this relationship between reader and advertiser that will allow newspapers to remain at the top of the mountain as they transition from one media to another.
2 – What to avoid – It’s important for publishers and managers to avoid ignoring the obvious changes, challenges and competition in emerging media. Strong sales are a short term protection to a difficult future. While it is important to maintain their position in their current products, it is equally important to understand the threats that these products will face. This is often difficult for publishers as Christensen points out:
“…industries like newspapers are often seduced into thinking that things aren’t as bad as they seem, because their traditional business often continues to do quite well – until all of a sudden it doesn’t.”
Christensen also point out that even when newspapers don’t witness disruptions in their own market, they still need to act on the basis of theory, planning for when these disruptions do occur.
3 – Alternative routes to long-term success – Newspapers need to get off their current track (despite it’s current success), to avoid becoming a freight train that’s on a track to the edge of a cliff. Christensen’s advice is for newspapers to aggressively cut costs in the traditional side of their business, while investing in the digital side of the business. Most newspapers find the second part harder than the first, cutting staff and reducing printing and circulation without investing in a digital strategy. SiteSwan offers publishers an opportunity to diversify their products by offering a digital product in one of the fastest growing digital industries – web design. Instead of just cutting staff, SiteSwan allows newspapers to efficiently use all of their current resources such as sales and graphics to build and maintain affordable websites for advertisers in their market. Doing so reduces overall labor costs while creating a recurring revenue stream with huge profit margins. SiteSwan also maintains the newspaper’s position between consumer and advertiser, continuing communication and opening up other opportunities to cross-sell other digital media products such as banner ads, SEO management and online advertising.
Here are some creative ways SiteSwan Publishers are packaging web design with their print products to offer valuable solutions to their advertisers and profitable results for their publication.
1. Website Directory in Print – this is a great way to ad content to your publication and exposure for your advertisers. Include a Website Directory in your print publication each month featuring web addresses to local shops’ websites. Offer the listing to any local business, but include it at no cost for those advertisers that you build sites for. It increases the value for your website clients and can attract other local shops to have you design their site to get the same deal. It’s also a great way to display a portfolio of your work.
2. Banner Ad Landing Pages – a business may be interested in a banner ad on your website but may not have a website. Or they may not be happy with their current site. If they are reluctant to jump right into a new website deal with you, offer a one page landing page that you design with SiteSwan. Link their banner ads to this one page site that you create for a minimum charge to host basic information about their business. Use this one page design to encourage them to take the next step towards a complete website.
3. Website Grand Opening Package – Sold a website? Why not offer the client a “grand opening” promotion package that announces the launch of their new website in your paper. Work it into the launch price and create a multi run campaign to help drive traffic to your client’s new website. This is a great way to get website clients who previously/currently do not advertise in your paper to do so.
4. Free Website Design with Long-Term Print Commitment – make an offer they can’t refuse. Up-sell a print advertiser into a long term commitment by offering a free website design with their print contract. The design itself only requires an hour or two of time, and you can still collect the monthly website maintenance charge.
Smart Print Publishers are embracing web design using the SiteSwan website builder. What makes web design so attractive to these forward thinking publishers?
1. Websites have become “standard” – Today, every small business is expected to have a website. Websites are no longer limited to specific industries, markets, larger businesses, or ecommerce. An informative, search friendly, mobile ready website is now an expected and essential element to any small business. With 97% of American consumers using online media to research products and services, EVERY small business needs a website to survive in today’s economic environment.
2. Launch a new business on the cheap – Starting a new business or offering a new product can be prohibitively expensive. With SiteSwan, publishers are able to launch the new web design arm of their business overnight and at no upfront cost or additional resources. Keeping the publisher cost low allows you to not only easily start selling websites, but also allows you to make a healthy profit doing so. Publishers typically sell a SiteSwan website for $400 upfront and $50 /month. Their cost…$6/ month (per site).
3. Build it once, bill it often – There are not many products that offer recurring revenue without recurring work or cost. Web design is extremely profitable because you are able to design a site once and bill clients monthly. Most small businesses go for three or more years before even considering a redesign for their website. The SiteSwan website builder allows a publisher’s graphics person to design a website in minutes, much faster than designing a print ad. Once designed, publishers charge their own setup prices (usually $400 – $800 upfront) and set up monthly billing ($50 – $100 per month).
4. Prospecting is easy – Since EVERY small business needs a website, prospecting for new clients is easy. Over 50% of small businesses in the US currently do not have a website. Do a quick Google search for local businesses and if they don’t have a website listed, they are prime candidates to get in touch with. In every local market there are thousands of small businesses that are in need of a website. Another opportunity is redesign. Many small businesses that currently have a website are outdated, not search friendly, lack a mobile version, or are difficult to edit/update. These businesses are great prospects to offer a new, search friendly, easy to edit, mobile ready, SiteSwan website.
5. Doesn’t conflict with print – One of the biggest struggles print publishers face is integrating new digital media into their existing business without conflicting with their core print products. The great thing about web design is it doesn’t conflict with an advertiser’s print campaign and is not a substitute for running a print ad. A new website is actually a great reason for a business to boost their print advertising and encourage readers to visit their new website. It also positions you, the Publisher, as the hub between the advertiser’s print and online initiatives, creating a long-lasting relationship.
In a recent edition of T.I.P., Marc Wilson pointed out that there is very slow progress amongst publishers to lock into a secure new revenue model. A recent Pew Research Center study pointed out that “the shift to replace losses in print ad revenue with new digital revenue is taking longer and proving more difficult than executives want” at newspapers throughout the country. Here are some of the more interesting points:
- Newspapers that are making significant internal changes are doing better than those who aren’t.
- Most publishers are not putting in the kind of effort into digital revenue development that are expected to grow the fastest.
- Some newspapers supported success by building consulting services to help advertisers learn digital marketing.
- Many newspapers are developing a multimedia arm, designing print collateral, digital ads, maintaining social media, and building websites (like the smart folks who are selling sites with SiteSwan).
Nicely put by Larry Allen from ClickZ, “publishers are constantly looking for better ways to manage their supply and extract maximum dollars from their inventory.” As more options for media consumption arise, business owners are feeling very confused about how best to
spend their marketing / advertising dollars. “Simplifying digital is absolutely paramount if we want our industry to thrive.”
SiteSwan has simplified the process of building out websites for advertisers and making digital sales that are much easier to profit from. Here are some of the ways SiteSwan’s simplicity makes you more successful:
1. Streamline Site Development – Since all SiteSwan sites have only 3 elements that make them different from one another, time spent building out sites is kept to a minimum. Typical graphic designers who are familiar with a program like Photoshop, can have a site design done in under an hour. Efficiency = profitability.
2. Cast a Wide Net – You don’t want to have to limit your web design services to only a few specific industries…the more niche you get, the more you reduce the size of the pool of potential clients. SiteSwan has a universal set of features that is ideal for everyone from restaurants, to dance studios, tailors, chiropractors, dog breeders, and pet stores.
3. Hand Over the Keys to the Site – Every small business owner wants to be able to manage their own site, but up until now, it’s always been too difficult. With SiteSwan, you can legitimately trust your clients with the keys to the site, knowing that it’s virtually impossible for them to mess anything up or make any critical mistakes. Plus, you don’t want to be a webmaster, taking phone calls & emails with text updates for your client sites…there’s no profit in that…
4. SEO that Just Works – You don’t need to get a PhD in Search Engine Optimization or hire an “SEO Expert” to ensure that your clients get OUTSTANDING search results on the sites you build them. With SiteSwan, every site comes built with all of the most essential coding and layout techniques (that are constantly being updated by us) to give your clients the very best chance at pushing their way to the top of search results.
Extracting maximum dollars from your digital inventory is what SiteSwan is all about. You can easily manage your inventory of 50 website clients without pulling your hair out, hiring new staff, or making any significant changes to the way you do business. (Except, you will have to figure out what to do with all that extra income.)
In a previous post, we addressed the fear of Cannibalism and concerns that website and digital media sales can cannibalize your print sales. We concluded that neglecting digital media caused more threat to your business than incorporating it into your product mix. Below you will find 4 keys that will help keep you on the path for a long successful future utilizing all media forms and maintaining your position as the connection between advertiser and consumer.
1. Control all media forms by remaining as the connection through which advertisers reach customers. This includes controlling traditional and new media.
Whether it’s print, digital, mobile, or any other emerging media, successful publishers need to transition themselves from print publisher to media owner. It’s important to accept and master all new media and advertising options, even those that may compete with your core product. Advertisers are going to spend on the channels that best reach their customers. Those channels are sure to include online, so be sure to master and offer those tools that your advertisers need to reach consumers online. Be ready and willing to offer advertisers multiple media options to target their consumers and you won’t cut yourself out of the equation. Building a quality website for your advertisers to reach online consumers searching for related products and services is a great way to maintain the connection you need to offer supportive advertising. Consider yourself the trusted connection between advertisers and consumers and not just as a single product-pusher. It’s your relationship that holds the most value and SiteSwan lets you build on that.
2. Through control, lock in advertisers and customers in local markets.
As a Print Publisher you have succeeded in building a loyal following and customer base in your own local market. Locking in these trusted relationships and local presence is vital to long-term growth. This includes offering new media options to advertisers. While local advertisers may turn to big companies like Google or Yahoo to place an ad, it is more likely that they prefer to turn to a local trusted source, like you. The same goes for web design. Mastering tools like SiteSwan gives you the opportunity to offer a local solution when companies like Google and Intuit attack your market.
3. Use new media as a source of revenue growth.
Successful Publishers need to learn that they need to do more than sell advertising to maintain long-term growth. They need to control advertisers’ spending. Declining print sales can be offset by online advertising and online products like social media campaigns, website design, and consulting. Tools like SiteSwan allow Print Publishes to cash in on profitable website sales while maintaining their relationship with advertisers. SiteSwan Publishers are generating thousands of dollars in monthly recurring revenue. Even when new digital products may earn smaller checks and commissions than their print comparison, it’s important to understand the big picture. Gaining “control” of advertisers’ spending is more important than just gaining “sales” for long-term growth.
4. Stay ahead of media evolution by leading, not following.
As a Media Owner, it is important to stay ahead of the curve by keeping an eye on emerging media. Publishers need to stop worrying about the threat to print every time a new advertising options makes itself available to advertisers. They need to start utilizing their resources to create the next big thing for their advertisers. Following consumer behavior, understanding the needs of an advertiser, and utilizing a dedicated local sales staff will all position a media owner for long-term growth.
Don’t let the fear of losing a couple dollars in the short term prevent you from investing in being able to sell new media products to your advertisers. The future is diversification.
Back in February of this year, Alan D. Mutter wrote a piece that appeared in The Independent Publisher that speaks to the things that can improve sales to where they need to be…the Products, Process, People, and Pride. He provided 4 Takeaways for the publisher:
- Salesmanship can’t substitute for products that don’t meet customer needs.
- Salespeople need to sell, not shuffle papers.
- If people are your strength, you need strong people.
- You can’t sell with confidence without conviction in the product.
Alan also presented some interesting numbers. According to a national survey conducted by Borrell Associates, $1.50 of every $6.50 NOT spent with newspapers goes toward maintaining a company’s presence on the Web and in social media.
“To reach advertisers where they are,” he said, “publishers must offer a wide variety of marketing and customer-acquisition services. These include, but are not limited to, Web and mobile site development and hosting; search engine optimization; online ad placement on third-party media such as Google and Facebook; print and electronic direct marketing, and social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, [etc.].”
He also remarked:
“Without a comprehensive, digital-rich product portfolio, newspapers will be left with shrinking scraps of business as their advertisers shift more of their dollars to pixels from print.”
Alan’s absolutely right. If you’re a publisher, and you hear a customer say that they’re looking for someone to help them build a website, help them understand social media, or take advantage of SEO, you have to be able to help them…now. And if you can’t, we can help you get to the point where you can.
Fear that offering Web Design to your advertisers will take away from your print advertising sales or distract salespeople is the biggest barrier to your long-term success. The best media owners will leverage their existing Print relationships while positioning themselves as the connection between advertiser and consumer in a multimedia environment.
The battle between Online advertising and Print advertising will not be won by a single product. It’s the company with the most interaction that will determine how advertising dollars will be spent, both online and in print. While some newspapers are responding to online ad growth by shifting their products online, other media owners are reluctant to offer any digital products in fear of cannibalizing their print sales. Print publishers who do not leverage their relationships with advertisers and consumers, and do not make use of tools to like SiteSwan to grow their product offerings, will find themselves struggling to survive.
Consider the past when similar scenarios played out between Borders Books and Amazon.com, or Blockbuster Video and Netflix, or even Craigslist and Newspapers. In 1997, Borders Books was the leading bookseller in the United States with sales of $2.4 billion. Amazon was a start-up online book retailer with sales of $600 million, a quarter of Borders’ value. Borders refused to offer online book sales in fear of cannibalizing brick and mortar store sales for cheaper online sales. Ten years later Borders was cannibalized, not by its online sales, but by Amazon swallowing up market share. Moreover, Amazon’s market value was ten times higher than Borders was at its peak. Where would Borders be now if it leveraged its position between book publishers and consumers and made use of the internet as a selling tool? Amazon also leveraged it’s market share by expanding it’s product offerings well beyond books. It used its market share as a book retailer to leverage sales into a leading online retailer selling multiple products.
The lesson to be learned? The fear of cannibalization should not deter Print publishers from recognizing and following customer habits online. As a media owner (not just a publication owner), Publishers need to recognize the amount of time customers spend online and offer products to advertisers that allow them to communicate across multiple platforms. Morever, Publishers need to become the hub between advertiser and consumer. Amazon was not a better book seller, they were better at understanding the needs of its customers. Publishers shouldn’t limit themselves to only offering advertising products, but instead become the connection between advertiser and consumer across multiple media platforms. Many publishers are realizing this and are now offering web design services powered by SiteSwan. Web design is the perfect tool to help maintain open communication and act as the hub between an advertiser’s print and online spending. A website is the backbone to a business’s online initiatives and now is the time for Print publishers to utilize tools like SiteSwan to establish themselves as a professional website provider.
Every publisher has a little bit of space in their paper that they keep to themselves each time they go to press. Usually, you use this space to promote your services…Classified ads, your website, Special Sections, business card design, an upcoming promotion, or maybe even a side business of doing screen printing or wedding invitations.
Here’s a fresh idea…why not use that space to sell websites to small businesses in your area? It can be a great lead generator with some very valuable advantages:
- Put the price out there…one of the biggest concerns small businesses have with website design is that it will be too expensive for them. Because you can afford to sell a SiteSwan website for such a small design fee and low monthly fee, the price actually becomes a huge selling point!
- Because your paid SiteSwan account doesn’t officially begin until you successfully sell & launch your first site, you may want to use this as a risk-free way to determine if this will work for you and to generate the first sale. Then, when you have the first one, you can officially start your website portfolio.
- Build confidence in your advertisers that you go beyond print. By running promotions about your digital services (like website design), you brand yourself as more of an all-media marketing agency. If small businesses in your area are investing in the web ANYWAY, they might as well do it through you.
Remember, building out a website on SiteSwan is done with your existing production / design team. Anyone who designs for print can design a website on SiteSwan (and even faster)! Get some inspiration and check out some of the beautiful sites that have been built on SiteSwan by checking out our Design Gallery or by visiting our Twitter account.