My name is Sean Wichert, Sr. and I am based in Round Rock, Texas. I’d love to help you with your website.
Before reading this lengthy, yet hopefully educational document ( page ) about websites and the importance of a marketing budget, let me open with this.
I have years of experience in design, development, animation, WordPress, Freelancing, Working Remotely, marketing, advertising and then some now because I once thought buying a Website Template would be easy. I figured that my products and services would sell themselves without spending any money aside from a basic hosting plan, a domain name and a vision.
Instead of selling my instrumental music for a living like I set out to do, I wound up having to learn how to code and I am still learning. I used what little money I had in my early 20’s to test out Google Adwords paying per click for keyword searches I eventually figured out were more likely to convert browsers into buyers than others.
Over time, I worked my way up to around $500/mo in sales at best manually emailing all instrumentals purchased via PayPal on the site for $0.99/download minus PayPal’s $0.33/transaction + 0.15% or so which meant I could have earned 33% more had I know how to create my own payment gateway. I didn’t. Digital delivery was not cheap in 2007 and very complicated to set up for me at the time.
Eventually, a local radio DJ in Austin, Texas approached me at a local Quiznos I worked at part time asked me who made my website. ( Important to note: He only found the website because I had bought a large decal with the logo that I squeegee’d to the hood of my coupe and 2 smaller ones on the sides of it and he happened to have a friend who owned a store in the same shopping center. )
His friend asked me to do their company website for $600. As you can imagine, if it took me less than a month to make it, I was done selling music. Next, a Rustic Furniture store owner ( Again, business owner in the same shopping center who also ate at the Quiznos I worked for asked me to create him a flash based shopping cart store website for $1500. ) To summarize, I decided to quit Quiznos and start creating websites for people off Craigslist.
Tip based on personal experience: If you make more money than it costs you to do something yourself, pay someone else to do it unless you are open to getting in to that task as a career. How can you know? Watch a short video on YouTube of whatever it is you are considering learning or paying someone else to do first.
Thanks for reading this far. you’re doing great!
Below is a combination of my cover letter & resume plus it is my marketing material used as an introduction to people who hire me.
Before that, if you’d like to see my LinkedIn profile in a more traditional style resume, you can review it here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seansr/
Next Topic: Takes time & money to earn it.
A website without targeted traffic is like a toll road where people get off at the last free exit.
From October 2016 to March 2018, I had the opportunity to learn from and serve with a fantastic team of Marketing Professionals over at ApricotLaw who specialize in SEO & PPC for Law Firms nationwide.
A piece of the wisdom I have learned from the past decade of freelancing on Craigslist for well over a hundred of unique startups and a medium sized business ( teleNetwork ) is that having a marketing budget or existing business is very important.
Websites, like retail stores require ongoing hard work. They do not market themselves, show up on the 1st page of Google, people don’t spread the word on social media and it costs money to place ads online using retargeting pay-per-click.
If you have done research on Pay-Per-Click advertising, and best case scenario tested a small campaign out to see if any existing website / store you drive traffic to is worthwhile, you are in solid shape.
Did you know?
- According to CrossBrowserTesting.com, there are over 1500 screen resolutions across all the devices on the market today.
- Many websites are completely redesigned once or twice a year.
- Even with a premium WordPress theme or other template, it can easily take 3-6 months to put up a new site or redesign an old one.
The Premium WordPress Theme demos look amazing largely in part because the Authors of the themes design & develop the demos with everything from carefully curated stock photos that are perfectly positioned behind or around text & buttons.
Often changing the word count, character count, font-size or images results in less than desirable results. It might look fine on one resolution, but after making the smallest customization, without rechecking it on multiple resolutions it is very likely the change caused a design flaw elsewhere.
The right tools for the task:
As I continue to learn & gain valuable experience, here’s a list of trendy resources I have found valuable to help start or build a business website.
- Organic SEO & Pay per Click Advertising like Google Adwords for example. ( The most important part of earning income with a website is accessibility, functionality & getting the right people there. )
- Cross browser, Google Android and iOS testing on as many resolutions as possible @ https://CrossBrowserTesting.com
- WordPress Themes ( CMS ), WordPress Plugins ( Using vary sparingly ) WPEngine ( WordPress Hosting ), Shopify ( eCommerce ), PayPal, Stripe
- Photoshop, InVision, Sketch, Xd, UXPin ( Custom Design & Prototyping if you’re opting for number 4. )
- Basecamp, Asana, Slack ( Project Management if you have a team to communicate with and tasks to organize. There are others like Slack or Jire as well though I have yet to test them out personally they too are quite popular I gather. )
- Google Apps ( Cloud based Data Management, also integrates with WordPress by the way, but almost everything does because WordPress is super popular. )
Why charging & paying by the hour per diem is more effective than a flat fee:
No contract to sign is attractive to anyone & builds trust by not making promises or failing to deliver on time and under budget. Further, who proposes on the first date?
Let’s say your marketing budget is $10,000 per month including learning how to add pages, blog posts, images, videos, products as well as simply hiring someone else to create or update an existing website you own.
I’d love to offer 3 suggestions if you’re not doing them already whether you hire me or not so you know why I charge what I charge as well as why I work by the hour instead of providing flat rates.
Flat fees create unwise, unnecessary pressure for the investor ( you / your team ) or whoever you hire to help you win. Here are 3 suggestions to avoid wasting time & money.
- Use the highest rated, most downloaded themes you can find. Don’t use plugins whenever possible, especially sliders or embed codes / snippets from third party sites that load dynamically. Use only what you need.
- Planning on selling products or services? Use Shopify or a premium WordPress Theme with WooCommerce for example to process orders, handle tax, shipping, digital delivery, recurring payments and more.
Best case scenario you have these 5 items completed which is not likely. ( Note: I don’t expect this to be the case. I simply list these fundamentals to provide some insight in to how much continuous time and hard work it takes to build and maintain a website that works. )
- Stock or professional photos &/or video loops or short video clips ( all compressed for site load times to be minimal )
- Images that are perfectly sized & compressed using something like TinyPNG for the premium theme purchased in an effort to minimize page speed load times & pixelation on all popular screen resolutions from 4k displays down to 3rd generation smartphones ( Consider Apple Retina displays load images at 2x the pixel resolution than non-retina displays )
- All site text content including product names, prices, variables and descriptions if selling products and / or services plus a PayPal account or other merchant account like Stripe for selling with Shopify though they also have other options like PayPal.
- Site navigation planned out, contact information ready to go.
Whatever your budget is today, it might be more than you need to spend to get a website that is accessible to as many people as possible and still have the necessary time and money to invest in something like PPC or SEO. You can have the coolest site in the world, but if no one visits it or it does not work on the device they view it on…
Hopefully, after reading this, you are wiser and consider marketing / seo if you have not thus far. Keep in mind, I am no SEO / Marketing expert; however, in my 11 years of experience I have only seen a handful of the people I have helped maintain their websites for more than 6 months.
Without SEO / Marketing budgets, people are left with an expensive, custom website that no
one finds and only looks the way they hoped it would on a couple screen resolutions in Google Chrome for example.
I have worked on a few other small business websites who are still in business and websites still are online, but it is because they had an established retail store or revenue and use their website to grow by word of mouth from existing business.
In summary, sign-up for a free Google Adwords account for example to find out if there are any affordable search strings that convert well in your area & market unless you are already in business and growing is a great place to start.
Still here are ya?
Thank you again for taking the time to read about my experience and tips of website design, development and marketing. If you have any questions, call, email or text message me for a 15 minute free consultation or just to say hi.
I charge by the hour and send daily PayPal invoices to be paid prior to putting in more hours the following day on an as needed basis. The 15 minute free consultation is free of charge and also helps balance my days out with person to person conversation.
Any communication and / or tasks I perform for you beyond the initial 15 minute call I will send you an email invoice at the end of that day for time invested in anything from consulting whether by phone, emails or texts to designing, coding, curating content, gathering custom themes, plugins and resources to build what it is your business can benefit from.
I charge this amount because it is contractor income, meaning higher self employment tax rates, no medical, dental vision for me or my family as such and it takes time to create great marketing material and my own fast, responsive portfolio site you are on right now.
Let me know how I can help you / your team get things done faster, with less margin for error and help ensure your website &/or store works well on as many devices, screen resolutions & operating system possible.
I’m a phone call, text or email away if you would like to tell me more about how I can help.
Sean Wichert, Sr.
Direct: (512) 740-0054
I communicate with you based on your preferences. If you prefer calls, hangouts, screen shares, email or text, no problem.
Call, Text or Email.