Start talking about the marketing side of things, the part we get to after main site design is done, and I start smiling. At least that is the evidence from a recent meeting. The big boss noticed that I was grinning like an idiot. I thought (afterwards) of how best to explain what exactly I do.
During the design and development stage of rebuilding a site, I keep the clients up to date on what is going on. I manage expectations. When they have low level questions, like “How do I make my CMS do this?” I answer them. Actually, if it is a fairly technical question, I find the person who knows, get the answer, make sure it is in plain english, and then relay that answer to the client.
If the question is high level, like “Should I try to compete in this particular market over here?” then they talk to Ian, and I get to listen in and offer my thoughts.
In this first stage, I am performing a function. And it is fun, because I get to help people understand what is going on. At that meeting, we talked about URL redirects and how they should be. The boss claimed he was an idiot with this, and wanted it in plain english. So I said:
“I call person A, she answers, I find out who she is. I call person B, the code routes me through to person A again, but I am expecting person B, so I am not happy. That is what you have now. What you want is, when I call person B, their message machine says that I should really be talking with person A, and gives me their number.”
And he was happy. Because, when put in language you understand, URL redirects are not complicated- it is more of a language barrier thing than a requires technical background thing.
So design and development is fun because I get to help people understand stuff.
But then, when the site is mostly finished, we get to work on the marketing stuff. SEO, PPC, maybe landing pages… and here I both get to help people understand what is going on as well as play a direct part in making them money. Also, I understand a lot more of this aspect of what we do. I don’t have to ask anyone about what a landing page is supposed to do, so I can answer client’s questions immediately.
And I get to see a direct impact on sales. Did this ad work? Did that landing page work? How can we tweak this? These are all questions I can sink my teeth into. And, more than being a conduit and a translator of information, I can have a greater impact.
So what do I do? I help people understand their project during all phases, and I help make them more money.
Now that is fun.