Anyone having any problems with this? I think I know the answer

17 replies
I'm probably only going to confirm what I already suspect, but I have to ask.

So here's the situation. As more and more sites and companies are making it easier (I didn't say easy) for business owners to make their own mobile-friendly sites, do you find it difficult to charge? Are you getting asked, "but I can make my own?"

Yes, I understand the same could be said for normal websites (all the free web builders--however ugly and less-functional--and ways to make your own or have them made easily for you) but there is, to me at least, a difference still.

Mobile website building with some online options (where they host them for you) isn't as time-consuming. It's fairly quick for at least one site I can think of.

And I also understand the same could be said of other services. But again, the scale and degree of involvement could be considerably less (and far less expensive) for doing it themselves. That is of course, if you're not building the site but going with mobile site providers.

(That's another argument as I understand it as well. Self-made sites versus those made and hosted by another company.)

The part of me that has been around for a while would like to answer, "they're busy, they don't always know how easy it is..." etc.

But the other part says, if I DO use an online mobile site builder to show them (and eventually use for them) their mobile site to sell them and get them excited, then I can't charge much ($300-$500) to build it as they might do a little research and come back with, 'huh?'

And if I do build it from scratch (templates or whatever) they might hear about gomo for example and wonder why they had this guy make them a site for $400 when they could do it for far less.

I hear myself as I write this, and I know that I should know better. I know all the typical answers yet this one really does feel different as Google will be reaching out to businesses (and businesses will be hearing about and seeing more about mobile) and mobile making sites will be more prevalent and be where business owners are thus alerting them to options that are easier and easier.

Ugh, any thoughts?
#answer #problems
  • Profile picture of the author garyogden
    My thought is if you are locally approaching small businesses they would prefer to call you up to make any changes. Rather than having to phone up a larger business and wait a day or two to have the changes made.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
      Originally Posted by garyogden View Post

      My thought is if you are locally approaching small businesses they would prefer to call you up to make any changes. Rather than having to phone up a larger business and wait a day or two to have the changes made.
      Duh...of course. And that is why I asked. Forgot about that! I can see why that is a plus. Thank you...
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  • Profile picture of the author RandyRandola
    My clients love the fact they call me and talk about if they should or shouldn't do something. And many times I contact them about something that would make a difference to their business. This is something they don't get from a "diy" program.
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    You've already answered your own question. It's simple to get a sponge and bucket full of water and clean your windows, but their's still people who make money cleaning peoples windows for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by JToneyUK View Post

      You've already answered your own question. It's simple to get a sponge and bucket full of water and clean your windows, but their's still people who make money cleaning peoples windows for them.
      I think this is a great example. If the price is right and they like the service why wouldn't they pay someone to do it?

      The key in all business is to be priced right. "Free" costs time. If your price is right and it saves them time why wouldn't they have you do it?
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      • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
        I could always go to a grocery store and buy the ingredients to bake a cake. But for some reason I prefer to go to a bakery and have them do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Randy - Great point. As in other things, I'm selling "me" as the expert. I should never forget that applies to any service.

    JToneyUK - That's a very apt analogy. Excellent point, and well taken. Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
      Exactly mate. I have been having similar thoughts along the lines of "is what I am offering of value to these people"? The answer is yes, yes, yes I've come to realise.

      You don't want to just see this as an "in, give them a mobile site, out run with their money". It should be the start of a relationship with the client which includes offering them more marketing options you have up your sleeve.


      I doubt those people who haven't thought about mobile websites would suddenly do any research about them AFTER they've got one from you.

      To those who turn around and yes, oh I can get one for much cheaper and do it myself, you can turn around and ask "well why haven't you?".

      Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

      Randy - Great point. As in other things, I'm selling "me" as the expert. I should never forget that applies to any service.

      JToneyUK - That's a very apt analogy. Excellent point, and well taken. Thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
        [QUOTE=J

        To those who turn around and yes, oh I can get one for much cheaper and do it myself, you can turn around and ask "well why haven't you?". [/QUOTE]

        Hehe...I love that. Well said.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Why do offline businesses pay people to create Facebook fanpages for them? Why do offline businesses pay people to claim their Google Places listing for them? Why do offline businesses pay people thousands of dollars to make them regular websites?

    These are all things business owners could VERY easily do for themselves. The fact is, they don't. The same goes with mobile websites. This is not a concern at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Your skills and knowledge should give them way way more than a mobile site (or whatever you do for them) .

    You should be setting them up for 6 months down the line, now.

    Mobile is going to get busier and more competitive so if all people are doing is giving a mobile site with little future built into it then the clients may be happy now but come April theyll be spitting your name out in venom
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    Nathan lets break it down into real world experience for you.

    This year we have done nearly 700 mobile sites some for big companies with lots of resources. Virtually none of these people knew about any of the template sites etc.

    The second thing is that back in 2008 many cut their IT spending so just have a website and no webmaster.

    Just like any other business it is all about adding value to make your product unique and stand out from the others.

    Why do people hire wed designers instead of using any one of the free site builders for desktop sites and it is simply functionality, maybe a bit of ego and of course time.

    Quentin
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    • Profile picture of the author kemper
      Uh am I missing something here ! Since when is a well constructed easily navigable mobile site all that easy for a DIY'r.

      Are we the professionals who are also doing the SEO for their niche and the graphics and layout to at least come close to matching an existing web site they may have.

      A mobile site that can detect multiple mobile OS's.

      One that does not need swiping across the screen to see the content.

      One you can read with out constant zoom options.

      One that fits or adjust to multiple tablet platforms as well.

      Can automatically or with prompt move from their full website to the mobile version trying to view it ???.

      Well !! lest not for the faint of heart-- design a eCommerce mobile design.

      I guess if you want to believe like so many of my clients that have tried web site building on there own, or who have hired others claiming to be "Web Designers" and SEO experts only to find they have spent a considerable amount of money and time with poor results an easy task.

      Then cheer up my friend, stand tall and realize your worth !!!
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    I think Kemper is correct here and I suffer from this "underrating our skills" syndrome.

    Infact I know this happens. Because we are all tech savvy and if we do things enough that it becomes second nature, we for some reason forget that it is knowledge and skill learnt over many years and we make assumptions that because we can do it with ease, then it's easy for other people to know and understand! It's very easy to forget that we know all that "technical mumbo jumbo". Me and my brother were once talking about HTML and CSS, and after we stopped my dad just said, "for the last 5 minutes I've not understood a single word you've said".

    I learnt this especially in the last year while I was training to become an ICT teacher. On a much lower level of course, but in the early days of lesson planning I was taking it for granted that these kids would know how to do simple tasks such as copy and paste when some of them were totally clueless!

    It was very frustrating in a teaching environment, but turn it into a clueless business owner and it works very much to our advantage as professionals within the industry!
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Richardson
      Great input from everyone...
      One of my clients always reminds me...(he is a boutique butcher shop owner)
      "I could probably do it (make my own mobile site) in a few hours, but I just
      don't have a few hours! I have my own business to look after. After all how many
      customers could I service in a few hours instead of trying to learn what your know!
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  • Profile picture of the author T2007
    I'd say you are NOT a website designer but a marketing consultant who they can call anytime they need to find an answer to a question, when they need an idea or get stuck. As an individual you get to know your customer and their business needs. Have them see the "customer service" they get from you vs. being by themselves and feeling lost with DIY programs.
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    • Profile picture of the author ElenaEn
      Agree with everyone here! And this is what we saw: a VAST majority of small business owners don't want to get into anything more complex than email. Most certainly don't want to log into any site builders, tweak their graphics and deal with redirecting the PC site to the mobile version for mobile visitors and / or mobile m.mysite.com creation. From our experience, most had no issues with paying a few hundred $ (at a minimum, for a very basic site) or an annual maintenance fee to get it all taken care of for them. But they usually liked having a login to make a few simple site changes themselves (but many have not used it and called us instead : )
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