I’m always interested in success stories — businesses which succeed in seemingly unconventional places.
Consider the story behind Milestones Building and Design in Bellingham, Washington. This business sells and oversees the installation of “fabric buildings” internationally and discovers most of its business through organic web searches.
I discovered the company when its owners appeared at my Google Plus Hangout at 2 pm. EST on Friday. They were the only visitors. This is probably fortunate, as the hangout didn’t exactly meet any technical production standards for online success. I could see Robert Shumake and a woman I believe to be his spouse. (With the poor connection, I didn’t get her name and the Milestones Building site doesn’t contain any personal or family information. In fact, it took some effort with Google keyword searches to identify Shumake as the business owner through his personal LinkedIn profile.)
While their site won’t win graphic design awards, it in my opinion is perfect for search engine optimization and marketing their specialized service. The site has lots of descriptive articles and detailed success stories for the various applications of fabric buildings, including images to show the buildings and their uses. These testimonial articles also of course improve the company’s credibility. They push the recognition level to top page of relevant keyword searches on Google, and of course, that helps with the initial inquiries and ultimate business.
The only thing I would change is to bring more of the Shumakes’ into the site. This doesn’t need to be overwhelming, just enough to allow visitors a feeling of getting to know the owners. Of course this isn’t absolutely essential — because I’m confident they build the trust after the initial contact/communication.
Also, although it is early going, I sense the “hangout” tool will be a useful sales and marketing resource, especially in connecting with potential clients who discover you though your Google Plus page and would like to have a person-to-person conversation. Of course, you’ll look better if you have the conversation in a place other than a dimly lit community center boardroom near an outside window (you can imaging what that contrast does to visibility on a web cam). I’ll work to make the technical standards better at next Friday’s 2 p.m. hangout.