Custom 'Hive' Website
I also think what people should realize is the complexity of marketing today. You are now competing against businesses that can spend hundreds of thousands on a 30 second video. That is where advice from someone like you could make the difference if you truly want to sell more honey or your honey at a higher price.
People fall in love with things that spark them, amuse them, or elicit some other positive emotional reaction. If you can fold surprise, delight, whimsy, authenticity, and other emotions into your website and marketing, you can reach more people who'll value your honey more and be willing to pay more for it.
When we build a website together, the first thing we'll do is have an in-depth discussion about your bee business. About what makes you unique. What sets you apart from others, and what makes a difference for your customers.
I do this because I care about connecting businesses that offer good products with their ideal buyers. I don't want you to have a website that just sits there looking pretty (well, I do want you to have a nice-looking website, but I want it to work for you too)!
The websites I build are investments rather than expenses. They are built with love and a great deal of care. It's no accident that the websites I build look good on any device and any screen size... that's because I design every page to fit all the many screen sizes across all the many devices on which it's seen (over 50% of your traffic is now from mobile devices).
When I build your website, I go to great lengths to ensure it's speedy (over 50% of your visitors will bounce off your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load). When I create a website, I incorporate the latest web standards so that your website looks good now and well into the future.
I build on proven technologies that are focused on e-commerce, rather than relying on platforms for which e-commerce is an afterthought, a bolted-on piece that is clunky to use for both you and your visitors. Because your website will lose customers fast if the checkout process is not quick and painless.
Even then, it's not enough that the website be all of these things, because competition is fierce on the web. You're competing on a scale you almost can't imagine. Competing against numerous other similar offerings that are just clicks away. Competing with Amazon listings. Competing with search engine results that look similar to yours.
In order to stand out, your website needs to delight visitors. It needs to have personality. It needs to shout our your uniqueness on every page, not just your Home page or your About page (because most people who visit your website see a product page first, whether they come in from search engines or social media).
Only the best websites become memorable in this way. Only then do you get real fans who'll happily spread the word about you.
Why is it so difficult to have someone build you a good website? Or why isn't it possible simply to use some website building service? Because in both of these cases, the people selling you on these solutions likely don't care about your bottom line. There are many pieces to this puzzle—to building a successful website that actually sells for you—that are simply left out.
When you aren't familiar with this new landscape of digital marketing and technology, you don't even know the questions to ask. And oddly enough, many service providers (large and small) won't tell you what you should be asking. Because it's harder by far to build a good website that will actually deliver business results for you.
Your website is your digital hub, through which most all of your marketing flows. It is the place you point folks to when they want to learn more about your company. It is the place people discover when they're actively searching for products like yours, having never heard of you before. It is the most critical piece of all in your digital marketing strategy.
It should not be so difficult to have someone help you put up a good website that delivers results and that you can update easily (and it's important you be able to update your website easily too, because adding fresh content on a consistent basis is critical for search engine optimization... and search engines, like it or not, are powerful drivers of sales, far more than social media).
I will get you set up and ready to sell on a modern e-commerce platform that will provide an excellent experience for both you and your buyers (the platform I recommend is Shopify). I'll set up all your products and other pages, as well as setting up your account with all the right settings in place to begin shipping orders out. I will build you a completely custom website, using proven strategies I've developed especially with the needs of beekeepers in mind.
You'll be able to make all the updates you want to your website once we take it live, including adding (or updating) products, blog posts, new pages, and such. Or if you'd prefer, I can handle all updates and product/content additions for you, so you never have to deal with them (we can discuss a monthly plan for that work at any time if you'd like).
How we'll do this and what you'll get
After extensive discussion of your business, your current website (if you have one), your existing branding, and other websites that we like, I will compose a vision of your website with early-stage design proofs. There are no set number of "change orders" with me; we'll go back-and-forth until we're all happy with the design.
How your website will look to customers:
- Loads fast: Speedy website that loads pages and photos fast (if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you'll lose half your customers)
- Mobile-friendly: The website looks and performs great on tiny mobile devices, ultra-wide screens, and anything in between
- Streamlined shopping: Shopping experience feels inviting and fun
- Immersive branding: Website has personality throughout, surprising and delighting visitors, charming them with your message and your products
- Photography: Beautiful product photos that pop with color and clarity (see my Product Photography service)
- Messaging: Compelling and memorable messaging throughout your website and your product descriptions (see my Copywriting & Messaging service)
The Custom 'Hive' provides an incredible foundation for all of your other digital marketing (the difference between it and my Starter 'Hive' service is that it is much more immersive in terms of graphics, layouts, and deep customizations designed to take your marketing up several levels). If you're looking for a website with which to level-up your marketing efforts for years to come, this is a fantastic choice.
How your website will look to you:
- Manage your inventory across channels (point of sale, website, social media), with all your product information in one place
- See sales statistics over time across channels and products
- Track traffic and conversion rates for each referring source (such as email marketing, search engines, or social media ad campaigns), so that you know where your most valuable traffic is coming from
- Track individual customer behavior to enable personalization
- Increasing website sales and growing customer base over months (see my 'Honey Flow' Promotion service)
- Likes and engagement growing on social networks (see my 'Honey Flow' Promotion service)
A few more nice-to-have details:
- Calculate all taxes and shipping costs automatically, and print discounted shipping labels for USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.
- Send out all order-related emails automatically to customers, including tracking numbers and out-for-delivery notifications
- Instant integration with Facebook's Shop and Reviews tabs
- Shoppable product links for tagging items in Instagram photos
- All product links as Buyable Pins when shared on Pinterest
- Customers leave reviews directly from within automated emails
Can you show me an example of a Custom 'Hive' website you've built?
Certainly! Here's an example of one I built recently: Dancing Bear Apiary
How long will it take to build my new website? What are the monthly hosting costs?
Typical project duration is 9 months. Typical additional monthly hosting costs (paid directly to the e-commerce provider I recommend: Shopify) are $29/month (for online-only commerce) or $79/month (for retail point-of-sale in addition).
I only do one such project at a time, in order to give it all the attention it deserves alongside my other ongoing work. Currently I am booked through June (2019), but I am happy to chat with you to see how I might help in the future.
I'm not located anywhere near Oregon, wouldn't it be better to work with someone closer to me?
There are many ways to overcome the challenges of working remotely these days. I will communicate with you in the ways that best suit you (email, phone, video calls). I do find video calls particularly helpful for working remotely, because we are able to share our computer screens that way, and I can walk you through various things.
I asked one of my clients located in Wisconsin about this and he said: "Working long distance is not a benefit but it is not a disadvantage. Your communications have been great."
You're just one person. What happens to my website if something happens to you?
I'm glad you asked, I think about this too. I build your website in code, and I'll give you access to where that code is safely stored. Steve Jobs spoke of how computers should be beautiful on the inside too (in terms of their hardware), and similarly the websites I build are beautiful on the 'inside' (the code itself).
What that means on a more practical level is that another web developer of a similar caliber and background would be able to step in at any time. Not only do I care how your website looks on the 'inside', I even add additional 'comments' in the code so that it is clear to another developer exactly what each piece is doing.
Have more questions?
Book a call to discuss them (just a friendly chat, not a sales call). I only want to work with you if I'm confident I can generate a positive return on your investment!
I'm Elise Fog, and I help beekeepers sell more honey to more people, by leveling up their online marketing.