Simon’s advice when clients come to him for a website.
Thrive member Simon Hiscox was smart enough to jump on board the e-commerce train back in the early noughties. Back then he was an electrician but fast forward to 2017 and Simon is now a web designer, building awesome sites for clients across many different sectors. Here he tells us why he made the move, how to navigate web pitfalls and why he’s aiming to no longer have a business in five-years-time.
Hi Simon, so how did you go from being an electrician to building websites?
I started selling lights on the internet when it began to get going in 2002. I worked hard to understand how Google and the rankings worked, and used that for my e-commerce business. Eventually, I sold that business for a nice profit so that I could take the skills I’d learned and became a full-time web designer.
What advice do you give clients when they come to you for a website?
Aside from helping them decide the sort of site they need and getting the structure in place, I try to give them the truth about SEO. There are a lot of lies about how to get on the front page of Google and how to boost your SEO. But the reality is that the rules change all the time, so I try to cut through all of this and help them be more visible online.
What are the most common mistakes you see on business websites?
The error I see most often is when the brand and the website are not aligned properly. That’s often why websites don’t work and don’t bring in revenue. The image you create on your site needs to be consistent across all parts of your business. If your branding doesn’t fit, you’ll struggle to be successful. The bottom line is that you want your website to help generate sales, so you need to take care with how you project yourself.
Regarding generating sales, what are the key areas to concentrate on?
You need to understand what makes your phone ring. Everything you do online should be focussed on getting that to happen. The combination of great branding, rich content, smart use of tools like Google Adwords and such like, and calls to action are critical. You need to know what your potential customer needs and how to get them to ask you for it.
What is the next stage for your business?
I don’t want to have a business in five years! By that, I mean that I want to be anonymous and busy building websites without making the sales. My plan is to work with people who can white label my service and be out there marketing, while I get on with the good stuff. Let’s see if I can make that happen!
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If you’d like to find out more about Simon and his work, head over to http://simonhiscox.com/.