Sunday, April 13, 2014

The story of a website past and present

Dear Chinese Medicine Adventurists,

The story of a website past and present

When I was at uni I really jumped on the marketing and advertising group for the final year internship clinic.

Everybody hated this group. It was extra to the work and involved off curriculum activity. Mainly it's an affront to ones practice ability I believe. Why advertise? They will come (big loud voice!)

However I immediately saw the advantages. Using the established university structure I didn't have to build a base of people to contact. And I could experiment beyond my wildest desires with no fear of losing. It was was all supported and under the umbrella of uni. It was a double comfort zone.

Soon I got to work with a free website, added content, played with videos and started designing and printing things. I learned so much! It is still relevant today! In fact I was the first hit for the uni for a while until they got some website action together, after my lead! I just googled it. Page 2. Not bad after a bit of time ;)

I think the main things I noticed were keep it short: videos, sentences, letters! And artists are complete free spirits. I  was on someone's case for design and photoshop so much that they don't really speak to me anymore after! Haha. An artist is someone who sees a deadline and looks in the opposite direction! I try an and always set a deadline before the deadline, if possible. Even when meeting up it's preferable to set a time 1 hour before you have to actually meet and just turn up an hour later as you then both meet at the same time ;)

I also started getting images on the digital billboards at UTS, which was really fun too!

November 2013. I decided to get serious with my own site. I had experimented with two free sites prior to this. I learnt a lot. HTML, Flash. which  one is better, mobile activated site, what people search for (suburb where they want to get acupuncture!). A lot of my colleagues have followed suite and changed their original URLs for example to their suburb.

I also realised how cut throat it was! I registered my current URL through a free provider. I just jumped on it when I saw it. A peer registered the same name as me (one month after). The only difference? A hyphen in their URL name. A real compliment from such as long established practitioner. I did start a dialogue but was ignored. To this day they still heavily Google advertise under the same URL with a hyphen, not realising how lame that is!

Fast forward to today and I had learnt some lessons. Time to apply them into a professional site!

This process is another story as well. At first I had to get powerful pictures. Mine were just not good enough. I had to wait a long time to tee up a photographer, get the shots I needed and take some re shoots too!
 This a fun shot we took. Too cheeky for the website, so here it is :) 

Establishing what would work and what didn't was a drawn out process. I think stage two I will hire a professional designer to co-ordinate that type of thing!

6 months down the track, post design changes. Post name change (a loop hole in business name registration meant that someone else has Bondi Acupuncture as a business name now, another peer! Hence now I am  Bondi Acupuncture Sydney. Which is actually a lot more far reaching from brand and search point of view I believe.) My web designer went overseas, my model in some shots was my girlfriend (now ex). There is so much going into a site it is phenomenal!

I also had to write all the content. I decided to be super professional and reference it to the highest standard. Like writing a book!

So there you go. A story of designing, integrating, loss and achievement. Then you have to step back and let it come together naturally. Then when nothing happens you have to push again and then step back again. Not very different from doing acupuncture on a patient really!

In the next few days  a functional version of this site will be up! I am thinking of having a launch party! You're invited!


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