By Alyssa Gregory
This post is sponsored by AskLorem.com, but is based on my own exploration of the AskLorem.com service, and my experience working with small business owners struggling to get their web presence up and running.
I talk to a lot of small business owners who run what can be considered an online business. Some have full-fledged ecommerce stores, and others simply recognize the value of leveraging various digital tools to promote their businesses online. Most of these businesses are either one-person shops or they have very small teams. On the plus side, small and nimble teams often develop into thorough and efficient get-it-done machines. But… there are always gaps.
One of the most common gaps online small business owners face is related to web development, graphics and customization of web platforms (like WordPress and Shopify). This creates a very common challenge: finding the technical and creative expertise needed for one-off design and web projects.
Do any of the online business headaches below sound familiar to you?
Installing a New Theme on Your WordPress Site
The beauty of WordPress is that it doesn’t take a lot of technical skill to get up and running. This was great news for you, because you were able to spend an afternoon getting it installed with a standard theme. You wrote your homepage and about us content. You even posted your first blog post. But now you want to change your theme and make some other customizations that are just a bit out of your comfort zone.
Customizing Your Shopify Store to Fit Your Brand
You just invested in a logo and your new brand is off to a running start. Next up is getting your brand represented on your Shopify store. But where to start? You’ve followed the tutorials, but it’s just not looking exactly how you envisioned, and you really don’t know how to make it better.
Getting MailChimp Up and Running and Sending Your First Newsletter
MailChimp is an ideal solution for small businesses because it’s built on the premise that your business will scale and your email marketing platform should be able to scale with it. This is awesome for budget-conscious small business owners who are starting their email list from scratch and definitely don’t need or want an enterprise solution right out of the gate. But how exactly do you get your email list opt-in form embedded on your website? Can you use the newsletter templates provided or do you need to create a unique branded newsletter? How can you grow your list?
Maybe one of those challenges sounds familiar, or perhaps one of these is slowing you down:
- Installing and backing up your WordPress plugins
- Configuring Google Analytics
- Getting more traction from your social media accounts
- Adding chat functionality to your website
- Making sure your site can be found in Google
- Integrating other tools such as SumoMe, Squarespace, Stripe and LeadPages
With each of these projects, you and your team have enough tech skills and know-how to take it and run with it once the initial work is done, but you need a little help to get the ball rolling. You really don’t want to hire a permanent employee or sign on for a long-term retainer package with a contractor that you really don’t need. So what should you do?
The Solution: AskLorem.com
AskLorem.com is a network of vetted expert web developers and designers that offers 24/7 on-demand access to the expertise you need, when you need it. There is no monthly fee; you simply pay for the service you use, most falling in the $25-250 range. This is how it works:
- You initiate a chat with an AskLorem.com project manager. There is no charge for the initial chat where you discuss your project. Note: You will need to be using Google Chrome.
- The representative takes the details of the project you need completed, matches you with an expert and provides a price quote for the work.
- If you accept the quote, work starts right away, with your expert reaching out to you as needed to get the job done.
- Once the work is complete and you’re happy, you pay for the job and go on your merry way.
Why Use AskLorem.com?
One major benefit of AskLorem.com is having access to the expertise you need when you need it, without having to jump through hoops, check references or make a long-term commitment.
You also know up-front what the total cost will be, so there is no shocking invoice slapping you in the face after the work is complete.
And perhaps the biggest perk — it’s quick and painless. There is no ramp-up period and endless meetings about how the project should be tackled. You submit your project, approve the quote and it’s completed before you know it.
Not only are you cutting down on the project timeline, but you are also reducing the total project cost (and your stress level in the process!).
If you have a web or design project that’s been sitting on the back burner for a while, give AskLorem.com a try. When you sign up, mention Bonfire10 to get 10% off your first project.
I’d love it if you came back to this post and shared your experience in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing how AskLorem.com worked for you!
Photo credit: Female business owner at work with a headache from Prostock-studio/Shutterstock