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Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by BrokenArrow, Dec 10, 2007.
Pass The Pop Corn Please.!
My website isn't an ego trip either. Hell I dont even have many pictures up yet. Never used to take any. But now I will take a pic of each mount so I can get more on my website. George I have had my site up 3 months and have already gotten 8 jobs and sold 14 birds from it. I dont use the phone book just the web site. Bobby if you havent seen mine its www.taxidermytexas.com
That's what I would expect someone that doesn't have a website to say. I saw a large increase in business once I had a website. Most of that business was local (within 100 miles), but occasionally I get a job that isn't. I just finished a fish for a website customer that is being shipped out in time for Christmas which can be seen in my "first pike" thread in the Fish category, and had a guy from LA call about 1, and maybe 2 moose shoulder mounts. One of the hardest things for me to get phone prospects to do was come by the shop and view the showroom to compare. Now I send them to the web address, and they at least get an idea what to expect. As for not being able to point out the flaws, you also don't get any praises so it really does nothing for the ego. I agree with Bobbi about everyone posting their work. I like to compare the work of others, to the advice I'm getting from them. I think it helps validate the information.
I agree with you 100% Cole. Not sure how it is an ego trip? I love that I can have customers see my work before they come in so they know about what to expect. Now when I get my work up to the quality of yours, I will be doing really well. BTW, nice website, there are some great mounts on there. That coyote is my favorite coyote mount I have ever seen.....it is awesome.
Thats why Dodge, Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Toyota all have websites, it's not that they are promoting their vehicles... its because of their egos... LOL
Thanks for stroking my ego. LOL My website is a work in progress. I'm not very computer savvy and designed it myself so it's not quite as professional looking as many, but it serves it's purpose. Hopefully by the end of next year I can have most of the older mounts on there replaced.
LMAO, great point. Isn't it fun ganging up on George.
Glad I could stroke your ego, after all, I know that is the only reason any of us even have websites! My problem is the pictures don't look nearly as good to me as the actual mounts. I really struggle with getting a nice picture.....I think it is as much of an art as the taxidermy sometimes.
Marty I could not agree more. I have several pictures of good mounts and the pictures look like hell. I need to take a class or something. Some folks pictures are remarkable.
We all need to take photography lessons from wa and *
Those 2 are the masters of Taxidermy, and photoghraphy. * had a tutorial of sorts a while back about how he takes his pictures. I was surprised how simple it was. Darrell I have what I consider my best whitetail mount to date, and the pictures just will not come out. Over the Christmas break I have I am going to re-do some lighting I have and use a tripod to try to get better shots. I usually get mad and just take the mount outside.....I can usually get a better picture that way.
I actually like the outside photos, it creates a more realistic impression.
But then again, getting a GOOD outside shot is rather like a crap shoot, too many variables whereas in a good studio you can control the outcome.
Of course I don't think even a high end Canon camera, tripod and diffused lighting or an Old Masters backdrop can help some mounts. ;D
Show me a single (as in ONE PERSON) taxidermy studio that offers the professionalism of a mega-conglomerate such as the big three or any of the industries who are providing supplies and equipment that compare to Billy Bob's Website. All I need is just one to apologize. Their websites are for MARKETING, not "look at what I did". The taxidermists who run the "high rent operations" all do it for the convenience of their customers for gaining ideas of the talent levels employed within that shop. Compairing a taxidermist's web site to the big 3 automakers is similar to comparing the posterboard handwritten sign for kids selling lemonade to the rolling light billboard in Times Square. We have websites simply because we can, they have websites so they can empoy advertising firms and have tax writeoffs. I can just see Henry Ford IV sitting in front of his PC making changes to the Ford website.
That is one of the most close-minded assanine statements you have ever made. Obviously our businesses aren't to the same scale as Ford, but what does that have to do with anything? It is still marketing. Small business isn't that different from corporate America. I wouldn't continue to pay to have my site listed if I felt it was not making me money. So what if my sign is on poster board, if it sells more lemonade it's worth it. I know you think you are right, that those of us that have websites have them to boost our egos, and nothing I say will change your mind. Your business is well established, and you don't need to market it anymore. That's great, for you. My business is still fairly new, at least to me, having took it over 7 or 8 years ago. Though lots of my business is through word of mouth, I still rely on the web to bring in new clients every year. Until you have a website, and experience the benefits for yourself, perhaps you should refrain from painting us as egotistical cyber-losers.
I made a website because it makes me feel cool 8)
Plus I did it for a living for the past 4 years :-* I actually got several customers from my website this year, AND I have stuff for sale on there occassionally, all of which has always gotten sold, THROUGH my website.
I don't have a website simply because I can. I got it because it is a smart way to MARKET a business, large or small. It has paid for itself 50 times over so far. There are many people, including myself, who don't even look in the phone book. Many people who want to find something go right to Google and search for it. I am not saying you have to have one to be successful, or that you will be successful simply because you have one. It is one very valuable tool to MARKET our business. And you don't have to be a Fortune 500 company to benifit from one. The fundamentals are the same. But really, I know that some people have their mind set and God Himself couldn't change their mind. So what am I supposed to apologize for?
George, I think Cecil's starting to rub off on you ;D
Cole, I'm sure I can do better. You guys simply have ugly babies. YOU were the ones who brought Ford into this fray. Codi was the only one here honest enough to admit that. To say that your customer base uses the computer over the Yellow Pages MIGHT be possible. The Yellow Pages are a total waste. HOWEVER, my money customers don't contact me through the computer. I get a cell phone call from South Africa asking me if they should skin out the nyala lifesize or for a pedestal mount. I got one last year from British Columbia asking me if I preferred the dorsal cut on a mountain goat or I wanted a rug cut. He damned sure didn't need to Google me. I'd bet that over 50% of your "hits" are from other taxidermists comparing prices, getting ideas, or simply window shopping for either or both. Personal websites are seldom anything but "cool" and that's fine, but don't tell me they're your business lifeline. I ain't buying what you can't sell. When I visit the Thompson Center Website, I already have problems and I'm looking for a phone number. When I visit Hewlett-Packard, I'm wanting to IM their tech services about an issue. And IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THE BEAN COUNTERS, the population of hunters is aging quickly. The younger guys who are the computer geeks and who can, in just seconds, find what they need on the computer, are NOT the majority of your big money customer base. The guys that keep me solvent check their emails occasionally and read stories on the SCI and outdoor magazine sites, but that's about it. I can email them but I've learned that I'd better follow it up with a call as it may be days before they check the computer.
Cole, you talk about "closed minded" but don't insult me with that "I wouldn't continue to pay to have my site listed if I felt it was not making me money". Unless you know something that the rest of the taxidermy industry hasn't found out, most of us continue doing taxidermy simply because we love it. If that means we spend frivilously to be "cool", then we do it. For MOST of us, the best way to end up with a million dollars in taxidermy is to start out with TWO million and wait ten years. Closed minded is having an ugly baby and getting mad when somebody tells you it is. I'll probably get a website AGAIN someday soon, but I'll get it just because it's "cool" and I can post pictures of some of my mounts along with telling those who will read how much I love me - just like most of you do.
And do you know what MOST IRONIC. Here we are fighting about internet ads in a posting from a guy who says he can do a competition squirrel in 45 minutes or less. See what I mean about taxidermists???
George I love ya man, you give great advice, but somedays I think you need to just pull your lip over your head and swallow ;D
Actual, factual numbers from www.hidetanning.net. These are actual IP count numbers, not hits. Hits are an inflated number.
You are looking at right at 70% domestic traffic, and the balance international.
Sure are a lot of taxidermists in the world, huh?
Each web site I maintain generates over 1,000 pages of stats by the end of a month, and I do not fool around with going that deep.
My guesstimate would be that roughly 20% of this total would be taxidermists.
About the only thing I would agree with you on, Unc, is that a pretty good percentage of taxidermists' web sites visitors are other taxidermists. I've been playing this game long enough to recognize the fact, and can also back that up with statistics if I were really pressed.
Recognizing that is one thing, doing something about it is another.
That was the inspiration for hidetanning.net, and the web advertising/linking program we figured out. I'm sure there are a number of taxidermists involved in this program that can verify results.
Advertising is advertising.
I just had a flash back. The guy that owned the hosting server that the company site was first hosted with told me that the web did not work for 90% of the people because 90% of the people didn't know how to make the web work for them. (Codi! Fix your homepage! You've got well over 200 kb downloading! Get that under 60!)
Web sites are a royal pain, and there is only one reason I do it. C$a$n y$o$u g$u$e$s$s what that reason is?
Cole, I'm giving you an invitation to join in with us. Bobby, you're another one. Codi, not until you get that home page under 60 kb.
Signed. Yer other uncle, the nice one.
The funny thing about this is it could go on forever. It seems like we just have a hard time seeing this from another person's perspective. I have no idea what it is like to have a reputation and a strong customer base. George, if I wait on that call from Africa, I don't think I'll be doing a whole lot of work. I look forward to getting established and earning a reputation that sells my work without any advertising. Now look at it from my perspective. I am still active duty Air Force, and in 3 years I will be moving probably to my last assignment. In my case, I evaluated the alternatives I had, asked a ton of questions on here, and made my decisions how to get started. For me this is a practice run for when I retire and try to make a living doing this. I know I am just a little guy, but I was pleased to bring in over 30 jobs with nothing but a website, and a few mounts at Gander Mountain and Dick's Sporting Goods. At least 20 of my customers found me on the internet, complimented my site and brought me their trophy. If I was staying here, that customer base would be a good start to build on. Again, in the hopes of earning a reputation in the area that required no advertising. So I think it is foolish to brush of any tool to accomplish our goals of getting customers. My business degree taught me to be a successful business, I have to evaluate my potential customers and find as many ways as possible to get them in my doors. After that, from the hand shake on, it is up to me to earn their business. And as you know, you can't learn that in college. OK, I think I have rambled too much, and lost my train of thought.....LOL.