For local business employees willing to make the trip to Bethesda on June 21, Congressional Country Club offered more than an area to watch the PGA Tour.
Catherine Stempfley, a business development manager at Goose Creek Consulting in Centreville, Va., endured the traffic and made an hour an a half trip to attend Web.com’s small business workshop aimed at helping companies expand their online presence.
Representing one of the 121 businesses with employees at the event, Stempfley said the event spurred inspiration for her.
“I got some new ideas about where my priorities should be,” Stempfley said, “focusing more on social media stuff versus strictly just Google headwords.”
Stempfley said she plans to use Facebook more in her marketing strategy.
Whether it’s using Facebook Ads to earn more clicks or targeting the content it posts on Facebook to more of a specific audience, Stempfley said she plans to better market her business, which provides mental health and life coaching.
“We show them under the hood,” said Justin Leedy, Web.com’s director of marketing, “Like Facebook, the advertising platform, and how them how they can choose demographic and behavioral traits to find the right kinds of people for their specific business.”
Helping businesses improve their social media presence is one of several tactics Leedy explained as he led the three-hour event.
He discussed ways for businesses to make money from their website and to ensure their websites come up on search engines using either optimal search terms or paid advertising.
But it all starts with the creation of the website, according to Sally Sternbach, the acting director for Montgomery Economic Development.
It must explain what the product does and how it will be beneficial, something Leedy also discusses during his workshops.
“We start with consumer behavior and how it’s changed and involved,” Leedy said. “Then we use that as sort of a baseline for going into how to design and build a website that’s going to be helpful, usable and confidence-inspiring to consumers.”
After doing about 16 workshops across the United States, Leedy said the group that showed up at Congressional Country Club was “probably the best, most engaged people I’ve talked to across the country.”
Hannah Hawkins, who helps organize these events, said individuals not only signed up for the free, 30-minute phone consultations, but also were eager to ask questions and talk about their business with her while they were signing up.
During these meetings, Web.com employees can offer business representatives more specific advice about how to improve their presence online.
It’s like the workshop, Hawkins said, only catered specifically to what each company is trying to accomplish.
“I going to take advantage of the consultation appointments that they set up to try to get some better ideas for exactly what our business needs,” Stempfley said.