The Fourth Session of Cif Talk

For the fourth Session of Cif Talk we had Matt Sicotte on the line. He wishes to build an online presence and a steady income through it. 

I knew that Matt had a blog, http://umattr.info/ which really looks nice and has some great articles. He said that he’s been marketing the blog for almost a year now and asked for a few ideas on it. I gave them happily. Being the Lead Web Designer at Cifnet Ltd. for about 10 months now, I certainly could offer him some tips and hints on what he should  improve in the blog.

As every good businessman, Matt wants to find another idea for online revenue. I told him that when he comes up with the idea, we will be there to help and give him the right materials to build his business from.

He liked the fact that he’ll get free hosting and that he will be able to easily modify the content of the website himself, on cif2.net

I really look forward to seeing what he will come up with.

How to Win More Clients ?

Yes, I’ve seen that most of my fellow web designers overlook the “basics” of getting more clients.

If a potential client orders a design from you (by e-mail, quotations, etc) and he wants it done fast, you call him back ! Yes, pick up the phone and do just that. Don’t let things in the air, like leave them be and see if they solve themselves, because they don’t. The webdesign sector is filled with a whole lot of web designers. Of course, only few of them actually know what they’re doing, but clients don’t know that. 

You have to call him back, because he will also call other designers. As I’ve told you, there are a lot of choices (no matter how good or bad they are). Especially, when the potential client wants the website done fast, you act immediately.

Great, you called him and had a little conversation over the phone. In a conversation over the phone, most clients cannot fully explain what they want. With time, you will get to figure each person out and be able to deal with them much better.

Still, if he is from your town, or just came to your town and wants to meet with you for further discussions, you leave your beer, your plans with the Xbox or whatever and try to have a meeting. Most people want to know who they actually work with, even if you’re a freelancer or a company (and no matter how old a company, most of the times). Think of it as a job interview, if you will. No pressure, right ? 😛

So you have a meeting at the office or wherever and he tries to re-explain how he wants his website. If you see he’s sanguinic, you let him talk and don’t try to look like you’re way smarter or skilled then he is. Trust me, he wouldn’t need you if you weren’t, so don’t show off unnecessarily.

That doesn’t mean that when you feel he needs a little guidance or asks for advice you shut up. No, that’s the moment in which you start talking and present all sorts of stuff you know. Example: He tells you “I wanna have the text look a little softer, I don’t like it that it’s black on white”. Here you don’t go like “Oh, but it looks great !” It’s either you lie to get the job done quicker, or you simply don’t know anything, which is WRONG ! You can even be geeky about it and say: “Yes, it’s 000000, pure black, we should try something more grey-ish, say like 333333 or 666666. I’ve seen that that’s what they use for this very popular online magazine, Mashable.com”.

Now just look at his reaction – He likes you – (it should NOT sound weird or anything). See? This way you begin to get under his skin and build a connection.

Keep doing small things like this one, offer some free professional advice, anything you can think of and don’t do it aggressively.

At the end of the meeting you should already have a contract signed and advance money in your pocket ! Keep working on your communications skills and you should get more done 😀 

The Third Session of Cif Talk – When Internet’s Mobile


Friday night I’ve held the 3rd session of Cif Talk, with Steven Lamb.

I couldn’t really get to speak to him during my time at work, so I said: Know what? I can even do this PR job from the bar :))

And that’s what I did, I took my Google Android Tablet with me in town, I’ve called the owner of Cleo Cafe and she said: Yes, we have a hotspot ! And there I went.

I talked a little to my friends and then went to the bar downstairs to catch the Wi-Fi on my device and @twitter awaited. So I finally managed to get in touch with Steven and we talked about his projects a little bit, to see where Cif2 and the Prizes might benefit him.

The website I saw he had is not something he would like to continue working on and he told me he really felt like trying to do something online. “I’ll put my thinking Cap on”, is what he said. Well i told him it was no rush and he could think of a very great project to develop, because we’re there for him, to help him build an online presence for the project and get some exposure to it.

He was excited of all this and I can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with !

Not the most “regular” place for PR activity, but it was actually great 😉 

The Second Session of Cif Talk – Artsy on the edges

Yesterday morning, we had the Second Session of Cif Talk, with Janice McGrory. She is a very cool mom and a great person. She’s actually one of the first persons with whom I could really have great conversations on Twitter.

Speaking to her before, I already knew something about what she might want to do further on, but I wanted to make sure I was right.

Some few months ago, I read a great piece of poetry written by her. What I liked about that piece was that it had strength and it managed to pierce one’s inner self with the neatly placed words. And a few weeks ago she presented  me parts of a first draft for the novel she was working on.

It is a very promising novel and her story telling is truly compelling. So I guessed she would want to use the prizes we have for her to build an online presence for her novel and to get it out there to readers all over the world. Because Cif2 will also be a place for artists, to help promote themselves without having to pay huge amounts of money.

The Cif Talk went on. She told me I wasn’t adding any pressure or anything 😛 hehe… maybe I was, but I just had to, I really want her to write the novel, it is going to be awesome and I have much faith in her and in the fact that she will come up with a thoroughly enjoyable story. 

And then the whole Prize Giving Talk, turned into a little Artsy talk about character development and places to use in a story.

You can read the whole conversation if you want, it’s on my wall @facebook. (http://www.facebook.com/florin.muresan)

The First Session of Cif Talk

Hello, hello, everyone !

I’ve just finished the first Session of Cif Talk and I’m really excited and happy about how it all went.

This session took place on Facebook and the winner I’ve talked to was Sabina Cornovac ! She’s a great person. She’s a PR executive and also a PR and Advertising student at Universitatea din Bucuresti.

She was very curoius regarding what sort of prizes she’ll get, so I told her right away and when she heard what they were she was even more glad she had won at the Who Is Cif contest.

Sabina had a project in mind, for helping her familly with their small business, but no one could help her out. And that’s where we came in. We are going to help her build an online presence for that small business. I’ve also told her how great she will be able to promote the website because of our Builder’s enhanced SEO possibilities. I told her of how she will be taught to build a great website. And I’ve also told her what awesome products we’ll be able to provide her.

She thanked us very much and we’re very glad we can help her out with our prizes.

You see? I’ve told you that we give awesome prizes, not just random prizes for prizes sake 😛 

Ideea for Mobile websites

It would be a great ideea to give users of cif2.net the possibility to have a mobile website running in paralel.

Their main website should have a detection code in php, to see if the site is being browsed on a mobile device and take the visitor to the special version of the website, made for mobiles.

I, for one, really love it that tech crunch, kiss fm, mashable and others have their website made for mobile as well. It makes them way easier and fun to read. And it is the best thing possible to implement for those who want to build online newspapers or news blogs 

We might launch this as a new product after the Launch of Cif2. You’ll see that we’ll bring a lot of cool new products every time, to make your online experience as awesome as it can get and live up to the name of The Perfect Website Builder !