If the solution don’t fit, you must acquit!

I’ve been working pretty¬†aggressively¬†on my project this week and I still feel pretty far from a finished product. The struggles from last week continued onto this week. Depending on someone else for content is a little frustrating but these are struggles we’ll all face in the real world should be end up becoming account managers or project managers for a web design or advertising firm of some sort. I’ve come to the realization that not all the features you expect to have, fit for all projects.

I was keen on including a custom post type. In fact, I already built the thing and installed it onto my local server. I asked my mother/client to snap a few photos from her client’s homes and ask permission to post online. One by one they’ve either refused to allowed her to take photos of their home, or have only agreed to allow one photo of a specific room be used. After this discussion, I’ve come to the realization that my initial thought about creating a portfolio of homes cleaned — from townhomes, condos, and single-family homes — so potential clients could relate to the homes is not realistic. It also doesn’t make much sense to post that information on the web because there is a privacy concern for the home owners. No home is identical to another and the idea that someone could find comparisons between their home and a home in photos, I now realize is far fetched. I have to abandon this idea and replace it for another. Most homeowners make no qualms of posting a photo of a specific room as long as it cannot be traced back to their home. I’ve now decided to use the Instagram API in order to create a page of abstract photos of cleaning supplies or cleaned rooms in order to generate fresh content on the website.

A great lesson for this week is to try not to force something that isn’t natural to the industry you’re building a website for. It’s ok to go back on your initial ideas no matter how late in the game if it doesn’t make sense for your website. In this case a portfolio didn’t work for this industry and you have to learn to adapt and move on rather quickly. In my previous roles as a Social Media Strategist and now as a consultant, I’d get asked questions like “Can you make us a Pinterest?” from a wireless phone retailer. That industry just doesn’t fit in well with the Pinterest audience. I’ve also gotten questions about using Vine from a furniture company. Furniture doesn’t move so I didn’t see a connection between the platform and their industry. This same concept applies to web development. Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

As a secondary lesson – don’t apply for an affiliate program until AFTER you’ve uploaded your theme and exported your content to your live site. Argh!


2 thoughts on “If the solution don’t fit, you must acquit!

  1. Greg Linch

    Pivoting like this is an important lesson, but I’m curious to hear more about why you chose this an alternate feature?

    I’ve now decided to use the Instagram API in order to create a page of abstract photos of cleaning supplies or cleaned rooms in order to generate fresh content on the website.

    What value do these unrelated photos add? What is the purpose of including them? How will visitors perceive them?

  2. Luis Gonzalez Post author

    There are a few reasons for this alternate feature. After having to give up on the portfolio idea it in essence eliminated most of my visual content on the site.

    The photos are still related to the business. Using the Instagram API to post visual content will allow me to increase the amount of time users spend on the site, which could generate a possible lead for the business (at least i’m hoping). The photos show an element of transparency in an industry that is riddled with mistrust for cleaning professionals in your home. The photos will show the employees hard at work, products they use, etc.

    I believe the photos will be welcomed by her existing clients and her potential future clients that are trying to choose between a big brand like Molly Maids and an independent cleaning company. I think that this feature will be more influential for converting leads (and purchases) rather than my initial portfolio custom post type idea.


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