As President of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, I have been working directly with Karen Callahan for 16 years. We have worked together to create 3 Websites for the Marlborough Regional Chamber.
Karen has a phenomenal skill for organizing the work it takes to complete a project. She creates schedules that I could meet with her guidance during periodic meetings to discuss progress. The way she manages the project and stays on top of things was by sending email statuses and reminders of upcoming deadlines.We also had a change process in place which enabled us to then negotiate changes mid-project.
The most impressive quality that Karen Callahan has is that she does custom programming as well as working on web strategy. She created programs for us in 2001 that we used all the way through to August 2015. For the latest website, she created a PLUGIN that helps us save time enabling us to be more productive and more responsive to our audience. As a result, we can runt the plugin as many times as we want and no technical expertise is needed.
We have a very small staff and Karen trained all of us on how to use WordPress. She also created certain documents we needed. She has met with us several times since the launch of our latest website (August 2015) in order to answer staff questions and demonstrate how the website works.
Karen Callahan spells out what she is going to do and does it by delivering the finished project on time and within budget.
I was greatly concerned about all of the unusual replies I was getting every time I posted a new blog. What language is that? Russian? Polish?
I tried working with my hosting service and they could only talk to me in “techie speak”.
I had no idea what to do to make sure my website and separate blog site were updated, protected, and backed up. I mentioned my dilemma to Karen and she said, “I can do that for you.” What a relief! I immediately signed up for the WordPress Website Upgrade package.
Every month, without fail, I get an email saying that all updates, upgrades, virus checks, and backups are done for both of my websites. I never even think about it!
I can now do what I do best: focus on my job, run my small business, and help my clients. I’ll never be a tech person, but am delighted that Karen is! And, she’s in my corner. Definitely one of the best business support people I have on my team. One very relieved customer – Marcia Mantell, Mantell Retirement Consulting and Boomer Retirement Briefs
And that’s not all…
Sometimes it takes a few tries, and a few years, to get the hang of all the steps you need to take to get a real bang out of a blog. I’ve been writing a blog for several years now. It’s mostly a creative outlet, but it’s also a big piece of building my brand. It’s not getting nearly the traffic I’d like it to have. Enter Karen Callahan. She is a really smart SEO coach. A couple of years back, she explained how SEO works, why you need key words, and so forth. But, it was hard to do. Frankly, it’s all I can do to get the blog posts written, take the photos to support the blog, upload it to WordPress, and get the word out on my social media channels. So, I skipped that SEO stuff. Talk about a bad idea!
This year I had a great idea: why don’t I ask Karen for another lesson in SEO? Again, she said, “I can do that.” We had our first lesson that included a review of several of my recent posts as part of Karen’s Add SEO to WordPress package. Wow! Karen was great at critiquing my titles (“this one is great”, “what were you thinking with that one?”), showing me how and where key words need to be in the blog, and kindly explaining all that I am doing incorrectly.
It really is something you need to see and hear in order to get better at blogging. Most importantly for me, she helped me find ways to keep my creativity in how I want to write balanced with the reality that I have to work with the SEO machinery. For the first time, I feel that I can boost my content and will find new readers as a result of adding SEO to my WordPress blog. One very grateful client – Marcia Mantell
Linda Tatten of Travel by Tatten, Marlborough, Massachusetts, waited a while to have her first website developed. Being in the travel industry, she had seen many cookie-cutter type websites. They all looked and functioned the same. She did not want that for herself.
Linda’s travel experience and professionalism differentiate her from other travel agents. She wanted that to be reflected in her website, and, she wanted her website to be visually colorful and interesting like so many of the countries she had visited, and provide a reason for visitors to return time and time again.
“When you have a home office, a Website becomes your storefront,” says Tatten. “It gives me a professional face and I can use it to showcase my experience and offer clients more information on my travel services. My Website also differentiates me from other travel agents.”
Now that she has a Web presence, Tatten has attracted more new clients, including one who used her to book over $15,000 in international travel. “This client said they would only do business with a company that had a Website,” says Tatten. “When they found my site, they were impressed with its professional appearance.”
The Website has also helped Tatten save time and money. “I have cut back the number of mailings I do because I can now use my blog to announce and promote the trips I coordinate. The blog is more cost-effective than postal mailings and it’s a fast and effective way to reach my clients.”
Tatten’s site visitors and clients are expressing their appreciation for her Website and the information it provides. “People say it’s an excellent site – one of the best they’ve seen,” she says.
Tatten herself is thrilled with the overall experience of building and running her Website and blog. “Karen is one-stop shopping,” says Tatten. “She develops and designs the site, and then she shows you how to use the site to get the most out of your investment. She helped me with what to write in the blog, the words to use to attract visitors and using the blog to obtain maximum visibility. In addition to being extremely professional and knowledgeable, Karen is very supportive, patient at explaining how things work, and she makes great suggestions.”