Please introduce yourself: I bring a broad range of experiences and training to my new career as an Internet Marketing Consultant. In addition to my Bachelor of Vocational/Technical Education, I have a Computer Diploma. I've been in Internet web site design for the past five years, and the agricultural site I'm webmaster for is recognized nationally by the Department of Agriculture as being an excellent example of an online marketing success. Provincially, I speak at agricultural conferences and Internet marketing training sessions.
Currently I am developing an Internet web portal for agriculture and agribusiness in the Canadian prairie provinces. With my research into this area I have plans for at least two books on developing and marketing web sites in this sector.
Web site design and marketing, however, are just one component of my Internet activities. With my degree in adult education, I am a course designer for BostonReed.com, and Ed2Go.com, as well as an instructor with the Barnes and Nobel University and Ed2Go.
In the next few months I have a total of seven books coming out through electronic publishers in Texas, New Mexico, Minnesota and Vancouver. Six of these are for children, and one is a collection of adult short stories.
Tell us about your business. I offer consulting work on web site design and marketing strategies. I speak at conferences, training sessions, or through teaching programs. Using a specially developed rubric for evaluation I will rate your web site's potential on a scale of 1 to 10, providing full particulars as to faults and problem areas.
How did you get started in this business? I started designing web sites with my personal web site. In the first year I was online my income from writing increased from the bottom 10% of writer's incomes in Saskatchewan to the level of the top 10% of writer's income in Saskatchewan. I then developed my family's appaloosa horse ranch web site, which is where I became very interested in agricultural marketing via the Internet.
What was your greatest career challenge and how did you over come it? Getting my degree - it took me fifteen years of night classes, correspondence classes, satellite classes and Internet classes, to graduate in 2000 at the age of 45.
Do you work out of your house? What challenges do you face working at home and how do you deal with them? I have an office in my home, and wouldn't want it any other way. There is always the potential for interruption, but that is also true in an office anywhere. I inform family members when I am working, and expect no interruptions. I find that there are no problems as long as I remember that just because my office is in my home I shouldn't work all the time - family time is very important!
What sets you apart from your competitors? My perspective is entirely different from other consultants working with Internet marketing and web design. To my knowledge there aren't any other consultants working in agriculture or agribusiness. I also find that my degree in adult education is extremely important for success in my career.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of? My degree - not very many people who start at my age can finish a degree on a part-time basis. I never had the luxury of just attending school - I was the main family wage earner the whole time I worked on my degree.
The recognition at various levels - and from my family - on how successful the QAR appaloosa ranch web site has been.
Are there any books, classes, or other sources of education that you found helpful when you were starting up? I think that education is important - and experience. I was part-time self-employed for fifteen years before I left the paid workforce.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting up, what would it be? Choose self-employment that you love because it consumes most of your personal leisure time! Don't just pick something that you think will be successful, because you have to have intuition about what moves to make, and when to make them, for self-employment to work.
Is there anything else you would like to share? There is unlimited potential on the Internet - you just have to be aggressive enough to go out and find what you want.
Are there any links you would like to share with us?