For those who could not attend this historic event that took place in Chicago on March 28th, 2012 at Depaul University, I have provided a recap of the meeting and a brief background on what brought the 24 of us together on this evening.
Setting the Stage
The group was formed to educate, support, and inspire local business owners, website designers/developers, online marketers, and students around the topic of building and promoting businesses online with Adobe Business Catalyst. This group is a first step in building a local community around a product that I am extremely passionate about and use everyday. I look forward to learning from, teaching and networking with passionate, talented individuals in the Chicagoland area.
Welcome to the Meeting
At this meeting we welcomed 18 attendees who consisted of the following:
- Current Business Owners who use Business Catalyst
- Day-to-day Users of Business Catalyst
- Aspiring Entrepreneurs
- Online Marketers
- Non BC Developers interested in learning about BC
Presentation: Landing Page Optimization
Presenter: Kelly Muldoon - Connect to Patients
To kickoff the event, I introduced Kelly Muldoon, a woman who has been successfully helping dentists bring more patients through their door, around the clock, for the past 8 years. Kelly's unique approach is the culmination of her online marketing expertise, experience, and research.
Traffic + Conversion = Profits
Kelly highlighted various techniques on how to convert the traffic once they get to your website. She discussed the many types of people who visit your website and how focusing on the often neglected groups can increase your conversions and profits in the long run. The 4 different types of people who may visit your website include:
- People who are interested and ready to commit now
- People who are interested but are not ready to commit now
- People who are somewhat interested but need further information/persuasion
- People who are not interested at all
You can ignore group #4. The most opportunity to differentiate you from competitors is in groups 2 and 3. If someone is not immediately ready to take your desired step, you should have a plan to move people from groups 2 and 3 to group 1. Practical examples from Kelly’s presentation:
- Weekly Dental Hygiene Tips Email Marketing Campaign
- This campaign provides useful information to the potential patient, constantly reinforces the dentists brand, and keeps the patient coming back to the website. This strategy works well for people in both groups 2 and 3.
- Information Packet Download
- After giving up basic information, the user can download a PDF that contains more information about the service (such as sedation dentistry). This appeals to the 3rd group who may be ready to commit if they become convinced that Sedation Dentistry is right for them.
Presentation: Building a BC Website in 30 Minutes
Presenter: Scott Shefler - Chicago Digital
Next I introduced seasoned BC Developer and cofounder of Chicago Digital, Scott Shefler. In just 30 minutes Scott gave the audience a demonstration on how to put together a basic website in Business Catalyst. The audience discovered how templates, content holders, photo galleries, dynamic menus, and web apps can be built with ease. The developers in the room were excited to see that this functionality works right within HTML and CSS.
Business Catalyst Resources
BC Gurus (left)
BC Gurus has emerged as one the industry's leading blogs. Their Pro Community is a fantastic resource for Business Catalyst Partners who are looking to take their business to the next level. Brent Weaver and team provide valuable information around various topics including sales, design, and development (just to name a few).
Kiyuco (not pictured)
Kiyuco is the go-to resource for development tips and tricks. Jason Tinnin provides videos along with code snippets to create an enjoyable learning experience.
TribeVita provides websites ready to go, out of the box. TribeVita goes beyond a traditional template resource by providing full integration with Business Catalyst. All attendees of the meeting received a discount code good for 20% off any template purchase.
Do you have a great resource for the Adobe Business Catalyst community? Please let me know.
- Is Business Catalyst compatible with HTML5?
- Since Business Catalyst works natively within HTML and CSS, Business Catalyst is compatible with HTML5. You would write your HTML5 code as you normally would and insert the BC tags within the HTML.
- Is Business Catalyst scalable?
- No server or database setups allow for easy replication of websites. Also, these websites are hosted on Adobe's cloud infrastructure, meaning you do not have to migrate servers as your website's traffic and bandwidth grows.
- How BC is Setup (If you are a business owner and want to get a website built with BC, what kinds of people or skill sets do you need to hire)?
- This question depends on whether you go the custom or templated route. The Adobe Paradigm for the custom route is a simple 3 step process:
- Design your website in Photoshop (need a designer for this)
- Code your website in Dreamweaver (need a front end developer for this)
- Integrate, Host, Manage, and Run your website in Business Catalyst (need a BC Partner for this)
- Existence of plugins or app marketplaces?
- The global BC community is still in its infancy and there are only a few resources out there. As of today there are not any common app marketplaces (to my knowledge) as you would think about this in the context of other systems: like WordPress, Salesforce, etc.
Before and after the event attendees networked while enjoying food and beverages. I had the pleasure of conversing with a variety of people and I look forward to seeing both familiar and unfamiliar faces at our monthly meetings.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this exciting event and I am extremely pleased to see people coming together to enhance our collective knowledge.
To stay up to date on the latest meetings, please visit our Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/Chicago-BC/