Dear Fellow Lover of Abaan,
Please forgive my intrusion into your busy life today but I am writing to you because I believe we have something in common…our love for Abaan Outsourcing (Ashwini, Dave and the whole team) and our total lack of interest and understanding of the complicated, technical world of internet marketing. I often feel overwhelmed and way too busy. I have a full time job with a long commute and am of the generation that longs for the days when life was less stressful and our electronic devices just had an on/off button. Does any of that ring true for you? If so, then please read on and I will tell you a little about me and how I came to know and love Abaan…and sadly, (which i just recently came to understand) how my love of Abaan is actually hurting Abaan. If the length of this letter is daunting (it would be for me), then skip to the highlighted 2nd to last paragraph.
I have 3 vacation rentals that are near and dear to my heart…and to be honest are more a work of the heart and passion rather than a business. I started my endeavor in 2005 with listings on various vacation rental websites. Early on I was told I needed my own website…so, I searched hard to find a website designer I could afford (which was not much). Well, I got what I paid for…not much. Then I stumbled into an individual who could create for me a personalized website that had some heart. Yes, it was much more expensive but it had the “feel” I was looking for and those who visited my site gave me many positive comments about the “feel” of the site. It was so informative and easy to navigate but at the same time was warm and welcoming…with “heart”. Of course, I was happy because that was what I wanted to convey…that was what I wanted to hear. Those kudos fed my ego. Every year or year and a half my “warm and welcoming” website would need to be upgraded to reflect changes and that was a big expense but well worth it because I loved my “warm and welcoming” website and the feedback I received. In addition to this expense, each year I would hire a company or 2 to do some marketing/SEO. The returns on my investments were minimal if anything.
When you have an online listing, you become the target of the very competitive world of online marketers. On a weekly basis, I receive at least 30 emails and 5 phone calls (usually from people with heavy accents…often Indian…which I can barely understand) by online companies promising to get me to first page on Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. Frankly, not understanding the technical lingo of this modern world, of this all of these offers sound amazing. So each year I would fall prey to the slick marketers…and each year I would be disappointed to learn that the introductory offer was just to get started and if I wanted better results I would need buy the next level of service. I am a slow learner…and a bit gullible…so over the years, I “donated” a lot of money to these companies.
I first came to know about Abaan Outsourcing early September 2011 but I did not become a client until a year later, September 2012. Our initial contact began with one of those phone calls from someone with a heavy Indian accent and a name I couldn’t pronounce or make sense of. I had just signed a contract for a year with one of his competitors so told him my advertising budget was done for the year…”call me back next year”. (The classic stall technique when you really have no interest but can’t be direct and appear rude to this person just trying to learn a living.) So nearly a year passes, it is August 2012, I have received no business from the company I had hired a year ago but I am contacted by another marketing company who promises the world. Wow! It sounds fantastic! So what do I do…I sign a years contract (I told you I was a slow learner). Then it is September and I received a call from Ashwini -Abaan Outsourcing, of whom I had totally forgotten but quickly recalled our conversation and felt terrible because once again I had spent my advertising budget and the timing was bad. Thanks to the technology of caller ID, I could avoid his calls for a couple of weeks but realized I needed to fess up that I had forgotten about our call (never really expecting him to call back) and had hired someone else. That phone call was not a quick apology and goodbye but a turning point for me and my vacation rentals. It was a lengthy conversation and in true Abaan/ Ashwini form without any slick marketing pressure (I bet you have experienced this, too), I learned so much about online marketing and my beloved existing website (like the fact that it was not even searchable no matter how much I paid for SEO.) Why would someone who would not be receiving a share of my marketing budget be willing to spend so much of their valuable time helping to educate a virtual stranger? The conversation was like nothing I had ever experienced. I got a sense that this was a company like no other…a company of hard working individuals with the highest integrity and ethics who above all, want their clients to succeed. I knew I had found a company driven by “heart” not the corporate model of greed. Well…I hired Abaan. Now, because I had 2 marketing company’s working concurrently, I could compare quality and results. It will not surprise you when I say…there was no comparison on any level. Abaan Outsourcing has my trust and all my business. I talk about Abaan to everyone. I love Abaan!!!
I am insanely busy (I have a full time job and the 3 vacation rentals are very hands on and probably more than a full time job)…but even if I weren’t so busy, I really have no interest in the “technical” world or marketing or Facebook or Blogs or “content”. In fact, I hate to write. I will do anything to avoid writing. So when Ashwini or Dave ask me to provide “content” for my website, it is like pulling teeth to get me to comply. I confess…I am a “big time slacker”. Partly it is because I hate to write but also it is because I know my account with them is “small potatoes” and I don’t want to make more work for them or be a bother. I know their level of commitment to their clients. I know how busy they are and how hard they work. I feel guilty knowing I cause them additional work for so little return on their efforts.
I am coming to understand that my love of Abaan is actually hurting Abaan. How can that be? Let me try to explain it simply with my very basic understanding of the changing world of online marketing. My small business website is one of many hosted by Abaan…on their servers. What I hadn’t understood until yesterday, is that having my website designed by Abaan and simply letting it “be” on the host servers is not enough…it becomes an entity taking up valuable space and not helping me (which I was OK with) but definitely, not helping Abaan Outsourcing to grow. In order for Abaan to grow they must become a brand name. To actually be of service to Abaan and give back a little of what they have given me I need to get over my guilt that I am causing them to work too hard for the low return on their efforts. I now realize that the active promotion of my “small potatoes” website along with all the other small websites is what will most help both me, you and Abaan. I need to be more compliant. I need to provide “content…content…content”. Abaan can only become noticed and grow when the websites they host become noticed. In other words, our small websites become more valuable the higher their ranking on google. When the websites hosted by Abaan are ranked on the first page of Google, then Abaan Outsourcing gains brand name recognition and grows and isn’t that what we all want…a company with “heart” to become a competitor with the corporate model of greed.
To be honest, because Ashwini and Dave are..
is who they are he is (kind, patient, supportive and willing teachers) for their his clients, I had little appreciation of the “whole picture”. Now it seems so obvious to me. The unique Abaan approach to the business model can only survive and thrive with actively engaged clients. When I had my “Aha moment” yesterday, it occurred to me that perhaps there are other clients like me with “small potato” companies who don’t really like to be a bother and cause Abaan more work. I thought it might be helpful if I wrote in simple, non technical language the way I now understand marketing and how to help Abaan grow. Having shared with you how much I hate/dread writing, I hope you will appreciate even more my confessions and efforts to aid your understanding.
You are welcome to contact me.
Abaan client since Oct 2012