WINTER GARDEN — Since founding Wallfrog in 2006 in Connecticut, Lou Ferraro and Mike Stanczyk have tried to help other businesses with branding and web design on a personal level.
“Really, the website is the hub of everyone’s marketing efforts, so we want to make sure that has the right look and has the right setup to attract visitors into paying customers,” said Ferraro, CEO.
In October, Ferraro and Stanczyk, the president, expanded to a second in-person location in Winter Garden.
“Basically, the explosion of growth in the area (attracted us), and of course it doesn’t hurt with the nice weather,” Ferraro said.
The idea behind Wallfrog is to tailor a website and brand to each particular business or client, considering aspects such as driving web traffic, social media, graphics and photos.
“For us, it’s really taking the time to get to know our clients and get to know their goals and challenges, really getting them to think about, in detail, who their client is,” Ferraro said. “When you know who your client is, it’s a lot easier to know how to attract that kind of client. Far too often, most web design companies throw up a glorified brochure: just the basics of who we are, what we do, and how to get ahold of us. But we dig deeper. We want a site to be well branded, easy to navigate, updated graphics, but bottom-line, it needs to be useful and valuable to a client.”
Image is one key to business success, and the intricacies of photography are an area in which Wallfrog specializes, so that businesses with great products and services can properly display them, Ferraro said. Among photography offerings of the company are headshots, products, buildings, vehicles and aerial photography.
“With the explosion of drones coming on the scene, it’s opened up a lot of things that wouldn’t be feasible or affordable in the past, with the video and images we can now capture with a drone,” Ferraro said. “We’re sensitive to issues like privacy, so we’re trying to find the right mix.”
An example of this aerial photography would be real-estate developers, who can walk land but might like to see it from a bird’s-eye view, Ferraro said.
“It comes down to follow through, what you do with images after the fact, turning those into compelling marketing pieces after that,” he said. “Shooting footage is the easy part. Since we can incorporate video, sound, graphics, we can turn that into something to use for a business.”
But each product should be unique, because each business is unique, Ferraro said.
“One business could be the same line of work but with goals and challenges that are completely different,” he said. “Our challenge is to differentiate between the two, especially online. You can’t have the greatest online marketing in the world and not tell anyone about it. You can’t have tunnel vision being concerned about getting found online but not have the capital or ability to convert that to paying customers. There’s a lot of people in my line of work who can build a technical website that functions, but the marketing falls far short of the goal.”
Within website functioning, Wallfrog wants to show the potential business a site can generate, ensuring ideal display, working on mobile devices and including proper content, Ferraro said.
“Our business has done well these nine years in just really sitting down and educating our clients, first and foremost,” he said. “One of our big goals is to provide an honest, valuable service. Far too many people in my line are selling something without substance. People find themselves in bad situations where they don’t even control their domain name and can’t access it to update it.”
Even with great marketing and branding, the most important aspects of business are connections, referrals and how a business is run, Ferraro said.
“That’s sometimes lost on owners,” he said. “People now are conditioned to verify, so even if they get a referral from a trusted source, they can get a little more confidence from a good website to get more information. Even with current clients, it can make business that much smoother and easier. That’s what really sets us apart.”
The customer is always right and always comes first.
“Honestly, we just want to help them make the best choice for the business, even if that means directing them to a competitor,” Ferraro said. “It’s got to be right. These are people’s businesses and livelihoods.”
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].
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