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Developer/CTA Interview
Shane Stiles
President, gate39media
Interview Date: February, 2008
Interviewed by John F. Gallwas ? Founder of Striker Securities
Everyone knows that internet marketing is now an important part of any financial services business, but many participants do not realize the importance of presentation as well as effective marketing tools to a successful program. As a result, we thought it might be interesting to our readers, many of which are system developers, CTA's, CPO's as well as other brokers, to interview an old friend of ours, who is also a board member of the National Introducing Brokers Association.

Shane Stiles, is Founder and President of Chicago based gate39MEDIA that specializes in developing web-based solutions and design materials that are customized to fill each customer needs. The firm offers a creative comprehensive menu of services which include logo design, brochures, and web development. Shane started the company after web development positions with and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
John Gallwas: Is there a story behind the name gate39MEDIA?

Shane Stiles: As a hobby, my dad used to race cars at local quarter-mile tracks. The number on the car was 39 and this kind of became a lucky number for the family. I added the word "gate" to give our business a global feeling without using the word "international" or "global", and "media" encompasses the various formats we work in?online and in print.

John Gallwas: We all know that first impressions are important and in web design we understand critical. Tell our readers the key points they need to know about web design.

Shane Stiles: A website that not only looks professional, but is easy-to-use, and clearly conveys your service offerings and benefits makes both a strong and positive impression on any potential customer. With today's technology a small company can compete on a par with a larger competitor. By conveying benefits to customers clearly, adding special features, and differentiating yourself?you can attract customers.

John Gallwas: Some of our readers do not have the time or interest to develop their own web site and or marketing program. What recommendations do you have should they decide to outsource the program to a firm like yours?

Shane Stiles: Be prepared to discuss what features are required, the amount of content of the site and how their company differentiates themselves from their competitors. Most importantly, what is the goal of the web site, what is it supposed to do?

The goal of your website is not primarily to look good, but to make money! When customers visit your website, what do you want the desired action to be? Filling out an inquiry form, requesting a free trial, or making a purchase are all ways to fulfill that final goal. It?s easy to get distracted by splashy technologies like Flash that look cool, but are not necessary to achieve your goal. Be ready to discuss what you need to make a sale.

What features do you want on your site and do they support your goal? Do you require the ability to update your site with company news or information yourself, provide customers with performance reports, feature a blog, do you need a login area for your customers to access account information? List out the features you require immediately to help you build sales, versus those that would be nice to have or for a future version of the web site.

Content is often one of the most difficult parts of developing a website and this exercise will help you determine how much needs to be written and the size of your website. Put together in Word, a simple Roman numeral outline containing the major and minor sections of your website. This will be used to build a sitemap outlining the structure of your web site. Well written text is key to clearly defining your products and services and to engaging a customer to take the next step.

These are just some of the questions we ask clients in an initial meeting. This helps us gauge the scope of a project, pinpoint needs, make recommendations and develop a proposal.

Putting together a web site is a combination of design, marketing, technical and industry expertise. When working with a web development firm, you?ll want to be sure they can handle all aspects of the project and will work closely with you. Web sites typically run $5000-10,000 depending upon your requirements. Clients have come to us after spending huge amounts of time trying to do it themselves, hiring an independent contractor who later disappears, or uses a designer without the technical knowledge required. All costly in the number of potential lost sales, time lost, and expense in building another site.

John Gallwas: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers at this time?

Shane Stiles: Just because your web site is up and running and sales inquiries are coming in doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. Technology advances quickly and so does your competition. You need to keep on top of everything and constantly maintain your site to continue to hold on to your advantage. All the more important if the Internet is your primary method sales tool.

The internet is a great equalizer. Even with a limited budget, your web site can make customers feel comfortable with your services and leading them to take action as easily as your competitor's. We help companies achieve these goals.

Lastly, I would like to thank Striker Securities for featuring us in the Striker Report. Striker Securities has had a long reputation for providing its affiliates and customers with quality service and support, and is a great example of using today's technology to build its business.
This interview is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation of any kind. Trade only with risk capital. The risk of trading can be substantial and each investor and/or trader must consider whether trading systems are a suitable investment.
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