Does anyone have information about AIS Media?
I am looking around at franchises which build websites, or manage on-line advertising campaigns, or do search engine optimization work for local companies, or preferably all three.
The idea is that I market to local businesses and have the backing and name and reputation of a big company behind me.
The obvious one is WSI and they seem pretty good, but has anyone heard anything about AIS Media? They claim a lot on their website, http://www.aismedia.com/ but to me they are an absolute unknown. Their Featured Projects page looks a little thin.
Any information, knowledge or even hear-say, will be gratefully received
Do it yourself
Big promises, high cost, low return. Leads promised, but no one finds them in search for website design. Good marketers - for themselves. Partner websites not optimized well - and hard to update. They all have the same text, thus get no search respect. Too much anonymity. They don't want partners to talk to each other. Lots of selling training, little technical.
Communications from them to partners also anonymous - from 'technical support' or 'project team'. They lead you to believe they are a big company, but really only into lower 2 digits in employees. President promotes himself well as expert on internet marketing and is interviewed often. Lots of press releases about interviews. Pay for fakish 'awards' and tout them.
Don't see any releases about product updates or technical triumphs. Searches for email marketing or ecommerce never turn up their proprietary products. Don't show up on payment method (PayPal, etc) certified developers lists. Hosting account overpriced, domains overpriced - you should sign up to be a GoDaddy or 1and1 reseller or other reputable registrar.
You do all the work re: content etc, still takes months to get simple sites done. Rigid process - don't really treat partners as 'partners'. Good luck on complicated projects. Little cooperation with estimating big projects. Any discounts you give to customers come out of your cut. Their cut is on the high side already.
If you have any tech skills, you are better off doing this yourself. Local SMBs are screaming for support from anyone that knows a little. Learn local search techniques and a little optimization. Few SMBs know about Google, Yahoo , and Bing local business directories or Merchant Circle, Yelp, and many others. SIgn up to re-sell iContact or Constant Contact - learn how to sell added value services to SMBs.
Check into Google Sites for simple stuff, Joomla for more complicated. Build some local non-profit sites (free or really cheap) to build your rep. Join a networking group like BNI. Referral business will eventually get you there if you can show some results. Networking will get you business, leads from your 'partner' will not (if you even GET any leads).
Partnering gets you no credibility - your results and relationships do. If your skills are purely sales and marketing, find a local designer who is technical and needs sales help. Partner there instead of draining your bank account with partner fees. GoDaddy and others even have 'custom' designs you can resell - without heavy upfront fees.
Don't pay $30K plus for reputation - it won't help you.
You might have saved me (and others) from an expensive mistake.
Since writing my question above I've found out quite a bit more about them - none of it good. I've already signer up 3 companies to build quite big websites for, found an offshore company, which seems quite good, to build them for me, and one local hot-shot programmer who should be able to handle any really advanced requirements.
Getting off to a good start, actually.
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