As part of my recent excursion to Knysna, I popped into an art gallery. the artist had many very beautiful paintings from the area. There was one painting in particular of the lagoon, with the heads in the background, but at night with a full moon, and some clouds. the clouds created a bright outline, which reflected on the lagoon. This picture grabbed me, I don’t know why, it just did. But in trying to express to someone what I saw and felt when I saw this picture was just about impossible.
You see, we all perceive things differently, very very differently. This difference in perception can create a few problems for us when we try and express things to people, and even more problems when we try and sell stuff to them.
In some of the scenarios I have encountered, people have tried to explain to me verbally what they perceived. as they explain I have the opportunity to ask questions to get clarity.
When someone tries to explain things to me in writing, often it would take them many pages of carefully detailed wording, to bring across a clear message of what they are trying to tell me.
But when someone shows me a picture of what they are trying to sell me, I instantly know what they are referring to.
This is very very relevant in business. you see, we all have a product that we are trying to sell – OK some have a service – and we are trying to get the message across to our audience.
I have seen a number of websites that have a lot of text trying to explain to people what the features and benefits of their product are. they also go into great detail trying to explain how their gizmo’s can be used on a day to day basis.
What I would like to suggest is that we use images a little more. Instead of telling you what I am talking about I’ll let you have a look at some images:
Adding a gallery to our websites can greatly increase the visibility of our products. Some ideas for adding images to your product gallery include:
- showing customers the day to day usage of your product
- showing customers the manufacturing process, and how you conform to quality and standards
- showing customers your gizmo’s in action
The end result is simple, you can display your products to your clients and convince them that this is what they want and need. It will also save you, as a small business owner, a huge amount of time. you can upload photo’s and create albums in a matter of minutes, and you won’t need to spend hours writing, and trying to convey to your customers what you are trying to say.
I’m not saying that there is no need for quality copy on your website, there is and it is very important. But adding a gallery, where you can proudly showcase your gizmo’s, and gadgets, will add an interesting and intriguing dimension to your site.
In closing, I just want to add, that we need to constantly be working on our online presence. in order for us to thrive in an online market, we can never be satisfied with what we have. we need to strive to make it better and more relevant.
Ok, maybe this title is a tad strong. I have had a couple of days to recover from the hardest run I think I have ever undertaken in my many years of running. I wish I could say that I kicked butt at this year’s Yakima Skyline Rim 50K, but all I can say is that I had my butt kicked. It’s crazy too. I mean, I went into this run feeling strong, rested and confident. What I found was a course that climbed to the heavens but was hotter than hell. The views were fantastic, the aid stations complete and the other runners better than nice.
What kicked me? Well, the first spanking was mile 2 & 3, where we climbed some 2,000+ feet, straight up. This wasn’t one of those switch backs that winds up the side of a mountain. This is like in the famous miner climb in the Klondike region of Alaska.
See the miners braving the cold climbing this mountain?See how both the miners and the runners all look like ants, making their way up the trail? See where I am going with this. I am not going to bring up the fact that many of those miners died a most horrible death.Once at the top, one could see all the very cool volcanoes that we have here in Washington and epic views of the Yakima River, which in this picture is way down where we started.
Do you see the river way the frack down there?
Candice Burt, co-race director, was up on top taking pictures. I begged her to allow me to drop out right there, but she told me that I had to keep going. She did take a picture of me, but as you can see, I wasn’t smiling.
As soon as I caught my breath and felt as though my heart wasn’t going to explode I began to run, yes, run, across the skyline and around the rim. The heat of the day was building, which was adding to my challenge. About 5 miles or so I headed down some steep terrain to the valley floor and across a most ancient or nearly ancient lake bed. Soon, I was climbing again. I, at this time, was running with another runner from the Island, Kristi, we started up another very steep, 2,500 feet or so. After about a million false summits, we finally crested the top and were notified by a trail volunteer that we need to go even further up to the second aid station at 10.5 miles. Once there we met our friend Susan, who was volunteering. She ensured that we had all the fluids and food that we needed and then kicked us back down the hill.
Before the start of the race, I asked James Varner, race Director and all around nice guy, which Brooks trail shoes, the Pure Grit or the Cascadia would work best. He thought about it for a second then said “well, it’s a little rocky, so maybe the Cascadia would be the better choice.” As I was heading down from aid station 10.5 to the main trail I thought about what James had said. ”A little rocky” would be like saying Bill Gates had “a little money”. There were rocks of all sizes and shapes, some hiding rattlesnakes. I wore my Cascadias, which did a good job in protecting my foot, but I did catch a rock and bruise the outside of my right foot. I was now running/walking with a slight limp – sort of like Chester from the Gun Smoke days. Maybe not that bad, but close. I was also having some stomach issues as well. Might have been the heat, might have been a hydration issue, but whatever the reason my tummy was not happy.
Kristi took off like a bunny and I began working my way to the turn around at mile 15.6 and it’s cut off of 4.5 hours (this event was an out and back). I kept looking at my watch and soon realized that I was not going to make the cut-off time, which was totally OK with me as this race was a planned training run for the my 50 miler quest at Sun Mountain on may 20. With this relazation, I backed off and took it easy. I enjoyed the sun, took in the views and encouraged the other runners who were on their way back to the finish line.
Although I knew I would not be finishing this year event, I was one happy camper because I knew that I didn’t have to run back the way I just came. All those steep climbs and descents would need to be dealt with in reverse and I was happy not to have to do that. About a mile from the 15.6 aid station I was meet by some running buddies heading back as sweepers and by my wife, Shelly, who was volunteering at the aid station. Together we walked to the 15.6 aid station. When reaching the turn around, I was met by Kristi and some other runners who didn’t make the cutoff and were waiting for rides back to the start. An hour later we were back where we started and drinking beer. Ah, tasty cold and refreshing beer. James sure knows how to put on a nice post run feast.
Here are some things I learned from this experience:
- Just because I have been doing some serious training, it does not mean that I am ready for any race/event. I was not physically prepared to tackle the Yakima Climbs.
- Heat. Training for heat is important, which means I would need to travel away from the Island to do so.
- Really study the course maps with elevation. I didn’t. If I had I would have noticed the 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 3500 numbers along side the graph.
- I also need to figure out my tummy issues.
I would do this event again. In fact I am already thinking about next year. In order to run it, I would need to travel to places, like Yakima, to get the serious hills training in.
Run happy, Run Hard and stay cool.