Even though Sharon Koifman (he’s the former owner and founder of Empire Host) is no longer running his own web hosting company, he showed great enthusiasm for the industry. He is still involved as a consultant and VP Marketing for Applicure (a web application security firm). He seemed genuinely interested in giving valuable advice to the audience. Especially to those that have lost their spark, battling it out in the highly competitive web hosting market.
First off, Sharon says there are still lots of things to be excited about in the hosting industry:
- It’s one of the fastest growing industries
- Many people are not online yet, and when they get online, they are going to need websites
- There’s so much room to expand and offer other services
- The industry is using leading-edge technologies (hosting companies are pioneers in innovating technology)
He also made the point that hosting companies are far more important and influential than they think. They do more than provide just websites — they build infrastructure for shops, businesses, personal homes, for everyone in the digital world.
What is a SUPER PACKAGE?
Average hosting companies define themselves on things like customer service, price, bandwidth, disk space, and control panel. Sharon says these are all BORING. Instead you need to create a SUPER PACKAGE. Here is an example of a super package:
- Super security
- Super site builder
- Super backup
- Super anti-spam
The point is to create a package that truly stands out.
Tips for Creating Your SUPER PACKAGE
- Make it personal
- Be passionate about it first
- Get into your customer’s shoes
- Don’t be too technical when explaining things
- Don’t give too many options
- Make it a truly phenomenal value
- Make sure that it contributes to your company (watch out for high operating costs)
When talking about your SUPER PACKAGE, don’t use boring words like uptime, bandwidth, or customer support. Try something more exciting like:
- High Availablity
- Full Web Design for $30 (sitebuilder)
- Extreme Security
- “Fanatical Support®” (Rackspace’s slogan)
His final points were focused around marketing and communication. Once you’ve got a super package, get the word out by creating a product launch, email and call your customers, invite them to teleseminars or webinars. Use a tool like Google Analytics to track your traffic and conversion rates.
Sharon believes hosting companies need to rethink their approach to developing hosting services and marketing them.
(thanks to Flickr user dcJohn for the fireworks photo and for releasing it under a Creative Commons License)