We Just Launched The New Apex Business Advisors Website!

Post by: Jason Terry

Apex Business AdvisorsHello friends! It’s time again for the weekly Blue Gurus blog post. This week, I wanted to share with you that we recently launched the new Apex Business Advisors website. I realized we hadn’t talked about our web development work in a while!

Doug Hubler is the President of Apex and we’ve been doing business together for years. He’s a close personal friend and I really wanted Doug to love his new website if we were going to help him create it.

He’s been following our blog updates for a long time now, and I know the one I wrote a couple of months ago about Google not liking you if your website isn’t mobile friendly really got his attention. Doug knew it was time to update his website and turned to us for help. He wanted his site to have a new look and feel.  It needed to be mobile friendly. His staff needed to be able to update the content easily. WordPress is the right answer for all of these needs and more.

Did You Know?

Did you know that a typical web development project can take months with most companies? The fact that we do the work on site together allows us to be incredibly efficient. The new Apex Business Advisors website was built and launched in just three development days over the course of two weeks. For those of you that have been involved in other web development projects, you might be thinking, “No way.” But that’s exactly what happened.

The Team

Mic and I worked with Doug, his office manager Christi, and his daughter Chloe to build their new site.

Apex ValuesChristi is more technical than most “office managers” and she was able to contribute so much to this project. Chloe is working at Apex over the summer and she’s a graphics designer. She was able to help with graphics for the website as well as the graphic header for their new email newsletter that goes out every week with Apex blog updates. Both Christi and Chloe helped move blog and business listing content from the old site to the new site and we had a great time working together.

The Result

Apex came to the table prepared to get things done. As a result, this project went smoothly and we even had time to set up a new email newsletter system. We used MailChimp and their RSS-to-Email feature that allows blog updates from the website to be pushed out automatically as an email to their newsletter subscribers. In other words, Apex creates a new blog post and the next day MailChimp sends a copy of it to their newsletter subscribers. Efficient!

Check out the Apex website, and if you’re interested in great information about buying or selling a business, be sure to sign up for Apex’s blog updates!

 

Meet Selective Site Consultants…Our Latest LinkedIn And Website Success Story

Post author: Mic Johnson

“Jason and Mic really rolled up their sleeves and dove into updating our website. They literally sat in our office until the job was done. Our website is now simple, clean and interactive. Nice work Blue Gurus!”

Terry Super, Principal

“At first I was skeptical…a new website built and launched in 2 days? After holding us accountable for content, that is exactly how much time it took to get up and going. Blue Gurus cut through all of the runaround, delays and change orders. They got it done.”

David Saab, Vice President

“I didn’t expect to have a new site it 2 days and I really didn’t expect to know how to change anything when it was completed. I’m so glad Jason and Mic changed my expectations. Now my job is simplified because I can update, create, and change content on our website to make sure we are current, and I can do it from the convenience of my own desk! If you want above and beyond, call Blue Gurus.”

Abi Schwaller, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

“LinkedIn was one of those tools we all looked at like it was an afterthought. Since the training from Blue Gurus, we have expanded our contacts, client base and geographical reach. It’s not Facebook…it’s not a toy. Blue Gurus changed our LinkedIn perspective and now it’s part of our marketing and communications best practices.”

David Saab, Vice President

ssc Comments like these are what Jason and I live for. It’s what’s kept us waking up enthusiastically for almost 6 years to do great work…for great people….throughout Kansas City. We love helping people and we love exceeding expectations.

I want to tell you a little bit more about how the work we did with Selective Site Consultants (SSC) came to be. As is often the case, it’s all about relationships.

SSC offers site acquisition, entitlements, engineering, project management, construction management, and architectural services. They’re also developing leading edge solutions in renewable energy and infrastructure security.

I met David Saab years ago through our mutual friend Chuck Schimmel. At some point along the way, David and I connected on LinkedIn. We hadn’t seen or talked to each other in years, but he saw the blog posts I routinely publish through LinkedIn and decided to reach out. He wanted to know more about what it was Blue Gurus did and how we might be able to help SSC.

So we met one day for lunch at Bo Lings (yum!) in Overland Park and I proceeded to explain that Blue Gurus builds WordPress websites and how we’re typically done in 2-3 full business days. I went on to explain that we also do LinkedIn training for sales teams. And finally I told him how we were helping several companies execute their weekly blog strategy.

David liked what he heard and told me that the next step would be for me to meet with their Executive Team to educate them on what we do and to answer their questions about process, pricing, and the like. I went to that meeting and we had a great conversation.

It was clear to me that the team was unhappy with their existing website and they wanted to learn more about how LinkedIn and consistent blogging could help their business. It was also clear to me that very quickly we established a mutual trust and respect for one other. A few days later, David asked me to send a proposal for all 3 services we discussed.

One thing led to another and a few weeks later Jason and I did LinkedIn training for 10 people on their team. We had a couple of great sessions and the team did a nice job of updating their LinkedIn profiles and committing to the process of using LinkedIn more effectively ongoing.

A few weeks after that, we were back in the SSC offices working on the new website. We scheduled 2 full day sessions, got their web hosting account set up at Flywheel (who we LOVE, btw!), and worked closely with David and Abi to get the content and layout just the way they wanted it. It was a total collaborative team effort…and it was awesome!

The project, as is usually the case, was efficient and ran smoothly. We routinely tell people that if you come ready with your content (text, images, PDF’s, etc.) we will get the website built and launched in a way that no one else in Kansas City does.

And that’s exactly what we did….and we’re thrilled to call SSC a client and have another success story to share!

Thanks David, Abi, Terry and everyone else at SSC!

Vince and Associates Clinical Research

Normally when we create a web portfolio page for a project, we write a little story that talks about how the relationship began, how the project went, and how much fun it was to work with the client (which was definitely the case with our friends at Vince & Associates). 

On this particular project, we worked with two people: Bruce Copeland and Sarah Stapleton. Below is a quote from Sarah, who worked very closely with us on the project and helped out tremendously throughout. 

Blue Gurus seriously blew my mind. Our website needed a huge overhaul and we were getting ready to pay a ridiculous amount of money to do it. That’s when Mic brought up the idea of working with Blue Gurus to build out a WordPress site.

“It’s so simple,” he said. “It takes literally 2-3 days of us coming into your office to build the entire site and it will cost a quarter of what you’ve budgeted for it!” Being a reasonable business person I was skeptical. But after reviewing their portfolio I was impressed and heck, for a quarter of the budget, it was worth the leap of faith.

Now onto the part about my mind being blown.

It was indeed so simple. Yes, we had a few bumps but everything was quickly resolved and set to rights. It did in fact only take us 2 full days to build the ENTIRE site. Also, it did indeed save me tons of cash that I now get to reallocate to another project. I can’t say enough great things about the experience I had with Mic and Jason. Those guys were fantastic and exceeded every single one of my expectations!

Sarah Stapleton, Clinical Specialist

Now that you’ve seen what Sarah had to say, we felt it was equally important to share Bruce’s experience. Bruce was critical in getting the project approved and he gives more details about the nature of the relationship and his experience working with us. 

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mic for quite some time through a mutual friend. We’ve shared stories, laughs, drinks and even BBQ (Oklahoma Joe’s anyone?) together. But it wasn’t until 2013 that I took a real good look at what he did for a living. I consider myself somewhat of a social beast and have been for quite awhile, so I was intrigued about the notion that someone could make a career out of social media.

The more I checked into Blue Gurus, the more I became excited about the likelihood of working with them. And that became a reality shortly after I attended a social media/marketing conference in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that I would carry the “social media torch” for Vince & Associates so I worked on increasing our number of followers on Twitter, made our LinkedIn page more uniform to align with our own website and story…and that’s when it hit me: I needed inspiration.

There’s something about enjoying fine Kansas City BBQ that allows you to dig deep into the well of creativity. Mic and I discussed what I could do to improve our social presence, (call it a little free advice for a friend), but the more I heard, the more daunting it became.

I finally worked up the courage to take a proposal to our Vice President and the CEO to utilize the services of Blue Gurus to get our ducks in a row and make a splash in the world of blogging. We did just that, and with the help of Blue Gurus, we grew our presence and were better able to tell our story. Our blog is beyond all of the marketing fluff and instead provides an ongoing narrative of who we are and what we do. It’s also helped us humanize all the facilities we have and the research professionals we employ. To date, the endeavor has proved fruitful.

Next up: Operation Flip This Website. 

Mic and I have a lot of things in common. One is our affinity for food, and in this case it was sushi. After partaking in our fair share at a local establishment, we came to the conclusion that we needed to work together to bring the Vince and Associates website into the next millennium. Mic pointed out, and I agreed, that our web site didn’t represent the company in the light we wanted it to. It had outlived its usefulness and it was time for a change.

To execute the project, Mic brought Jason in and we also used our talented and relatively new in-house WordPress guru, Sarah Stapleton. What looked like a motley crew actually turned out to be a well-oiled machine.

In all of the branding exercises I’ve participated in over the years, from higher education through non-profit boards, it was the easiest transition process I’ve ever experienced.

The kicker? It was at a third of the cost of what we spent to create our old web site. Bottom line, I cannot imagine the process going any better or smoother. It’s incredibly refreshing to be able to work with two professionals that are truly passionate about their trade and back it up with integrity and efficiency. They’ve won me over with what they did for us and I will forever be grateful – as will our company. 

Bruce Copeland Director, Director, Business Development & Marketing

Click here to visit VinceAndAssociates.com.

Vince And Associates Clinical Research

revelageMD

“We just completed our new business web site with Blue Gurus. When I started down this path I was truly dreading the process. As a business owner, I had been through the build out of two sites. It took months and was painfully time consuming. I was referred to Blue Gurus by our IT guy, Tony Sheets. From the first conversation, I knew I was in the right spot.  My contact, Mic Johnson, told me it would take 2-3 days to do our new site. He explained that they would come to my office and knock it out. I COULD NOT wrap my brain around how that would work…much less actually happen. Blue Gurus gave me precise front end instructions and sure enough, in two days, we built an entire website together! AND its a great site!!! The Blue Gurus staff was extremely professional and energetic. It was an outstanding experience with outstanding people.”
Robin Reynolds, Owner, revelageMD

revelageMD is an Overland Park-based scientific skincare solution company that offers services like skin firming, laser hair removal, BOTOX Cosmetic, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and more.

The opportunity to work with revelageMD on their new website came as a referral from our good friend Tony Sheets of Umzuzu. Tony told us that he had known and worked with Robin Reynolds (one of the owners who was launching the revelageMD business) for most of his adult life. Robin contacted Tony asking him if he had any recommendations of companies that could help build a web site for her new business. Tony replied to her (and Blue Gurus) in an email saying:

“This is a very easy recommendation these days. For the last couple of years I’ve been sending all website requests over to Blue Gurus. I keep hearing positive feedback and thank you’s for the introduction……….Blue Gurus: I’ve worked with Robin and her team my entire adult life. Be as awesome as usual with them.”
Read more

Get Smarter Prep

“Working with Blue Gurus exceeded my expectations! Jason was both knowledgeable and personable, and we looked forward to working with him each week. Not only did he help us design an awesome website, but he also taught us how to use WordPress. I definitely recommend Blue Gurus!”
Linden Schult, President, Get Smarter Prep

“Working with Blue Gurus was a wonderful experience.  They equipped us with the skills necessary to upgrade our website quicker than we could have ever imagined.  The Gurus were even able to help us with the critical integration of our CRM and online orders/inquiries.  In addition to their incredible skills and knowledge, they were honestly a pleasure to work with.  Whatever day Jason was in the office quickly became our favorite day of the week!”
Caleb Pierce, VP of Enrollment

Get Smarter Prep helps high school students get better scores on their ACT or SAT tests.  Good scores on these tests can result in a better chance of getting into colleges and receiving scholarships.

The opportunity to work with Get Smarter Prep on their new website was a result of being good friends with Mike Walrod.  Mike recently bought Get Smarter Prep and wanted to update the look and feel as well as regain control of the content.  They had been working with a web development company out of California, and any time they needed to make a change, they had to send an email request.  It often took days to get a response, and that was just not acceptable.  Enter Blue Gurus.

We scheduled four development days with Linden and Caleb at Get Smarter Prep and were able to create and launch a brand new WordPress website in just a few weeks.  We also set them up with a new web hosting company to minimize their website down time.  We taught Linden and Caleb how to use WordPress to add and change text, pictures and links in their website and they did a great job of loading their content.

This is one of those great benefits of Blue Gurus working on-site.  We were available for them to ask questions as they learned.  At the same time, we were getting the new site done more quickly than traditional web development companies by working in parallel and making design decisions on the spot. Read more

Marian Hope Center

“I was in absolute awe of all that the Blue Gurus did to help our organization in the creation of our website. Mic and Jason are brilliant at what they do, have a passion for helping others and can brighten any room with their outstanding, outgoing personalities. They asked great questions to truly understand the cause of our organization and in the end whole-heartily embraced our cause. They were able to put our mission into words that were easy to understand, yet fluently and professionally expressed. It would be impossible to get the services we received from them elsewhere at their affordable prices. What started out as a business partnership has definitely turned into a lasting friendship. They continue to think of us and send resources our way. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with these great men!”
– Angie Knight, Co-Founder of the Marian Hope Center

In February 2012, we donated some of our time to help Marian Hope Center with their website and social media efforts.  We loved these guys so much that we wrote a blog article about what they do to help children.  A few months went by and in November 2012 we got a call from Heather Ruoff, the Executive Director for Marian Hope Center.  She told us that their website was down, and not coming back.  It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that caused this to happen, and they turned to us to help them create a new website as quickly as we could. Read more

Avid Communications

“I’ve known Jason Terry and the Blue Gurus for many years, and working with them is always a delight. I refer them every chance I get and every single time they have done an excellent job. Recently when it was time to revamp our web site, we brought in the Blue Gurus and in less than a month, the whole thing was done! I like Jason’s style: hard work, clear and strong recommendations, broad expertise, and the flexibility to adapt to the way I wanted to run this project. In this case, he gave me my homework assignments so our sessions together were interactive and fast-paced, and he did his homework so that no time was wasted when we were together. Nobody–I repeat nobody–could have gotten this done for us as quickly and economically. And something else. They are just plain fun to work with. They are good people. They do great work.”
Dave Scott, Managing Partner, Avid Communications

Jason has been friends with Dave Scott, managing partner of Avid Communications for many years.  Dave is a client of Blue Gurus and we are a client of Avid’s.  Avid provides internet and hosted VOIP phone solutions to customers all over Kansas City.

Dave knew about our web development work and had seen what it was like to work with us.  He is very involved in the Downtown Council of Kansas City and loved what we did with their website.

He wanted us to help him refresh the look and feel of his website as well as integrate social media more effectively.  He also wanted to be able to maintain the content more efficiently than he could with the tools he used to create the previous website.  Our WordPress best practices addressed all of these needs and more. Read more

International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM)

“I have been involved in the redesign of a couple of websites before working with Blue Gurus. Working with Blue Gurus was by far the best experience I’ve had in developing a new site. In the other cases, we’d created the site from ground zero. WordPress simplified the redesign tremendously, while still giving us the flexibility that we needed within our site. The process went according to schedule and budget, and was relatively painless. Our site had been constantly updated and had grown over the past eight years, so it was full of content that needed to be moved. Blue Gurus helped us to take our existing content and make it look fresh and new by using the multitude of design options within our WordPress theme.”
– Melinda Farris, Executive Vice President at International Association of Operative Millers

We were referred to Melinda Farris at the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) by Tony Sheets, one of our good friends at Umzuzu.  Jason sat down with Melinda to talk about what they needed and the first thing he noticed was that Melinda was technical and had a strong background in website development.  This turned out to be a great help later in the project…

IAOM wanted a website that was easier to maintain and that had an updated look and feel.  Their old site was good, but you could tell it was becoming dated.  After talking about how we do the work on-site in a collaborative setting, Melinda was ready to get going!

Fellow Blue Gurus, Mic and Melissa, did the bulk of this project were were all thrilled with how it turned out. The biggest challenge on this project was the sheer bulk of content that needed to repurposed from IAOM’s old web site.  That is just one of the ways Melinda from IAOM was able to help make the project a success and stay within budget.

She was able to move some big chunks of content over that she had created.  She also picked up how to use JotForms for the many forms on the site.  Jason did the three big forms initially, but Melinda now knows how to create her own forms for future event enrollments and more. Read more

Christ Church Anglican

“We could not recommend the Blue Gurus more highly than we already do.  They were a pure joy to work with: professional, helpful, personal and true masters at their craft.  Right from the very beginning, the Gurus helped us process the social-media and web needs of our specific organization and wanted to find the best solutions that were also easy and accessible for ‘non-web-savvy people’ to maintain.  You don’t have to be a web-master to understand what they are talking about; they were honest throughout the process and always available to answer questions or troubleshoot at the drop of a hat; they were conscientious of our budget restrictions and even came in under budget.  On top of all of that, they were so much fun to work with.  We laughed a lot and formed a true friendship that will last for many years.  If you are looking for some website or social media help, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not give the Blue Gurus a call.”
Donna Rimbo, Communications

The Christ Church Anglican project is another example of how taking good care of your customers turns into word of mouth referrals.  We were referred to Donna Rimbo at Christ Church Anglican by our good friend and client, Tommy Wilson, urban planner for the Downtown Council of Kansas City.

Jason talked with Donna about how we do our work on site and how quickly things get done. Donna was also interested in being collaborative on their new website because they had graphics design capabilities on staff as well as a weekly podcast of the church messages. Read more

Kenton Brothers

“I so appreciate Jason’s enthusiasm and passion about what they do at Blue Gurus…his years of experience make him a well-rounded valuable resource that is always ready and willing to help.”
– Gina Stuelke, CEO at Kenton Brothers, Inc.

I have done business with Gina Stuelke, President of Kenton Brothers, for many years. Gina approached me about a new website because she trusted me from past experience and knew I would give her the right solution.

The goal was an updated look and feel and being able to easily change the content on the site. WordPress is almost always the right answer for this type of situation and Gina decided to move forward with Blue Gurus!

About the same time that Gina was talking with me about this project, I had done a general “quick tips” LinkedIn Training seminar for the sales team at Kenton Brothers. As a result, she also wanted 1×1 training for her people to help them improve their LinkedIn profiles. She also agreed with the overall strategy of updating their blog weekly and then publishing the links to the blog articles in the status updates of those same employees.

The site was done within 6 weeks and we meet on a monthly basis to add new features and functionality to the site. This highlights one of the powerful features of WordPress: As your needs grow, the tool grows with you. There are literally thousands of plugins and features that extend the functionality of WordPress, which makes it easy to keep your web site fresh and current.

Click here to visit kentonbrothers.com