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.”
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Blog Series, Part 2: WordPress Web Development [VIDEO]

Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector

httpv://youtu.be/GGYkL6BsTRo

Have you seen this video before?  We added it to the On Site WordPress Web Development page of our web site recently.

This is the second post in a blog series highlighting the videos we’ve done for our web site. We hope our stories around how it all came together inspire you or your company to start thinking seriously about how video can enhance your online presence and help your business grow!

What It Took To Create This Video

This video was the first of three videos that were captured in a one hour session of “takes” with Mike Snell at Blue Wall Design, the video production company that caters to small and medium sized businesses. 

We heard a lot of great feedback and kudos about our home page video mentioned in the previous blog post… thank you!  One thing we heard often was how much shorter Mic is compared to me. I am 6′ 5″, so most people look short when standing right next to me! For the next three videos, Mic got on his soapbox… literally…  which solved the problem. He stood on a 4″ tall platform for these videos.  :)  We even thought about doing a video with Mic on a chair so that he would be taller than me. 

It’s interesting to look back on how much we struggled capturing this particular video compared to the two we will highlight in future blog posts.

We shot the video first thing in the morning so we weren’t really “on” yet mentally. Once we warmed up after a few minutes of shooting, the second problem turned up.  Our brains were going faster than our mouths, so what was actually being said was a disjointed mess!  We realized that we needed to slow down.  We stopped worrying so much about fitting everything into a 2 minute video and focused on saying what needed to be said. 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

Tech Talk : JotForm for WordPress

We have a great audience with many different backgrounds and jobs.  Some of you are business owners trying to figure out your next big market while making payroll, and some of you are software developers that sit around in shorts and T-shirts coding until 2am.  This one’s for our geeks out there (and yes, I am on your team too).

In just about every WordPress project we do, we are asked for some kind of web form.  Usually this is for the Contact Us page, with name, email address and a big message box.  There are a ton of ways to accomplish this including custom coding, plugins like Gravity Forms and our new favorite, JotForm.com.

I need to give credit to Donna Rimbo at Christ Church Anglican for finding this excellent tool.  We used it together on their website project when she discovered how flexible JotForm was.  (For an example of one of their forms, check out the Alpha Course Registration Page)

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Blue Gurus Top 20 Favorite WordPress Plugins

WordPress continues to grow and powers almost 55 million web sites.  We continue to deliver WordPress powered sites to companies all over Kansas City, and I thought it was about time we did a roundup of some of our favorite plugins for WordPress. 

If you don’t know much about WordPress, it is a content management system that allows you to easily control the content on your web site.  “Plugins” are pieces of code that you can bolt on to WordPress to make it do more than it can right out of the box.  (Most plugins are free, there are almost 21,000 plugins and more are added every day.)

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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

House Of Diamonds

“From creating a workable website complimenting our company image to integrating our current marketing/advertising strategy with a  social media marketing plan, Jason did it all.  The passion and enthusiasm Jason injects into the project is contagious!  The results are real! I recommend Jason and the Blue Gurus to anyone who is serious about developing and maintaining quality professional relationships!”
– Gene Cullinane, Owner of House of Diamonds

I met Gene Cullinane , Owner of House of Diamonds, when I was buying an engagement ring for Trista.  Gene asked me what I do for a living and was thrilled to hear that Blue Gurus creates WordPress web sites and does social media training.  Gene was excited to hear this because he had gotten complaints for months about his web site and had no easy way to update the look and feel or even the content.  Gene also knew that he needed to get his strategy together on how House of Diamonds was going to start connecting with customers through social media.

We worked with Gene to set up new web hosting, a new WordPress powered web site, trained their staff how to update content on the site, helped them clean up their LinkedIn profiles, and helped update their Facebook company page.  We also worked with Gene, his wife Karen and their staff to set up a weekly content strategy making sure their stories were being shared consistently.  Their postings about custom jewelry (all with great pictures!) are some of their most popular posts.

Gene and I have become good friends and get together socially.  This is something we hope for… meaningful, lasting relationships with our clients.  We never want to be perceived as just a vendor!

Click here to visit mybigrock.com