Session Name: Develop a Domain and Sell a Business
Location: New York, NY
Favourite extension: .com
Best city for a conference: New Orleans
Describe your company and how long you have been there.
I'm a Co-founder at SmartSites, having been here since we started the company in 2011. SmartSites is a full service digital agency offering website design and development, SEO, and PPC. Our diverse team of designers, developers, and strategists is 50-people strong and spans across the globe. Since our inception in 2011, we have completed over 600 projects, and have received only 5-star reviews across Google+, Yelp, and Facebook. We are young, motivated, and continually growing.
What can attendees look forward to during your session?
This should be an exciting session full of tips and tricks of how to develop your domains. We'll be covering everything from selecting the correct CMS, to the proper SEO strategies.
What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?
I'm planning on leaving 15 minutes at the end for Q&A. Definitely feel free to write down some questions—anything related to digital, marketing, SEO, PPC, website development, or anything else that comes to mind. I'll do my best to answer all the questions.
What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?
From doing this session in the past, attendees can at least a basic sense of the different ways to develop and monetize their domains. I would love for everyone to come away knowing at least a little bit about every single part of the development, online marketing and monetization process.
Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?
Our agency provides world-class website development and marketing services. We've helped take businesses from the idea phase to generating seven figures in revenue or even going public.
What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
Although I'm personally still a huge fan of .com's, the use-cases for various new TLDs are starting to become stronger. In many cases, even if a client has a .com, we recommend they get the matching versions on some of the other TLDs to protect their brand identity.
What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year five years?
As always, short memorable .com's will remain king. However, I see the value of domains being influenced more and more by the development, content and ranking of the domain. For example, owning bestshirts.com is cool. But owning bestshirts.com with an amazing t-shirt store that ranks first on Google for the top keywords and brings in seven figures of revenue is a whole different ball game and increases the value of the domain exponentially.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?
This is my first NamesCon—I've heard great things and am really looking forward to connecting with everyone (including people I've met at some of the previous domain and web conferences).
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started my first web company in 1997—at the age of 13! I've been in the industry since the beginning. Like many, I've unfortunately let go of some amazing domains way too soon!
What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain or related industry?
I would stress the importance of developing the domain. A domain has a lot more value once there is something on it (especially if it's bringing in revenue). Think of it like staging a house. Even if the owner doesn't want that content (i.e. house furniture), it helps them see the full value of the domain.
How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?
Building and growing successful businesses—my career is exactly what I've always pictured and wanted. If you set your mind to it, anything is possible.
How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?
I help businesses succeed online.
What's the latest and greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
Latest: For SmartSites—Getting into the INC5000 (top 5000 companies in America) and NJBIZ250 (top 250 companies in New Jersey).
Describe a recent challenge at work or in your personal life that you overcame.
Growing our digital agency, without sacrificing quality or service, has been one of the most challenging experiences in my life. However, it has taught me a lot and I look forward to continuing our exponential growth.
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