Oh my goodness, it feels like I’ve known Howard Yermish (the namesake owner of HowardYermish.com) forever by way of a kindred-spirit astral plane. Actually, it’s only been about six years since I first met Howard during a memorable presentation he made at a Burlington County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo in 2008.
Howard has been on a Grateful Dead sort of journey these past two or three years, both professionally and personally. Regardless of where Howard Yermish hangs his (virtual, digital) hat, I will be a good Padawan and follow my online Obi-Wan to the ends of the webosphere (or the earth, whichever expires first)…
By All Writes: Why did you decide to start consulting via HowardYermish.com (again)? When did you found/start it?
Howard Yermish: I started designing websites in 1996 for small businesses under the name 7 Pixels Interactive. That business grew, and then it was assimilated into another web company. The economy went sour in 2008 and I found myself on my own, so I started HowardYermish.com, focusing on online strategy, Internet development, and training.
Then in 2011, I had a personal punch to the gut with the unexpected loss of my father. My business was doing well, but I needed a change. So I joined up with a technology company, worked with some really great people and felt part of a team. But personalities don’t always mix; I found myself restarting my consulting practice recently. It’s my third go-around, so perhaps this time is the charm.
BAW: What web development and social-media services do you offer your current and potential clients?
HY: In short, I help people make stuff for the Internet. I help design an overall strategy for online marketing, usually in concert with the marketing director of an organization (or with an outside marketing or public relations company). I also develop and support WordPress websites.
Once your website is live, I can help create digital-media content: blogs, e-mail marketing campaigns, social-network support, video, and photography. Additionally, a significant part of my business is training and workshops. I teach people how to do and use all of the above so they can make digital stuff for themselves.
BAW: Who makes a good client for you?
HY: I’ve been a creative person my whole life; great clients are the ones who are interested in doing something creative. It’s not about being crazy or over the top, quite the contrary–it’s about doing something unique for each client. Good clients want my help making something exceptional for their respective businesses.
BAW: What is your ultimate “happy moment” when working with your clients?
HY: It’s always about collaboration with me. My music background has always shaped my business attitude: One person does not make a symphony. Every project requires effort from different people to create something better than a single person can make.
When brainstorming with clients, if I can provide a spark that inspires the idea that will transform a part or all of their business, I do a virtual happy dance.
BAW: If you could relocate HowardYermish.com to anywhere in the world, where would yo go and why?
HY: The very nature of most of my work can be done from any location, so perhaps a return to California may happen at some point. But it wouldn’t be in the busy Los Angeles area where I lived before. Rather, I think I’d love to live in San Luis Obispo, a town located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s really peaceful there: lots of great places to walk, ride bicycles, and take pictures.
BAW: What are your favorite books (or who are your favorite authors) to read and why?
HY: In this digital-media world, I find myself reading, listening to, and watching great content from authors in so many different ways.
One of my favorite authors is a photography teacher on the Lynda.com website, Ben Long. He has created some of the best photography training content I’ve found, for all levels of photographers. But what impresses me most is that his courses have shape and drama, so you keep learning.
A classic (and by “classic” in our current online era, I mean more than 10 years old) is Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing. He’s written a bunch of other books that advance his ideas, but this particular book is essential for the business owner who wants to understand the fundamentals of Internet marketing.
When there’s something strange, on your blog or site, who ya gonna call? (Hint: It had better not be the “Ghostbusters”–they don’t know much about WordPress websites, the Internet, or social media.) Okay, seriously now, are you ready to improve your website, blog, and/or social-media footprint and “take it to the limit?” I feel a Willy Wonka moment about to erupt:
“…Overjoyed, enraptured, entranced. Are we ready? Yes, good. In we go.”
Many ways to reach Howard Yermish, there are: by e-mail, by phone (856-316-7510), or by website. For those of you now intrigued to hunt down and cyber-stalk Howard through social media, choose your passion: You can like his Facebook page, connect with Howard Yermish on LinkedIn, or just do whatever people do (via @hyermish) on Twitter.