Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
I don’t do any of that analytics stuff. I wish I did, but I’m too busy to do much of that. But I know this: I’ve had people call me and point to a specific piece of music they heard on the site, and that’s led to commissions and things like that. That wasn’t happening before. I have more of a presence than I did before.
This day and age, if you don’t have something that looks like you’re bona fide, people don’t take you seriously, at least in my profession. I just feel like I interact with my conductor community a lot more now because I get calls I didn’t use to get. It has built relationships for me; let’s put it that way.
How did AshWebStudios perform from a project management standpoint?
A lot of these guys are great with the computer but not so great with people, and he’s not like that. I wouldn’t hire him to raise money—he’s not Mr. Personality—but I don’t need that. I just need somebody who can get the job done and speak clearly. He’s perfect for what he’s doing. You don’t get anything from him that suggests frustration or any of that from him, which can be exhausting. I usually assume people get frustrated because of their own lack of ability: they’re getting frustrated and they’re making you feel bad for asking the questions. Derek never once made me feel that way.
Derek had a specific set of questions for me. “What are you trying to sell? What’s important to you?” I forget what all the questions were, but he had a process for finding out and making me decide what it was I wanted to accomplish with this project. And that’s so basic because if he doesn’t do that, then we’re making it up as we go along and wasting everybody’s time. So in terms of project management, I liked his style because it was very clear and precise. And if he asked me something I didn’t know, he’d send me some links with different options.
I’m a musician, but I’ve been on a thousand boards of directors, and I’ve done a thousand studies in management from a nonprofit side. It all boils down to stating clear goals and having a management style that gets people to do what you want them to do. And he’s good at that. As you can tell from this interview, I can go off on a thousand tangents. I don’t need another tangent-y person to work with: I need someone to focus me. He was great at that.
What did you find most impressive about AshWebStudios?
I’d say it was his responsiveness, how quickly he responds, and how there’s just no drama to it. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I don’t want to get into a bunch of mess or feel like I’m bothering him. He has never made me feel that way. That may seem like a small thing, but to me, it’s incredibly important, because that’s psychic energy I don’t have to give.
Are there any areas AshWebStudios could improve?
I don’t. I’m paying the guy $250 a year, and he fixes anything that goes wrong with it. I think I’m getting a great value. I really don’t have any constructive criticism. Maybe I would if I were in the business, but I don’t.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with AshWebStudios?
Do it. I mean, really. I don’t have any reservations about him. And I have to tell you: I’m a pretty cynical person, and it’s rare to find somebody who’s working so well for you. I’m sticking with him. And I’ve recommended him to other people.