The CurdBee Weekly #7 featuring Idea Market

Carson Pierce runs Idea Market, a web design and development firm located in Alberta, Canada. Apart from being an exceedingly cool guy, he is also a CurdBee user (+100 coolness). This week, he talks about web design, social media and why he uses CurdBee for invoicing.Hi Carson! Tell us about Idea Market.Idea Market is a small web design & development shop located in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. We specialize in municipal and tourism websites built on open source content management systems like Joomla and WordPress. Culturally we’re pretty relaxed, both internally (as a team) and externally (with our clients). I think it’s safe to say that we’re known for not taking ourselves too seriously and being willing to take the time to get to know people on a personal level. What makes your approach to Web Design / Social Media / Content Development different?I don’t think we do anything terribly different in terms of product or process than most places. Where we differ is in how we work with ourclients. We have kind of different selection criteria for example; if we don’t laugh together at least once in our initial meeting, it’s probably not going to work out. From there we have a very collaborate approach; we don’t work for our clients, we work with them. Our favourite clients are more than just clients, they’re also friends.Social Media! Woo! In a field filled with a billion buzzwords and acronyms, how do you guys go about staying relevant and as you put it on your website, not be irritating?That’s easy. We don’t worry about buzzwords or follower counts or anything else the “experts” promote. Much like with our clients, we focus on relationships on social media. And if that seems like a fluffy waste of time, we’ve had several cases where those relationships have led directly to paid work. As they say, people like to do business with people they “know, like and trust”. Social media can help with all three.Speaking of irritating, what is the most annoying thing a client can do using social media? Basically, tell our audience How To Lose Followers and Alienate Potential Customers via Twitter.Personally, negativity is a big pet peeve of mine, but I think the number one thing you can do to ruin Twitter for everyone is treat it like a broadcast media. I mean it sort of is, I suppose, but that just means that people can tune you out if they want. You need to engage; make it a conversation. If you’re just spewing out your weekly specials, I’m not going to follow you very long.While we’re at it, let’s hear what you guys make of CurdBee’s social media approach. Should we be doing some things differently? In what areas can we improve?Can I be honest? I’m not actually following you. Oops. After checking it out, though, it looks like you’re doing a really great job. I promise to start following you right now and will let you know if you irritate me.Editor’s note: Thanks!How did Idea Market find CurdBee and what has your experience with it been like? Any complaints?We had been doing things manually before and it led to two things: me hating my life for one day a month and a fairly sizable accounts receivable list. So we did a pile of research into what invoicing options were out there. CurdBee had a really nice interface, non-ugly invoices and a good tracking/reminder system. We’ve only been using it a few months, but it’s been everything we hoped for. Without sounding too much like you paid me for this, I actually kind of look forward to invoicing now. And our accounts receivable are way down. <fake commercial voice>It worked for me and it can work for you! Thank you, CurdBee! </fake commercial voice>You’re very welcome, Idea Market. We totally dig your offices btw.As a small business, what made you choose CurdBee over more traditional invoicing packages?I didn’t really differentiate between traditional and new; we just needed something that worked. CurdBee is much simpler than what we used to use, meaning it now takes a fraction of the time to put together an invoice than before. It also tracks things like viewed and payment status better than our old way of doing it.Why go for us instead of another quick and easy online invoicing service?A deal breaker for several other services we looked at was the design of the invoices as our clients would see them. We’re a design company; ugly invoices aren’t an option. Curbee was one of the better solutions in that regard. Oh – and the price was right.What’s at the top of your feature wishlist for CurdBee?We’ve been pretty happy so far. Maybe the ability to batch some functions such as sending reminders (ie. a reminder to everyone who still owes, all at once). Or maybe some reporting functions like an aged accounts receivable list. If I think of anything else , I’ll bug you on Twitter. ;)