We wrote recently about a report in The National which outlined the fact that small and medium sized businesses in the UAE apparently have a “substandard” presence on the web. The study was carried out by Local Media, an on-line directories company in Dubai.
Results were surprising
What the study found was that less than 12,000 of 100,000 firms that they looked at actually had an internet presence. Of the group of companies who actually have a website, many of these are missing critical features such as easy-to-find contact information or links to social media sites and many of them were not search engined optimized. The survey was extensive and took into account 90 different factors when evaluating the website.
Gap in the market
So, what is the significance of all this to Dubai job-seekers? Well, it means that currently in Dubai there is a huge gap in the market for highly skilled web design, web marketing and social media professionals who can help Dubai based small businesses to establish a web presence.
In fact, it should be a win-win situation, as Dubai based web professionals can gain employment (which may be temporary or contract) with the local business in order to help them develop and maintain their web presence – and in return the small business gets a web presence and increased sales leads.
Getting the job
However, the Dubai based web professional will need to market themselves to the local business first in order to be considered for employment, so how can they do this? Below I have outlined about three simple ways you can market your web skills to Dubai based small businesses in order to get a job building and managing their web presence.
Go through the on-line phone directory and find a list of Dubai based businesses, ideally from one specific sector that you perhaps have some specialism in. When you have your list of prospects, prepare a quick analysis of the main weaknesses of each’s company website and what opportunities there are to improve each website. Then make your call to the companies on your prospect list, and firstly explain that they are lacking an effective web presence and missing sales opportunities. And them go on to explain what you can do to help.
Follow the same approach as above, but rather than call, then you research the company and find out who is responsible for marketing and then send them an email explaining one or two weaknesses in their website and then explaining how you can help. Be sure to ask for a meeting. Ideally, I recommend that you combine steps one and two, e.g. send an email and then follow up with a call a day or so letter and then finish with a thank-you-for-their-time e-mail.
3. Approach a web agency
This approach follows a similar process to above, that is you develop a prospect list and do a weaknesses and opportunities analysis for each website. But, rather than approach the companies direct you then approach a local web design agency and show them your market research and prospect list and ask if you can work for their agency as an employee using their agency branding. This is win-win as it will make it easier for you to sell web services as you have the brand behind you and they will get more business.
Final thoughts; this research has shown that the Dubai business market is full of job opportunities for web design professionals who can help small business realize their web presence. But, these jobs won’t find you – as many of the businesses don’t realize they need web support – its important that you go out and find these firms and persuade them to take you on to improve their web presence and increase the leads they generate through the internet.