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Meet Mike Rynart of The Miami Guide in South Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Rynart.

Mike, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a Dutch, Miami based, digital creator, web consultant, running The Miami Guide a digital travel guide for Miami. I first arrived in Miami in 1986 and moved here in 2016, and since that day, this city has opened many doors for me. I’m often asked the question of what it is that makes me love this magic city called Miami so very much? The answer comes rather easily it makes me feel alive. The city is so cosmopolitan, full of energy with its hip hotspots, sunny skies, tropical vibes, party atmosphere, and architecture.

There is just so much to see and experience in this city which is also forever changing, it makes me wonder how anyone can say there is nothing to do here. There are the beach and the ocean, you have South Beach, Downtown, Brickell and Little Havana. Food and Art festivals attracting international chefs and artists, art hubs such as Wynwood, Miami Design District, the architecture both the Art Deco and modern, the history of the city. My list could go on and on.

Most of all it’s the people who make up this wonderful city; they are friendly, warm and a whole lot of fun. Miami is one of the best party cities in the world, but this city has got more to offer than nightlife and a great vacation get-away. Besides all this, it is where my home is.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My background is in marketing communication, but Web development quickly became my clear career path, and along the way, I broadened my interests in online and social media marketing.

I started working on the web in 1997 when there was no Front-end vs Backend or UX person. You were just a Webmaster and everything was best viewed in Netscape Navigator. The first days of the web were like one big static information dump of web pages for people to read. Life for a web designer was simple back then. You couldn’t do much technically, to begin with, but there was no concern about Responsive design, cross-compatibility, and speed.

My passion and curiosity drove me to learn about the latest web trends and pushing me to create cutting-edge websites that amaze people! I enjoy helping people to become more effective online and build incredible web experiences. I believe your website is the most important tool you have for growing your business and your website has to be working for you.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I love using social media to connect with my customers and clients and reach new people. I’m a huge proponent of being active and engaged on social media for your brand or business. My Social Media following for the Miami Guide is currently over 110 thousand followers on Instagram and still growing.

If you’ve created an Instagram account or Facebook page, and your business is already feeling like it’s killing it online and growing, you may wonder, whether there is still a need to own a website nowadays. You need a website! Social media is a strong and powerful tool for your business but combined with a website, your business will perform even better than it is without one.

One of the most common questions I’ve heard is “Mike, do I need a website for my business?” The short answer is yes, of course. However, you need a website that is different than what you expect.

Where your social media is a business card for your brand, a website is your business, to help you build trust and authority with a marketing plan. A website is a great place for you to build traffic you own and create a sales funnel that brings in a steady stream of revenue for your business. A sales funnel consists of a website that clearly explains your value to customers with an effective lead generator and a follow-up email series that will help you get more leads, sell more products while you sleep.

What were you like growing up?
Ever since I started my businesses I neglected the power of a website. In my mind, I thought that I could quickly build a site, that would get clients running to my door begging for my services. But once I launched it. Crickets I was getting zero traffic and no leads. Once I saw that I felt devastated. I had put in hours of work building a website that looked great, but it didn’t bring in sales.

The problem wasn’t the website itself, the problem was me. My expectations and strategy were flawed from the start. I didn’t know how to drive traffic to a website and I didn’t even know how to convert people.

Later, I decided to give it another shot, when making a plan for my marketing with my blog and a repeatable plan for capturing leads and converting those leads to customers.

My website has helped me acquire five customers instantly. While it’s not a large number of direct conversions, it played a large role in lead-generation later down the line for my business.

While social media is an amazing framework, you shouldn’t put all your eggs into one basket. Just think about it, what happens if one day the algorithm changes or your account gets shut down – that’s it. That social media platform is gone. A good example of this is the decision of Instagram of removing likes or the fall of organic reach on Facebook pages. This was a strategic move by the platform to make people run ads and spend money.

This is why you need to build an audience you own. Having a clean and clear website is a key factor in establishing yourself as professional and credible, plus you can then charge more and let your website bump up your bottom line. A website can bring you more customers because people have the potential to find you online through Google, and other search engines.

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