Think.Web.Go.'s Villain – The High & Dry Houdini

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  • #644

    Tea Silvestre

    Villains in Each Quadrant:

    – The Smarty Pants Villain – Robin doesn’t think she’s smart enough to understand the basics of online marketing

    – The Head with His Chicken Cut Off Villain – Robin’s too busy with running her business to focus on anything else
    – The Lack of Greenbacks Villain – Robin can’t see the benefits of spending money on a website, hosting, security and backups.

    Unconscious Unconscious:
    – The Coverup Villain – Robin doesn’t know/realize the decisions she makes today will positively/negatively affect her business down the road
    – The Keeping Up With The Joneses Villain – Robin doesn’t want to look dumb/stupid in front of anyone because she doesn’t understand the lingo or concepts of web design

    – The Sensitivity Villain – Robin doesn’t want to divulge sensitive business information to just “anyone”
    – The Lack of Questions Villain – Robin doesn’t even know the kind of questions to ask.


    The High & Dry Houdini Villain

    A master illusionist, the High & Dry Houdini’s thrives on getting his web design clients hooked into using his services, then simply disappears when problems arise or questions need to be answered.

    Robin, my ideal client, is proud of herself for hiring High & Dry Houdini because along with his work, Houdini has a ginormous reputation. Houdini has a lot of high profile clients and his web design portfolio is filled with magical looking designs that are gorgeous to look at. She’s confident that her decision to use Houdini will also increase her business’s visibility (and the way her friends and family look and think about her and her business.)

    Along with Houdini’s huge reputation comes a huge price tag for his web design and associated services.

    Robin convinces herself that with the high price comes a stellar amount of customer service and accessibility.

    Then, after contracts are signed and money changes hands, the High & Dry Houdini disappears into a cloud of smoke leaving Robin feeling naked and exposed.

    Robin calls and leaves voice mail messages that are never returned. She emails requests for information that go unanswered.

    Upon further reflection, Houdini’s contracts, while full of big words and concepts, are littered with empty promises.

    Robin is left feeling deceived and jaded towards her ability to make smart business decisions and her ability to manage her money effectively.


    The reason I chose this villain is because after sitting down with six different website clients over these last two months, the majority of them have been terrorized by this very situation.

    In one case, the “high profile” web designer held heir website hostage and would not, under any circumstances, provide login and password credentials to their WordPress website or their web hosting plan.

  • #656

    Tea Silvestre

    This is excellent. I’ve been pretty fortunate not to run into this guy, but I know LOTS of people who have. And above and beyond points for the catchy names of all those villains!!

  • #663

    Tea Silvestre

    Yeah, I see this all the time. Web designers are like used car salesman…there are a few honest ones who sell premium cars and offer incredible service. But far too many shoddy scary ones.

    I liked your other villains, too. I’d say there is a villain opposite of the Smarty Pants one – the one who gives folks too big of head where they know-it-all and aren’t open-minded, even when it’s clear their marketing is missing the mark.

    Nice job, Colleen.

  • #670


    But you are just the person to smoke him out… you are fantastic and accessible!

  • #682

    Tea Silvestre

    Truly awesome stuff, Colleen. These are all definitely important villains to “out” and help your clients defeat.

  • #713


    I’ve been unfortunate enough to be the victim of a High & Dry Houdini, Colleen – it was a nightmare. My website kept disappearing for days on end but he wouldn’t answer any emails or phone calls and when I did manage to speak to him he would charge me extra for ‘fixing’ the so-called problem when the problem was with the hosting company. I didn’t have access to the hosting plan at all.

    When he designed the site he left it with design problems that he never fixed and he had asked for full payment before he finished the job (which I paid) so I was stuck with a website that hadn’t been finished properly, but had been paid for; with the worst hosting company in the history of the internet (well it seemed like that!); no access to the hosting plan/CPanel; and a ‘web designer’ who was definitely High & Dry Houdini.

    One of the times he ‘fixed’ the site he somehow left two versions of the site online – so I was updating one with new posts but the old one was still live and getting the traffic – it was like that for weeks before I realized.

    Looking back, I can’t believe I was so naive.

  • #650

    Tea Silvestre

    Wow. Just wow.

    Scary stuffs here for sure! Not letting people into their own sites? Crazy!

    And you do the website security and backups? Kyoolness. Will go check out your prices and requirements. Not for today, alas, but working on soonest!

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