James Trumbly understands the power of a well-built website. As the founder and managing partner of Austin’s HMG Creative digital agency, Trumbly has seen his own business website evolve through three iterations (with a fourth in the works) as his agency has grown from a small startup to an award-winning shop that serves major corporations, nonprofits, and government institutions. At the same time, he’s seen his clients’ website needs change as the digital landscape has become more crowded and the web’s role in everyday life has expanded.
HMG Creative, which Trumbly launched in 2005, now counts IKEA, RetailMeNot, Texas A&M University, and the State Bar of Texas among its clients. In April 2016, HMG Creative’s design for the nonprofit public-school advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas website won an Award of Distinction in the 22nd annual Communicator Awards competition, judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.
A Professional Website Builds Credibility
Trumbly said that a good website allows businesses to highlight not only their products and services but also their culture, connection to the community, and industry expertise. That’s as true for his own business as it is for HMG Creative’s clients.
“As a digital agency, it’s important to be able to showcase our work, and a great website builds credibility,” he said. “In the beginning, we wanted to share the HMG Creative brand with the world in addition to highlighting our incredible team, culture, and client projects. Our goal, other than providing excellent service to our clients, is to be known as a thought leader throughout the industry. By filling our blog with industry related content and fun snippets of Austin culture, we are able to show our company voice and love for Austin.”
Trumbly said his agency’s site is the company’s second-most productive source of new leads, after word of mouth. Having a high quality site to show clients has been the key to HMG Creative’s growth.
“HMG Creative didn’t start with an in-depth portfolio. We relied heavily on personal relationships and our team members’ personal portfolios and we hit the ground running. We began partnering with smaller brands with limited budgets and from there we expanded to what we are today. Being able to showcase our creative chops has helped bring in business. We’ve been able to partner with many Fortune 500 and 1000 brands.”’
Take Web Design A Step Further With Reseller Hosting
The agency has worked with HostGator since 2005, Trumbly said, because “their support and reliability and uptime was the best in the hosting industry.” HMG Creative is now a HostGator reseller, to provide seamless service to its web design clients.
A reliable, easy-to-access web hosting option supported by a well-known brand gives HMG another way differentiate itself in a competitive field. “There are many great digital agencies, especially in Austin, but being able to compete alongside them has been both challenging and rewarding. The constantly changing landscape has also helped our team grow within this industry.”
Your Business (And Your Website) Should Constantly Evolve
Trumbly’s advice to new business owners and entrepreneurs is to embrace change and choose your partners and advisors wisely. “As an entrepreneur, it is important to always accept change, never stop learning, and to always grow from it. You should be willing to pivot and adapt to an ever-changing landscape, while taking calculated risks to enhance and grow your brand. The most beneficial thing a new entrepreneur could do is to find a trusted advisor from day one that you can ask for guidance. Being able to bounce ideas off someone that has been in your shoes goes a long way.”
That comfort with change extends to companies’ site design, as well. “A website is a constant evolution. Technology is rapidly advancing so it’s important that we’re present and constantly adapting. It’s in our DNA never to stop learning about the web or you’ll end up behind everyone else.”
Evolve your business. Evolve your website.
Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelancer who enjoys writing about business development and marketing, e-commerce payments and fraud prevention, and travel.