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I was wondering if I could have some feedback from people working in France in internet related jobs (from web designers to seo to mom and pops running their own business)...
I am a self-taught french guy (widely WebmasterWorld-taught actually ;)) running a web agency in the UK, and at one point or another I WILL go back to France with everything I learned from WebmasterWorld and the my UK experience.
I have been exploring the different possibilities/options open to me:
I'd value any feedback on:
Also I noticed that french directories and french sites in general are more willing to advertise adult related content than here in the UK. Is that because there is no competition from non adult sites, or because only the adult related industry has noticed the value/potential of the net, or is it just a stroke of bad luck from me and I was unlucky in my searches?
Thanks for your help.
We're ourselves based in France... and working for the States. I suppose it pretty much answers part of your questions...
People are still telling me: "I don't want my kids on the net I'd rather have them watch reality TV..."
The wheather is nicer than in the UK though... :)
Salut....Talk to you later..I'm in Brittany ..used to be in the South ..
Leosghost, did you move to Brittany because you didn't have any work in the South?
AndieR, how do you overcome the time differences, not being able to go and see you customers? How do you find customers with the distance?
sorry! here are my questions again
Thanks for any answers much appreciated
When I said south I meant more south west than midi. My south east limit would be "les pyrenees-orientales" my northern limit would be la gironde so anything close to the sea or the mountains between those two points :).
Any experience in any of the places there? I spent a couple of weeks in St Cyprien near Perpignan it was nice.
How about the wine country north of the western Pyrenees? This gets you away from the cold and the 'Marseille' atmosphere.
Think of all those varietal wines and cheeses! This sounds like a rich set of unique niche keywords to say the least. With your bilingual abilities, you may have an advantage others there lack .. marketing to English speaking countries. If nothing else, maybe you can sample lots of good wine and cheese.
Best of luck - Larryhat
>>> AndieR, how do you overcome the time differences, not being able to go and see you customers?
Well I get up late and work till late in the night. I suppose that's not very exciting as a plan but one gets used to it. Also most of our clients are American and they don't feel not "seeing" me as a problem: we can schedule meetings over the net for instance. The worst is not having DSL in most French areas, therefore you really have to make sure the place you're going to does offer you that...
>>> How do you find customers with the distance?
Mostly with snail mail campaigns and email based ones.
>>> how open/developped is the french market (from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
Not very open I'm afraid for a real agency, for "mom and pops" down right closed: most people would still rather spend their Sunday "creating" their small company's website - therefore no great chance for very small structures.
>>> how competitive is the web design line of business and seo line of business
SEO is not very developed here, therefore there's still much to be done. Web design is becoming more competitive but you still can practice with medium-high rates. The problem is finding work in France.
>>> how aware are people about the net in France (been in the UK for 5 years now - lost tracks of figures)
I think I've read something like 55% of households having the net... I'm not sure the figures are up to date though.
>>> what kind of growth do you see in awareness and development of the French Market(from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
I hope that in the next five years there will really be a break through in France... people are becoming less resistant to it...
>>> legal requirement of running a french business (web agency or mom and pop) as a one man band to start with
There is no middle way solution I'm afraid: either you're declared or not. If you are then you have to pay around 2000-3000 euros for different charges per year and per person minimum... This is really the most difficult as when you don't make money you still have to pay... and then there are the taxes at the end of the year... around 30% of your benefits (don't believe those that tell you otherwise).
>>> what type of literature (paper or web based) do you read to be kept informed of what happend on the french internet scene
Are you kidding? :) Is there a French based internet scene and I wasn't aware of it?! lol Now more seriously, there is much paper based stuff but not serious enough to really be of use for someone making a living out of it.
>>> do you have to relocate in Paris to run a viable web agency (I was hoping to go under the sun - south)?
We are in a small village about 350km south from Paris but then we could afford that because we aren't mainly working for France but if that's the market you wish to go after then you should try a larger city (perhaps not Paris though), such as Lyon or Bordeaux...
Hope this might have been of some help!