Years ago, when Marjorie Clark and her husband, Darren, created a web site for an art gallery, they looked around for a name to use for their copyright and saw a fish tank in the room.
That’s how Little Fish Studios was born. Today, Marjorie has taken over the entire management and operation of the web site development and Internet marketing company for businesses, nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. She says no matter what you sell, you need to have an effective Internet presence, which is what she does.
"The web site is the center of your marketing strategy," said Clark. "Everybody’s got a computer. They’re walking around with them in their pockets now."
But typically, a business has only five seconds to make the right first impression that will keep the viewer interested in its web site.
Clark is originally from Kent in lower Litchfield County. After high school, she went to school for hairdressing, then got a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Connecticut, and finally a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama in 1991.
Following college, she worked as a theater stage manager, a secretary at Lehman Brothers and a floral designer until taking a break for motherhood in 1997 when she and Darren lived in Hartsdale, N.Y. It was during that period that Darren felt the web design operation was too much work for him, and she took it over.
Marjorie said she taught herself everything she needed to know, including how to use Dreamweaver and PhotoShop and write HTML code. "You don’t have to go for years and years of schooling to figure this out," she said.
The Clarks moved to Hamden in 2000 when Darren got a job in North Haven, a much shorter commute than he previously had. That meant Marjorie developed Little Fish Studios in Hamden.
She attributes her membership in the Hamden Chamber of Commerce for much of her success. Not only did she meet many of her clients there, but the Chamber is also a web site client.
Clark said web sites today need to be "content management systems" to be effective. That is true whether they are "brochure" sites that display marketing materials and portfolios for prospective customers to see, or "e-commerce" sites that allow customers to purchase goods and services electronically.
The trick, she said, is to create lots of fresh content to add to the web site, which keeps the search engines interested.
"You have to keep up with it. It’s not enough to have a static site any more," she said.
The new content, new information for people to see, doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it does have to be fresh and continuous. "It’s not that you create a lot, but you have to keep creating it," she said.
That’s much of what she does, create content for her clients’ web sites so their customers keep coming back regularly. She also spends much of her time coaching small business owners how to use web sites and social media technology to their best advantage.
"Education is a big part of what I do," she said. "I leave my brain available to be picked."