Web design is a competitive industry. There are no barriers to entry and anyone can say and present themselves as a designer. The general public does not have the knowledge to be able to critique an individual that says they are proficient in providing solutions. There are also many service providers that offer a lot of the same services and products that we do at a lower cost. GoDaddy or Costco are both great examples.
I find that people in general are very trusting. If I said (which I don't) "I am an expert in social media" most would believe me. I say however, "I use certain social media channels very effectively. I have success in staying in touch with contacts and generating leads and sales".
I am sure you have heard "you get what you pay for", but I hate to see a business owner sign up for a real life "Website 101" course and learn the hard way. Education costs money and time, more importantly is the cost of loss of time.
Many business owners or decision makers that meet with me regarding a website redesign come in using buzz words that they have heard from a friend. They tell me they want a "simple to use, easy to navigate, professional Wordpress website". What they don't understand in asking this, is that they are now trying to steer the direction of a recommended solution.
Instead, if a potential customer comes to me and tells me about their business, the challenges they face, their competitive landscape and opportunities they foresee in their industry I can develop and present a strategy.
In both examples, the potential client has identified a need for a website or website redesign. For the first prospect, I will likely be reactive; I'll likely present them with a proposal around what they have requested. I will gauge how receptive they are at changing their thought on a solution, but many times they are set in knowing what they want - even when they don't know what they don't know. With the second prospect, I am more likely to be thoughtful and invested in trying to help them problem solve and integrate technology to do things that are repetitive or that can be automated to free up time for sales and management.
My process for the latter:
I meet with the client to first hear about their business. It really does not matter the business industry, but I will use dentistry as an example. I would want to know things such as:
What is your availability like? Do you have room for more clients?
Who are your competitors? Do you know your market share?
Do you receive referrals from any other businesses or associates?
What type of traffic does your website see? What is the engagement like when they visit your site? Are the conversions happening? - booking consultation appointment, signing up for eNewsletter, etc.
Where does your site place in the engines?
Are your social channels set up? Is there a strategy for these channels? How often are they posted to and what is the engagement level?
Do you have a marketing budget? Where are your dollars allocated? What is the return on these investments?
What is your content strategy?
What process do we have in place to ensure we see clients on a regular basis? How can we get more clients?
Do you belong to networking groups or do you attend networking functions?
All of this will help in determining what the website is to do, as it will align with your goals.
A website is so much more than some pictures, text and contact forms. That is the difference in value and price from a $500 solution or a $2500 solution. It needs to have purpose in order to be effective.
My goal is to ensure that you make a thoughtful, educated decision on what is best for your company. Unfortunately, not every so-called expert within the marketing and website design industry will have your best interests in mind. To a certain extent, educating yourself is an important step in hiring the right team to help your business succeed. Just be sure that in growing your own knowledge-base, you aren't closing yourself off to strong, legitimate advice and options from those who have spent years in the industry.
About the Author
If you are working with Csek Creative, chances are that you have already met our powerhouse sales force, Nikki Csek. Not the typical salesperson, Nikki believes in honesty, respect, and accountability in such a way that she will never sell you anything that you don’t need. Nikki brings clients into the fold and is their champion when it comes to business, whether it is a project in our office or an external challenge.
Nikki is incredibly kind, generous, and friendly, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in both web and business to the table. She is one of the greatest assets to the Csek Creative team and to the thousands of clients that she has helped over the years.