I was originally going to title this “How to be a good client“, but the goal here is not for you to be an obedient, solvent source of revenue for your web design company, it is for you to get the best value and have an effective website that passively brings you business. This can happen, if you are a “good client“.
Here are 3 principles I’ve put together to guide you as a client of a website company, and how you can help make the process effective and get you a powerful end result.
1. Choose your web developer wisely.
Go professional. Having your neice/cousin/neighbor/etc do your website for free will most likely get you something experimental. Experimenting with the face of your business is extremely risky, and not an area where you can afford to lose money. When your website is viewed, several decisions are made about your business within seconds. Therefore if your website looks cheap and unprofessional, so will you. This is not an area to go cheap and cut corners. Professionals have years of experience, do tons of research and know what will work.
If you sit down with a website developer/designer who asks questions like “What do you want it to look like?” or “What do you want on it?“, you’re going in the wrong direction. The first thing you need to answer is “What do you want the website to DO?”. The purpose of your website (usually) is to drive business to you. Do you want the site to persuade prospects to call you on the phone? To fill out a form? To buy something? This needs to be defined before anything else. Deciding on a look or design before the purpose is backwards and lessen your website’s potential to bring you new clients.
2. Your website is not a “work of art”. It’s a persuasive marketing vehicle.
Many clients I work with overthink the look of their website, and don’t want it to be “too boring” or have many things “pop” and demand certain colors be used which have a personal or emotional significance to them. They want it to look how they want it to look purely based on the client’s aesthetic taste.
None of that matters.
Stay true to the purpose of your website, which is to draw business to you like metal shavings to a magnet. You want to attract business simply by having your website present. A good website designer will design the site around the persuasive purpose of your website and overall marketing strategy. You’re in it to draw prospects into your sales funnel, not be on display. The worst thing a person can do is say “I saw your website, it looks amazing”, and then walk away. That’s known as a “response”, which is useless to you. However, someone saying “I found your website, and I’d like to get an estimate on….” is what’s called a “result”. Results are the goal. More business is the goal. And if your web designer/developer is as smart and savvy as they should be, their sans-ego creation of your website will be so effective it will make them your most indespensible vendor. A rising tide raises all ships.
3. Keep the input at the executive level.
“A camel is a horse designed by a committee“. Don’t let your website be a camel. It should be a thoroughbred. If you show your in-development website to 30 people, you will get 30 pieces of input to change the site. It is highly likely that the people you show it to do not have your best interests in mind. Their impulse will be to get their stamp on it. It will be an ego reaction for them to give you their widsom and knowledge on how your website should work, even if their input is completely ridiculous. It’s a power thing, and nothing more. Understand: if your website lacks quality, you’ll lose business. When someone hits your site, as a hot prospect, they know they have choices. If anything about your site turns them off, they’ll just move on to the next website, and you’ll have lost that business.