2001 Organic Marketing
You Wanted to Know About Hiring
a Web Designer,
Didnít, Because You Didnít Know the
Right Questions to Ask
things to look for in your web design company.
values we are proud to call our own, here at Natural Net Marketing.
1. Hire a skilled Web Designer who focuses on how to help your business
of techies who have never run a business, or recently relocated
or re-engineered entrepreneurs who are new to the business.
Techies aren't famous for getting along with people or solving
problems, while newbie entrepreneurs force you to pay for their
learning curve. Don't be fooled by businesses spouting jargon;
if they throw out enough phrases to have you running for the jargon
dictionary, drop them quickly. They are snowing you.
One of the
best skills web designers can provide is writing and organization
of materials. You can find out a thousand great programmers, but
only a few good writers/editors. You need a web designer who knows
how to organize your materials into a commercial presentation
thatís easy to useóboth logical and intuitive.
need to hire a company that has created a number of sites. Have
they created small (three pages and less), medium (5-10 pages),
large (25+ pages), and huge (100+ pages) sites? They will
know from experience how to approach your project.
2. Focus on results, not technology, tricks, or jargon. Your web
designer should talk business and market share, not techie wizardry.
most common approach to a new client is to talk about the future,
how wonderful all the new technology will be. The key words here
are "will be"; anyone predicting the future is looking in a crystal
ball that changes every day. Nice for a psychic hotline, but death
for any other business.
Find a web
designer who builds from what your audience needs. Most of the
people in the new online marketplace are from areas outside of
cities, with slow phone lines and a variety of computers. Simple
sites reach all people, while using technological tricks limits
market share.* Do you want to reach the most people, or pay way
too much money for something that won't work on every machine?
old saying; "Don't predict the future, invent it." Design should
be patterned on companies making money. Talk about setting up
a sales process to enhance your other marketing and public relations
efforts, fitting the website into the needs of your business.
*Hint: All sites
making money use this simple formula:
Ease of use = profit
Know your web designer's skills by what others say. The
true measure of any business is what its clients and reviewers
say about it. Don't fall for the assumption that any old web designer
will do; read what clients and objective outsiders say about the
company. Word of mouth is your most powerful ally when choosing
a web designer.
A good web
you get this combination and don't settle for less. The look of
the page, making the text easy to read and navigate around, and
a simple focus on your business' bottom line are the most important
requirements of any website.
excellent graphic skills
knowledge of how the Web works
You need a web designer with a business plan, not just a production
is the process taken by the company to create your website? Do
they customize your site or just throw you into a template? The
website that is unique and takes the time to discover how this
is achieved wins out over those thrown up just for the sake of
being on the web. Your web designer should look at what you have
to offer, make suggestions to present it that work with your current
efforts, and provide the simplest design in a cost-effective approach.
Don't settle for less.
Steer clear of "cookie cutter" Web solutions--those offering free
sites or who promise to put you up within a few days.
are putting your business online; do you want to take the McDonald's
approach or spend a little extra time to get a custom designed
site? A free site is worthless; have you ever heard of a free
website making money? Take the time to do it right and hire a
professional. You can always make more money, but losing potential
customers by putting up a cookie cutter website will cost you
much more. Your competition will gain an advantage, because every
time someone comes to your site, they'll notice how quickly and
poorly it was done. And they will never come back. Would you?
Take this approach and youíll have to catch up to the competition,
having lost business and losing time playing catch-up. The cookie
cutter solution might be cheap in the short run, but in the long
run it will cost you dearly.
Does your web designer understand how to provide a website for the
audience that leads them through a sales process?
best websites utilize a design interface that piques the imagination,
taps into the passion of the audience for the particular subject,
urges feedback, generates leads and mailing lists, and develops
a following. It's not the pretty pictures or fancy tricks that
make money; get the audience interested, let them participate,
and watch them come back again and again. Begin with a marketing
strategy as a foundation for your website.
Be careful of web developers in big cities, who have fast telephone
connections and expensive systems.
worst thing you can do is go into a big office and become wowed
by all the tricks the company performs for you. Technology can
be tantalizing; but the experience being shown is often
not effective in the trenches of the business world. Your true
audience is out there is middle America, outside of the cities,
with slow phone lines, little understanding of technology, and
even less interest in it. Beware of Web developers who present
a big show to dazzle you. It's not image, it's content. And what
you see there is not real; just go home and try to duplicate it.
The show breaks down, requires numerous adaptations to work, and
will burn your audience out.
about a movie with too many special effects; doesn't it get old
and tiring if there is not a good plot or storyline? Content and
integrating the audience are the keys, tapping into the most important
technology; the hearts and the minds of your prospective customers.
What do your
customers do online? Exactly what they do offline; gather in places
that reflect their special interests. You need to tap into these
What sort of ongoing support are you offered?
you set up your website, the need to keep adapting to the audience
is essential. Sometimes this means constantly updating your site;
other times it requires simple repositioning, remarketing, and
reuse of the same materials.
force you to accept the myth that all sites must be updated all
the time. Find a company that works within a number of scenarios
and knows how to apply them. There are many different, successful
business models for the Web.
Is there any sort of follow-up to the design process?
understand that no one can guarantee your website will make money;
would you respect such a guarantee? But how does your prospective
web developer plan on dealing with you? Do they back up what they
website is not just: "If you build it, they will come!" Instead's
it's a very deliberate two-step process; building the site and
building the traffic.
Look for a web designer that talks about your website as a real
business, not some neat thing to do, or keeping up with the times.
website is an investment in an exploding medium. The market is
growing -- driven by big businesses like AT&T, Citibank, MasterCard,
American Express, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, et al. -- so treat
your site like any long term investment. Don't fall for hype or
pie-in-the-sky. Use common sense: if you wanted to open a business
in the real world, what would be your guiding rules? Low overhead,
quality product, and a storefront that encourages people to visit,
browse, and buy.
website is an online storefront waiting to be built. The online
world is the real world. Think of it like an empty storefront
on a city street. You need the right people--carpenters, plumbers,
electricians, refrigeration specialists. To get it done right,
you need a general contractor.
your website: You need to work with one shop that fulfills all
your needs, a general contractor of the Web. Fred
Rohé Marketing Solutions is such a contractor.
We guide the construction of your website based on what the World
Wide Web really is: Direct Response Marketing.
Your website is an opportunity to use inexpensive (no printing,
no postage) one-to-one marketing to bring new and loyal customers
into the fold.
Are you ready
from "The E-Business Maximum Cash Flow System"
Declan Dunn 1996
the authorís permission
it comes to making an Internet profit -- why
keep shooting from the hip, when Natural
has developed a smart, systematic approach
to integrating the 15+ different types
of Internet marketing channels to best fit your needs?
Let us create a MAP