Building the best website for your business is no easy task. This kind of project requires a whole lot of knowledge and if you are not tech-savvy, you might look to employ a web designer. Finding the right web designer is not an easy task either. While webmasters are equipped with the right tools and experience to create a website, they would still need your input in this process.
Finding the right web designer is your first step to setting up your site. To make sure you find the best candidate, you need to do some preparation and research beforehand.
Here are some things to help you out during the consultation process:
1. Clear definition of your brand. (Your website is not your brand)
People place too many expectations on web design to make up for the fact that they don’t know how to describe what they do and for whom in a way that compels prospects to want to learn more. Jumping ahead to website design without having Brand Strategy is the biggest most costly mistakes most people make. A stylishly designed, up-to-date website does not make up for confusing messaging, unclear and inconsistent branding and casting the net too wide for the types of customers business needs to attract in order to sustain itself.
A website still needs to know the "Mission /Value Proposition" of the business (how it solves the customer’s pain- point) which holds the foundation of the brand strategy. So before you even think about choosing “who should design your website”, to “build your brand” you need to know “what kind of website you are going to be investing in”.
The first step to building a strong brand is starting with a strong foundation. It tells people who you are and how how you can solve their problems. You thread this with a look "Your Brand Identity" and a message "Written Content" that tells them (Your Target Market) who you are (Your Core Values), why that matters to them described it in a way that makes visitors feel it’s their best choice. (Your Unique Positioning) and where they can go with your help and moves them along that journey (conversion).
The design of the website, from its color palette to its graphics, to it's written content should reflect your Brand Strategy. If the person you are considering to design your website does not ask you if you have a Brand Strategy and a Brand Identity for your company or business then, to be honest, you are going to just waste your time and your money on this person. Run.
Ok, so now say you found someone who tells you they can create a great website for you and yes "they do branding" and they ask the right questions, but you don't see any real evidence (actual samples on their site that show projects that used Brand Strategy and a Brand Identity to build a brand. So they don't have those samples, but you really, really love their design work and want to use them anyway cause don't want to invest that much in your business. Ok, this can be done, but it's going to take more time and energy on your end to make that type of journey worth your effort. So let's continue...
Building Your Own Brand
To be able to have this accurately translated online, you would need to provide a clear definition of your brand to the designer. Of course, you need to have a seamless understanding of what your brand is and how you want it to be represented on your website. To do this google "Brand Strategy" and clear up a lot of time.
2. Decide on your budget and be open to negotiating.
Having a budget ready for this process will help make the consultation or interview a lot quicker. You should have already figured out and accounted for everything to calculate the right budget for this project. However, don’t write out anything permanently yet. Depending on the type of design you require, there may be some additional costs.
Keep your mind open for negotiations and figure out if you are willing to shell out a little more money for this service. Ask probing questions to make sure you are not being conned or overpriced.
-Is the logo design included in the web design price?
-Who writes the content for my website?
Is the content included in the website design price?
Do I have to pay extra for that?
Who finds and pays for the copywriter?
-Are images included?
Are the images the same ones that everyone in my market uses?
Who finds the images to match my brand? Do I have to pay extra for that?
Do I have to find and purchase the images myself? Who owns them?
-Can the content and images be used on my social media to market by brand?
Will you create that marketing in the correct size for me?
If you are not one hundred percent sold on what they are really offering and the price quotations, it may be better to consider another designer.
3. Explain your goals and objectives.
Your web designer should also understand the goals and objectives you want to achieve on your website. Having a clear end game or vision will help them steer your business in the right direction.
Some questions you need to ask yourself to help you define your goals include:
How do you define success?
What is your plan for your brand?
Where do you see your website in the next years?
4. Determine a realistic time frame for the finished site.
Here is where a lot of the consultations and client-worker relationships get difficult – the time frame for the finished product. While you may want your site to be finished as soon as possible, set realistic expectations early on to avoid setbacks.
The less you start with the more you will need. Some more complicated designs you require, the more time it will take to complete. Simple websites will take just a couple of weeks but complex structures may take months. Consider all of these when computing your budget.
After your consultation, take some time to decide whether you want to proceed with the project or consult with another. If you think you found the best candidate, your website project can finally start with construction. Remember to keep a clear line of communication with your website designer at all times. Effective communication during the whole process is the key to making this a success.
Whether you’re just beginning to think about a new website or the one you have isn’t working — Cut through the digital clutter with a strategy that works. visit cybranded.com to learn more.