You, a small business owner, have decided to take that daring first step into putting your presence online! Congratulations! You are ahead of many small businesses out there (the number is 6 out of 10 that are not online).
If that were not enough, instead of asking your nephew to do it, you have decided to be revolutionary and invest in getting it done by professionals. Colby Richards, Managing Partner for Brown Box Branding in Seattle, WA, says, “An appropriate digital marketing strategy will put your brand on top of your competition.”
But then you start to panic after reading all the ways websites do it wrong… Relax. We have lots of hand holding in store for you here.
Before you approach a web design company, you want to have all your ducks in a row and show up to the meeting prepared. Guess what? You don’t need to know any of the techie stuff to get a stunning website made for you. What you do need is a clear-eyed view of your company that you can provide to the web designers.
Designing for a humanitarian website is different than designing a website for a brewery. This applies to everything from images, to font, to the written word. Your web designers are going to come into this knowing nothing about you. You need to show up prepared to give them a complete overview of what makes you stand out from the crowd so that they can translate that into digital form.
Here is what you need to prepare:
1. What is your mission statement?
Chances are you already have one. But if not, you’ll want to write that down. Not on the back of a napkin either. Put everything into Word document files so you can send documentation over to the web designers. Even if your mission statement doesn’t end up on your site, a good web designer will appreciate this kind of information. Why? Because it will help him or her set the right tone for your online presence.
2. What have past customers said about you?
Get all the positive reviews that you can find and put them into another file. Customer reviews are positive proof of your business’s worth. Not only that, reviews can also provide your web designers with yet another piece to the puzzle about what makes your business great.
3. Who is your competition?
Who does your business compete with? Make a list. This will give your web designers a better grasp of your business sphere. If they are also providing you with a marketing strategy service, this info will enable them to figure out what advantages you have.
4. What do you want to offer via your site?
At this point, don’t worry about the details or your budget. You can cut back later if needed. Right now, let your imagination and your creativity soar. Look at other similar services and see what you could do that is alike but with a twist—or even better. Type that stuff out.
5. If you could close your eyes and claim any website for your business, what site would you choose?
This exercise is good only if you follow up with “Why?”
Think about why you like a certain site, and write your reasons down. Again, create a file on your computer listing the sites that you like, and write the one thing you like about each. Whether it’s the font choice, the color, or the ease of use. Bring this list to your web design meeting. This will give your designer an idea of what appeals to you visually.
Once you have files with your answers for each of the above questions, you are ready to have that first meeting with your web designer. It is helpful that you know some technical lingo and brushing up on that is good. But more important than that is providing the web design team with a crystal-clear view of who you are and what you want to share with your clients.
Want a stunning visual representation of your business? Show up prepared for a tell-all.