Pick me a winner!
When you don’t know how to create a winning website – how do you choose the right agency to do it for you?
Years ago, I attended an interesting talk by a well-known businesswoman who had rapidly and massively transformed her own business thanks to investors and experienced business mentors. These people had shared with her their knowledge, triumphs and errors so that, through this, she could replicate the good and avoid the pitfalls. When asked how she had chosen the right people to support her in bringing her dream to reality, she replied (and I’ll never forget this) “you have to choose who you do business with like you choose who you get into bed with”!
Seeing my shocked expression, she went on to explain that, as your business is such a personal thing, the prospect of exposing that precious thing to a stranger can be paralysing – and that for years this had prevented her from growing her Company in the way she did.
However, once she overcame the fear (and did her research), choosing the right people to invest both their cash and expertise meant that growth came easily and in abundance. Selecting your strategic partner – be they investor or supplier – can be a minefield and we don’t know what we don’t know… so where do you begin?
It all comes down to Know, Like and Trust
The first thing 90% of our clients tell us is “I don’t do tech” – which we take to mean they understand the need for it and the way in which it supports their business lives, but it doesn’t exactly light them up. If this is you, the first thing to look for in a web agency is someone who does light up when they talk about it – but can still explain it to you in a jargon-free human way that won’t leave you baffled. You’re looking for someone who can translate all that great technical experience they have and know, into a clear viable solution for the problem you’re trying to overcome with your current site – be that low visitor numbers, no enquiries, looking dated, etc.
The reason I stress the importance of the “human speak” aspect is simply that nobody wants to feel stupid – and having someone roll their eyes when you ask them to explain what they just said, is not going to be a stable foundation for the fantastic website you are about to co-create. You need to feel heard and work together collaboratively. For this to be successful, you need to choose an agency you like.
Let’s say at this stage you have found a web development agency who clearly know their stuff, have lots of experience and can make this all make sense in the context of your particular business needs – now comes the hardest part, do you trust them?
Without this, the other two mean nothing
Over the years, I’ve worked with many business owners and managers with BIG plans and projects they want to bring to the world, yet they fell at the last hurdle by ignoring the advice and experience shared with them to make this happen. It’s hard to hear – and harder to accept – but if you’re investing in technology to take your business forward, at some point you will really benefit from taking the advice of those who have been there and done that before.
We once worked with a new business who were selling products aimed at the fitness industry, in an unexploited market niche of HUGE potential. They product quality was good; the message and branding were spot on – but the initial growth spurt was held back by wanting to include a vast amount of anecdotal fitness stories. We recognised the importance of this content – both for interest and for search engine visibility – but it had moved above the importance of the product and with a cash-rich, time-poor target audience, they really just wanted to get to the product. We convinced the owners that putting the audience’s needs first was needed to get a real boost for the business and, because we had their trust, they agreed. Sales nearly doubled within 90 days AND all that lovely content was still there to draw in the search engines and entertain the regular customers.
Personally, as a recovering “control enthusiast”, I can appreciate that this is not the easiest step to take in your business. Yet – as I remind myself as I bite my tongue from telling the mechanic exactly how to best work on my car – sometimes you just need to hand over the reins.
Realise that trusting the supplier you’ve chosen, means trusting your own judgement as much as theirs.
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