I have been involved in web design & marketing since 1999. While my colleagues were salivating over the latest technology, I was helping my clients make money with their website's.
Even to this day it astounds me how many expensive websites are slapped up with the “If you build it they will come” mentality.
Everybody gets on the web in the hope of entering the new gold rush. They imagine that suddenly new customers from all over the world will find their products or services and bring them huge boatloads of cash.
Or, they do something even worse. They get on the web with no hope or expectation of making sales—completely missing out on the opportunity before them.
Let me give you a hint.
There are five musts of web marketing. Do these five things and even if you make a thousand mistakes along the way, you will attract and retain customers.
You WILL make money on the web.
All About YOU!
I know a little bit about you. You are a business owner who is honest and hard working and has something of great value to offer to the right people. Somewhere inside you deep in your gut you know that there are hundreds or thousands of perfect clients out there that you could provide great value to if only you could find them.
If that sounds like you, stick around. I am going to show you how to build your website so that it attracts those ideal clients and gets them to want to work with you.
Since becoming a web developer in 1999 I have met hundreds of business owners whose initial experience with the Internet was a disaster. They didn’t know what they were trying to do. They just knew they had to be there. They didn’t want to face the embarrassment of not being part of the big trend. But their initial attempts embarrassed them.
By the time they understood the potential of the Internet to make them money they were emotionally exhausted. Is this you?
I encourage you to educate yourself about the Internet. If anyone in your industry is making money online, then you can too.
My philosophy is to tell the truth about the Internet and to make it simple. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. But, I don’t minimize the awesome opportunity you may have in going online.
It’s as simple as that.
My philosophy is also to educate my clients so that they have a clear understanding of what the Internet is and what it isn’t. Everything you do online should be simple and clear. That’s my philosophy.
How to Select the Web Designer That’s Right For You.
There are many kinds of web designers and there are many kinds of websites. My firm belief is that a website should help you connect with your good customers very affordably. It should make you money. It should be simple and straightforward and create positive impressions in the mind of your perfect client. If that’s the kind of website that you are secretly looking for then the kind of web designer I am about to describe is right for you. Here are the attributes of the kind of web designer you should select.
If you are talking to a web designer and you don’t understand what they are saying, be careful. Anything worth doing should be communicated in clear and simple terms. There is nothing complicated about putting up a website, designing a website, creating links, driving traffic, putting up images that can’t be explained in simple English.
What you may notice when you go to web designers that charge a lot of money is that the jargon on their sites is impenetrable. I don’t even know what they are saying half the time. The more fuzzy the jargon of a web designer, the more money they are going to charge you.
Look for a web designer that talks to you in straight and simple language.
2. ‘Can Do’ Attitude.
Building a website is something a few hundred thousand people can do very well—if not many more. Look for a web designer who is positive and clear; someone who says:
“You need this, this and this. It will take this long. It will cost you this much.”
You deserve that. Don’t let anyone fool you. There is nothing that complex about building a website that it should require months of deep study and elaborate planning. All the simple functions of a website including name capture, order taking, building data bases, can be clearly communicated—and quickly executed
Nothing is more common then beginning with a web designer, paying a deposit, and then suddenly you can’t reach them.
Suddenly they have got a big priority and you are not it.
Be very careful in choosing who you are going to work with. A web designer must be a good manager. Beginning web designers tend to bite off more than they can chew. One day they drop all the balls and have difficulty getting back on track.
One suggestion is to listen to your gut and see if you get the feeling that this person is sincere. Ask them how many projects they are working on. Find out their policy for returning calls and e-mails. Another suggestion is to get references and check them thoroughly. Ask the references if they had trouble getting in touch.
4. Clear Game Plan.
A good web designer will know how long each stage is going to take, what they need from you and when they will be able to deliver each part. After all, they’ve done this before!
It is not enough to say, “It’s going to cost you X dollars and it’s going to take seven weeks, and give me a deposit and I will see you later.”
What you want is a clear and concise action plan that says:
Anything less is an invitation to confusion and delay.
5. Marketing mindset.
I’ve saved this one for last because it is the most important. If you take nothing from this, but this one point, our time together will have been worth it.
On the web, marketing is EVERYTHING!
The vast majority of web developers are technically minded people. This is good because you want somebody who has the technical skill to program, create a database, to do HTML etc. etc. etc.
Unfortunately, the things that fascinate and engage and excite web designers are things that don’t make you money.
If most website designers had their way websites would be full of doodads and flash and little cool programming tricks that they enjoy doing and that make them feel as though they are doing something creatively satisfying.
None of those doodads have been proven to make anybody any money!
One of the advantages of the Internet is it allows ideas and strategies and tactics to be put to the test. The right web designer understands your marketing requirements and can translate them into website functions that are simple can clear—and that work
The ideal web designer is a marketing junkie. He or she is always on the lookout for case studies about what increased response or conversion. They compulsively collect information that will help their clients make money.
Here are five questions to smoke out the pretenders: