I May Regret This
It’s nice to be busy but sometimes when you’re too busy you can get the feeling that the prospective client you turned away is going to get fleeced or at best slightly oversold. It doesn’t happen that often but when it does I wish I could give them some advice to assist them in their search for what they need rather than what someone can get away with selling them.
I think the best approach is to educate yourself and get as much done yourself before you engage a web designer/developer but let me be clear ‘There be Dragons‘ with this approach so there will be a few caveats.
What to do first?
This is what I would do in order to improve my knowledge of what’s possible. It will also have the added benefit of building your content for your website, something that a future web designer/developer should take into consideration when working out the estimate for your new site.
You’re going to need one of these anyway so you may as well get it started right away, do not create a profile for your business you must create a page. You’re obviously going to start advertising your services right away but I’d suggest its also a good way to start creating content for your future website. You can start pulling together any wording you want to use and you may even have a play around with what you’re going to call your new business. You could even start a poll on your new Facebook page and build some audience participation to name your business.
Designed to be a very simple process and you may find if you have a bricks and mortar business that it’s already been registered, in which case you would be claiming the listing. Just head over to the Google Business pages and add your business.
Once you have a business registered it will start to appear on the search page and in Google maps but If you’re already operating I’d start asking your customers/clients to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. You can send a link for people to submit a review, here’s a guide on how to do that.
There’s nothing better than your own email address when corresponding but if you’re not sure about the name of your business or about the initial outlay required there is a fairly good alternative. I’d register an Outlook account so your address would be ‘email@example.com‘ which reads better that @ hotmail or @gmail.
If you don’t think you can hold off getting your own email then I think it’s at this point you should employ the services of a web designer/developer. Most of the hosting package I use include email and if you register your web address and purchase an email package before you employ a web designer then there may be some untagling to do which will take time and may cost you more.
The first thing I tell people when we start talking through what their website will contain and what functionality it requires is to never think about the website in terms of pages for this and a page for that, you should concern yourself with providing the content that you would like to be included in your site. You’re the expert in your business so you would highlight the important aspects of your business, your top-selling products, your USP’s and the things I wouldn’t know about.
Armed with that content and your insights it’s then my job to assemble your content in the best way possible.
If you come to me with a list of pages and some copy for each then for me it’s just a case of dropping your content into the right page, you’ve essentially built the site for me and paid me for work you did.
I’m always going to say that if you need a website then you should be hiring a web developer/designer, obviously because that’s my industry but more importantly, if you get it wrong it will cost you time, money and possibly reputation.
What everybody should do before they employ a web designer is work out what their business is, what makes you special, what’s good about you, why should I use/buy what you’re selling etc.