Every year thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs look to launch their business online expecting to capitalise on the power of the internet to generate leads, increase footfall and ultimately increase their profits and market share.
A great many of these businesses surprisingly opt for cheap alternatives when designing and developing their websites which can also be the most costly error they make. A widely used saying in this industry is “Buy cheap, pay twice”.
Here are some of the common traps you could fall into if you’re not careful
Getting ripped off by marketing imposters
The marketplace is full of wannabe designers and programmers who think because they have done a crack course in either design or programming they are now qualified.
Really? This is your life’s work we’re talking about here, your reputation, your business, your baby, your dream, YOUR FUTURE… need I say more!
Sacrificing quality for the lowest prices
Going with the cheapest option is one of the most fatal mistakes that any business owner can make. Any agency worth their salt can demonstrate their experience and they will know their team, ideas and services are well worth the money and they won’t be afraid to ask for it. By the same principle, any agency who is offering the cheapest rate probably has little else of value to offer and may not even end up being worth the money that you pay them in the first place.
Finding the Best Agency
In addition to avoiding the above errors, there are a few things which you can do to make sure that you hire the best agency for your needs:
Always look for an agency with web programming and graphic designers
Good marketing principles will always be a key factor in your company’s graphic design, your website design and in your web programming. If you hire an agency that does not have graphic design and web programmers working hand in hand, you’ll end up having to hire out to other firms or to freelancers. If those other professionals don’t understand good marketing or if they aren’t aware of the direction you are taking with your marketing, you’ll end up having to have the work redone. Look for an agency that has a portfolio of websites that you can see which demonstrate that they are capable of creating websites which are well functioning and professional in appearance.
Look at the entire agency instead of individuals
Marketing is multi-faceted and requires coordinated teamwork between graphic artists, web designers, programmers, copywriters, creative thinkers and people who excel at data analysis and strategic planning. Any individual who claims to be able to provide all of these will be mediocre at each one of them to say the least. I suggest it’s impossible unless they are super human. Chances are they will be farming these services out to wannabes or freelancers. Look for agencies with experts who are specialised in each of the key dimensions of your digital and creative marketing requirements. Check them out on LinkedIn as a starter don’t go anywhere if you suspect high staff turnover, you don’t want to be caught out by Mr Bodge it and Mrs Scarper do you. The industry is full of individuals who might be bonus driven, they get sales in but don’t really care about your business in the long run and hop from business to business then ultimately disappear.
Value the agencies critical thinking skills
The best agencies always consist of professionals who are able to contribute creative energy to the creation of your marketing plan. If the agency is simply looking to do whatever you ask them to do without evaluating your plans, making helpful suggestions for improvement or even telling you when those plans are not going to work, they are probably not worth hiring. Look for an agency who can demonstrate their expertise by suggesting a plan of action for effectively marketing your business instead of just quoting you a price.
Follow these guidelines when interviewing agencies and if you do, you will save yourself a lot of money and heartache. Finally, go visit their office, meet the wider team and get them to demonstrate their work, don’t just take their word for it.
If you would like to have a chat about anything I have mentioned in particular, your online marketing, how to do more business online please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call me on 01670 785 786 ask for Julie.