This past Thursday I held a workshop for local entrepreneurs focused around website development, user experience, SEO & marketing. They had a ton of great questions with one of them remarking “I really feel most companies try to sell us stuff but don’t tell us what we really need or tell us what actually matters with metrics. I have no idea what to look for and I don’t like marketing and creative companies now because I can’t trust them.” so I took the opportunity to bring them up to speed on what matters for each of them. Here is a strategy guide that spawned from that discussion.
With all the tools out there to create a website, the value can be lost with both new clients starting out in entrepreneurship and also for seasoned clients who have lost touch with web development over the years.
I’ve heard “Well if I can get it for this price at Squarespace, can’t you do the same?”. I’m sure you cringed a little reading that as I did when the sound waves hit my eardrums.
With the vast array of web builders in the market, how-to videos on youtube, and novice web developers hungry to uncut value clients naturally entertain their options. I didn’t say they were good options, I said they were options. You may be on a diet and Krispy Kreme hot sign comes on and you’re entertaining the idea of having a taste.
As creators, it is our job to continue educating clients on the values of a properly built, efficient and intelligent website.
Aside from the list of questions we should be asking our clients to get a full understanding about the scope of work, it’s vital to prepare on how the process is done by professionals and what it means to them when they place value into their website as an investment rather than an expense.
Here are some key factors to consider beyond the SOW when onboarding a new client or just bringing your client up to speed on what’s new and what’s a positive move for the long game of the brand.
Develop an onboarding strategy by repositioning yourself as the leader. This reinforces your expertise in the field.
- Re-educate your client: Have you ever felt like you were coming down with something and the first thing you did was go to WebMD only to find out you had some rare form of psychic abilities? Your clients are talking to other business owners, watching videos and trying to learn how to drive more profits for their company. Many take this WebMB approach to marketing and web projects.
- Do they know what to expect? It’s a good strategy to have questions to find out what they expect out of the situation ahead of time. During your SOW exploration, this might have come up. I like to ask again with a different series of questions on another date. Why? As business owners and entrepreneurs do, they get excited and then the string of ideas start flowing. The potential to shift their direction could happen and it’s best to make no assumptions and simply ask again what their expectations are.
- Do they understand the process? I’m one for never making assumptions. Even if a client has built several businesses or gone through several revamps of their website technology changes and so do the needs of the company. Have the goals shifted and the new direction to generate more leads versus serve as a resource center?
- Do they know “too much’ about SEO and metrics but not the right way to apply them to the website? As agency experts know, not every tactic will work for every company the same.
- Do they value a website? Some businesses see a website as a liability. When it comes to cost, ask early and ask candidly. This removes the elephant out of the room and allows you to know which position you need to take during your sales cycle. Will this be a client that wants a finite goal met and be done? If so, how can you turn this into a long term client with continued web updates? The website rule of 3-5 has been lost in dialogue over the years with websites needing to be updated or overhauled every couple of years. Smart businesses know this rule but seldom act on it. Now is your chance to bring that discussion back to the table.
This approach in strategy helps you reduce your churn and increase client value.