Investing in a new website is an important decision every business owner faces.
Whether you’re creating a website or renovating an existing online presence, it’s an admittedly intimidating process to choose a company with whom you’re placing your trust. The best outcome will see the highest possible return on your investment. And what business owner do you know that doesn’t want that?
Of course you’ll have questions before you begin. Will your web designer know how to properly plan for your future online goals? Will they understand your audience and be able to translate your ideas for your brand into a linger-worthy, sophisticated and effective experience for them? Will they be able to implement the market research you already have about your customer? What distinct and original ways will they be able to think of to differentiate you from your competition?
A solid web designer working today’s online world will be able to answer all those questions and more. It’s important for you to understand exactly what you can do to best prepare as a engaged partner in the web design process.
In today’s post I’m highlighting 10 things you can to prepare for your design consultation.
- Know your audience. If you have analytics or data tracking software, make sure you are able to access that data while you’re on your call. The last thing you want to do is waste time trying to find passwords. If you don’t have access to any analytics on your audience yet, make sure you take some time to map out what an ideal client/customer journey looks like. The clearer you are on who you’re trying to attract, the easier it will be for your web designer to position your brand.
- Make a list of the questions you have for your web designer. It’s okay to inquire about their current client load and how quickly you’ll be able to gain a place in their calendar. You’ll want to understand their process for feedback and revisions. Remember that you’re investing in your own business by investing with them. You need feel solid about this investment too.
- Make sure that you’ve considered what exactly a home run would look like in one year and five years. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with a new website, you’ll be taking valuable time away from strategizing how to get there.
- Book a photographer to take stylized photos of you and your company in action. In the very visual world we live in, your web designer will want to have a choice of photos you’ll be using on your website. As a web designer, I often extend art direction to photographers who are capturing images for my client’s new websites so that what we’re creating is a cohesive brand that ultimately attracts the audience they most want.
- Know what you want visitors to do once they visit your site. Are you trying to sell a specific product or service? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Are you looking to provide educational content to build your know, like, and trust factor? Your web designer will want to understand how they can optimize your web traffic to reach that goal.
- Be open to their expert opinion. It’s entirely possible you already have a roadmap in your head of what the project will cost and what you need to make it happen. Be open to the possibility that there could be a different, easier, and less costly way to do what you want to do.
- Get your brand documents in order. This could be color codes or even your logo in vector format. Have them ready to send if asked.
- Have your current login user names and passwords all in one place and easy for you to share should it be required. You’ll need your current website, hosting company, and domain registrar as well as information about how who hosts your email.
- Be extra prepared by taking the time to answer any questions your web designer has provided in advance of your meeting. Make sure that it’s delivered to them in the timeline outlined. Personally, I ask my clients to provide the answers at least 24 hours before our first meeting because I would like the time to review them and make notes.
- Come with a list of websites you like. Take some time to identify the features you like and don’t like about each one.
Taking the time to consider these questions ahead will help set your project up for success from the beginning. Give yourself and your designer time to get inspired and don’t forget that your participation is a key part of the process.