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Thread: hiring a new web designer/marketer

  1. #11
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    $5k-$7.5k is a decent budget, but it's putting the cart before the horse without knowing what you want your website to do.

    A website is nothing without good images. As a contractor showing off your work, I would use part of your budget to hire a professional photographer to get some nice images of your work, and your company ( you, your truck and so on). No matter how good the web person, they can't make up for crappy images, or create images of your company out of thin air.

    If your logo needs updating, you may want to take that into consideration as well.

    You also need to be clear on what you want the website to do.
    Do you want people to use it to request service?
    Request free quotes and estimates?
    Send payments?

    Who are you targeting?
    Residential?
    Construction?
    Both?

    What are your administrative needs?
    Do you need admin access so that you can make copy changes on your own?
    Do you need to be able to post press, new projects or blog posts?
    Are you using the same copy, or rewriting it?
    Is your business active on Social Media? Do you need that integrated with the site?
    Do you need any 3rd party integrations like a newsletter, Salesforce and so on.
    Does it need to be mobile friendly ?

    **You should really think about having a company brochure in PDF form created, so that residential customers and contractors can download it and refer to it later.

    A lot of hiring a web designer is being prepared with some idea of what you want. It's pretty easy to spend $7k on a website and it still not do anything because it wasn't built with any direction.

    You should look around at some websites to get an idea of what you like and what you don't, and that includes functionality.
    You can call anyone and tell them your budget and they'll put something together, but the only way to get what you want and need is to at least have some idea with which you can point someone in the right direction. Just like people communicate to you when they need a bath or kitchen remodel.

    I can't say this enough, the quality of your website is directly related to the quality of your images. You should heavily consider a photo shoot of your company ( not your house, cars and toys...your company) to use in building your website.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 04-07-2013 at 11:23 AM.

  2. #12
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    I second Hardold's suggestion on photographing the important things. Your company, your work etc. Real-life visuals will help sell your product in a day where a company like a plumber is ubiquitous and many have been doing it for years.. so they don't need to impress. As a young home owner, I would search online and the more images, testimonials I see, the better I
    can decide.

    You may also want to include affiliates, badges etc on your website as well to provide more proof of professionalism. I am not sure if you are on homestar, but if you have a high rating you can even promote that as well.

    I would definitely ask to create a CMS system as well, so you can do the changes updates yourself. HOWEVER—do know that if you hire someone that is professional, they can do more with it than you can.. but at a quicker pace. It's not always about knowing the software, it is about knowing what looks good. I often see clients just copy and paste text and leave it as it is.. where I, as a designer, would make it look much more presentable. So if you have CMS you have the ability to hire a designer to make a change much quickly (or do it yourself), than if you were to use regular HTML website (which can take 3 - 5x longer for changes).
    Last edited by Wozcreative; 04-07-2013 at 11:55 AM.
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  3. #13
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    I also noticed that you put "web designer/marketer". Sure, a good web designer will feed off of your existing marketing to build your site and may even have a few ideas of new marketing, but there is more to marketing than web design so be careful expecting your web designer to handle all of your marketing needs. Don't be one of those people that expects a new website to miraculously open the flood gate of customers from all over the internet.

    If you have a marketing plan, say some ads coming up or new promotions then that's something that you want to mention.
    If you have no marketing ideas outside of a "good looking website", that's OK too. But be prepared to consult with someone who can help you develop a full marketing plan for your business. Just like you wouldn't hire an electrician and expect them to build shelves...It's all construction right? Of course not.

    A comprehensive web marketing plan will include SEO/Local search ( if applicable), blogging ( or articles), reviews, press, linking social media profiles (and keeping them active), video, advertising and other promotions both online and offline. You may not get all of that from a web designer because it's an ongoing plan that takes time, not something you can code and that's it.

    What your website should do is be the great destination for all of your other online and offline marketing endeavors, that sparks interest, or closes the deal. It doesn't go out and bring the people to it anymore than your business card automatically jumps into people's pockets.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 04-07-2013 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Marketing Plan & Focus on the Future

    Before you invest in any additional website development or marketing, develop a creative brief. Here's a list of questions you should answer before engaging the services of a web designer:

    1. Describe what you need and why
    2. List your goals for the logo or elements
    3. Tell your story & describe your culture
    4. Sketch your audience
    5. State your core message
    6. Attach meaning and metaphor
    7. Explain what you don’t want
    Mark2Media
    "Have a Plan and Make Sense of Marketing"

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    A website won't necessarily bring more people in. You need a vehicle to bring people in, and once those people are in, it should then sell your services.
    I've done some extensive marketing on my end after I designed my website. It took about 1.5 years before it started to run itself with the amount of referrals, googling and previous people who have written my name down awhile ago and kept me in mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    You might want to consider adding an ecommerce section to your web site. Say high end fixtures or other expensive items that aren't locally available. If done right, it should easily be able to generate $1k a month in sales after 6 months to a year. If you do this I would recommend a CMS based website and an Adwords campaign as well. The CMS will allow you to upload and update your products without going back to your web designer. You may want to have your designer tweak your additions though.

    When I first built my site, I added Adwords to it. I instantly was making about 40K a year from that. At that time I had a lot of web experience behind me though.
    i thought of this also!.....waterheaters are a perfect example....Bradford White is not available in retail stores...if a homeowner wants to do a waterheater himself but doesnt want low quality from home depot where does he go?....id charge $100 extra and the supply house would deliver it for me to the homeowner...

    i will definately add this to my website

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
    i thought of this also!.....waterheaters are a perfect example....Bradford White is not available in retail stores...if a homeowner wants to do a waterheater himself but doesnt want low quality from home depot where does he go?....id charge $100 extra and the supply house would deliver it for me to the homeowner...

    i will definately add this to my website
    Just go in baby steps on the online stuff and you will eventually have a second revenue stream. Send a deetailed installation manual with every water heater.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    Just go in baby steps on the online stuff ....
    I second that. Selling products online is NOT easy. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Don't try to do it all at once, especially the first time out, or you won't do any of it well and will start to get frustrated and start blaming the website.

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    this designer also does full advertising....they have a photo area too......some of the clients also do radio--which they do the ads for....so its pretty much a 1 stop shop

    my budget may be 1/2 of what it needs to be though....im getting mentally prepared for that price...i meet with them at the end of the week to discuss the project and for them to give me a price....they dont give options over pricing it seems....they recommnd what you need and say 'this is the price for what you need to meet your goals'

    im told my goals are realistic (go from $15k in sales to $50k)

    i know one of their clients, so i called him today and got a good review....

    i am expecting this website to take my business to the next level....especially if its going to be $10-15k(my guess)

  10. #20

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    Just remember Huggy, you should really pick up some more knowledge on web marketing and web design. You don't need to be an expert, but as time progresses you will probably have more of your income coming from the web. It's a basic knowledge that you should study over time. You may not need it now, but if you don't know it in 5 or 10 years it may be a costly error.

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