Four Top Tips for Working With Website Designers

Many coaches have told me that one of the most daunting challenges you face as a non-techie who wants a website is the prospect of finding and developing a working relationship with a website designer. So if you want to know more about how to find the right website designer for you and how to develop a win-win working relationship with them, take a look at these four tips…

1. It is perfectly possible to discuss website design in plain English

Just because website designers specialise in a particular field with its own technical vocabulary, it doesn’t mean that they can’t talk with you in good old plain English. And if there is a technicality that’s best explained by a jargon word, a good designer will be able to describe to you, in simple terms, what the jargon means.

As I explained in my free bulletin, I do believe that it’s important for you to acquaint yourself with a few of the most frequently used website words, just to put yourself at ease. But it’s even more important for you to find a designer who is capable and willing to develop a relationship based on open and clear communication with you. Some designers use jargon with conscious intent to bamboozle you. Some just bamboozle you anyway, without even realising that they are doing it. Avoid both! As a coach you know the importance of clear communication. Don’t settle for anything less when it comes to choosing your website designer.

2. The price you pay is related to the amount of preparation you do

Most coaches don’t have a large budget for your website. And many of you are very concerned about being overcharged for something that doesn’t meet your needs. I also know that a lot of you are so busy working that you don’t have time to devote to developing your website. But the old equation applies… if you haven’t got much of a budget to throw at your website, you need to give it your time and attention.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the first step you have to take along your website path is to find a designer. If you take the time to prepare your requirements first, you will have clarity on what to talk with potential designers about, and you’ll end up with a far superior website, saving yourself a lot of money along the way too.

The best way to prepare is to produce a project description containing your style, structure and content specifications, along with your technical and practical requirements. Having all your copy written in advance makes a huge difference too. So before you even start looking for a website designer, get thinking, planning and writing.

3. Beware of website design ‘package deals’

All you need to pay for when you get your website designed is the design of the website! That may seem obvious, but there are plenty of design companies who bundle their website design offer with some form of ongoing maintenance or hosting fee. Yes, you need hosting and your website will need maintenance too, but these elements should not be mixed up with the design part of the deal.

These package deals usually involve the design company retaining some form of ownership over your website. This goes totally against your interests, so be very careful before you lock yourself into any kind of ongoing deal. It’s perfectly okay to ask about ongoing maintenance and hosting, but make sure these are kept separate from your design contract. And, most importantly of all, make sure you retain control of your own website.

4. Website designers are not marketing experts

The truth is that what most website designers do best is design. They may operate at the more technical end of the spectrum or the more arty end, but either way, they’re not marketers. Their job is to design a website for you (a) that looks good on screen and (b) that works – technically.

Of course you need both of those elements. But it’s every bit as important for you to make sure you create a website that gets you clients. A website that does the business of marketing your services to your target market effectively. So do, by all means, ask your designer for advice, but don’t forget that although the advice they give may make perfect design sense, it’s entirely possible that it will be less valid when it comes to marketing your coaching services.

If you can find a website designer who does know their marketing stuff, fantastic. Otherwise, educate yourself as far as you can on how to use a website to get clients and make sure your website designer builds it into the design for you.

Mary McNeil
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