Too often, we speak to clients who have made a mistake in choosing the wrong web team and as a consequence have spent all of their budget and are left with very little to show for it. Every time we hear a different story like this, it honestly breaks our heart. Our industry gets a bad reputation for false advertising, being hard to work with, over promising and under delivering and being too expensive for very little outcome. We’d like to think this is undeserved, but from the stories we hear, maybe it isn’t.
We’re breaking the cycle. One of our core values is honesty and in the interest of that, we’ve put together some tips for choosing the right web team for you, even if that isn’t us!
Choose a team you click with
Of course there are plenty of people that you might not quite click with that could do an amazing job for you, but a great relationship between you and your web team comes when you align on more than just a corporate level. It makes the service effortless, enjoyable and means that your team will have an emotional connection to the project rather than a robotic style arrangement and in our experience that tends to reflect in your project results.
How does the team respond to you?
This goes beyond personality and into business practices; Does your web team make time for you? Do you get a timely reply? Do they ask questions rather than jumping right in?
Businesses that over promise and under-deliver tend to be “yes men”. This means that they say yes to being able to do everything you want, without really understanding a full brief of the project. Some red flags to look out for include a lack of questioning, quick fire pricing and not making time to get a full understanding of you and your project.
Look at their work and how they represent themselves online
Portfolios and examples show you what kind of work a web team can produce. Check out a range of their web projects – do they all look the same? Can they produce a range of styles? Can they produce advanced functionality? In marketing, this is less visual but the team should still be able to confidently talk about their results and clients.
Check out their own website too. Whilst designers should be able to suit varying styles, you can still get a feel for the team from the way they present themselves online. Our style is fun, friendly and approachable, but some agencies are more corporate. Think about what kind of personality you’d feel most comfortable aligning yourself with.
Read reviews and get recommendations
Ask your friends who they recommend. If you know someone in the tech community, ask them for their recommendations because they’re more likely to have a design eye or an in-depth knowledge about what is good and what isn’t. Read the reviews on Facebook and on Google too. Reviews on someone’s own website could be useful, but remember these could be faked – external reviews are more reliable.
Don’t shop by price
You might have noticed that quotes in the tech industry are vastly different. When you shop by price, you sacrifice something. That could be great design, effective communication, availability, functionality, SEO or just sheer quality.
Many projects that are done at a bargain price usually end up needing to be re-evaluated a short time later because they didn’t hit the mark in the first place. Low prices often mean that businesses are operating on a high volume strategy, and high volume often = less care, less individuality, more out of the box style work and they are less likely to pick up the phone when you’re in need of help.
More expensive isn’t always better
Taking the above into consideration, pricing is a delicate balance. As marketers, we know that there are some customers who believe that they get what they pay for. We love these customers and this belief should be true!
The problem is, professionals who offer a sub-standard service know this too and so inflate their prices to make it seem like they are high-end. It’s best to judge by some of these other factors instead.
Beware of buzzwords and BS
This is where most people trip up and it’s all in the sales pitch. Many business owners get swept away in fancy acronyms, buzzwords and BS that some people use to close a sale. It might sound impressive when someone talks in acronyms, but if someone can’t speak in your language, then how are they going to communicate your message to your prospective customers?
Our industry might be complex, but effective communication on a perhaps un-techy level is critical. Anyone who has spoken to us knows they’ll get an honest, non-fluffy and understandable answer – It’s something we’re proud of.
We don’t consider a call, client or project as a sale, it’s a collaboration. We don’t have targets or a swanky sales pitch, we just want to help people get the most out of their budget to see them grow.
Remember it’s a relationship not a job interview
Loyalty and respect is important in any relationship. Some clients believe that they are the customer and as the customer they are always right, but this isn’t always true; for us, we have to feel it’s a good fit too. We wouldn’t want to work with businesses whose values we don’t align with, and it’s important that our professional judgement is listened to and respected.
Our advice is to enter conversations with your proposed web partners openly, honestly and remember that it’s a collaboration. Professionals won’t take too kindly to bargaining through playing them off against other professionals, or hard negotiations with pricing; it’ll leave a bad taste and that’s no way to start a relationship.
A web team can and should say no if it’s not their jam, but if they do reduce their prices because they feel pressured to, it’s very likely that your project or your relationship with the web team won’t be up to the standard that it could have been.
With all these things in mind, choosing your web partner should hopefully seem a bit easier. It’s okay to shop around, talk to people to find out who you gel with, but make sure that you’re using these guidelines to help you make that final decision.
There is nothing worse than wasting money on a project that just isn’t fit for purpose. It’s easy to do and we have so much sympathy for those who have made the wrong choice. We’ve fixed up many bodged websites or strategies that have been the result of a previous poor or mis-sold relationship and we’re proud to be restoring faith in our industry. Hopefully, this guide helps you find the right web team for you.
If you think that team could be us, drop us a message.