Yes, I am a marketing consultant. Yes, I believe that websites are important to growing a business. So why did it take me until my 2nd year in business to build one? There are many reasons. The answer begins with the first sentences.
As a marketing consultant, I know the value of a website’s and its importance to a company’s brand and to its ability to grow revenue. As a business-to-business (B2B) company I felt it was not crucial to my ability to grow business as I relied mostly on social media, referrals and networking. It was not until I had to I go after larger clients and compete more effectively with established marketing companies that I knew had to develop a site.
My next decision was to design it via one of the free websites available or work with a web design firm. I tried Wix but it took me too long. I could not find a template that was exactly what I wanted and it appeared too amateurish for the site of a marketing consultant.
Luckily, I had a branding and web design partner so the choice was clear. I consulted with my web design partner, Green Sky Media for their expertise.
The Free Factor Advantage
There are a many websites that are free and you do not need a designer, graphic artist, writer, and/or SEO consultant to launch. Go Daddy, Wix, Webs, Yola, Weebly , WordPress, and even Google offers free websites and for the startup or small business on a limited budget, this is absolutely a great way to go. Regardless of your technical background you should be able to create a great site.
For those of you that go the free route, I suggest spending a lot of your time time on your brand and creating your brand identity. On the Customer 1st website’s marketing blog , I define your brand as “A commitment to your customers through logos, websites, customer service, collateral, etc. that your company is and does exactly what it promises.”
Take the time to determine what is it that you want your brand to convey. Answering these questions will help you decide which fonts to use, the colors, and more importantly, the messaging you will use on your site.
Pay for a Consultant Anyway
I did a Google search for the phrase, “websites you get what you pay for” and 2,310,000,000 results appeared. Apparently, I am not the only one who had to make the free vs. paid decision when building a site. As I said earlier, I was lucky to have partners that helped to assist me. My suggestion is to read, read, and read again about great websites, then go use the free sites listed but you really consider hiring a consultant to help you through the process.
A great consultant will help you launch a site that accomplishes your immediate and future goals and if done correctly, the design and content will reflect your brand, establish your credibility, and grow business.
More importantly, paying for a consultant will ensure you do not wind up on these lists: 10 Worst Websites for 2013 or this one, http://www.sickchirpse.com/10-of-the-worst-websites-ever/.