If you’re looking for a small business website designer – I’ve got good news for you; there are tons of options!
You can go with a freelance designer or a small website agency, and get great results – you just need to know where to look, and how to qualify the best options.
1. The first and most obvious step is looking at their portfolio
You should be looking that the portfolio site itself functions well and is styled to your liking – but not stopping there. One important step is clicking through to their example sites as well and looking at their style as well. Do you like the way they are laid out? Do you see examples of custom style, do they seam like they were made specifically for the client, or do they all look basically the same?
- Look for examples of custom functionality so that you know they can handle any variations that you might need in what you’re doing.
- Look for an understanding of not just how the sites work, but what the marketing messages look like – does it present a cohesive, compelling view of the companies they are representing?
- Do the websites have clear ‘trust factors‘ like testimonials featured throughout, and clear ‘call-to-actions’ that drive visitors into customers and leads?
2. Cross-reference their testimonials and example sites
It’s sad to say – but I’ve looked at several website designers in Minneapolis and seen reviews on their Google and Facebook providers that seem to be fake. It only takes a little time to go to LinkedIn and type in names, or Google company names to dig up whether theirs a legitimate business that’s behind the review. If you see the name associated with 55 other reviews that seem to be all around the country or world, and they are all 5-star reviews – you may be looking at a fake review.
I’ve also seen positive reviews for Minneapolis website designers and looked at the websites they are for – and realized the bar for getting a positive review is a lot lower than I think! Check out the sites the reviews are for on your way to greatness.
- Make sure all of their reviews are real.
- Make sure their reviews represent real businesses.
- Make sure the work positive reviews you see represent businesses you’d be proud to have a website like.
3. Make sure you ask the right questions!
There are very few ‘absolutely crucial’ questions that you need to ask when you’re looking for a small business website designer – but they all center around their track-record. Yes – if absolutely necessary, you could hire your nephew or the guy down the street to build you a site, but the ideal scenario is you can find a website designer who has actually handles clients like yourself before.
Down to the specifics – have they handled a ‘roofing company’ before?
Have they handled a ‘financial advisor & wealth management’ client before?
Have they handled a ‘business like you’?!
- Ask if they work with small businesses often.
- Ask if they have handled any businesses like yours before.
- Ask them what specific strategies have worked in businesses like yours before.
To recap – no matter what you do as you’re looking for a small business website designer – take calculated steps, and use your best judgement, as well as due diligence.
- Look at their portfolio, and the live sites represented in it to make sure you’d be happy with that level of quality representing your company.
- Cross reference their reviews on Linkedin and look at the work those testimonials represent to get a better idea of what’s behind 5-star reviews.
- Ask if they’ve often worked with small businesses like yours, and how they’ve tackled problems like yours in the past.