Creating a new website can easily slip into the “not today” category, and for good reasons.
It’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of worries like: What if I can’t find the right vendor? How can I be sure that I’ll get a website that helps grow our business? What if there are cost overruns? What if there are delays? What if I haven’t managed an outside web vendor before? Or where do I even begin?
The right web development partner can not only help you create the website that delivers on your business goals, but can help you bring positive answers to all of these questions—ensuring that you avoid costly mistakes, delays, and strategic missteps. (More tips for you on that below.)
Creating a winning website is one of the most exciting and high-impact marketing tools you will make. And getting more than you paid for is the best outcome!
As a client, you don't often realize how much you can do to help make this happen. The place to start is with an understanding about how web vendors estimate their costs and manage the project. Your web vendor typically allocates a set number of hours to create your new website. Usually, they will include some time in their estimate to allow for good ideas to emerge in the creative process that can't be anticipated. That's good.
But let's say your web team has set a budget of 100 hours. While some of it can be wasted due to a variety of unavoidable reasons (a new leader joins the company, for example, and has different ideas about the web strategy, so you have to take a few steps back in the process and redo some of the work), the goal is to use as much time as possible on solid, creative contribution instead of avoidable waste. Efficient processes are vital to achieving this—and both the agency and client can play a role.
As the client, here are some steps you can take to get more than you’re paying for and eliminate avoidable waste:
You already know the importance of telling your story.
But do you know how to make sure your story will lead to that “ah-ha” moment with your audience? Do you know how to make it rise above so-so storytelling and leave your audience touched, persuaded, or engaged?
At the heart of great storytelling are two things: identifying the right story, and telling it well.
Before the Storytelling—THE HUNT FOR THE GREAT STORY
If you’re on the hunt for that singularly great story for your business, this step is vital.
1. Look for your story through the lens of the classic story types (overcoming, rags to riches, rebirth, quest, journey, comedy, tragedy) that have moved audiences since humans first started telling stories. What is it about these story formats that make them so universally compelling—and which of these applies to your story?
Today we’re celebrating some wins for some of the creative work that we’ve produced with our clients.
Here’s the line-up on the just-announced MarCom Award recipients:
Walla Walla | A Place Like This Video
Frog Hollow Farms | Our Story Video
Marcus Whitman Hotel | Social Media Video Content Campaign
Walla Walla University | Life Together Video
Adventist Health | Heart Work Video
The MarCom awards are administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. As one of the largest creative competitions in the world, the competition draws about 6,000 entries from across the globe.
Image matters. In fact, sometimes it isn’t even the best idea that wins in the marketplace, but the idea that is told in the most compelling way and reaches the right people.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s impossible to have expertise in every area of your business—legal, human resources, finance, marketing. And frequently, you don’t have the budget to hire those experts full-time at the start of your journey.
So here’s a quick list of what you should have in place before you officially launch or re-brand your business—and some common mistakes to avoid:
Your logo conveys your brand in an instant. Avoid:
Trendy type destined to be outdated
Similarity to other existing logos
Symbols that are complicated
Symbols that are vague and hard to understand
Colors that signal the wrong brand attribute or don’t work digitally
Amateur or dated fonts
Logos that don’t work in both very small and very large applications