It’s the year 2017, and it’s never been easier to get a website. No really! There’s no shortage of services to build and host your own. You’ll also find many people offering to build one for you. You can have a great website in no time with all of the options out there!
While this may sound good, take caution! Your website is a reflection of your brand, and should be one of the most important assets to your business. There are many choices when it comes to who will build your next website, yet some choices may not turn out the way you thought. The last thing you want to be is out time and money!
Here is a true story, but the names have been altered. Maybe this will help you avoid a pitfall in the future! Excuse our playful exaggerations.
Get Em’ While They’re Cold!
The First Cold Caller
Tammy’s Ice Cream sells frozen treats at the local market. Business has been great, and they are ready for a website. Tammy is listed on the local market’s website so that the public has access to her contact information. One day, Tammy receives a cold call from a marketing company with a sales pitch ready to go.
“Hi, I’m Arnold with BigTime Internet Marketing LLC. We get your business on Google’s 1st page, and most of all, it’s affordable for small businesses! You’re a small business right..?”
Another few minutes passed before the caller finally said the price. The price was too high, so Tammy declined. Before hanging up, the caller says the following:
“Well, let me send you an example of our work!”
He gives Tammy a website address, and while on the phone, she visits the site. Tammy thought it looked great, but the price was outside of her company’s budget.
Next Cold Caller Lowers the Price
The next day, Tammy receives another call:
“Good afternoon, my name is Isaac Kearns with Liftoff Digital Agency. We’re offering an incredible deal on websites and we can make you #1 on Google so you can grow your business!”
Again, a few minutes pass, and the caller gives Tammy a price. While this price was lower than the other company’s offer yesterday, it was still too high, so Tammy again declined. As the call came to an end, the caller says the following:
“Before you go, let me send you an example of our work!”
This caller also gives Tammy a web address to visit. However, when she visited the website, it looked exactly like the one from yesterday! Thinking nothing of it, Tammy declined due to the price, and hung up the phone.
Third Time’s The Charm
A few days later, Tammy receives a third cold call for web design:
“Hello, my name is Jacob Peterson with EasyWebsite123.com. We would like to offer to build your website for free! Just pay a low monthly fee for us to maintain it!”
The payment was on-going, and so once you stop paying them, bye bye website!
Tammy explained that she wasn’t comfortable with that, and declined the offer. Her business needed an online store, which was an even higher amount per month.
Not to be deterred, the caller says the following:
“Please before you go, let me show you an example of our work!”
You can probably guess what happens next…. The caller sends a web address, and it’s the exact same website from the other two companies!
Seems like something fishy is going on! Since she had seen this twice before, Tammy says to the caller:
“Two other companies have shown this me this same example! Are you affiliated with them?”
The caller replied:
“I’m sorry ma’am that can’t be, this is one of our own layouts, furthermore, we design all of our templates from scratch! They are highly successful, and rank #1 on Google!”
Tammy wasn’t buying it as she concluded the conversation and hung up.
So What Happened?
Tammy finally had a great website built by a local web design company. One that was able to meet with her in person, realize the company’s vision, and give her business something unique. While these companies were large, Tammy was concerned she would call for support, only to talk to a person that doesn’t even know who she is when they answer.
Companies that cold call for web design services are not all be bad. However, it’s important to consider the amount of care that is going to go into the initial process, and the long term. Someone who has never met you, or hasn’t asked great questions about what you do or your goals, likely won’t be able to deliver a great website for your business. Also, beware of promises using buzzwords such as:
- #1 in Google (or other search engines)
- “Free” website, just pay low monthly fee
- Professional and Mobile friendly template
- Free Adwords credit
- Social Media Marketing
The 5 items above are great to have, but be careful not to make a decision just based on a company saying they offer these things alone! Do your research, read reviews, and get feedback from others if you can. Doing it right the first time prevents you from having to do it again later. Also, it keeps you out of web design horror stories!