When Waking Girl first started, we said YES to every customer who came through our door. Whether the project or client fit us or not, we made it work. Now, with a full clientele, we are limited on how much time we can dedicate to a client who struggles to be successful with us.
You may have just taken a pop quiz to see if you qualify to work with us. If you're curious about the answers we were hoping for, read on! You do not need to see your business and website the way we do. No pressure! :)
Q. A business must have a website to sell products or services:
We believe a business does not need a website to sell products or services. While a website can greatly increase sales and credibility, early deals and relationships can occur offline. Our most successful clients made their early transactions before ever having a website. We have found that many new business owners rely solely on their websites to generate sales. It is important to use multiple avenues to sell products and services, especially at the beginning stages of a business.
Q. The most important purpose of a website is to:
CORRECT: Generate leads and sales
We see business owners fail in their websites because they are more focused on making the website perfectly match their favorite color, than making it bring in $ales. This is a mistake! When clients follow our design direction, they generally see an immediate increase in sales and leads. Why? We have developed a method that make it easy for your customers to reach you!
Impress customers: studies continue to show that impressive websites don't always bring in new customers and sales. We want you to be proud of your website, but we also want your company to be approachable.
Display logo and brand: yes, we want to display your logo and brand. This goal is secondary to generating leads and sales.
Reduce my taxes: yes! Your website is a business expense! We love helping you reduce your tax burden!
Q. A business owner should take advice about web design from:
CORRECT: The web designer they hired
Intuition: can be super helpful. Let us know what your gut is telling you.
Business partner and/or staff: can be super helpful, but can also be distracting. Ask abstract questions of business partners, staff, family early in the process, like, "How do you want to feel when you visit our website? How do you want our new customers to feel when they visit the website?" Avoid specifics about design elements, colors, etc.
Articles: can be super helpful, but can also come across like you're micro-managing your web design team.
Q. A website is like a car and needs regular refueling and maintenance.
We believe a website is like a car and needs regular refueling and maintenance. Absolutely, yes! The trends of the web are changing faster than the rules of the road--and a website needs to be able to keep up. We utilize platforms and strategies that allow for easy updates and full site overhauls as the technological demands of a website, company and The Internet change.
Q. A business will fail if any piece of it is not running perfectly at all times.
We believe that growing companies do have a few failing pieces at any given time. Only the companies that have become stagnant have perfection in all areas of the business. To grow requires some trial and error. We access the knowledge base of hundreds of business owners to mitigate the risk of failure for our clients and decrease the time it takes to correct an error. We love working with growing businesses.
Q. My website budget is:
$1000/year to $1000/month
Programs also available for $1000/week website marketing budgets!
We believe it's important to have a budget for your website. While it doesn't need to be a major expenditure, a small, monthly amount of at least $100 can really help a website keep up with the changes in technology.
We strive to work with companies that we can help, by taking "web presence" off the plate of the CEO. We are a full-service agency and can handle everything from website rebuilds to maintenance to SEO and Facebook presence.
Do you qualify? We would love to hear more about your website--what's working for you now, what's not working; what's frustrating, and what about Waking Girl prompted you to reach out?
In order to bring consistency to one of our favorite websites, we created a form for the client to fill out for inputting new information. The website features different Tours, and departure and arrival times are key to the operation. We were getting inconsistent formatting in the times (2pm, 2PM, 2:00 PM, 2:00 AM, 2ish) and a typical Date/Time field didn't give us the programming functionality needed to automate other features of the website.
Who knew it would be so hard to Google a list of times for a dropdown menu? I share this list here for anyone else who was trying to find a simple list of times to include in a form! Copy/paste at will!
5 Different Time Choices to Choose From:
To combine any of these columns, copy/paste each set into ONE column in an Excel sheet. Then sort!
Paste into Notepad to keep the list format. Then paste into your website.
Need to include some HTML? Do a Replace-All in Notepad:
Replace with: AM <br><li>
Replace with: PM <br><li>
Are you feeling neglected by your web designer? Feeling like you have to send 5 emails before you get a response? Panic setting in? Please take a look at these helpful tips that will give more insight to the world behind the computer screen and how to snap your fingers and get your web designer's attention--every time.
1) If your web designer is awesome, he/she receives at least 50-200 emails a day. These aren't annoying subscription emails; these are emails that need to be read, handled and responded to. Put concise instructions and a deadline in your subject line. Example: Add new events to Parade.com before July 4
2) Do not use the subject line "website."
3) Avoid small talk in the opening lines. Pretend your web designer will only read the first sentence. Make it count.
4) Praise your web designer with every new request! Tell your web designer that their hard work IS working.
We got 5 new clients today from our website! We want to add 3 fields to our contact form to process new clients faster. So excited this is working so well!!"
See how it sounds when you don't praise?
Why isn't the phone number field in our contact form? That should have been in there from the beginning. Now we have 5 clients with no phone number. We better add Birth date and Country fields, too.
5) Keep emails to ONE or TWO requests. Web designers want to feel productive. If they can handle a task in 5-10 minutes, they'll jump on it. Long lists of requests should be reserved for new projects or scheduled updates.
6) Put content directly into the email instead of attaching documents. If your web designer has to download and open a program just to read your update it will fall to the bottom of the to-do list.
7) If the budget and pricing has not been pre-arranged, include what you're willing to pay for the work. This will give the web designer an immediate incentive and save on the back and forth of negotiations. Example: I can pay $75 for this update.
8) Web designers love your audience and want to please. Use real deadlines like: Website will be shown at Conference on June 17; need updates completed by June 16.
9) Always offer to pay in advance. Web designers will often under-quote a project not realizing the work involved. To feed the family they may let your project drop to the bottom of the list and turn to the pre-paid clients. Clients who pre-pay allow the web designer to focus JUST on them!
10) Don't be picky until it counts. Web designers work with MANY customers; they focus on the emergency projects first. If your website hasn't launched yet because you can't decide between Lato and Roboto fonts, you are not a top priority. The top priority is the guy who is processing $15k+ on his website every month and the credit card processing company just went down, or the gal who is hosting a big event tomorrow and is doing a last-minute Facebook campaign to drive ticket sales. When your website is highly trafficked and bringing in sales, you can be picky!
11) Give 5 star reviews! If your experience is less than 5 stars, tell them gently and give them an opportunity to improve!
12) Always preface with: I'm not sure if I'm asking this the right way but... Web designers get bombarded with questions that do not make technical sense. It is really hard to answer an incorrect question if the client isn't willing to be educated. When a client confesses their lack of computer knowledge, it opens the door for education and will get you lots of free services. Web designers like being experts! And they like to help!! Know-it-alls put web designers in a corner, and their simple requests turn into challenging accusations.
13) Edit the text for us! Instead of describing the proof reading edits, just go ahead and make them.
How to do it:
Go to the page that you want to edit.
Copy the text.
Paste the text into an email.
Edit the text.
Change subject line to: Please replace text on ABOUT YOU page with text below.
The steps above will make this a 5 minute job instead of a 50 minute brain-numbing English 101 exercise.
14) Ask how your web designer prefers to receive large or mass amounts of files. Waking Girl despises Dropbox, and instead offers an easy upload widget on their website.
15) Give your web designer creative license! A web designer is an artist; they will pour energy and time into your project if it is their artistic work and something they can proudly show in their portfolio!