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How to find 'the right' website designer to work with for your small business website

I meet so many brilliant women who run their own businesses, are skilled and talented, and get so many things right.

But when I speak to them about their websites, I notice a clear lack of confidence in their technical skills. They feel embarrassed about their websites, and believe that they aren't 'technical enough' which is holding them back from building a website that converts.

These small business owners worry that their websites look unprofessional, and that it reflects badly on their business and brand. This really affects their confidence and deep down they start doubting themselves, and start questioning whether they have what it takes to build a successful business.

I'm going to jump in here and say: this is just plain wrong!

You don't need to be technical to build a good website and strong brand. You can still have a beautiful website that connects with your ideal client and converts them into paying customers, even if you're not 'techy'.

Technology doesn't need to be complicated.

All you need is the right support. Whether that's someone to show you the ropes, or someone to design your website for you and then show you how to make simple updates yourself.

The only thing you DO need to get right is finding the right person to work with. And in today's blog I'm going to share some top tips on how to find the right website designer that will help you bring your vision to life.


How to find the 'right' person to work with

You want your website to:

  • Attract your ideal clients who truly value and appreciate you and are happy to pay what you're worth

  • Be a true reflection of you and your brand, and give off the right impression

  • Act as your storefront that works for you 24/7 (even when you're not around)

  • Build trust with your ideal client (we do business with people & brands we know, like and trust)

  • Create a genuine connection between yourself and your ideal client so that they feel like they're in the exact right place when they land on your website

  • Share your values and create connection: people buy from people

So as you can see, finding the right person to work with is not about jumping on Fiverr and seeing who is offering the cheapest hourly rate. This is not a race to the bottom. And although you might be tempted to go for the cheapest website, you get what you pay for.

When your website & brand is giving off the right impression and attracting your ideal clients who can't wait to work with you because you've shown up for them as the person who has the full solution to their problem, it doesn't become about money anymore to them, it becomes about value.

And you need to get your messaging right on your website so that you're communicating your unique value proposition, which is how you stand apart from the crowd. And yes, everyone has their own unique value proposition!

So, you need to find a good designer who has the right skillset and experience, but who also really GETS you and your brand... so that they can help you clarify your message and translate it visually.

1. Ask your friends and peers who they've used

Word of mouth and referrals are always the best! You'll feel more confident hiring someone who comes recommended to you by your friends or peers. Make a list of designers and then go through each of the points below.

2. Ask for recommendations on social media

Post on social media and you'll be sure to get plenty of recommendations. There are Facebook groups dedicated to your particular niche which you can ask in, or find ones that have freelancers and small business owners in.

3. Visit websites

Make a short list of your favourite websites: find some in your industry and others who might not be the same industry but that you just love. Visit each of them and scroll to the bottom of the page. It will usually say who designed the website in the footer so you can click on the link and view the designer's own website there.

4. Check out the web designer's portfolio

Once you have a shortlist of designers to check out, visit their websites and take a look through their whole portfolio. Make sure to click on the websites themselves so you can get the true experience.

5. Read testimonials and case studies

Read all the testimonials, reviews and case studies on the web designer's site to see what people say about working with them. Also check out their profile on Google My Business and see the reviews people leave there.

6. Book a discovery call with the website designer

Once you find someone you like the look of, book a discovery call with them. These should be free and no obligation to you. This is the best way to see if you're a good fit. Do you connect with them? Or do they bamboozle you with technical jargon? Make sure you'll feel comfortable asking 'silly questions' so that when you're working together you'll feel calm, organised and in control of your website.

7. Trust your gut

Pay attention to how you feel when you speak to the designer. Often it's a case of going with your gut instinct. If you find the designer was warm, friendly and open then that's a good sign!

8. Pricing

Some designers will include things like your domain and website hosting package with their design fee. Ask them to send you a price break-down: you want someone who's transparent with their pricing so you know exactly what you're in for. In many cases if you're investing in a website, you'll be able to pay it off over a couple of months which can help with your cash flow and also ensures that you're 100% happy with the results.

9. Own your domain

I'm a firm believer that you should be the owner of your own domain. This is your website address, and you can easily purchase one from GoDaddy, 123 Reg etc before you start designing your website. This means that you have full control over your own domain, rather than the designer being in control.

10. Freelance website designer or small business owner

Working with a freelancer designer or small business owner will help you keep costs down as they don't have the big overheads that a traditional agency would have. Many of these designers will have previous experience that they are bringing with them, and the skills and qualifications to back it up.

When you work 1-to-1 with someone, you often get a higher level of personalised support. The success of your website build means a lot to small business owner, because you're not just a number: you're a livelihood and also an important piece of work in the designer's portfolio.

11: You get what you pay for

It's really easy to find a cheap designer on platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. But I'm guessing since you're here that you know cheap isn't always good! Anyone with a laptop and internet connection can claim to be a designer these days. So if you're purely price-shopping and want to go with the cheapest option, it's pretty much a race to the bottom (there is always someone who will do it for cheaper) but you will soon realise need to pay twice once you realise your website isn't converting. I see this happen all the time.

12: Enjoy the process

You'll be working closely with the designer for a period of time, so you need to get along well with them and you want to enjoy the process

Remember this is your brand, your vision, your future. You want to enjoy the process of designing your website and bringing it all to life!



How to plan a brilliant small business website (even if you have no experience)

Checked out my FREE 20 minute video showing you exactly how to plan a brilliant small business website. It comes with an editable workbook too so you can create a simple action plan and finally make some progress with your website.

This is perfect for you if:

  • You know you need a website but don't know where to begin

  • The whole process feels daunting

  • You're worried you're going to mess things up or make the wrong decision

  • You don't know if you should do-it-yourself or outsource your website

Love these blog posts and want to sign up for a monthly round-up of awesome tips for your small business website? Subscribe here.


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