You’ve put together a business plan, set up operations and pressed the green light on your new start-up business. Now you need customers. And pronto. So you think: “I’ll just throw up a website.” Then you Google a number of platforms like Wix and Squarespace that insist you can design an effective, lead generating website all by yourself with no coding knowledge or even a cursory understanding of SEO.
That may seem a little harsh, but there’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that successful web design and online marketing takes years of learning and experience. You wouldn’t perform your own appendectomy. You shouldn’t dabble in your company’s digital marketing either. You can bet there will be financial consequences.
That’s how long it takes to acquire proficiency at a new skill. Like web design. A recent Ted Talk by Josh Kaufman (based on numerous studies) exposed this number as the time necessary to master something—give or take a few minutes. If you paid yourself $50/hour, you would be spending the equivalent of $500,000 to master something a good web design company already has oodles of expertise in.
Now let’s say you only wanted to learn the basics, gather enough skill to get your digital presence up and running. According to Josh and the studies he culled, gathering basic knowledge takes about 20 hours. That’s roughly $1,000. Much cheaper. But you’re also getting a much cheaper digital presence, one that is not likely to attract much online traffic. Throw in some hard costs for hosting, themes, images, etc. and now you’re looking at a higher cost. The small amount you’ll save by doing it yourself may not be worth it when your site never gets on the first page of Google searches, converts poorly, or just looks downright ugly.
Don’t forget you have a life.
You might also consider how you’re going to find those hours needed to learn and then build your own website while you are also trying to run your business, maintain obligations to family and friends, and get some sleep. The web design might fall by the wayside, or take longer than it should. Keep in mind that the more time you spend without the ability to market your start-up online, the fewer customers you will acquire. Profits will likely suffer.
Expert web designers bring knowledge to the table.
Web design is both an art and a science, and it’s the combination of these that delivers a powerful online presence. At ACS Creative, we don’t have a single expert. We have a pool of savvy designers and SEO specialists who work in concert to create successful digital marketing platforms for our clients. You could try to become an expert in web design and SEO, but as we already showed, this is not really worth your time. Better to focus your efforts on your business operations and hire a digital marketing agency to leverage their skills on your behalf.
Digital marketing is affordable. Really.
If you breakdown the cost of hiring an agency per number of experts you’ll have at your disposal, the value of your expense really comes to light. It will cost more than finding a young freelancer willing to throw up a website on your behalf on the cheap, but you are going to miss out on the strategic planning. (The science part mentioned above.) You’ll end up with a nice-looking site that may or may not perform well. You could also hire staff to manage your digital marketing in-house, but once your website is up and running smoothly, you may not have a need to keep those costly, full-time employees around. You’ll be adding unnecessary overhead to a fledgling business.
Digital experts get the job done.
Like little elves in the night, a good digital marketing agency will develop a strategy for your online presence that includes web development, SEO, digital campaigns and social media outreach. Then they will create a timeline for delivery that includes actionable milestones. Once you sign off on the plan, they get to work. You don’t have to worry about learning how to create online contact forms. You won’t spend hours writing content. You’ll get to sit back, relax, and review the work, getting to say things like: “I really like this direction” or “Can we move this image to the landing page?”
Back to your competitors.
When it comes to digital marketing, you do need to keep up with the Joneses. Your online presence should look as slick and function as well as the other companies in your market space. If they are hiring experts to conduct strategic digital marketing, then it’s only a matter of time before your start-up or small business suffers in comparison. Be proactive. Get your website done right from the get-go. We believe hiring web design experts will save you time, money and headaches. It may even save your business.