If your law firm’s web designer can’t provide robust answers to the following ten simple questions, fire them. Today.
- “How much is the right amount to spend on my website, and why?”
- “How much traffic will I get, and what’s the average earning per visitor?”
- “When will I see a return on my investment?”
- “What will you do to maximize my ROI and minimize my risk?”
- “How do you know the new site will do better than the old one?”
- “How will you make my site perform better over time?”
- “How will you research my competition and my prospective market?”
- “How viable is my proposition against other firms?”
- “How will we prove the viability of this project?”
- “Should I invest in content marketing, social media, video, mobile, pay-per-click, local SEO? Why?”
You see, there are two kinds of web designers:
- Those whose goal it is to make your website make YOU money.
- And the rest, whose goal it is to make money for themselves.
The latter represents the vast majority of web designers out there.
They don’t understand that web design is marketing, and – to be honest – they don’t understand marketing either.
They’ll charge you as much as they think you’ll pay for a new website, without considering how valuable the website will be to you. Perhaps they think that a sexy design is valuable in itself. It’s not.
At Item-9, we believe web design shouldn’t work like that.
A Better Way: Strategic Web Design
We practice “Strategic Web Design”.
That means we’ll only take on any project when we are confident that it will generate profit for our client.
Phase One: Internal and Competitor Research
How do we know? We do our research. We’ll consider all sources of traffic, and the cost of that traffic. Then we’ll estimate the likely earning per visitor, which helps us assess the potential viability of the project.
What does this cost? Just $999.
$999 is a small price to pay to know whether your web marketing project is likely to make you money (and how to go about it), or whether you’ll be better off investing your marketing budget elsewhere.
After reviewing the results of the research, if we agree to proceed, we’ll continue to watch over your budget very carefully. In fact, we tell our clients that we treat your money as if it were our own. So we’ll only invest in any exercise that we’re confident will generate a positive return.
Phase Two: Proof of Concept
Before a producer invests big money in a stage show, they’ll test it on audiences in smaller theaters.
Before a car maker invests in plant to build a new model, they’ll build prototypes to make sure it works as intended, in every way.
So, if you’re going to invest in your online marketing, why not insist on similar proof of concept? We think you should.
The second phase of Strategic Law Firm Web Design is just that – the proof of concept phase.
We’ll create a rapid prototype website, applying all the best practice we’ve accumulated. Here’s what’s radically different between the Strategic approach and the old-fashioned web design model…
A Strategic designer knows that, whilst sexy graphics can help a website to convert visitors, the core success factors are all down to content.
What’s your law firm’s position, who’s your market, what urgent problem do you promise to solve, why should people trust you?
These questions make the difference between success and failure.
So, if you want to know exactly how viable your project is, you need to prove it, by investing some time in creating marketing messages that include great content. Sexy design can often come later, but to invest days in graphics and production early on is a high-risk approach. (And we don’t like high risk.)
We’ll put a heap more effort into what matters: researching your competition, crafting your position, your unique point of difference, your offerings, your guarantee, your proof, etc., and much less effort into decoration.
That means you’ll get a bare-bones prototype solution. Now, that will often be a WordPress-based website, but it could be an e-commerce site, a Facebook page, or an email campaign… Whatever it takes to prove the concept!
The goal of the POC phase is to generate a baseline profit forecast. Put simply, that means, “Even with just the bare bones in place, we know we can generate $x per visitor.”
Remember, at this point, you have still committed less investment than you would have done by engaging an old-world web designer, who’ll charge you thousands up-front for a website, with NO IDEA when you’ll see your money back.
Why is the baseline profit forecast important?
Well, it will tell you how viable your project is right now. And with minimal investment required. That means you know (no guessing – you know) how much money you’ll make if we can increase traffic or conversion rates by 10%, 20%, 1000%…
Phase Three: Growth
Here’s another distinct difference between the old approach and the new, marketing-led Strategic approach.
If you work with a Strategic design team, you’ll enter into what will hopefully be a long-term relationship. Every month, it would be your design team’s goal to grow your profits, consistently and reliably.
There are really two ways we do this: by driving more qualified traffic, and by converting more of those visitors to customers.
That’s what we do at Item-9. We have a whole tool kit of tried-and-tested methods that we can confidently predict will generate more business and more profits for you. Every month, we’ll apply those methods that we think will generate the most growth.
Of course, as responsible marketers, we’ll test every change we make. Nobody knows for sure what will work for any particular market sector. So you have to test. Always.
You may have heard of the Japanese principle of kaizen. This means continual improvement. And it’s the approach we’ll use for your website.
Every month, we’ll try various techniques to attract more visitors, and to get more conversions. We’ll keep every change that works, and we’ll ditch any that don’t. Then we’ll try again.
What Does Strategic Web Design Cost?
Just like traditional old-fashioned design, it depends. If you worked with Scratch Web Marketing, you could invest anything from a few thousand dollars.
But here are two key differences.
Firstly, you’ll commit to spending less than you would with a comparable traditional designer. Why? Because our methods are more efficient. We know where to invest time and energy.
Secondly, you should expect to see profits sooner from a Strategic web project, so further monthly investments are just that – investment, not cost.
Every dollar spent should generate more than one dollar for your law firm.
If it isn’t, you’re doing web design wrong.
Fire your web designer, and let’s treat your law firm with the respect it deserves.