Hire a professional

I’ve been on a soap box lately.  It’s about getting people to hire professionals to do the job they need done.

If your pipe broke, you wouldn’t try to fix it yourself.  You’d hire a plumber to do it.  But when it comes to the internet, somehow we all think we can do it ourselves.

Technology has changed the way we do business.  It has given us tools that were unimaginable ten or even five years ago.  But just because the technology exists and we know how to use it, doesn’t mean we can do many jobs ourselves.

Today, just about every company has a website. And there are tools and templates out there for us to build our own.  But having the technology doesn’t make us a website designer.  We’ve all seen websites that don’t look professional, or have too much copy, or are not very user friendly.  Or that feel off, or inappropriate for the company.   Working with a professional web or graphic designer, who discusses your goals for your site and then designs something that will meet your needs, can not only save you a lot of money but make you money.  The result will better represent you, help you gain more business and keep you from having to redo your site.

Putting together the copy for a website…now that is also something we shouldn’t do ourselves…yet so many of us do.  Having MSWord and spell check doesn’t make us a writer. I see tons of sites with typos all over them. Sloppy grammar or typos on a website makes us look sloppy. Sure, we probably know more about what our product or service is than a professional writer, but they know how to write for an audience.  They can turn your ideas into words that attract people, and actually enhance your product or service.  They can make your ideas work harder for you.

Similarly, having a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page doesn’t make us social media strategists.  Just putting stuff out there isn’t enough.  What you publish needs to serve your business by engaging potential customers and creating conversations about your business.  It needs to engage people in a way that enhances your bottom line.  And if that’s not happening for you, your time and effort is wasted.

That’s the idea of any communication…website visuals and web copy included.  If it doesn’t work to deliver your objectives and to enhance your bottom line in some way, then it isn’t working for you at all.

A good professional will always start with your objectives, with what is it you are trying to accomplish, and then deliver something…logo design, website, copy, social media strategy, marketing strategy…whatever, that meets your objectives.  Besides, without objectives, how do you judge the quality of the deliverable?

I’m a big branding person.  How a business is represented in the marketplace creates the perception of one’s brand.  And how a business  is represented includes every way the customer sees you…from ads and website, to tweets and blogs.  EVERYTHING.

If you want to maximize the effect of all your communications…really create a brand image for your company…hire the professionals who have been trained and have experience…who know what they are doing.  It may cost more money now, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

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