We’re encouraged to spend a lot of time thinking about our target audience, aren’t we? What are they like? What are their hobbies? What kind of lifestyle do they lead?
But there’s one thing business owners don’t often do…
Think about who they don’t want to work with.
Thinking about who you don’t want to work with is a powerful exercise.
We’re not talking about the people everyone would hate to work with. You know the ones – those who never pay on time (if ever) or make ridiculous demands at 2am. Nobody wants that!
No, we’re talking about people who aren’t the right fit for your business. These aren’t bad people, they’re just not right for you. And equally, you might not be right for them.
By doing this exercise, you can tailor your website copy and content to those who are right for you, and equally, dissuade those who aren’t. This helps you build trust and loyalty with those you truly care about and saves you wasting time with the people you don’t want to work with.
And in practising what we preach, here are our 10 reasons we’re not the web design agency for you!
1. You Want a ‘Yes Man/Woman’
Now, I’ll start off by saying, there’s nothing wrong with knowing exactly what you want and getting someone to do it for you. It’s just not the way we work.
Our passion is working with businesses and advising them throughout the project. We will say if we think something won’t work or could be done better. If we didn’t, we’d feel we were doing a disservice to our clients.
We will also advise you on everything from website copy to content marketing. Even if this doesn’t have a direct impact on what we’re working on.
For some people, this just isn’t going to work. They have a clear idea in mind of what they want and they need someone to build it for them. That’s no problem – we’re just not the right fit.
2. You Need Someone to ‘Code it Up’
Sometimes, people already have a designer who designed their website pages for them. They simply need a techie to ‘code it up’.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not something we do.
We don’t do this because we design websites in a particular way. We don’t just consider how they look, we also have to think about the user journey, SEO and how easy it is to navigate.
Some designers won’t factor this in, and we would never build a website unless we were 100% sure it could generate you leads and sales.
But also, from a selfish point of view, our favourite bit of web design is…well the design! We LOVE designing. We work with our clients on the wireframes of their pages and then we get to the fun part – the actual design. Honestly? We get pretty giddy over it. Sad I know! But if this weren’t part of the project, we just wouldn’t have as much fun.
3. You Want Someone to Manage Every Bit of Your Website
It’s no secret we like to work with people who are hand’s on with their website.
A lot of web design agencies make money from charging their clients for small website edits. This could be something like changing your phone number or adding a blog post.
But to be honest, we have zero interest in making money out of updating your phone number. We give you full access to your site, and the more you can do, the better.
We’re more than happy to train you how to do things through our training videos, and we’re more than happy to make changes when they’re beyond your skillset (i.e. coding). But we don’t take on clients who want to be completely hands-off with their website and need a company to do everything for them like uploading blog posts, for instance.
4. You Want Someone Local to Meet Face-To-Face
We get it, we really do. There’s a certain security in meeting with someone local at their office before you hand over the big bucks.
But it’s just not what we do.
It’s not because we’re hermits (well, Martin is). It’s because we don’t have the time to meet everyone face-to-face when we’re a small team. We work with businesses all across the UK. It would take a 10-hour round trip to meet some of our clients. With the meeting itself, that’s two days out of the business. Having several of these across a project would increase the cost of a website significantly. And all for something that could be done over a video call.
Ultimately, remote working allows us to charge a smaller amount for what people consider a ‘big agency’ website.
It’s not that we never meet clients face-to-face, but we do charge extra for this (when many agencies just incorporate it into the cost).
5. You Need a Cheap Web Designer
Yeah, I know, I’ve just harped on about charging less than big agencies. But, we do sometimes come across people who want a cheap web designer.
Our websites aren’t cheap. They start at £4497+VAT and some have cost £30,000+
But we sometimes get asked what we can build for £1000 or £2000, and the answer is we can’t work with you. It’s not that we’re mean, it’s just for that amount of money we don’t feel we could have much of an impact on your business.
6. You’re a New Business
Always a controversial one, and we have had people upset about this!
We don’t work with brand new businesses.
Now, that just sounds awful. But there is a logical reason.
We’ve worked with new businesses in the past, and every time they’ve come back to us to redesign their site.
New businesses change quickly. You niche down, get rid of services, add services, become clear on who you’re targeting, your brand and your voice. When you’re just starting out, all of this is up in the air, it’s only when you’ve been in business a few years does it settle.
So there’s absolutely no point throwing thousands at a website that you’re going to have to redesign shortly after.
When people approach us in this way, we usually recommend they invest in a good WordPress website template with good hosting and support and if they can stretch good photography!
It’s amazing what you can achieve with a good template and photography. That way, you can build your business up without spending too much, and when you’re ready and certain about who you are, you can invest that money into a new website.
7. You Need a Website Fast
Again, this one has caused some irritation. But no, we can’t build you a website within two weeks. Not one we feel would deliver you a great return on investment anyways!
We have a detailed process, which includes a lot of research, wireframing, designing, building, transferring content and checking the website. All of this takes a lot of time and dedication, and a lot of communication with you.
Unfortunately, we can’t do it super quick, and again, if we did, we’d feel like we were doing you a disservice.
But there are agencies out there who do have super-fast turnaround times, and, if you have your heart set on a launch date in two weeks, it might be best to try them!
8. You Expect the Website Will Do All the Work
Websites are amazing. There’s no Mark Zuckerberg telling you what you can and can’t do. They are all yours – that little space on the internet that tells people who you are and what you do.
But they won’t work when they sit there looking pretty.
We can only do so much. We can build beautiful websites with conversions and SEO in mind, but if you’re not prepared to invest your time in growing your website, then it won’t work.
By growing, we mainly mean, content marketing, email marketing and/or social media marketing. There are so many things you can do to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions. Throughout the project, we’ll help you with this and give you all our knowledge. But ultimately, it comes down to you.
The success of your website is a partnership between us. If you expect the website to do all the work, we’re not the company for you.
9. You Want a Big Agency
We are but two humans and two cats in this business. We work with some amazing people who help make our clients’ websites the best they can be, BUT, we are still a small team.
Sometimes, you might just need a big agency who deal with everything in-house – logo design, social media management, web design, print advertising etc.
We’re niche in what we do – WordPress Web Design but that might be too niche for some people who want to work with a humongous agency.
And that’s okay!
10. You Want Us to Wear a Suit
Nope. We’re just not doing it!
This is actually a running joke. We hate suits.
When we first started our business in 2012, we wore suits to meetings with local potential clients. We would park our old car (with only one wheel-rim) far away from where we were meeting just so the potential client wouldn’t see it.
We would carry briefcases and I’d stumble wearing heels. We probably used phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘out of the box’. And, we ended up working with people who weren’t the right fit for us. We were pretending to be something we weren’t and we were miserable!
We associate suits with the kind of business we don’t want to lead. And that’s why we will never wear them!
What does this mean for you?
If you fit into one of the categories above, we really hope you’re not offended! We really do mean it when we say, it’s not you, it’s us! We just want to make sure we work with the right people and are able to help you get the most out of your investment. Happy clients make us happy, and we’ve learnt the hard way by working with people who aren’t the right fit.
How can you do this exercise?
Honestly, this exercise is so useful. Being aware of who the wrong type of person is for your business really helps you work with the right clients.
But how do you figure out who is the right fit/ wrong fit for you?
What do you love doing?
I know, I know. Super cheesy. But there are certain things we love to do (like designing) that we’d never give up.
That’s why we made the decision to only take on clients when they want us to design AND build them a website. We would hate to become an agency of simply ‘techies’ that had no creative input.
What do you hate doing?
Do we want to be making tiny edits to someone’s website like changing their phone number? Hell no.
It’s just not fun for us. And it’s not fun for the client because it’s expensive and it takes too much time.
You have two choices when you can charge for something you hate. Don’t do it, or outsource it.
We decided not to make tiny edits to our clients’ websites. Yes, we could outsource, but then, there’s still admin and email communication around that. Sometimes, simply culling something is far easier for your business!
What are your ethics?
Is there anything about your industry that pisses you off? Is there something you feel that ethically you shouldn’t do? Or maybe, it just doesn’t sit right with you?
There are loads of amazing web designers out there (we’re friends with many of them). But there are also a ton of crappy ones.
Taking thousands of pounds off new business owners doesn’t sit right with us. We know they’re likely to need a redesign further down the line.
Also, not giving full access to a website and teaching your clients how to make basic changes is something that annoys us about some other agencies. So we don’t do it.
What is it that bothers you? And what will you say no to?
What is within your skillset?
It’s tempting to do everything, isn’t it? But trying to do everything pretty much guarantees you’re going to be miserable.
We started out by offering logo design, print design and social media management as well as web design and SEO. The result? We’d spread ourselves too thinly, and we didn’t know enough about the other services to deliver the best service to our clients.
So, we cut what we weren’t specialists in and focused solely on web design. Honestly? It’s the best decision we ever made!
What’s your capacity?
There’s no use pretending you’re a huge company then struggling with a big project. It leads to unhappy clients and unhappy you!
Be honest about your team and capabilities. There are always ways to sell yourself, even if you’re smaller than the competition.
We’re upfront about being a team of two but we’ve landed some big clients against some pretty huge agencies. Just being transparent in your business goes a long way to building trust and loyalty.
Over to you?
Is this an exercise you’ve done before?
Or, is this something you’re going to do now?
I’d love to know how you’ve got on and if this has made things clearer for you in your business. Comment below with your feedback!