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Preparing for Your First Meeting with a Web Agency

July 12, 2017
Zach Jones

Quick note: If you haven’t read our previous post, “4 Things to Consider When Hiring a Web Agency,” be sure to do so!

So, you’ve narrowed your list of web agencies, and you’re ready to begin meeting with them. Being the owner of a web agency, I can’t promise you with complete certainty what you’ll experience when meeting with a different web agency for the first time. I’ve never been on your side of the table. However, having been involved with hundreds of these meetings myself, and hearing what our Clients tell us about their experiences before hiring us, I feel I have a pretty solid idea of what you’ll encounter.

This meeting needs to be beneficial to both parties, and I know what you can do to allow an agency to provide maximum benefit to you. That is the subject of this post, so let’s dive in!

Needs & Problems

Firstly, and most importantly… You need to be able to clearly explain what you need. What problem(s) do you need solved? What business objective(s) are you trying to achieve? The more specific you can be, the better the agency can understand your needs. If you can’t provide this info, then you are not yet ready to meet with an agency. An agency can’t help you if they don’t know what you need help with.

Target Audience

Be prepared to describe your target audience. Every business has an “ideal customer profile.” Different businesses use different terminology, but the point is that there is a set of criteria that define your best and most profitable customers. Any agency worth their salt is going to want to know who you’re targeting, so be prepared to describe them. It is impossible to be too detailed, so don’t hold back!

Budget

Yes, I said the “b” word. You should have at least a rough budget in mind. Most businesses are hesitant to share their budget with a prospective agency. I get it! However, having a budget in mind and sharing it with a prospective agency actually helps you as much as it helps them. Here’s why: if an agency is going to charge you more than you’re willing or able to pay, do you really want to spend hours meeting with them multiple times? Of course not, that would be a waste of your and their time. The converse is true, as well… If you’ve decided what you’re willing to spend to solve a problem, such as increase new patients by X%, and a prospective agency says they can do it for a dollar amount far less than your budget, this can be a red flag. Perhaps they’re not capable of delivering, or maybe they just don’t understand your needs.

Even if it is just an approximation, be prepared to speak openly about your budget. Just remember that the best is never the cheapest, and only you can decide what is and isn’t a worthwhile investment in your business. I understand the fear that agencies will simply try to bilk your budget. Yes, that sometimes happens. However, if you follow our “4 Things to Consider when Hiring a Web Agency,” I’m confident you’ll have a good sense of whether or not this is an agency that will be dishonest.

Competition

Have a list ready of your top competitors, complete with their website addresses. This helps agencies learn more about your industry and understand what you’re up against, so to speak.

Your Preferences

If your needs include a new website, and you already have an idea of what kind of style you want, be prepared to discuss and show examples. If you don’t have a “wish list” in mind, that is fine, too! Agencies do this for a living, after all.

Summary

Depending on the agency you’re meeting with, this should have you solidly prepared for your first meeting. If they ask a lot of questions, don’t get frustrated–they’re trying to help you, and that can only be done with plentiful information from you. Additionally, have a list of your own questions ready. Agencies love meeting with businesses that are thoughtful, prepared, and organized!

Until next time, keep Ascending!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zach Jones

Zach has been with Ascend since founding the company in 2002. Currently, Zach serves as president & CEO, and focuses on business development and managing department leaders.

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