Manage expectations. This is where most of the advertising agencies fail most often: in preparing the customer for the finality of the project and what’s next. When it comes to building a website, there is not one thing to think about, but many -- the name of the business, the name of the website, the hosting
Albert Einstein said that common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18. I’m fine with that, as long as we continue to collect and refine (hopefully) these prejudices, way beyond the 18 threshold. I personally find common sense hard to beat when it comes to guiding ourselves through the maze of life and the new situations we are going through almost every day.
So, let’s take a peek at my recently used "prejudices":
Less is more. I just finished a big chunk of a very dear project of mine, Birthday Scenes – an on-line shop that packages theme birthday parties for kids with everything you need for a party of eight in just 1 box. Before we got started, my friend – the owner of this business -- looked for a simple way to convey the core idea for this on-line shop, and shortly after, the big idea came: We plan, You party. You only need one big idea for your business. You don’t need more to be successful!
Speak clearly. You can never underestimate the value of clear communication and sharp language that leaves no room for interpretation. If you’ve ever attempted to build a website with a professional design boutique who does that for a living, you might have heard Star-Trek-ian words like: SEO, meta tags, MySQL, wire-frame, AdWords, CPC, no. of impressions, CPT, CRM, metadata, etc. You need to communicate with your customers in simple, easy to understand terms sp that they understand what you are saying and ultimately feel that they are part of their project. A customer will never agree to adding "meta-tags" to each web page, but he or she will always agree to adding elements that make it easier for the website to be found by the people who use the search engines to search for different things -- a.k.a meta-tags.
Understand the "why." I own a small creative boutique, and my projects range from developing a logo and the business stationeries to creating complex e-commerce websites (on-line stores). Sometimes, I hear things like, "I need to advertise in the local press" or "I think I need a blog." Immediately, my mind goes to the root of this request: Why? What problem are you trying to solve? Always answer these questions before jumping to solutions. You will be amazed to see how you will uncover such diverse ways to solve a problem.