Avoid Hidden Costs With Your New Website

Practicing what we preach is one of the hardest things for anyone to do. We know we shouldn’t eat that doughnut, we can tell our co-workers not to eat that doughnut, but when it comes down to sticking to what we say — avoiding the doughnut is hard work. This is true in most of life. Especially when there’s no external pressure.

When it comes to the world of agencies, this pattern is often the truest when reflecting on the agency’s own marketing efforts. And it gets worse the smaller the agency is, because our resources are limited, and at the end, the client pays the bills. So as we should, we focus on the work that keeps our clients happy.

This year, Conveyor has been trying to change that by creating time to work on our own content. Our first big project was our new website, and my first question was,“how much should we budget for this?”

The hard costs were easy to plan because we don’t do website design and development internally. That’s when we leverage our awesome agency partners. For our site, we worked with Iris Creative. But, it was the effort needed throughout the rest of the process that surprised us in the end.

Here’s what we learned:

Stick to the process: when it comes to website content for our clients, we have our process down to a science. But when it came to our website, we took a more iterative approach. Why? Because we could. In short, we became our worst nightmare — an indecisive client.

Content goes beyond words: as a content agency, we always stick to a content-first approach. This means we don’t allow design to drive or limit the content on a page, and we don’t use Lorem Ipsum. What’s the catch? This only focuses on words. But stories are told with more than words. Don’t forget to plan for the images, videos, infographics that help you tell your business story.

Set a hard timeline: when you’re the client and also overseeing the production, the conflict of interest is inevitable, and the timeline can extend without notice. More time means more effort and more money. Avoid this by setting a hard timeline, and empowering the project manager to push back (a lot if necessary) on the client. After all, you’re the client.

More chefs in the kitchen: we have all been there — too many conflicting points of view and no clear way out. When it’s a client project, it’s easy — the client makes the call and you move forward. When the client is the whole company and everyone is involved on the project, it’s not as easy. Plan for team brainstorming and discussion. The end result will be better.

Done is better than perfect: Plan for phase 2. There will always be more functionality to add, and more awesome content to create. Don’t wait until it’s perfect before launching it. Put it out there, and keep making it better.

Coffee, beer and food: If the project takes a village, plan to feed them — or at least keep them going with coffee. Our site launch date changed five times, and at the end it took a 100-hour weekend to get it out. Trust me — we were all grateful to have an unlimited supply of coffee, food and beer to keep us going.

Website projects are a massive undertaking. This is why clients hire us to do it for them, because it’s always more work than anticipated. But going through this exercise has given us a new perspective and appreciation for what we do and how we do it.

If you haven’t explored our new site, take a few minutes to check it out.

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