In my Launching a Website – The Cast of Characters post, I described the roles involved with launching a website at a large organization. As a small business owner trying to launch a website and build awareness about your business, you won’t need as many people involved in the process, but you still need to complete the responsibilities of each person to launch and promote an effective website.
There are basically four options that you can follow:
- Do Everything Yourself
- Hire a Web Developer
- Hire Different Functional Experts
- Work With a Marketing Services Company
Do Everything Yourself
While this option is good because of the minimal financial costs associated, there may be a large learning curve based on your online expertise, and there is definitely a significant time investment. As the business owner and subject matter expert, it’s important that you distribute your message through content, but it may be more of challenge to setup all the pieces required to accomplish this goal than the cost savings warrants. Remember, time is money!
Hire a Web Developer
You can hire a web developer to help with implementation and testing, and many will be able to handle the design aspect as well so you’re covered from an executional standpoint. However, most of the planning and implementation of the ongoing marketing strategy will still need to be performed by you. Unless the web developer has marketing experience (and the ones who say they’ll build you a website for $500 or less don’t), you’re on your own.
Hire the Different Functional Experts
To launch and promote an effective website, at minimum, you’ll need a web designer/developer, a copywriter, and an online marketing expert with knowledge of SEO tactics and social media marketing. Finding someone strong in all of these areas is challenging so you will most likely need to find, hire, manage, and coordinate multiple people to implement your website and your ongoing Internet marketing plan.
Work With a Marketing Services Company
This option will provide you with help for both planning and implementation. You should work with an Internet marketing consultant who is basically a combination product manager, product marketing guy, SEO specialist, and online marketing expert. This person will want to understand your business goals and marketing objectives and will help create and implement a plan to increase the online visibility of your business. He acts as the quarterback to coordinate the different functional components – designers, developers, and copywriters – to ensure that your website launch and promotion meets your business goals.
This may be a more expensive option financially, but the time saved from not learning how to implement, not having to do the heavy lifting yourself, and not having to find and manage talent is time that you can use servicing your current clients and growing your business outside of online channels.