What, as a web and creative agency, we want from a brief
In the last blog, we wrote about how your website might be holding back your business. In this blog, we will cover the next step in the journey: talking to a creative agency such as ourselves about getting a new website.
Before we can put together a compelling proposal, we will want to ask you a stack of questions to get to the bottom of what you need. If you are talking to an umber of agencies and looing for a range of approaches, you’ll find yourself answering the same questions again and again. So our advice is to put some essential information down in a written brief, commonly known as a requirements document. That way, everyone knows where you stand, and everyone’s starting from the space place.
So, what do we want from a brief?
Tell us about yourself
Well, not just you but your business as well. Knowing what sector you’re in, how long you’ve been around, who your customers are, and what they think of you all steers us towards the kind of design you will need. Turnover and size of your business are vital pieces of information too – a company that turns over £100k looks, acts and talks differently from a company that turns over 1m. We need to know who you are.
Evaluate your existing site (if you have one)
If you already have a website, it’s useful to know why you want to change it. So tell us about traffic and leads. Where are your visitors from? How are they viewing your site and how long are they hanging around? What do you still like about the website and where does it fall short? Be clear about things your current site isn’t doing, that you think the new one should.
Define the purpose of the new site
It’s surprising how many clients struggle with defining the purpose of their website. Everyone seems to understand that they need a website, but not many truly understand why. So that’s the purpose of the site and what is its role within your company? Is it to sell products, tell your story, promote your offers or explain your services? If you don’t have an idea of what your site is there to do, how will you know what success looks like when you’ve achieved it?
What’s your budget?
There are no tricks to this question. We aren’t trying to find out how much we can squeeze you for so don’t be afraid to divulge this ‘secret’ information because it is quite vital. A website isn’t an off-the-shelf product; it is bespoke. There’s more than one way to create a site that meets your needs, so knowing how much money is in the pot means we can focus on the best solutions for your budget. Plus, if we’re all working with the same constraints, when it comes to reviewing proposals, you know you’re comparing apples with apples.
What does that budget cover?
‘I need a website’ can mean many different things to many different people and agencies. So be clear. Is your budget just for the physical build of the website, or is it for creating content as well? Think about who’s writing the words and where the images are coming from. Have you set anything aside for on-going support and maintenance? If you want, say, monthly blogs, who are creating and uploading them? Finally, what about marketing? How will people know your new site even exists?
Show us what you Like
Building a website is like any other creative process. It starts with a blank canvas and has the potential to go off in an infinite number of directions. It’s worth providing a few examples of websites that inspire you and the sort of thing you’re competing against in your sector. This information provides a bit of context and increases the chances that you’ll get something back that’s not entirely unexpected. Tell us what you don’t like – pointing us to websites that don’t inspire you can be just as useful.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything we will ask you as your creative web agency. We will need to know more but thinking about these points up-front means that you won’t be entering into conversations unprepared. Preparation means that we won’t spend as long digging for answers. We will instead spend the time answering your problems and working with you to come up with fresh and creative ideas.
Providing content for your new website
The most challenging task for us as your web agency and you as the client is providing the all-important content.
Fresh content is the lifeblood of a website and its always a good to have a few new or different ideas for your site’s content and blogs. Your original content is one thing, but also plan to update your website with further information regularly – google will love you for it.
We will walk you through the content that we need for your new website. Still, it is always worth thinking about what essential messages you need to get across to your clients and audience. What are you trying to purvey?
You might want to educate your clients on your company vision and mission or provide them with the knowledge for your accreditations. Perhaps you feel that past work is essential, so testimonials are required from your current clients or previous jobs?
You will need to provide that to us as your agency – perhaps think about:
- Testimonials from clients
- History of your company and its experience in the sector
- Case Studies describing previous work/projects
- Your company vision and mission statements (if you have them)
- Your USP
These things will provide us with useful information on how you operate and plan to interact with your audience, meaning that we can schedule your content more effectively. We aim to understand your company so that we can understand your client base and build a site that complements your business and meets your client’s expectations.
Images are crucial for your website – in fact, from a user experience, they are the essential aspect of your site. The human mind is a pleasure seeker, so anything that requires effort or is complicated will be overlooked. Images are a great way of getting your message across as they are easy for users to scan and form opinions from quickly. It’s, therefore vital that you provide us with images and ideas for images/graphics that will match your product/services and simplify your content.
Getting content and imagery right is the hardest part of any website design – but don’t worry because that’s why we are here. Collaborative working alongside you and your business will mean that we will be able to get your content spot on.