Of North Korea, CMS and Creative Firms – Reaching a Mass Online Audience

If you run a business, you need a website. This much is already established. If you’ve already got a site but you aren’t seeing the kind of traffic that you think you’re capable of bringing in, you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that you’re going to need a serious revamp or a full on do-over. The good news? Acceptance is the first step. Oddly enough, it’s one that an awful lot of business owners come to slowly, if ever at all. But it’s step number two that’s the most crucial of all: deciding who to hire to help you in that process. Make the wrong choice, and you could end up right back where you started. Make the right choice, and it could be a game changer that might propel your business into the stratosphere.
A Deer in the Headlights

The biggest problem that you’ll face when setting out to find a third party to help you create an effective website are the vast multitude of choices on the market. You’ve got CMS firms vying for your business and promising you the best possible web creation experience and traffic buliding outcomes. Then there are the creative firms that offer the same, but that do so with an approach more closely resembling traditional marketing. Who should you choose? If you’re okay with throwing a bunch of names into a hat and choosing someone at random, you’re leaving the success of your online business in the hands of fate. But if they all look the same to you and you’re clueless about what separates one from the other, isn’t selecting by any other standard just as risky? Now perform this experiment: reach for the nearest reflective surface and peer into it or go stand in front of a mirror. If the person you see staring back at you doesn’t strongly resemble a deer in the path of an oncoming car, then you’re probably overconfident in your abilities to choose the right route.

What CMS Firms Do

CMS firms offer programs that make the creation of websites a relatively simple process, eliminating the need to learn HTML and allowing for the automation of design. The problem with taking the CMS route is that it’s easy for companies to spend far too much money on bells and whistles and complex functionalities they’ll never use. Money aside, there are also practical reasons that could make choosing CMS a bad idea, or at best a poor fit. Ask yourself this question: what’s the benefit of buying into something that’s going to devour the majority of your resources to figure out how to use? If anything, buying into something that’s far too complicated can be a waste of time and money. If you’re bound and determined to choose CMS, go simple and inexpensive. Anything else is overkill.

What Creative Firms Do

On the flipside of this coin, you’ve got creative firms that place a heavy emphasis on content and design, arguably the two most important components of increased web traffic. This is an area that far too few businesses seem willing to pour money into – but even those who do often make the mistake of assuming that a one-time makover will last a lifetime. The reality is, content and design have to be updated frequently. Without those two key elements, a website stagnates and dies. Creative firms act like an extension of your sales department and keep your website thriving, while paying attention to the analytics that matter the most with respect to your business goals.

North Korea and the Big Wind of Change

What do creative firms and North Korea have in common? Not much, really – except for one thing. Both believe that you don’t need some fancy-schmancy software program to achieve a highly visible web presence. You know what the nation of North Korea uses to host their official website? A WordPress site. Sure, it’s not one of those freebie designs, but when you consider that they probably paid a one-time fee of anywhere from $75 to $140 for a simple CMS template (no design or content included), it kind of helps drive home the point about simplicity and focusing on what’s important in web design. The fact is, the online world has changed dramatically over the course of the last few years, making it possible for small businesses to compete with corporate megaliths in classic David vs. Goliath fashion. And what did David use to bring Goliath crumbling to his knees? You can bet your posterior it wasn’t a heat-seeking missile armed with all the latest high tech software innovations. It was a rock to the noggin that brought that sucker down.

One More for the Road

Here’s a little something to put in your back pocket and mull over as you’re making your decision about who to hire to handle your website needs. You’d never hire a construction company to handle your interior decorating, would you? Of course not. You’d never give approval for an anesthesiologist to perform surgery on you after he’s put you under, that’s for sure. And you’d never, ever let a plumber mess with your electrical. So why in the world would you consider putting the job of creating a thriving web presence into the hands of anyone other than a creative firm capable of bringing you the best bang for your buck? If you see a company that calls itself a “solutions firm,” run the other way. Preferably into the open arms of a creative marketing firm with a proven track record. End rant. Begin the start of your search.

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