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Every Web Agency SAYS “We’re Great!” So How Do You Figure Out Who You Should Hire??

By Erin  |   Business Website Tips | Websites: The Basics

woman wondering how to choose the best web agency

I personally feel the pain of businesses trying to choose the best web agency for their projects.  I've been in their shoes with past decisions of my own. 

It's not dissimilar to trying to find the right home builder, the right business consultant, or the right college: so many options seems really good.

Every option seems to have a solid website, good reviews, happy past customers, and an impressive portfolio.  

The scary part, though, is that the downside of making the wrong choice is oftentimes very big when it comes to hiring a website development or design agency.

And so the question remains: how in the world can one greatly increase the likelihood of making a smart choice here??

You wouldn't believe me if I told you, right?

From the outside it might seem a bit self-serving for me to proffer advice on how to choose a good website agency, right?  

After all... I do happen to own one.  So I'd probably give you advice that—were you to consider it—would put my company at an advantage. (Right?)

Not quite.


Because we're rather obsessive about good fit here. We can't and don't want to work with everyone.  (In fact, we turn down most of businesses that reach out to us.)  It's just bad business for us to try and convince you we'd be an excellent fit when we don't know that yet.  

So to me, it really IS all about helping you find the right company that's the best fit for you.

That's why instead of sharing my thoughts today, I'm sharing the opinion of an industry leader who gives advice to people and businesses looking to hire agencies.

An objective resource + solid advice

Today's advice on how to choose the right website design or development agency comes from Drew McLellan (on twitter here). Drew is an author, podcaster, speaker, and founder of the Agency Management Institute. 

Drew has shared that after you've done some basic due diligence and compared objective measures (e.g., determined the web agency has delivered meaningful results for past clients, has true stability, and does work in a price range that falls within your budget), you need to take a bit of time to ask questions that will uncover what an agency's "secret sauce" is.  

In other words, start with objective measures, then move to subjective after you've narrowed it down to your finalists.  This is because every agency works and thinks a little bit differently, and you want to ask questions that you'll use to subjectively and confidently evaluate your finalists' pros and cons.

The top 5 things Drew recommends you keep an eye out for are:

  1. Do they ask you thought-provoking questions? (If they don't, they may not be good listeners or critical thinkers.)
  2. Do they make assumptions about you or jump to conclusions about your goals or needs? (If they do, you may end up with a solution that's not what you were hoping for.)
  3. Would you want to grab a beer with the agency's leader(s)? (Drew shares this is more important than you might think because when times get tough, as they often can on projects, it's absolutely vital you get along with your agency.)
  4. Are the leaders glory hogs? (Uh-oh. We may not have team players here.)
  5. Are they hungry to work with you, but not desperate? (You don't want to work with an agency that needs your business to stay afloat.  Why don't they have other clients?)

You can read Drew's full post here.


What about you?  What do you feel is important when it comes to hiring a web agency?  Or do you have more questions about how to find the best fit for you?

Drop us a note about your project and let's talk today. We promise to let you know immediately if we wouldn't be a great fit for your project, and we'll even take time to refer you to an alternative resource that would likely be a better match.

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