Websites worth making
The Websites Worth Making is a special solution developed specifically for professional services firms that have an established client base. These firms typically have a website which either needs a full redo or several important changes.
There are three core objectives a well-designed professional website should help achieve. First, as a marketing tool it should be bringing new business. Second, it should help with attracting better talent. Third, it should make your firm more efficient.
Professional services firms choose this solution when they know it isn’t enough to put a checkmark next to a firm’s website. It can’t be a brochure, an ad on a billboard in the middle of nowhere. It has to help them achieve their business goals.
About the Websites Worth Making
What does it mean to have a professional website that is worth making? For a well-marketed professional services firm it means several things.
First, it helps with generating more leads.
Second, it helps with qualifying prospects.
Third, it attracts the right kind of talent.
Fourth, it helps your prospects with differentiating your offers from other vendors.
Fifth, it elevates your authority.
Sixth, it lowers the cost of sale.
To make this happen your firm needs: good positioning, compelling copy, professional design, ongoing content, proof of your expertise and disciplined marketing. All of this will help you become the go-to expert in your category.
Luckily for you at least half of your competitors’ websites are cloned doppelgangers. More than 60% produce content occasionally. More than 80% publish generic information without any insight.
Our proprietary research into 60k+ professional services firms’ websites show that 39% have issues even with basic-level SEO (search engine optimization). Solid SEO that covers all the fundamentals is very rare. Combine that with lack of differentiation and buyers, that really need the type of work you’re best at, can’t find you.
The bad news — your firm is probably among these firms. It is nearly impossible for the right prospects to discover about your existance. They all flock to generalists who occupy first three positions of SERP, have been around for years and advertise non-stop. The good news for you — most of your competition are in the same boat and don’t know what to do about it.
You have a great opportunity here. Make your competence a beacon for your ideal clients. Build a practice you’ve always dreamed about.
The Websites Worth Making package isn’t about growing for the sake of growth. It is about attaining the comfortable level of the right kind of work for the right kind of clients who pay a price premium for your services.
Constituent elements of the WWM solution and the Process
If you want to know whether or not your firm needs the Websites Worth Making program you can send us an email or use one of the contact forms on this website. We will make a quick assessment of the state of your website and make suggestions.
There are certain cues that point to underlying problems, challenges and missed opportunities. We will candidly inform you of possible improvements (if any).
If you already know you need a new professional website that delivers on specific business objectives please move on to the next step.
Our first conversation over the phone will be about what you’re looking for for your firm. We’ll assess if there is a fit between what we do and what you want, and whether or not it makes sense to move forward.
To schedule a call please use one of the contact forms on this website.
We will issue an invoice for 2,000 USD payable upfront. We will schedule a 1-2hr diagnostics call typically within one week upon receipt of payment.
During this call we will ask you multiple questions to better understand your situation. There are no right or wrong answers so there is no need to prepare in advance.
If after this paid diagnostics session either of us decide not to move forward for whatever reason, we will refund you this fee in full. Typically within 2 business weeks.
Providing we have mutually agreed to go ahead we will spend some time (usually a week) to analyze your answers and come up with proposed solution(-s) for your website.
The diagnostics will reveal if the Websites Worth Making is the best way to move forward for your firm at this moment in time. Sometimes prior to building a website that is worth making we have to take a step back and address other matters.
Level of engagement
The diagnostics session allows us to put together the right combo of modules for this engagement. We will communicate this over email. Our typical engagement is outlined further.
The scope of work described here, in this WWM package, is a most common one. There are times due to newly uncovered information or deeper analysis that some modules have to be removed. Alterations are possible as well. This has an effect on the final price (up or down). But most of the time the process unfolds as follows.
To formalize things we will send you the paperwork: a contract to sign and return, a NDA signed on our part to protect your confidential information. We will then send you a list of materials you’ll need to prepare (e.g. number of clients, list of main competitors, itemized services).
Once you sign and return the contract we will send you the second invoice for 21,500 USD. Full prepayment. Non-refundable.
Number of workshops
Prior to doing the actual design and coding of your website we will conduct several workshops with your key people. This will allow us to discover what needs to be build, who it’s going to be built for, why, the business targets to hit.
We will conduct workshops (typically 4 in total) via Zoom (or similar). One workshop per week. All workshops are recorded for future reference. Some workshops consist of two modules, ~ 3 hours each. On average a typical workshop runs for 6 hours with a few breaks in between work.
It usually takes 4 weeks to go through all workshops. Sometimes we have to get back to one or several of the modules and rerun them partially due to newly uncovered (or previously missing) piece of data or information.
When their workload and schedule does not allow participants to spend 6 hours in workshops, we do one 3-4 hr module at a time.
Who should participate
We expect principals (owners, founders, presidents) and key executives from marketing, sales, business development and heads of individual service departments to be present at all times.
The exact number of people will be agreed upon during Part I of our engagement.
Most of the workshops have homework that has a due date — typically two days prior to the next workshop. It usually takes an hour to complete homework assignments.
Some of the assignments are instrumental to upcoming modules. If the homework isn’t submitted on time by all participants, we’d have to postpone commencement of the following steps.
The Websites Worth Making package consist of the following modules:
Core MVVP — discovering and formulating mission, vision, values and purpose of your firm. Nine out of ten firms either don’t have a mission statement or are vague / generic about it. Usually these statements are copied from other firms.
Storytelling — to elevate your image. To help us find patterns of behaviour among your clients and your people. To create compelling case studies.
Target Market — a closer look at your clients. This module is required to develop the website, its copy and messaging for the right target audience(-s).
Competitive landscape — an overview of your competition. We need to know who you shouldn’t be like. We’ll be able to spot their weaknesses as well as strengths.
Positioning — what business you’re in / should be. We have to find the perfect category for your firm.
Differentiation — how you can stand out from bland commodities. We must help your prospects make the choice.
Messaging — fundamental messages for compelling marketing comms.
The following modules are recommended but aren’t part of the standard Websites Worth Making package:
Service offerings — designing and repackaging your capabilities. Untangle the convoluted knot of services for your clients. Simplify your offers, yet make them more valuable. Price — 3,000 USD.
Lead nurturing — is a premium service for professional services firms that have met certain criteria to qualify for it. We design the journey for your prospects, gather more data about them, nudge them toward specific favourable actions and provide your sales team with actionable insight. Price — 20,000 USD + 10% of revenue increase in the following 12 months.
After the last module we will require 2 weeks to digest the data and produce concise, to-the-point recommendations.
Formal written reports are typically 60 pages long and are outside of the main scope of our engagements. Price starts at 2,000 USD and up for such reports.
We don’t recommend including an executive summary into the scope if the intention is to skim through the report, and put it on a dusty shelf.
Creating deliverables for WWM solution
After we supply you with our recommendations we will discuss and agree on business objectives and final budget for the third part of this engagement.
The must-have parts of the Websites Worth Making package are branding fundamentals, professional lead-generating website and your discipline toward insightful content for your prospects.
At this stage we will issue an invoice for approximately 21,500 USD. This is the amount you should plan for but the exact amount (that sometimes is less) will be worked out at the beginning of Part III of this engagement.
These amounts are payable upfront and are non-refundable.
We will outline what’s included in brand identity, what to expect and how many revisions you will have. This part of the engagement usually commences within 2-4 weeks.
We will cover all the fundamentals: logo design, color palette, icons, patterns and typography. We will not produce any marketing collateral such as business cards, brochures, posters, etc.
But you will have all the essentials as a solid branding system including guidelines for dos and dont’s. From there any professional graphic designer will be able to create any marketing collateral per your requirements.
We have specific objective criteria for evaluation and acceptance of our branding work. It always follows industry’s best practices. Subjective evaluation such as like or dislike will not be permitted.
If you’re looking for a perfect branding that everyone will love (which doesn’t exist by the way), the Websites Worth Making is not for you. Please select a different solution without the branding component.
Interviews, Videos & Photo shoots
Your website needs a good copy. We will help you select a professional journalist and/or copywriter who will conduct interviews with key people at your firm.
Ideally we would want you to have video shots of these interviews and some head shots of your employees and principals. Good quality interviews with video production and photo shoot can be costly. This part is always priced separately.
Our involvement in this process can be in an advisory role or as supervisors. We do not make video or photo shots / production. We do not conduct interviews ourselves. We will communicate all the requirements directly with these service providers keeping you in the loop.
Once the branding is done we will proceed with building a professional website for your firm. The work on the back-end of your website will begin earlier but the front-end work will require results from the branding module.
Typically a professional services firm requires a content management system (CMS), some reporting tools and several third-party integrations (with CRM, emailing services and social media). From the front-end perspective (design, nr.of pages, performance, SEO, content, copy, UI & UX, etc.) you can expect the kind of website you see in front of you. The back-end (CMS, dashboard, automations, integrations, etc.) is always custom-made per specific business objectives.
Take a look at this web design calculator if you want to get a bird’s eye view on what goes into web design estimates.
Web design phase
We will create three style directions for you to choose from. We don’t recommend going beyond that number as it will inevitably shift the end date of the project. Any additional work that changes the scope of the project are billed separately.
You will select one style, provide feedback and comments. From here we will make necessary changes and move forward with creating mockups and wireframes.
We will design up to 10 unique page layouts (extra designs will be billed separately). You will provide comments and then accept provided material.
Any changes to design or functionality beyond this point will result in additional work, change of scope, shift of dealine and an increase in the final price.
We will help you select the platform / framework that best corresponds your requirements in terms of functionality, usability and budget.
Lead generation tools
One of the crucial elements of your firm’s website is a lead gen system. Together with your team we will work on creating specific tools that will drive relevant leads.
We will give you some ideas and examples. One of them are the so-called lead magnets. Your team will be responsible for creating one of these. We will make sure they are integrated properly.
WWM solution does not include our premium Lead nurturing package. Which is about implementation of tactics that lead prospects through a series of steps, gathers data from multiple sources and suggests the level of readiness to take the next step. All the way to signals that would allow your account managers (sales reps) contact ready-to-buy prospects.
This premium service requires time (6-12 months), is ongoing, requires data from an established full lead gen pipeline, is priced differently than most of our engagements.
We can discuss this option when your firm is ready for this commitment: financially, has a market-proven positioning, good balance of good-better-best clients and relevant capable employees.
Search engine optimization
SEO is an important aspect of web development. In time it becomes a trusty source of free leads.
More than 60% of professional services firms, however, have serious issues with basic-level SEO. We’ll make sure your web app’s fundamentals are covered.
We do not provide in-depth SEO services. There are cases when, subject to the size of the firm and competition, it would make sense to hire an expert SEO firm. We’ll look into this with you.
Website’s speed isn’t a huge factor for SEO but it is taken into account by search engines. It has a direct effect on user experience. We will make sure the website performance requirements follow all the best industry practices.Step 14
Website build-out duration
The new website is typically delivered within 6 months. It takes less time for smaller firms that have smaller budgets and less of immediate business objectives. It can sometimes take longer if the budget is tight but objectives can’t be averted. But in other cases six months is what we aim for to create a solid, well-designed professional website.
The web project can go beyond these 6 months (initial timeline and scope) if you decide that your firm needs a lot of custom-made solutions that will seriously boost your team’s performance. We can schedule such additional work in phases. We can do the work that is of utmost importance first, launch the website, and move gradually with execution of other functionality later.
Automation and other custom-made tools are discussed, billed and built separately. This includes instruments such as content publishing and automatic distribution, notification systems, behavior tracking & analytics, data exports, social media auto-sharing, scheduling, multiple third-party integrations, etc.
Implementation of the WWM plan
At this point you will have a solid positioning, a compelling differentiation, a professional website and few tactics to attract more leads. The next logical step is to fill the lead gen pipeline.
So there’s approximately 4 weeks of business strategy. And then another 6 months of branding and web development. Then we are ready to engage in the final stage of the WWM solution.
The fact that you have a great website does not mean leads will start flowing in immediately. You need at least 30 SEO-optimized articles. And you have to wait for 6-18 months for search engines to figure out who they should serve your content to best. In addition you need some genuinely insightful content to keep people coming back. You want them to keep reading your emails. And spending a little more time on your website doesn’t go amiss either.
Subject to the number of existing leads and availability of prospect lists, your lead gen machine might need a bit of priming. This would require PPC ads.
In such case your team will have to come up with compelling taglines for your online ads. You will have to create a landing page, A/B test-ready PPC ads and server-side logic for analytics. We will review these efforts and make suggestions where necessary.
Please note that we do not provide PPC or advertising services. Should you have substantial budgets for these marketing activities we can provide guidance, advisory and supervision services. However, we encourage professional services firms to grow their own marketing capacities by hiring and developing their own people.
Final steps of this engagement
We will check in with you on your progress twice during the next six months. We will answer your questions and make further recommendations for adjustments where necessary. Such check-in happens via email correspondence or brief phone calls.
Beyond this your key people will be getting insights via email from us if they sign up on this website. We will anounce about upcoming seminars, new tools and calculators as well as deliver fresh articles on the subject of marketing for professional services firms.
Indicators in favor of the WWM program
The WWM program is the perfect solution for your firm if half of these indicators checks out.
- Your revenue per each full-time employee (FTE) is below the market average of $165,000 per annum in the US (adjustable for your regional markets).
- Your marketing team can’t explain why they don't apply Buyer Decision Journey model to your marketing comms.
- Your bounce rates from organic traffic exceed 55%.
- Your team deems more than 20% of all existing accounts as bad-fit clients.
- You have more than 200 competitors in your target market.
- You have abandonded the idea of posting articles, thoughts and insights. Your marketing communication is infrequent, haphazard or generic.
- Referrals and word of mouth are the source of the bulk of your new business.
- You keep using PPC ads year over year to stay busy rather than grow or get better qualified clients.
- Principals wholeheartedly believe the purpose of your firm is to make money.
- When asked casually about your firm’s mission and vision for the future your employees make confusing, vague or contradictory statements.
- When asked about what sets your firm apart most of your people will say: we work harder, we think strategically, we have our clients’ best interest at heart, we dive really deep into clients’ problems, we are very creative problem-solvers.
- You haven’t made substantial changes to your website in more than 5 years.
Questions & answers ▾▾▾
The nature of our work requires full confidentiality. We expect you wouldn’t be happy if we were to discuss your firm’s challenges, strategy and metrics with anyone else.
You are welcome to browse through this website and form an opinion about whether we are competent and trustworthy enough to work with your firm.
From multiple sources such as our work with clients, other experts’ insights, marketing theory, research data, published company reports, etc. We cross-reference these sources, analyze data, and put information under scrutiny.
The total scope of the project and overall investment might turn out to be less. But this revelation comes after paid diagnostics. We advise you to make sure you have the full amount prior to our engagement.
The prices are non-negotiable. The overall value always exceeds your investment.
We don’t provide detailed, itemized lists. We are solving problems. Often this requires changes to scope on the fly. The addendum to the master agreement will have an outline of functionality and number of revisions.
We will assess your current branding and if it’s OK for the size of your firm in the marketplace you’re in we will skip this step and adjust the total budget accordingly.
We will make an assessment of your website during the diagnostics session. If your website requires a few adjustments here and there we will notify you and scale the total budget down accordingly.
Typically with the WWM package websites need a full redo. It isn’t just the way the website should look but what it should do for your firm.
Focus on a very narrow niche. Solve a problem differently but very well. Don’t aim at growing the size of the firm but rather at its profitability. Come back to us when you have resources and a firm commitment to becoming the go-to expert in your category.
The one thing that has a signifficant impact on your performance is the level of committment to the marketing plan as well as your discipline. Your firm will make a promise and will have to show up with no excuses.
Typically it’s an eight month engagement. Sometimes it is less, sometimes it’s more than that. Afterwards we check in twice in the next six months as part of the engagement.
We give priority to clients who choose to implement our existing packaged solutions. Individual modules come in pairs with a minimum engagement of six modules. You might have to wait for a free spot for a few weeks in between individuals modules should you choose that option.
Occasionally there might be a limited time deal on an individual module for our existing clients who we’ve already worked with. This enables us to skip discovery and full-scale diagnostics sessions.
Once you have a website, a lead gen system and messaging in place you will begin to implement your marketing plan. Typically you should expect to see positive results within 12-18 months. But there are positive effects right away as well.
The WWM package consists of interrelated components that solve specific problems. Breaking it apart will dissolve its purpose. Consider our other solutions without the web design component.
It depends on the level of competence of the said specialist and its workload. It could be done.
One could make a website for free. We don’t make digital brochures or repackage free templates as our own designs.
We create professional websites around three core business objectives: bring in better-qualified clients, boost performance and attract the right talent. We build tools that help you deal with unique challenges.
You can expect the level of quality our website (awezzom.com) has. You can’t see what runs on the back-end but you can assess the front-end of things: design, navigation, structure, user interface, user experience, content, copy, call to action, etc. Your web devs can inspect the code (HTML, CSS, JS) and make an assessment as well.
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