Blog Contributor: Dean Burgess, ExcitePreneur.net
When you need to build a website, develop your brand, or design graphics, do you know where to turn? Most small businesses don’t keep a full line-up of technical specialists on staff. Not only is skilled help expensive, but small businesses generally don’t need these types of employees year-round. When you do have a project that’s a little over your head, it can be hard to know who to hire. You might think you need one person for a big project, only to discover their skills only cover a small portion of the task at hand. So, if you’re preparing for a big web-based project, these are some professionals you might need for the job.
Building a brand sounds simple enough — pick a few colors that look good together, write some blurbs for your website, and voila! Until you realize don’t even know the difference between serif and sans serif font, let alone anything about color theory, copywriting, or customer personas.
A branding expert or branding agency can help flesh out your business’s brand so you better appeal to your target customer base. A branding agency can select brand colors, design a logo, establish your brand voice, and more.
Most branding agencies have graphic designers on staff to develop logos and images for your web-based project. However, if you’re working with a freelance branding expert or have a project that’s more limited in scope, you may want to hire a graphic designer separately. A graphic designer designs logos, packaging, marketing materials, and graphics for websites and social media. Many graphic designers work freelance. When searching for the right hire, pay attention to your designer’s communication skills as well as their portfolio.
Web Designer and Web Developer
You have your brand and your graphics, and now you need somewhere to put them. Whether you’re building a new website or refreshing a site that hasn’t seen an update since 2001, you’ll want a web designer to make sure your business website is visually appealing and user-friendly.
Additionally, you’ll want a web developer on your team too — and it’s important to know the difference. While a web designer handles the user-facing aspects of your site, a web developer writes the code to make your website function as it should.
Web Accessibility Specialist
After all the effort you put into building a website, you want to be sure that all of your customers can use it (in fact, you may be legally required to). That’s where website accessibility comes in. A web accessibility specialist uses technology and design to make your site accessible to vision- and hearing-impaired users. Web accessibility services can be costly upfront, but businesses can save money by outsourcing time-consuming tasks to a cheaper source. A subtitling service, for example, can add closed captions on a quick turnaround at a fraction of the cost (just $1 per video minute at some agencies).
Some of the work a search engine optimization specialist does overlaps with web accessibility services. That’s because many of the features that make your website easy for people with disabilities to use also make it easy for search engines to understand. These include headings and subheadings, alt text, and video transcripts, among other important SEO elements.
Why does it matter if search engines can read your website? When your business website is optimized for search engines, it’s easier for customers to find and use your website.
Now that you know who to hire, but where can you find them? If you need help for a project that’s limited in scope, don’t spend the money hiring and training a full-time permanent employee. Instead, look for reputable, qualified freelancers who have the skills to get the job done and a portfolio that matches your company’s vision. With the right pros on your side, you can accomplish your web-based projects quickly and competently.
Image via Unsplash