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“We spent the equivalent of a mid-size pickup truck and in six months, have gotten one lead from our website,” said the VP of Sales and Business Development about the company’s website.

I hear stories like this on a regular basis. When I viewed the manufacturer’s website, it was easy to see the mistakes the agency had made.

1. Instead of an RFQ form, a generic form graced the home page. When I asked why, the VP said, “Yes, I questioned that one, too.”

2. Products were called “Services.” When I pointed this out, the VP said, “Wow, I didn’t even notice this.”

3. The content wasn’t written for the manufacturer’s target audience nor did it explain the benefits of working with the manufacturer.

4. The website was missing a robust About section that would build trust and credibility with prospects (remember — prospects are vetting you versus you vetting them).

The biggest problem, however, was the the WordPress website theme: it was a $25 theme the agency had “customized.”

When the VP heard this, he grew very quiet. What can you say when you’ve spent over $50K on a website and marketing and get one lead?

The website design scam no one is talking about

It’s very easy for any agency or freelancer to make big promises about how they can build you a website that generates leads.

Most agencies are honest and do great work.

But some aren’t honest. They lack the design and programming skills, plus marketing and manufacturing expertise, to create a website that will help you grow your business.

Due to this lack, they simply purchase a low-cost theme, add your logo, branding, and content, and then charge you bucks.

As a business owner or VP of Marketing, Business Development, etc., you don’t know this is happening — and why should you? Website design isn’t your job.

The manufacturers who call us only learn what’s happened six to 12 months down the road — when they’re not getting leads. Or their website looks terrible on a phone. Or it’s broken. Or they can’t update it.

What’s the answer to this type of scenario?

Well, lots of answers, but one is to fully vet the agency or freelancer you’re going to hire.

Make sure they really have website design, programming, marketing, and manufacturing expertise. The manufacturing expertise is crucial. An agency or freelancer should be highly knowledgeable about manufacturing and have the portfolio and testimonials to prove it.

Many will say they have this experience, but most of their work is “B2B,” software, and consumer.

You can also use our FAQ, “How Do We Compare Proposals?” This FAQ lists the questions you should be asking before you hire anyone.

Most important, don’t be swayed by a low price or big promises made during a sales pitch.

Manufacturing is its own specialized niche. You need a team that understands how things work — especially in today’s pandemic-changed world.

Off-the-Shelf Website theme: Designed Specifically for Manufacturers

If your current website isn’t generating leads or is holding you back from growing your business, check out our Off-the-Shelf Website packages.

A cost-effective alternative to our Custom Build Websites, our Off-the-Shelf Website packages feature a pre-built theme we designed in-house.

We take this theme and customize it using your logo, images, and content — relieving you of all the headache and time trying to build a new website yourself or dealing with a freelancer who has limited manufacturing and design expertise.

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Dianna Huff is the founder and president of Huff Industrial Marketing, a full service agency that tackles a host of marketing and communications challenges for manufacturing companies.

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