Friday, August 31, 2012

You Can’t Do Everything, So Why Even Try

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." 
--Theodore Roosevelt

It is extremely important to learn early on that there are going to be certain tasks that you just cannot do on your own if at all.  Designing a website and creating one that is not only user friendly but possesses the correct effective “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) is one of those tasks that you just have to source out, either in-house or to a well reputable company.  But it certainly is not one that you want to try and take on yourself.  This little known fact was extremely elusive in the begin for Taylor and I, at first we were of the mindset that we just needed to get one up, but then we quickly realized we didn’t want a run of the mill template website we could build over night.  We did not want people’s first impression of us to be negative based on our website, so we held off until we could afford a professional version that would better represent who we are and what we want people to remember about our firm.

You hear it time and time again, first impressions are everything and I cannot stress it enough that your website is no different.  You don’t want it to look too cheesy or people will not take you seriously, you don’t want it to look too stuffy or people will get the wrong impression and look elsewhere.  It is extremely difficult finding the happy medium between professional and approachable, but it is absolutely necessary.  As I searched hundreds of websites for ideas I found myself judging people and their firms without really even realizing it, but once it hit me I couldn’t help but think if I was a client looking for a potential lawyer that I wouldn’t even call some of the lawyers I found purely based on my perception of them from their website.  It isn’t until you find yourself in the same situation as your potential clients that you realize that every little thing, picture, slogan, color scheme, and layout counts.  It could be the difference between running a successful law firm and just getting by.

So by now you’re thinking, wonderful I’ll hire someone to do my website because it isn’t worth the headache, but what you’re forgetting is that even if you have an experienced web designer working for you, you still have to come up with the content, concept and design and help steer the way into production.  Your website is a time consuming task, but if done correctly it will be worth it, but if done incorrectly you’ve wasted not only time but money and that is never good.  So start thinking early and often about your website because it is not an overnight task and even once you’ve hired someone to take the lead, your input is crucial.  Remember, first impressions are everything and your website will often be the first glimpse into what your firm can do for potential clients. 

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