How Independent Agents Can Make the Most of Third-Party Relations – Web Developers (2/3)
As the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) approaches, we understand you may need to secure the services of third-party vendors and creatives in order to reach your sales goals. This article is the second in a series designed to help you maximize these important relationships. Get the tips you need to save time, save money, and get as close to completion as possible on a project the first time.
Developing a website for your business is an exciting step in creating an online presence and additional resource for your clients and prospects. A website lends credibility to being an expert in your field, builds brand recognition and can act as a central, online hub for the community of members you’re building. The following advice can help inform your decision to hire a third party designer and ensure your website is completed compliantly and on schedule.
One of the first considerations to building a website for your business is whether to create & design the website yourself or have a professional do this for you. We recommend having a professional web developer build and support your website when the budget allows. There are a number of advantages to having a professionally built site:
• You can expect a design that’s different and stands out from other “cookie cutter” websites.
• The design is customized to reflect your brand image.
• The website can be coded to load the web pages faster.
• It saves you time and hassle.
• It’s likely to be more search engine friendly, meaning it may get you more organic traffic.
• Future modifications can be made and any problems that arise will be addressed more quickly.
• In most cases, you’ll end up with a website that’s compatible with the latest mobile technologies.
While the advantages to having a pro create your site are clear, keep in mind that not all web developers are going to provide the same level of service or quality of work. Here’s how you can separate the wheat from the chafe:
Do independent research. Go outside a developer’s website to gauge the customer experience. The design work may be top notch, but if the majority of customer reviews (Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.) say to stay away, you may want to listen to them.
Verify industry experience. You don’t necessarily need a web developer that specializes in Medicare insurance websites, you just need a website that’s going to function and stand out from your competitors. A web developer that’s only created merchant sales websites likely isn’t a good fit. A designer who has worked with realtors, however and for example, could end up being someone who has the right experience highlighting an individual agent’s focus on creating exceptional client relations.
Negotiate rates last. Your pre-vetting process (online research, recommendations, phone calls, etc.) will likely weed out the developers already outside your budget. So, avoid the temptation to first ask how much a website will cost you and, rather, initiate the conversation by getting a feel for whether or not this person/company will match your approach to developing the right solution for your business.
Ask pre-qualification questions. “How is this type of project usually handled? What special features or services will make me stand out? How do you prefer to communicate?” Answers to focused questions like these will tell you if you’re on the right path. For example, some web developers prefer email communication only and that approach won’t mesh well if you want to be more hands-on with your projects.
Clearly state your needs & objectives. For example, are you needing a three-page website with a hyper focus on Medicare sales, or do you need a site with many pages that reflect all the senior insurance products you provide?
Communicate compliance guidelines from the start. Asking your NMO’s Compliance Team to review your website after it’s developed can lead to costly revisions. Involve this team early and often! Heading into the project knowing you’re using compliant language and marketing elements ensures the project stays on budget and schedule.
Finding a website developer that’s the right fit can be a daunting task! Following these tips can help streamline the process. You want your website to be a window into your business. Make sure you get the right person or company to create the best possible view!
As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our Medicare agent partners, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-745-2320.