This is Block 81's archive of past articles. Once in a while we may add more, but it's rare.
Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
September 15, 2017
It might seem like finding a web designer is easy, but not every web designer is as experienced as they say.
This is especially true when you’re trying to find a web designer experienced in B2B sites. Sadly, some designers claim to be experts, but they just create cookie-cutter B2C sites for everyone.
With a little work and research, it is possible to find a web designer who truly understands B2B sites and how to help you create a lead generating site that stands out from your competitors
While you might find a reputable web designer experienced in B2B on Craigslist, odds are, you’ll find a load of trouble instead. For professional results, check a professional website – LinkedIn. You’re able to search for designers and design firms. You’re also able to see portfolios, reviews and more on a single site. Plus, you can talk to fellow business owners about their own web design experiences.
Look at B2B sites that you like and contact the site owner. While direct competitors probably won’t divulge their web designer, others will likely refer you. This approach allows you to see a web designer’s experience first hand. Don’t be afraid to ask the site owner how well the site performs and if this was a new site/redesign. The more details you have, the easier it is to determine if the designer understand B2B or not.
A major red flag when looking for a web designer experienced in B2B, or just a web designer in general, is the lack of a portfolio. Think about it like this. Would you hire an employee without a resume? A portfolio showcases a designer’s skill set. Without it, it’s possible they’re not proud of the work they do.
Beginning designers aren’t bad, but make sure they have at least one or two sites to show you.
One thing to look for is to see if all the sites look different or if they seem like filled in templates. If a designer’s sites all look exactly the same, they’re (likely) simply using a template and not focusing on designing for your business.
Asking for references doesn’t always work, but it’s a good next step. The reason this isn’t always reliable is because a web designer is likely going to give you the best possible references. However, talking to a few references isn’t going to hurt. Even if the reviews are all glowing, at least you’ll be able to check out a few more sample sites.
You should never hire a web designer for your B2B site without ensuring they know the differences between personal, B2C and B2B sites. After all, every type caters to a different type of audience. For instance, B2B sites must be designed for a long form decision making process versus the quicker process of standard consumers. B2B sites also focus on relationship building versus making a quick sale.
If a web designer doesn’t understand why B2B sites can’t simply be a carbon copy of a B2C site, they’ve likely never worked on one before.
You should never hire a web designer for your B2B site without ensuring they know the differences between personal, B2C and B2B sites.
While they may not 100% understand your niche audience, a web designer experienced in B2B should already grasp the basics of the typical B2B buyer and visitor personas. Buyer personas make websites 2-5 times more effective, so it’s vital that your designer understands your audience. After all, every website should be designed with the target audience in mind. It’s not different with B2B sites.
However, B2B sites cater to a specific type of audience. The design must fit the flow of the decision making process, building relationships and generating viable leads.