Process of Outsourcing web design

33 replies
I am about to approach an old employer on doing a website redesign he is trying to get it done by another local company and the person design skills are very basic and are going to do more damage to the businesses image in my oppinion.

Question is what is the process of getting the idea to a designer to outsource to.
do you write it out ? draw it out? record some type of audio?

how do you know what pages need to be on the website
and what kind of form?

is there some type of guide on how to make this outsourcing job as easy as possible?

I was planning on using o-desk to make some type of higher quality website.

please give me some input on how to get this job done with the least amount of hiccups.
#design #outsourcing #process #web
  • Profile picture of the author marketman007
    hi herb,

    i was passing by, and i thought i would give you a hand, as i was in that same position what seems like a long time ago at the start of my journey.

    whats your email, and i will email you my Custom Website Brief - General
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    • Profile picture of the author One Million
      Originally Posted by marketman007 View Post

      hi herb,

      i was passing by, and i thought i would give you a hand, as i was in that same position what seems like a long time ago at the start of my journey.

      whats your email, and i will email you my Custom Website Brief - General
      Hi marketman007,

      I am starting out in my local area and have been having the same trouble. I was wondering if i could possible get your Custom Website Brief - General?

      I couldnt PM you - not enough post count - my email is takeyoursk<@>yahoo.com, I hope to receive an email from you.

      Thank you in advance.
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    PM sent marketman007
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  • Profile picture of the author marketman007
    email sent
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    Thanks marketman007

    now another question is what is the process of finding a proper designer... what i see so far is some of the rates these people are charging are what i thought i would be charging the businesses.
    how do you recommend finding people who will do the quality job where i as a marketer can make a nice chunk off the top??

    Whats the average markup on web design you guys mostly charge?
    From the outside i was thinking that most of us can make an extra 50% on top of the designs ... but guess thats not a possibility.
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    • Profile picture of the author crosbymkt
      if you use odesk or elance you will find someone cheap but it comes with a lot of hassle because they will only do what you tell them and if something looks cheap or tacky its your job to tell them the rite way.
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    • Profile picture of the author marketman007
      Originally Posted by herbaluss View Post

      Thanks marketman007

      now another question is what is the process of finding a proper designer... what i see so far is some of the rates these people are charging are what i thought i would be charging the businesses.
      how do you recommend finding people who will do the quality job where i as a marketer can make a nice chunk off the top??

      Whats the average markup on web design you guys mostly charge?
      From the outside i was thinking that most of us can make an extra 50% on top of the designs ... but guess thats not a possibility.

      Hi herb,

      I agree with Crosby, finding the right person is very very hard, and has taken me years to build up a professional team.

      What prices are you thinking you want to charge?

      Here are our prices we are charging to clients depending on how the client comes to us

      Template website $500
      Custom - 10 page $1500 - $4000
      Custom - 15 page $1900 - $7000
      Ecommerce module $1200 - $3000

      SEO - 8 keywords - $500
      SEO - 14 keywords - $700
      SEO - 25 keywords - $1000

      If you want, you can access our team, and use our processes, briefs, basecamp etc to get these products delivered.

      Your prices would only be 20% of what my rates /costs are, if your interested in that? Then you can charge the same sort of prices I charge out to make your profit margins.
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      • Profile picture of the author marketingstatic
        Originally Posted by marketman007 View Post

        Hi herb,

        I agree with Crosby, finding the right person is very very hard, and has taken me years to build up a professional team.

        What prices are you thinking you want to charge?

        Here are our prices we are charging to clients depending on how the client comes to us

        Template website $500
        Custom - 10 page $1500 - $4000
        Custom - 15 page $1900 - $7000
        Ecommerce module $1200 - $3000

        SEO - 8 keywords - $500
        SEO - 14 keywords - $700
        SEO - 25 keywords - $1000

        If you want, you can access our team, and use our processes, briefs, basecamp etc to get these products delivered.

        Your prices would only be 20% of what my rates /costs are, if your interested in that? Then you can charge the same sort of prices I charge out to make your profit margins.
        Im in this boat right now feeling Totaly lost but dont want to lose the business. I have a guy that wants to meet with me about a Ecommerce site not some small paypal 2 or 4 items but as is at least 100 items to market nationwide in USA not sure what to quote, ball park or how to talk with him during the meeting. I did make it clear to him Im the business man not the designer and he understood. Any other tips specific to Ecommerce greatly appreciated I know just off ball park this is going to be easy 2000 project but most likely closer to 4or 5 K
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      • Profile picture of the author TEXinOZ
        Originally Posted by marketman007 View Post

        Hi herb,

        I agree with Crosby, finding the right person is very very hard, and has taken me years to build up a professional team.

        What prices are you thinking you want to charge?

        Here are our prices we are charging to clients depending on how the client comes to us

        Template website $500
        Custom - 10 page $1500 - $4000
        Custom - 15 page $1900 - $7000
        Ecommerce module $1200 - $3000

        SEO - 8 keywords - $500
        SEO - 14 keywords - $700
        SEO - 25 keywords - $1000

        If you want, you can access our team, and use our processes, briefs, basecamp etc to get these products delivered.

        Your prices would only be 20% of what my rates /costs are, if your interested in that? Then you can charge the same sort of prices I charge out to make your profit margins.
        Howdy, I dont have a high enough post count to pm you but could you email me @ chris{at}daxads.com regarding your offer for white labelling your services...
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  • Profile picture of the author ClarkKent
    I've worked on both sides of the fence so here's some advice:
    1) When outsourcing try breaking the job into smaller parts and work on the parts you know how to do.
    For example:
    - I have one person put up the Wordpress site, theme, and fill the filler information.
    - One person make changes to the theme as needed.
    - and One person who swaps the filler information with the real information.
    The key to my businesses is that I can do all of these areas of work without any problem and can therefore scale to the costs I'm charging.
    That's also key in being able to judge the hourly rate of your designers.
    If you know what they're doing takes less time than they're charging you, you can take that up with them.

    2) I currently white-label design services to tech support businesses, what I do is offer to take %45 of all jobs over $1000.
    We'll use a company email and generally treat the clients as if we work for the company.

    You've got to remember that designers still need to make a living doing what they're doing.
    If they're charging the bottom end of things chances are their business is unsustainable and they're not going to be providing the quality you're looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    So Odesk is a good place to start as i see most people talk about it ....

    Clarke - im pretty tech savvy and can do most the filling in the blanks work only weakness is my design creativity and making the templates ... which is basically the brunt of the work i'm thinking.

    so would it be best to hire people to make templates/headers / footers instead of the full web design? and i just fill the blanks in myself?

    would that be easier to work with? or would the cost diff be minimal?
    seems as if you have 3 people doing work so wouldn't it cost more than just having one person ?
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  • Profile picture of the author billmat
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    marketman007 - these people you got doing the job are they ones you found on odesk over the years?
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    • Profile picture of the author tupai
      Great to run into this thread. I'm in the same position as OP - suck at design creativity.

      What kind of info do the outsourcer need? How far do we go as to letting them use their creativity?
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      • Profile picture of the author wilder1047
        Originally Posted by tupai View Post

        Great to run into this thread. I'm in the same position as OP - suck at design creativity.

        What kind of info do the outsourcer need? How far do we go as to letting them use their creativity?
        Well, since you're employing them to for their creative abilities I suggest you let them run with it.

        The most important thing is to have the overall template in place, to ensure the website converts at the highest possible levels.

        But, past that, allow them to work with it astethically, and be fair with your web design guy...

        This comic sums up alot of experiences PERFECTLY ->

        How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell - The Oatmeal
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      • Profile picture of the author marketman007
        Originally Posted by tupai View Post

        Great to run into this thread. I'm in the same position as OP - suck at design creativity.

        What kind of info do the outsourcer need? How far do we go as to letting them use their creativity?
        who is OP? i coudl not figure that out ( right now i am really tired, so exuse me if i miss something)

        that answer is a massive one. in my breif, there is direction for them to follow with creativity.

        so it all comes down to project management.. if the person you find, has amazing profiles, then they can do more, and you do less. but the less experianced they are, the more you have to manage and give direction.

        you can always use our team if you like
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    • Profile picture of the author marketman007
      Originally Posted by herbaluss View Post

      marketman007 - these people you got doing the job are they ones you found on odesk over the years?
      found my main person on elance. i went thru about 10 people , before i found the right guy that understood my vision, in how i wanted to grow.

      he now finds people to add to the team thru his network.

      odesk i only use for small link building jobs..

      the rest of the team that joins is thru networks.. and i also have interns join me in my office.

      so its standard practice to grow a business with people, by alwyas looking out for good help
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinG30
    OP is our poster.

    Great info on here. A question i have is say you are having someone on odesk or elance design and do your wordpress site for you. Do you give them your login name and password and just hope they dont lock you out? Is their a way to protect yourself with this? I personally love the writing part but suck at the design part and thats what im looking for help for.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Stewart
      Originally Posted by herbaluss View Post

      Thanks marketman007
      now another question is what is the process of finding a proper designer... what i see so far is some of the rates these people are charging are what i thought i would be charging the businesses.
      how do you recommend finding people who will do the quality job where i as a marketer can make a nice chunk off the top??

      Whats the average markup on web design you guys mostly charge?
      From the outside i was thinking that most of us can make an extra 50% on top of the designs ... but guess thats not a possibility.
      Thought I would chime in here real quick as this is a rather large part of my business. As far as finding the right people to help with your projects, it all comes down to networking and meeting people that understand where you are coming from and understand what you are trying to accomplish. There are many outlets for this, a few have been named in this thread. Communication is key. You must communicate exactly what your needs and goals are to the designers so they can produce quality work that meets you and your clients expectations. This takes a little time and there really is no easy way than to just to get right down to it and start negotiating terms with your potential team-mates.

      If you are concerned about not making enough cash on your deals, try going after some larger ones instead of one off $300 website deals. Once you outsource that job, there isn't much left on the table for you. However, start closing $800-$2000 jobs and you have plenty of room for profit after you pay out your outsourcing costs. You will find people that do work for dirt cheep, but quite often you are going to be compromising quality, time, communication, or ease. Sometimes it's just better to suck it up and pay more and get the job done right the first time with someone you know isn't messing around.

      Also, it most certainly is possible to make 50% on top of the design work

      Originally Posted by crosbymkt View Post

      if you use odesk or elance you will find someone cheap but it comes with a lot of hassle because they will only do what you tell them and if something looks cheap or tacky its your job to tell them the rite way.
      Again, it is just a matter of going through potential partners and finding the one(s) that are right for you. There's been times where I've interviewed over 20 applicants and didn't hire one because in my mind, they weren't a good fit for my team. Other times, I actually hired the very first one or two applicants that applied. It's like prospecting for clients almost. It's a numbers game and some clients just aren't your market. You need to find the applicants that are your market.

      Originally Posted by ClarkKent View Post

      I currently white-label design services to tech support businesses, what I do is offer to take %45 of all jobs over $1000.
      We'll use a company email and generally treat the clients as if we work for the company.

      You've got to remember that designers still need to make a living doing what they're doing.
      If they're charging the bottom end of things chances are their business is unsustainable and they're not going to be providing the quality you're looking for.
      That's pretty much how I do things as well. Usually get 40-50% per job. I white label my services and consult with the customers themselves sometimes to get more, accurate information about their business.

      Also, after you spend the time finding a reliable designer and you don't want to pay them what their worth, you are setting yourself up for possible headaches. You get shoddy work that you have to present to your client and you still have to go out and find another designer for future project fulfillment. It's a huge pain in the ass. On the other hand, if you make an agreement with a solid designer, than everyone's happy. You turn over quality work for your clients, and your designer is happy that he's getting paid what he's worth and you have a reliable team member for the life of your business.

      Originally Posted by tupai View Post

      Great to run into this thread. I'm in the same position as OP - suck at design creativity.

      What kind of info do the outsourcer need? How far do we go as to letting them use their creativity?
      What I tell my sales team/consultants/marketers is to gather as much info about the business as possible. You are hopefully meeting with the client or doing consultations over the phone for some time. After that you should have a pretty good idea of what type of business you will be working with. Ask as many questions as you can. What types of services do you offer? What sets your business apart from your competitors? As them to tell you some general information about the their business. Then move onto the design aspects. The first thing I ask is "Do you have anything in mind in regards to what you want your new website to look like?" I love samples. But most of the time they have no idea. So then I ask do you have a logo or would you need us to make you one? What colors would represent your business the best? Do you have any brochures, business cards, documentation about any services or products you offer?

      After talking with them you should have plenty of information to get started. Granted, some jobs are much bigger and require constant communication with the client to gather content, resources to complete the job.

      After you take notes on all your clients information (it is your job to gather this info from the client) send it over to your designer with as much guidelines from your client as you can.

      Originally Posted by marketman007 View Post

      found my main person on elance. i went thru about 10 people , before i found the right guy that understood my vision, in how i wanted to grow.

      he now finds people to add to the team thru his network.

      odesk i only use for small link building jobs..

      the rest of the team that joins is thru networks.. and i also have interns join me in my office.

      so its standard practice to grow a business with people, by alwyas looking out for good help
      That's how you go about finding the right people for your team. It's a numbers game. Once you know exactly what you are looking for, you have a better eye in determining who is a better fit for your team. Always keep your eyes open for people that you think you can work with.

      Originally Posted by JustinG30 View Post

      OP is our poster.

      Great info on here. A question i have is say you are having someone on odesk or elance design and do your wordpress site for you. Do you give them your login name and password and just hope they dont lock you out? Is their a way to protect yourself with this? I personally love the writing part but suck at the design part and thats what im looking for help for.
      There may be ways of protecting yourself from those kinds of people, I'm really not sure. I guess number one would be try and pay attention to who you are dealing with. Ask questions. The way I see it is, who has the time to network, interview, communicate back and forth for several days just to gain back end access to a WP site that isn't even built yet. Honestly, the majority of my clients don't even know the login information for their sites. They don't care. And why should they? They know that they can contact me ANYTIME to gain access. Keep your passwords separate for each project and team member and you should be fine. The idea is to network with people, build trust, communicate efficiently, and you shouldn't run into those types of issues.

      Also asking for references and previous work helps out too.
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    • Profile picture of the author marketman007
      Originally Posted by JustinG30 View Post

      OP is our poster.

      Great info on here. A question i have is say you are having someone on odesk or elance design and do your wordpress site for you. Do you give them your login name and password and just hope they dont lock you out? Is their a way to protect yourself with this? I personally love the writing part but suck at the design part and thats what im looking for help for.

      i give them my log inname and password.

      if you dont have any history or trust with them, then change the log in details after they have done the work

      you can always use our team for your wordpress work. i vouch for them, as they are my team haha
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  • Profile picture of the author geotargeted
    What I started out doing was to show my client a few Wordpress templates and let them choose the style they like the most. Then I would ask them for the content and I would source images. Really simple and a great learning experience.

    Whatever you do get a good portion paid upfront because business owners drag their feet when you ask them for something.
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    any of you guys have recommendations on people to use on odesk or elance?
    i know some have offered to give their services but seems they are just the middle person...
    anybody have direct people on odesk that we can use?
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  • Profile picture of the author Garymgar
    Marketman,does your team do Mobile website creation?If so,do you have any examples?
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    • Profile picture of the author marketman007
      Originally Posted by Garymgar View Post

      Marketman,does your team do Mobile website creation?If so,do you have any examples?
      we use plugins on the wordoress platform for the mobile sites. so nothing really to show you, as it does just want the standard wordpress plug in does.

      i dont think my team has built any custom mobile websites but i will ask them now, maybe they have just not thru me.

      will get back to you soon
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  • Profile picture of the author Garymgar
    Ok.Thanks for the quick response.Feel free to shoot me a PM.I am looking for someone that can do this on a regular basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author nethead01
    you need to find a good designer and make sure he has good review. when clients come to me for a design, i first gauge their interest then if they seem like a potential client i will go ahead and design them a mock up..

    you need to make sure the mock up is a very nice design with their logo and information. then you show them, 95% of the time they are excited and love it then they buy.

    i like to put websites into 3 different categories, basic, ecommerce, and custom.

    a basic site consists of Home, Services, Gallery, About Us, Contact Us something along those lines..

    ecommerce site will be Home, Products, Deals, Facts, About Us, Contact Us.

    custom site will be if they want something more than the 2 I have listed.

    you should ask the custom what are his requirements for the site, he will tell you a brief explanation of what he wants. and you should already know what type of site he will need and depending on his niche you can find out what he really needs.

    most offline customers really dont know what they need or want, thats why you need to take your experience and show them.

    i have tried sending clients forms to fill out with info but then i realized the a lot of clients dont have time for this and simply wont do it, then lose client.

    anyways find a good designer that can help you and you should be ok.
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  • Profile picture of the author Garymgar
    I was looking for custom,Marketman.
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  • Profile picture of the author JerrickYeoh
    It would be better to draw it out and ask your marketer to contact with the designer.
    Why do so ?
    only marketer know what website design and layout is SEO friendly.
    What need to input in the content and where is the right place to place the form , inquiry , call to action , pricing and so on .

    Why marketer also play important in the web design role is because normal web designer do not understand that the effect of content will effect the conversion rate and bounce rate.
    Only marketer more understand how to tackle their visitors in to conversion and not web designer.
    Web Designer can design a pretty website in few day but it may not user friendly and seo friendly. So do notice this.
    Draw up a simple graph to show how you want your website to look like.
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    Anybody have a few good referals make this whole looking for a team thing easier? WF or the outsourcing sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author drlelong
    A great way to communicate a design vision to outsourced designers is by creating a wireframe using tools like Balsamiq, Omnigraffle, or Visio. The Hubspot blog is a great resource for learning what components should be included in a high converting website and is full of examples how to best leverage call to action buttons and compelling offers to convert website visitors to leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author gator1985
    I would use odesk or elance from my experience but in my onost opinion you will need to give the task in hand alot of your time as you will have to break each individual process to the outsourcer so they can understand without throwing a 24 page pdf of your brief and expect a brilliant outcome, this need commitment and management to tell them what looks right and wrong but on the positive side it is probably 45% cheaper to outsource work and gain more profit, hope this has helped.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyler S
    Use Odesk. Lots of great people there. Be sure to check out their portfolio.
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  • Profile picture of the author Norville
    Some great comments in this thread, so I want to give it a bump.

    I can give a bit of insight from the outsource perspective from a developing nation market such as Colombia. Prices are far lower due to many factors, living standards, economies, currency, what have you. Even professionals with advanced degrees may not come close to income levels and standards of living in other places, but there is a growing middle class, and especially an advancing highly skilled technical workforce. They can be quite capable, even though they may be willing to work for a lot less.

    Herbaluss, I'm sure you've learned a lot more about outsourcing by now. How's it going?

    Marketman007, you are very helpful! I'd like to learn more about IM and really how to make a website position up in rankings. If you're still looking for a good, reliable, quality, AND decent price outsource freelancer, send me a PM. I think you'll be happy AND make more than your 50% margins... Same for you tupai...

    ClarkKent your insight is very valuable, thank you. You know that everyone's gotta eat.

    David Stewart - great post! You have to see a number of possible outsources before you get one you believe will work. Send me a PM, I'd like to refer an outsource design company to you. And you are so right about communication being key. It prevents so many headaches, and a designer or developer who can communicate well with you is such a relief.

    DrDelong - great idea to communicate your design ideas..too bad not not more clients do that!

    While freelancer websites can be great, if you're sending out lots of sites, or not just breaking down a site into smaller, easier, and more manageable components, it may be to your advantage to find a few key outsource design people you can rely on and develop a good working relationship with. If anyone is interested, send me a PM.
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