Who Should You Send your RFP To?

Now that you have perfected a detailed and focused RFP, it is time to decide whom you want to bid on it. Shopping your RFP to every web designer or creative agency in town is counterproductive because the RFP process costs vendors a lot of research and writing time and the buyer a lot of evaluation time. Even though you are not directly paying for their responses, you will eventually as all costs are inevitably passed onto clients. To save time, money and frustration, you should do some preliminary research to find some fully qualified candidates who are within your budget instead of just mass emailing your RFP. Below are some tips on where to start your search.

Start with Google

If a web design agency is really worth their weight in gold, they should rank on the first page of Google’s search results for their local search terms. A quick search for “San Francisco web design” gives you ten potential firms to consider and yes we are one of them =).

Kick-Ass Portfolio

Check their web design portfolios and live websites that they have launched because chances are you will get a similar outcome. Do the websites look generic like they have just customized pre-made themes or do they look like they have been custom designed for specific target audiences? Are the websites both aesthetically pleasing and functional? How do they look and work on mobile devices? References are great but likely they will only give out the clients who will sing their praises.

Social Media Presence

If a web design company regularly shares valuable and relevant blog posts and other helpful thought leadership articles, they should have a decent following in social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. According to Shareaholic, social media drives more than 31% of web traffic so building a strong social media presence is an integral part of any successful web marketing strategy.

Word of Mouth

Ask around to see if anyone you know has had a great experience with a creative agency. Post to your connections on LinkedIn and you will get tons of responses instantly guaranteed! When it comes to creative, everyone has an opinion!

Review Websites

Third party review websites like Yelp, Facebook, Google+ can also be a great way to find local web designers. Some people do pay for fake reviews so if a profile looks too good to be true then very likely it is. If you have been in business for any length of time, you are bound to have one or two negative reviews. As long there is an abundance of positive detailed reviews, everything should be good.

In Conclusion

Once you have completed your search, take the time to call each of them to see if they would be the right fit and interested in your project. It is also crucial to ask for a ballpark quote so you can quickly eliminate candidates you cannot afford. If you have conducted your preliminary research properly, you should be left with 4-5 highly qualified and affordable web design companies to send your RFP to saving you a ton of evaluation time.

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