10 Decisions Your Client Will Make Before Hiring You For A Design Project.

by Calvin Cox on April 2, 2009

Early last week I wrote an article from a Salesman’s perspective in sharing with you my top 10 list of features all design portfolio websitesdecision making manshould have. Today, I’m writing this post from the shoes of your potential client. When I decided to develop the Styleapple website, I spent a lot of time searching for the right web designer , which has given me a lot of hands-on experience when looking for a web design companyThe experience has thought me a lot, and I wanted to take some time to share with you how an informed client might select your design services.

Decision 1 – First. He’ll look at your website’s homepage to get an immediate feel for your company. First impressions are alive and well, even on the internet. So make sure your homepage is intriguing enough for your potential visitor to want to dig deeper. One effective way I’ve seen this done is the Amalga Media website: http://www.amalgamedia.com, where their About Us page was their homepage, introducing the company and people in a fun informative way, immediately drawing you into their website.
Decision 2 – Next, he’ll take a look at your previous projects that are hopefully featured on your website. The 1st and 2nd impressions will be mostly visual.

Decision 3 -He’ll then look at your About Me or About Us pages…. briefly. Just to get an idea of who you are and what you do (your design expertise).

Decision 4 – Then he will go back to your previous projects to find a project you have done that’s similar to the one he needs you to work on.

Decision 5 – If he finds one, he will want to know more details about that particular project (if he doesn’t he will look at individual details of all your projects to find similarities in style and functionality between what you have worked on and what he needs done).

Assuming that he finds a similar project in your portfolio, he will want to know if you’ve done other projects similar to that one. So grouping projects together is a good idea, maybe having links to similar projects nearby or suggestive links of similar projects. Your goal here is to direct the client to exactly what he’s looking for.

Decision 6 – If he’s impressed by what he sees, he will then check your references. I would recommend having your references easily assessable. If your references have sufficient contact information, he may contact them before even speaking with you… allowing your references to help you sell your services.

Decision 7 – If your references are satisfactory, he will want to read more about you, or your company, i.e. quote information, brand philosophy, location, pricing, etc. This can be satisfied through an About Me page, FAQ, or your company blog.

I would stay away from having website visitors download your resume. People are finicky about downloading anything from the internet. You can give them the option of downloading your resume, or an online alternative.

Decision 8 – Once he has finished reading about you or your design company, he may want to contact you personally. Having a phone number and/or an instant message contact on your site would be ideal… esp. if your design company is global.

Decision 9 – After he speaks with you, he may still have some questions, which will lead him to your blog. In sales, this would be your closing argument or statement. This is to confirm that you are indeed what he’s looking for. Hopefully you have been blogging about your industry and have engaged the creative community in some worthwhile discussions on design.

Decision 10 – If you blog closes the deal, your potential client will pick up his phone (again) and give you a call, or send you an email, fill out your form, instant message you, or send you a text tellingquote you that he would like you to work on his project. The rest is up to you… Your website has now effectively done its job. Congratulations.

Keep in mind, this is only one scenario. You’ll find that your clients are more informed, and will use your design blog as their introduction to your design services, so make sure to write articles that will appeal to your potential clients.

Remember: The goal is to engage your potential clients early. You want to pique their interest and keep them engaged right up until they contact you. Consider my 4C’s to website conversion when developing a website for your design portfolio or company. Contact. Connect. Convince and Close
The bottom line is that you have to think like your clients in order to get their business.

What other techniques do you use to improve your website conversion?

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