by Calvin Cox on March 24, 2009
I’ve decided to step out of my Designer shoes and step into my Salesman shoes to write my top 10 list of features I would expect to find on a designer’s website who is serious about making money and taking full advantage of a potential client’s visit to his/her website. 1) Blog – I have beaten the “get a blog” topic to death at this point and refuse to bore you with it. For my new readers you can find more on blogging here and here. 2) Quote Request Form – An important thing to remember, if nothing else, is to give the client multiple ways to contact you. A quote request form might be a more convenient way for a client to present their request, outside of your email or contact form.
3) Phone Number – We are so afraid of a telephone call or sharing this information with people. Remember, you are a businessman, not a movie star. Sharing your contact information should be as necessary as the air you breathe. The funny thing about putting your telephone number on your site is that your clients may never use it. They might prefer to contact you through your contact forms or email. You are simply telling your clients hey, “I’m accessible” if you ever need to talk.
4) Avatar Photo – Have a picture of yourself on your website. No one cares what you look like, unless you’re Gisele Bundchen, of course. Your clients only care that there is a human being behind that beautifully created website you took months to develop. Give your clients an opportunity to get to know you.
5) Bio-Design history-Schools-Awards – Your about me page should be pretty elaborate. Talk about everything. Your long term goals, your relevant child hood experiences. Give them a nice creative history of who you are and how you’ve become. Of course everything you talk about is related to the bigger picture of why they should choose you for their next big project.
For design companies, you will obviously have to adjust your about us page accordingly. You can talk about your mission, your brand, what you stand for, what kind of pro bona projects or community contributions you’ve done. Etc, etc. Work on appealing to the softer side of your clients; you might find you’ll be able to connect with them on other aspects of their lives.
6) Testimonials – This is a no brainer but had to be included because it’s pretty important. Clients want to know that you are capable of producing products or services that warrants a satisfied customer who is willing to tell their story. This can be added to your about me page or placed alongside specific projects.
7) Case Study (Your design process) – A case study is a project you’ve done, one that you are really proud of and the client has been very successful and happy as a result. Take the time to go through the design process, detailing every step and taking your potential clients through your entire process, right up to the live project/website, including the actual client’s testimonial and contact information if possible. (use images, videos and illustration to keep your potential clients engaged)
8) Your Social Networking Sites – In your contact me section make sure to list all your social networking places. Clients may prefer to connect with you on LinkedIn or Twitter rather than on your website. Meet your clients where they want to meet, not where you want to meet.
9) Your Customer Service Policy – Have this information easily accessible on your website. Let your potential clients know what kind of business you are, and what they can expect if they are going to do business with you.
10) Declare Your Expertise – What do I mean by this? Everyone has one or two or even three things that they are exceptionally good at doing… This is especially true in the creative industry. Let your clients know what area(s) of design you are an expert, “Yes, I’m a Flash Genius… ” Let’s face it, you can’t be everything to everyone, unless you’re Google. Why not be everything to a few selected people that will continue to come back and refer people to you because you are exceptional at what you do.
11) IM (BONUS) – This is a great way for clients to reach you immediately if they have a quick question that can’t wait. Give them the option to instant message (IM) you. Take every chance to connect with your potential clients. A simple IM can get you hired.
Remember, with all the options to choose from when selecting a designer of design company, your clients are looking for a perfect match, they are looking to weed you out as quickly as possible. Don’t let them!
What are some of the techniques or features you’ve used on your website that have led to solidifying new clients ?
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