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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Do you focus on the Features or the Benefits of working with you?

I love visiting graphic and web designers' websites. I love looking at their portfolio of projects to see the work they produce. But even more than looking at portfolios, I love studying how these designers promote themselves to potential clients.

One of the things I’ve noticed while visiting these sites is the different focuses presented to visitors. Some focus heavily on the features and services they offer to clients, while other sites focus on the benefit a client receives from working with that particular design studio.

After visiting hundreds, if not thousands of designer sites over the years, I've concluded that the ones most likely to convert visitors into clients are the ones who list the benefits. The ones who let potential clients know what's in it for them.

Don't get me wrong. You should list your features and services on your website. Many clients are looking for a designer for one project and don’t even realize that they offer other services as well. However, your features and services shouldn't be the primary focus of your message. They should be secondary to the benefits a client gets from deciding to work with you.

Here’s an example from a website that focuses mostly on the features they offer:

Why work with us?

Whether you need a website, an event poster, or to add graphics to your vehicle, we can create the designs that will direct your potential clients back to you. We create designs for you that are aesthetically pleasing, modern and relevant within your industry, with a simple and clear message.

With creativity and clarity, we develope your branding through custom graphics that you and your customers will appreciate.

We offer services in:

The message goes on to list the features and services this design company offers.

This is good information for the client to have. But It doesn’t show the benefits for the client from choosing this company.

Here’s an example of a company focusing on benefits:

We want to work with you.

When you partner with (name redacted) to develop or expand your brand, you not only get a team of experienced designers and marketers who have helped hundreds of businesses just like yours excell. You get a team of devoted people whose focus is on your success. When you look good, we look good.

Our aim in working with you is to develop a connection and learn everything we can about your business. This partnership will allow us to develop a personalized branding strategy that fits your budget.

If you are ready to expand your business then so are we. Click here to set up a call to discuss your business and the services we can offer you.

Do you see the difference? Sentences like “When you partner with…” or “You get a team of devoted people whose focus is on your success.” or “Our aim in working with you is to develop a connection…”. These all show a benefit to the client. It shows that the design company cares about their clients' success. It shows that choosing this company is choosing a partner in developing your brand and not just a supplier.

This website did list their features and services on a secondary page reachable with a “Learn more” link for potential clients who want to know more about this company.

Listing your features and services is a good idea. It helps expand who you are, and It does work in attracting clients. Visitors are interested in what it is you can offer them. But it should be secondary to your main message. When you focus on the benefits, you are reaching the client on a personal level, and that makes it much easier for the client to decide to work with you.

Developing your message strategy

When it comes to creating your marketing material; your website, brochures, advertising etc. you need to keep your target audiences' behaviour in mind. How will they react to the message you put in front of them? Is your message more knowledge-based, meaning it focuses on the features? Or is it emotion based, focusing on the benefits?

Remember that clients want to know “what’s in it for them?” If you can trigger an emotional response from a potential client, you are already most of the way there to winning them over. This subtle shift in how you word things can make a world of difference in the growth of your design business.

Do you explain the benefits to your clients in your marketing material?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Stian

My main focus is webdesign and development. So I will get loads of logins to FTP servers, web clients, web services, I even make new ones for my clients. And on top of this there is the contact information to each client.

Do you have a tip to organize this ? Like a software where I can store passwords and usernames safe, and other client information. I am not looking for some sort of billing system.

To find out what I told Stian you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week SetApp.com

SetApp.com is a subscription service for Mac apps. Starting at $5.99 per month for students and teachers and $8.99 per month for everyone else, SetApp gives you access to over 120 Apps for Mac OS. These are full version apps with no in-app purchases. Plus you get free updates and upgrades as they are released for every app. You also automatically get access to new apps as they are added to the SetApp package.

Some of the apps included are

CleanMyMac – free up disk space and speed up your mac
iStat Menus – monitor your mac’s health
Flume – Use Instagram on your Mac
Chronicle – Financial organization
MacGourmet Deluxe – for discovering and managing recipes.
Gemini – Remove duplicate files from your Mac

Plus so many more apps ready for you to use as part of your subscription. SetApp categories include Maintenance apps, Lifestyle apps, Productivity apps, Task Management apps, apps for Developers, for Creatives, for Writing & Blogging and apps for Education and Research.

Check out SetApp.com to see if it's something you are interested in.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com