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

Less about you and more about your clients.

Graphic and web designers tend to have visually striking websites. However, where they excel in visuals and usability, they often lack in their marketing message. A lot of designers don’t know how to market themselves properly.

Have you ever heard the statement, “The best marketing in the world can’t help a bad product?” The same is true of the opposite. Bad marketing can harm a great product or service. That’s what many designers are doing to themselves — bad marketing.

Flip your marketing message.

Want to know a secret? Clients don’t care about you; they don’t care where you got your education; they don’t care what awards you’ve won; they don’t care what big-name clients you’ve worked with before; they don’t care about your processes and procedures. What the client cares about is whether or not you can help them with their problem.

As a designer, you’re a problem solver, and that’s all the client cares about, whether or not you can come up with a solution to whatever problem they are currently facing.

No business person wakes up in the morning, thinking, “I want to hire a designer today.” What they actually think is, “I need a logo, or website, or marketing material, etc. for my new business, and to get that, I’ll have to hire a designer today.”

It's the end product that will help their business that's important to them, not the designer. They don’t care about you. They care about whether or not you can provide what they need.

When it comes to their marketing message, a lot of designers are not putting the client’s needs first and foremost in their marketing. So what’s the trick? Stop talking about yourself and start talking about the client when promoting your services.

Put your clients' needs first.

It all comes down to your wording. Let me give you two hypothetical examples.

Designer #1 has this statement on their home page.

“Need a designer? I’m an award-winning designer with over 15 years experience and I would love to work with you. If you would like to diacuss your project, please schedule a time via my contact form.”

Designer #1's statement is all about themself. There’s no incentive for the client to hire them. The client may be impressed by the credentials. But there’s nothing in the statement telling the client what’s in it for them.

Designer #1 delivered a very brief resume for the client to contemplate. Almost as if they were applying for a job position instead of being a professional business for hire.

But if we reworded the same message?

Designer #2 

“Do you have an idea that requires a designer? You’ve come to the right place. For over 15 years I’ve been helping people just like you with their creative needs. I look forward to working with you on your design project. Please let me know the best time for us to discuss your project via my contact form.”

Do you see the difference?

Let’s dissect both statements from a client’s point of view.

Opening statement:

Designer #1 “Need a designer?”

Designer #2 “Do you have an idea that requires a designer?”

Remember, a client never needs a designer, what they need is something designed, and someone to do it for them. The design itself is more important to the client than the designer. So Designer #2 wins the opening statement because they appeal to the actual needs of the client. They talk about the problem.

The body:

Designer #1 “I’m an award-winning designer with over 15 years experience, and I would love to work with you.”

Designer #2 “You’ve come to the right place. For over 15 years, I’ve been helping people just like you with their creative needs. And I look forward to working with you on your design project.”

Once again, Designer #1 is talking about themself, whereas Designer #2 is saying the same thing but from the point of view that takes the client's needs into account.

Closing statement:

Designer #1 “If you would like to discuss your project, please schedule a time via my contact form.”

Designer #2 “Please let me know the best time for us to discuss your project via my contact form.”

These two statements are almost identical, yet Designer #1 still manages to make it about them by telling the client, “here's when I'm available, pick a time.” Designer #2, on the other hand, is asking the client to pick a time that is most convenient for them, making the client feel in charge.

Both designers may have the same time slots available on their calendars. But the difference in wording changes the emphasis from the designer to the client, creating a subtle difference that could persuade a client to choose Designer #2 over Designer #1.

The power of putting your client first.

These examples use one small paragraph. Imagine if you used this same marketing message strategy across an entire website. A client visiting a site with a marketing message talking about them and their problems would quickly start to feel like the designer behind that site gets them, understands their challenges and their needs. When that happens, the client will start thinking, “I need to work with this designer.”

Isn’t that the goal of your website? To entice clients to want to work with you?

So stop explaining your skills and your accomplishments, and start weaving those same facts into your narrative as you tell clients how their problems will be solved by working with you. In the end, that’s all that matters to the client.

P.S. Once you learn how to create a marketing message that focuses on the client. You’ll be able to incorporate this same process into websites you build for those clients, creating high converting sites they will love.

Does your marketing message talk more about you or your client?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Resource of the week Divi 4.0

The Divi Theme Builder is a fully-featured website templating system that allows you to use the Divi Builder to structure your site and edit any part of the Divi Theme including headers, footers, post templates, category templates and more. Each Theme Builder template consists of a custom Header, Footer and Body layout. These three areas can be built and customized using the Divi Builder and its full set of modules along with Dynamic Content.

Click here to learn more about Divi 4.0 and to purchase your copy.

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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

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