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There are so many things you can do to improve your design business. Here are 5 tips to help you along the way.

Tip # 1) How do you get people to pay attention to you?

How do you get people to pay attention and be interested in what you have to say? Be it at a networking event, during presentations, in the emails you send, on a landing page or other marketing material? Start by identifying the problem you solve.

As a designer, you are a problem solver. That's your superpower. But nobody cares about a solution if the problem hasn’t been identified. Our brains are wired to go from problem to solution, problem to solution. If you only offer the solution, nobody will care what you have to say.

For example; When someone asks what you do for a living, don’t just say, “I design websites for startup companies.” Try it, and you’ll see just how fast someone’s eyes can glaze over.

Instead, start with a problem like this. “Do you know how hard it is for a new startup company to compete online these days? With people’s patience and attention spans getting shorter and shorter, it can seem like an impossible task to get noticed. What I do is create great looking and high-converting websites that help new startups quickly gain traction, catch up to and eventually surpass their competition.”

A problem, followed by a solution. Now you have their attention.

Tip # 2) Be confident in your calls-to-action.

Every good website, including your own website for your design business, needs a call-to-action (CTA). Without one, what’s the point of the site?

Sure, you want people to know more about you.

Sure, you want people to know what services you offer.

Sure, you want people to see your work portfolio.

But ultimately, what you want is for people to hire you. The best way to do that is with an assertive CTA.

A passive CTA such as “Learn More” or “Get Started” just don’t cut it. What they actually do is instill doubt in the client. It’s as if you’re not sure about your business and are afraid to ask the client to commit. So instead of asking them to hire you, you’re asking them to learn more about you in the hopes you can convince them. Or to get started, and if they don’t like what they see, we can stop.

No. What you want to do is be bold and show confidence that you can help the client and show it in your CTA. Be direct and use CTAs like “Hire me,” “Schedule a Call,” or “Order Now.” The more direct you are with assertive CTAs, the better the chance someone will hire you.

3) Get paid faster by sharing the value you provided on your invoices.

Wouldn’t it be nice if clients paid your invoices as soon as they receive them, and you didn’t have to sit there wondering when or if the money would ever come in?

What if you could make one small change that would actually encourage your clients to pay your invoices faster? You can. By sharing the value, you provided directly on the invoice.

If your invoice looks something like this…

Item 1) Designed website = $xxx
Item 2) Designed Logo = $xxx
Item 3) Designed brochure = $xxx
Total = $xxx

Then you’re missing out.

Use a description field or add a footnote reminding your clients of their purchase value, not just the cost… the value.

Item 1) Designed website with clear and concise messaging, which will produce a good conversion rate, translating to increased sales.
Item 2) Designed Logo that shows the brand's quality and longevity and stands out amongst the competition.
Item 3) Designed brochure to showcase the client's premium services and instill an air of confidence in people hiring you.

Show the client that you provided more than just a website, logo or brochure. You provided something that will help their business grow and succeed. When they see and are reminded of that, they will be much more willing to pay your invoice quicker.

Tip # 4) Go from being a good salesperson to a great salesperson.

We don't’ like thinking about it, but a major part of running a design business is being a salesperson. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ever get new clients.

The number of clients who hire you is directly related to how good a salesperson you are. If you want to go from being a good salesperson to being a great salesperson, you need to remember two things: empathy and authority.

Empathy

Empathy is showing that you understand the problem the client is coming to you with. “I understand how you feel.” “I get where you’re coming from.” “I know exactly what you’re talking about.”

When a client feels you have an empathetic connection with them, they are much more likely to hire you.

Authority

Authority is showing you’re not only confident you can help them, but that you have the experience to back up that confidence. “I’ve helped other clients with similar problems.” “That’s a common issue that I know we can solve.” “Here’s what we can do to solve that.”

Think of the power when you combine Empathy and Authority. “I understand how you feel. Rest assured, I’ve helped other clients with similar problems before.” “I get where you’re coming from. That’s actually a common issue that I know we can solve.” “I know exactly what you’re talking about. Here’s what we can do to solve that.”

Tip # 5) Avoid being cute or trying to be clever in your marketing.

When done right, cute and clever can be a huge success. Unfortunately, the majority of the time they are not done right. And there’s no way for the person who’s developing the campaign to know if it’s done right or not because they’re too close to it.

The problem with trying to be cute or clever is a lot of people won’t get it. They’re not in your head. They’re not part of the discussion that comes up with the campaign idea. And therefore, they won’t understand the message. That idea that you think is so cute or clever is completely lost to them. And if a potential client feels confused about your message. You’ve lost them as a client.

For any marketing campaign to be successful, the message needs to be clear. Clear what the message is and clear what you want them to do. “Do you need a professional graphic designer to develop your new company’s brand? Book a call to discuss your project.”

Concise and Clear will win out over cute and clever every time.

 

Resource of the week Evernote

Evernote is, in my opinion, one of the best organization and note-taking applications there is. I use it on a daily basis to keep track of everything from podcast and blog topics, to business contacts, websites I need to revisit, and so much more. Evernote's ability to sync across all my devices means I can access it no matter where I am. It's become one of the most invaluable tools in my arsenal. If you are interested in giving it a try visit evernote.com

 

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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

 

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