Every design project starts as an adventure. The inquiry lands in your inbox and you’re suuuper excited to learn more. You know that if you can just show the client how much value you’ll provide to their business that the job is yours. You learn a bit more about them and their business and can’t wait to create something gorgeous that they’ll love for years.
But, just a minute – there’s a lot more that goes into a website than something gorgeous that the client (and hopefully you) will love.
A common mistake I see are websites that are designed to look amazing, but are missing out on a few key components that can make or break a small business. Of course, you want things to look nice, but there are a few things you should always consider. Today we’ll go over three of those things and talk about how you can do more to create a website that works for your client’s business.
Consider this: The goal of your client’s website
The very first thing you should think about when you get a new client inquiry is what the goal of that client’s website will be. This comes before you decide on a platform, before you think about branding, and before you worry about collecting the client’s content.
A lot of clients will go into a project thinking that the goal of their website is to serve as an online platform for their business. But you’ve got to get them to dig deeper if you’re going to create a website that supports them for years to come.
The purpose of any website is to serve as an online platform, but depending on the business and the current goals of the owner, the website will need to focus on different things. For example, a few common goals are things like:
- List building
- Scheduling discovery calls
- Getting people in their marketing funnel
- Convincing people that their offerings are vital
Many of these things go hand-in-hand, but depending on the current goals of your client, you’ll need to be particular about what is placed front-and-center to deliver the most effective website you possibly can. The more strategic and focused the website is the happier your client will be – woo hoo!
To get started with being more strategic around the real goals of your clients’ websites, start by asking an introductory question in your inquiry form. Something like “What is the goal you want your website to accomplish?” is a great start. You’ll likely get a fairly general answer, but from there you’ll be able to dig a bit deeper in your introductory call or branding/design questionnaire.
Download the freebie for 3 examples of questions you can ask to get your clients to dig deeper about their goals
Consider this: The platform that will actually be the best for them
A lot of designers offer web design services for only one platform, like WordPress or Squarespace. That’s perfectly fine, but it’s important that you’re willing to help your clients decide what platform will truly be the best choice for them, rather than limiting them based on what you’re familiar with.
And don’t worry! If what ends up being the best for them isn’t the technology you’re familiar with, there’s always the option of finding a developer to take care of things once you’ve finished the branding and design. That way you don’t have to completely lose a great client just because of the technology that will support their business most effectively. (If you’re wondering what it looks like to team up with a developer, check out the free course, Get Back To Design)
Even if a client is set on using a specific platform, I still encourage you to ask questions to make sure. Sometimes people decide to go with what everyone else is raving about and don’t know whether that’s really the best choice for them.
These are questions that can again be asked in an introductory call or questionnaire. The download that goes along with this post will lead you through the items to consider when helping your clients decide.
3. Are you limiting the outcome?
Last, you always want to consider whether your knowledge is limiting the outcome for your clients.
Don’t get me wrong, we all start somewhere and need experience to learn. But when you’re talking with a new client, pay attention to the coding abilities you’ll need to produce the best result possible. If they mention a goal that you’re not sure how to build a website around, you might decide that you need a little help when it comes to the overall strategy of the design.
When things like this happen, don’t be afraid to bring someone in who can give you a hand. Just like many small business owners, myself included, bring in a coach to level up their businesses or copywriters to give their writing a boost, you can use a developer or strategist to better the outcomes you get for your clients. They’ll love you for it!
If you’re looking for someone to talk strategy with or help with the development of your client projects, you are always free to reach out and we can chat about how we can team up!
What else do you consider for each project?
There’s a lot that goes into each and every design project. If only it were as easy as creating something that looked nice, right?
What else do you like to keep in mind when you’re diving into a new project?