If they land on your website, and don’t feel a connection, they’ll be leaving.
Client’s won’t stick around if there are too many barriers to hiring you, and you’ll lose them.
If it feels like potential clients know who you are, but you’re still not getting hired, there might be something wrong on your website.
Make it obvious who you work with
If you’re not clear what your focus is, and who you work with, your potential clients won’t be clear either.
Your own branding and design play a big role in this. If you’re targeting female wedding photographers, you’ll want to use branding and design that they find attractive. This should also help weed out those who don’t fit your target–someone who details cars will likely be turned off by floral designs and pastel colors.
But the very best way to make it obvious who you work with is to say it.
A sentence or two, crystal-clear, on your home page makes it obvious who you work with.
Here are some examples:
“Beautiful portfolio websites for wedding photographers”
“Hand-drawn logos and illustrations for small businesses”
“Badass websites for tattoo artists”
You get the idea. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s simply explaining what you do as soon as someone shows up on your website. Visitors will know immediately whether you’re right for them, or not.
Use their language and explain the benefits
Too many designers (and developers) use technical jargon. Listing features, and talking about plugins or page templates is a quick way to lose your potential clients’ interest. You need to explain things simply, and use the same language that they do.
Look at your audience and pay attention to the language they are using. Use this same type of language on your website. For example, if you see your audience complaining on social media that, “WordPress is SO hard!” use your website to explain that, “WordPress doesn’t have to be hard, here’s how I make it easy for you,” clients want to know that you’ll help solve their problems.
I see a lot of designers explaining what the offer by listing features:
- WordPress installed
- 5 Page templates
- 5 Plugins installed
This means next to nothing to your clients (unless you’re a developer working with designers, then it might be okay). Instead, try to explain things in a way that makes sense to your clients and explains the benefits of what you’re doing:
Secure WordPress installation – I’ll install a fresh copy of WordPress with security in place to help prevent hackers from getting in, so that your site will continue running smoothly.
Custom page templates – I’ll create custom page templates for your home page, services page, blog page, inner pages, and sales page, so that each page is laid out in a way that not only looks beautiful, but that showcases your work and makes it easy for your clients to find what they’re looking for and hire you.
Plugin installation – I’ll install and configure my recommended plugins to help your site run smoothly, and give you additional functionality. For more websites this includes a contact form plugin that allows you to easily create and edit forms, an opt-in plugin to help you grow your email list, and an SEO plugin to help your clients find you.
Yes, it may take more time to explain benefits and what you do, but it’s much easier for clients to understand than a bullet-point list of terms that they’ve never heard of. Clients won’t buy something that they don’t understand or that they don’t see the benefit of.
Focus your portfolio
Your portfolio should display your best work, but only your best work that fits with your focus and target audience. Again, if you’re a designer who works with wedding photographers, you need to remove any websites where the aesthetic does not fit the audience you’re targeting.
Potential clients are turned off, if they don’t see something similar to what they’re looking for. If your portfolio is all over the place, they are less likely to hire you, than to hire someone that they know specializes in their niche.
Your portfolio shouldn’t just be a collection of pretty screenshots. If you can explain how your designs benefited your past clients, tell that story. Clients want more than just a website. Clients want a solution to their problems. Explain how your design helped your client book more weddings, grow her mailing list, or streamline her intake process. Showing results and benefits tells clients that you do more than just make a pretty website.
Make it easy to contact you
Clients shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get in touch with you. While it’s okay to ask a few pre-screening questions on your contact form, you need to leave the design questionnaire for later.
Someone shouldn’t have to create a Pinterest inspiration board, list 5 websites they like and what they like about them, and write an essay just for initial contact. Collect the basics, like current website, budget, maybe 1-2 examples of other websites they like, but keep your contact form simple.
You want potential clients to be able to contact you easily. Don’t turn them off by making it complicated.
And don’t make it hard for clients to figure out how they get in touch. Your website should funnel them to your contact or intake form. Everything should be arranged in a way that leads visitors to making that initial contact.
Fix your website
If clients are getting to your site, but not buying or contacting you, make changes.
Make it obvious who you work with. Having a focus is essential in letting clients know that they’ve found the right person. Niching down will get you more clients than trying to appeal to everyone.
Use the language your clients are using so that they know that you understand their problems. You’re not just making a website, you’re offering them a solution.
Your portfolio should not only show the type of projects you want to work on, but explain how you were able to help your past clients with your designs. Again, sell the solution to your clients’ problems.
And finally, do not make it hard to get in touch! Potential clients don’t want to spend ages filling out a form, they just want to get in touch and know that you’re a real person who can help them. Save the details for the intro packet and the questionnaire. Potential clients will finish something they started, but are unlikely to start something if it seems like too much of a time investment right away.