Last week I talked about why your client experience is so important, and once you start thinking a little deeper, it’s probably more than obvious the way your experience can impact so many things like the ability to get referrals or just enjoy working with your clients. But what do you do when you know that things aren’t up to par? You know you could be doing better, but you just can’t quite identify the things that need help let alone go about improving them?
Good news! Today I’m breaking down a few tips on how you can create a stand out experience for your design clients so even if you’re a beginner designer, you can see positive changes in your business!
P.s. Stick around to the end because I have a super fun announcement for designers!
Create a project timeline
Here’s a no-brainer first step for you: before you can figure out what exactly in your client experience that needs help, take the time to sit down and create a timeline for each of main types of projects that you do. You’ll want to start before the project even begins (think about when a potential client is landing on your site) and end it when you’re following up after the project is over.
Having a timeline in front of you will give you a clear idea on what your projects actually look like. When I ran the Streamline Your Process challenge last year, one thing I heard from people was that they didn’t realize how disorganized they were. It’s easy to get so used to the work you do that you forget something here or there. Not to mention when you’re trying to change the way you work – when I have done that in the past I’d always get annoyed with myself for forgetting a step that I meant to change or improve with my next client.
Refine and streamline
Easy enough, right? Once you know what your projects look like, you can start taking action on improving your client experience. Start by refining any areas that seem to be causing frustrating for you or your clients. This could be something like not knowing how to book a project with you, feeling underwhelmed or confused on what to expect, or getting content from your clients.
Then, streamline what you can. I can’t talk about this enough: you will save yourself time and frustration by creating templates for the repeatable parts of your process. If you’re recreating your onboarding or offboarding materials with every client, it’s time to put a stop to that. Make it a goal to create one template that you can use with each client. Here are a few things I recommend streamlining:
- Proposals, contracts, and invoices
- Welcome PDF
- Client Homework
- Presentation files (think about anything you use to show your work to your clients)
- Brand Guidelines
You obviously can’t streamline every single part of a project, but don’t force yourself to try to recreate the wheel with every client you work with.
Highlight what makes you different
This is where you start to make sure your client experience stands out from other designers. Even if you don’t take the time to streamline or improve a single step in your client experience, you can make sure you’re standing out from everyone else by simply starting to highlight the steps you take that make your process better or more exciting than everyone else’s.
A prime example of this is when I wrote a blog post several weeks ago about the way I focus on strategy with my branding clients. Yes, a hundred other designers could offer their clients brand strategy, but it’s important for my clients to know that this is a really important part of the process that could transform their business, which is why I put an emphasis on it in my projects.
Whatever you find that makes you or your process unique, you can use to market yourself through your blog posts, newsletters, on social media and wherever else you and your potential clients may hang out.
Consider how you can delight your client
Last but not least, creating a great experience isn’t just about delivering good work that your client likes. It’s about delighting your client in somewhat unexpected ways so that they can see that you truly care about their business and their success. Even the smallest surprise like a handwritten note can make an impact on how the client feels about working with you.
There are a variety of ways that you can delight your design client, but know that you don’t have to invest a lot of time or effort into it. Like I said, you can send a handwritten note at the end of the project, or you can do something bigger like sending over a little gift to help celebrate their launch. A great in-between those two would be sending over a couple of graphics they can use to help launch their new design for free.
Are you ready to wow your clients?
Creating a stand out client experience does more for you than make sure your clients enjoy working with you. When you know you’re offering an awesome experience of working with you, you’ll end up feeling so much more confident in your work. This will help you market yourself better, which will allow you to book more clients and in turn make more money.
But like I said before, it can be confusing trying to figure out what in your existing process and client experience could use some improvement. Instead of wasting time guessing what changes you should be making, why not get help developing your own signature experience that will help you increase profitability?
I’d like to introduce you to the Wow Your Clients workshop!
The Wow Your Clients workshop is a 5-day paid workshop where we’ll focus on strategizing and refining your client experience from the second a potential client lands on your website all the way until you’re following up after the project is over. I cover every step in between so you can set your business up for the success you deserve.
The workshop runs July 23 – 27th, 2018, and it includes daily videos, actionable worksheets, resources specifically for design businesses, and live Q&A’s where you can ask me anything about running a design business.
DURING THE 5-DAY WORKSHOP YOU’LL:
- Define your ideal client so you know who you’re marketing to
- Identify your client experience timeline and determine your highs and lows so you know what to improve first
- Uncover what makes your design process unique
- Learn the steps I took to finally start booking dreamy clients with the budget to work with me
AND YOU’LL WALK AWAY WITH:
- A custom experience that’s repeatable with every single client
- Clarity on how to market yourself to potential clients
- An actionable plan to implement everything into your client experience
- Guide to start marketing yourself with ease
If you’re ready to wow your clients, it’s time to join us!