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An honest opinion...

Discussion in 'Graphic Design & Logo Design Critique:' started by Nicola, May 19, 2016.

  1. Nicola

    Nicola New Member

    Hi There,
    I'm a freelance designer who never seems to get any new clients. I'm starting to think it has to be my work. Can someone look at my website and please give me their honest opinion just so I know where i'm going wrong?

    http://rockpoolgd.com/

    Thanks
     
  2. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    It's not your work.

    I would love for there to be a portfolio tab/link as it took me a while to find the rest of your work. I actually found it by accident. I don't want to have to keep clicking 'see more' 'more' etc. I want it all there and categorised so I can choose what I want to view.
     
  3. Nicola

    Nicola New Member

    Thanks, I'll have to work on that. Maybe a top menu item where you can view my portfolio.
     
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Nicola, what sort of design work are you looking to do, what methods are you currently using for attracting clients that want that work?

    From what I can see your work looks fine, it may not be the quality that's putting potential clients off but rather the presentation. I found parts of your site a bit clunky to navigate. The portfolio links for example don't provide any context about the work, I have to click through to each one to find out about it. Rather than having comments turned on, which for the most part is pointless, consider adding in a contact form or some form of call-to-action to encourage browsers to get in touch with you directly form that page.

    Also, try turning on permalinks in your Wordpress settings. By default the pages are outputting a query string to the slug, something like "?p=1576". This is bad both from an SEO perspective, but also from a user-experience one. It's much better (and safer) to have something with descriptive keywords like "/walking-tracks-brochure-design"
     
  5. Nicola

    Nicola New Member

    Hi Paul, Thanks for your input. I hate my website but I did it myself and I'm not a website designer! Firstly I'll try and turn the permalinks on but ultimately I need a new website.
     
  6. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    There's a lot to getting clients and it's not all down to your site.
    Can't really comment on your site as my browser's a bit old so retina sites tend to be a bit glitchy anyway.
     
  7. Nicola

    Nicola New Member

    Hi Scotty, I just wanted to see essentially if it was a problem with my work. As I regularly post finished projects on LinkedIn and Facebook and NO ONE likes them! 3 or 4 times a year I send out digital newsletters to potential clients and I also get no response.
     
  8. Wardy

    Wardy Active Member

    The images don't exactly jump up and say 'click on me!' Maybe it's the photography, maybe a bit more colour?

    You could always cheat a bit and make up some projects that are a bit more fun, colourful and punchy?
     
  9. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I'd say you have a pretty solid portfolio although the "see more" bit doesn't work very well but that's a site issue.
    Also (like Wardy said) "You could always cheat a bit and make up some projects that are a bit more fun, colourful and punchy?"

    I don't really do Linkedin as I don't really get it but I do post on Behance and Dribbble a bit.
    I did recently read an article about increasing your exposure on Behance which I guess is true for other sites.
    Pretty much about making your freature image "punchy" (@Wardy again), your content appealing/interesting and also, not to see your likes or followers to be a judgement of the quality of your work.
    A lot of that is a popularity contest and the more followers you have increases your exposure. A bit like a domino/mushroom effect.
    This comes with time, hard work and management and helps if you already have a bit of a name for yourself to start with.

    If I knew how to do it them I might be sat in a bath of golden kittens with a designer crown on my head.

    .............I don't, so I'm not. ;)
     
  10. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Facebook requires you to pay to get your content seen. How many of your clients are sat on Facebook looking for a designer anyway, probably none. Same with LinkedIn, that seems to just be full of recruiters looking to fill full-time positions.

    Are you actively going out and speaking to people? Digital newsletters are likely of no interest to most potential clients. Try instead sending them something that perhaps highlights an issue they may be having and offer a solution. For example if I was trying to gain a web design client, I'd perhaps use a strategy like below;

    First send out an email to a potential contact explaining how I find them/why I know about their business
    This is important as it shows that you're not just sending out mass emails to anybody and everybody, but rather that you're actually familiar with the business beforehand. This is basically an ego stroker, every business owner likes to know their marketing is working, but it also serves as a 'common interest', like chatting to a stranger and immediately liking them more when you discover you have something in common.

    Then I'd describe my role and explain how I've noticed some issues with their current site they may not be aware of.
    You need to use tact here. Don't go in guns blazing explaining why their stuff is crap, instead explain that there are several small changes that could improve their business (notice the selling point in bold).

    Finally I'd ask their permission to send them an e-book I have written entitled "20 reasons why customers are leaving your site" that they may wish to peruse at their own leisure.

    Here's where you assert your authority and position as an expert in your field. The aim of the e-book/whatever is not to have them turn round and hire you on the spot, but rather it's a way to make contact with them in a non-pushy, non-selling manner and leave them with something that tells them who you are and demonstrates that you actually know what you claim to be know about, as well as featuring some direct contact details in the back. Hopefully they will read or at least flick through the e-book, notice some issues with their site and get in touch. If not, you have a reason to follow up by just asking if they've had a chance to read through it. The trick is not to be pushy, but rather to get in front of them, so if/when they need a designer they'll think of you.

    Most businesses have at least some need for designer, but many don't know where to look or who to trust. Your aim at the early stage should be to become a contact. I've met a few people who've never hired me, but have sent their contacts my way when they asked "Do you know a designer?"

    Direct word of mouth referrals are the best way to get new work.

    I made that point bigger because it's important.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    @GCarlD likes this.
  11. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    WHAT IS?
     
    @GCarlD likes this.
  12. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Direct word of mouth referrals are the best way to get new work.

    At least that's always been true of my work.
     
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  13. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    scotty likes this.
  14. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Bloody hell! Alright! o_O
     
  15. Nicola

    Nicola New Member

    Thankyou. It's all great advice and is appreciated.
     

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