It is one thing to know HOW to use Divi Layout Packs, but how do you convey the benefits of these Layout Packs to your client? Do you even show them to your client? In this article, I will show you how you can use the Divi Layout Packs as an asset, leveraging them as you communicate with your client, all the while, getting their complete buy-in.
Below are the topics of discussion in this article. Feel free to click on any one of the following links to skip to that section.
- How Can I Develop a ‘Fresh’ Unique Website For My New Client?
- Obstacles to Overcome With Your Client
- The Ingenious Solution Offered By Elegant Themes
- How Can I Leverage The Design Guides?
- How To Get Your Client’s Buy-in
- Sell Yourself, Not Your Design
Certainly this question has crossed your mind a time or two, with each new client you have taken on. The problem lies in that you can only bring your experience to the table. You can only offer what you know, or what you have already accomplished.
So how is one to develop a fresh unique website for each and every client? The industry has tried to answer that question by offering templates to use, but eventually even they become old and dated.
There are other obstacles to overcome as well. For example, templates have gained a poor reputation because they are thought to be very cookie-cutter like. Sure, you can modify them a little bit, . . . but just a LITTLE bit. I agree, they have come a long way in just a few short years. The Avada Theme is one such example. It’s actually several templates in one, and has been an extremely popular WordPress theme for several years.
Another obstacle that you may face is the tendency to stay away from “templates” because you think that it’s a second-rate solution. After all, ‘a real designer wouldn’t have to use a template’. That’s just foolish thinking. A real designer will even take council from the designs of template designers in the hope of learning something from them.
Elegant Themes has provided an ingenious solution, one that addresses the need for fresh unique design, while at the same time granting you, the designer, infinite possibilities regarding the implementation of that design for your client. Of course, I am referring to the Divi Layout Packs provided by elegant themes.
Let’s make one thing clear: Divi Layout Packs are NOT Templates. Templates do not offer infinite possibilities when it comes to implementation. Divi Layout Packs do. In fact, you need to change YOUR Thinking from “Templates” to “Design Guides”.
Deep down inside, your client probably thinks of templates in the same way that you do . . . as second rate. You will never convince your client that Divi Layout Packs serve as Design Guides until you believe it yourself.
For this reason, for the remainder of this article, I will refer to them as “Design Guides”, because you, the reader, need to start thinking of them as such. They are meant for you to modify any way you (or your client), sees fit. When you see Divi Layout packs as Design Guides, you begin to realize that they don’t serve as a liability, but rather as an asset.
After you have introduced the concept of the “Design Guide”, there are a few things that you can do to leverage your offerings. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Let them know that anything you show them can be modified and altered to meet the needs of their business. This is no small thing. Sit down with them and don’t be afraid to show them just how easy it is to modify a Design Guide. Show them how easy it is. This will only encourage them to think outside of the box.
When your client starts saying things like, “Can we move this over there?”, or “Can we resize this font?”, etc., and they get excited when you easily implement their request, you know you have their buy-in.
You should not fear that you are letting the secret out of the bag. Remember, they are hiring you because you are the expert and they know that they need help.
Reassure them that you have the ability to create a site that will not only meet their needs, but look aesthetically pleasing as well. The layouts and graphics available in the Design Guides are high-quality, well thought-out designs.
You can (and should), mix and match Layout Guides to meet the needs of your client. Let me explain.
When you develop a Website, you generally have at least 4 pages, sometimes more, but for the sake of this example, lets pick 4 pages. Those pages would include the HOME page, the SERVICES page, the CONTACT page, and the ABOUT page.
Now, Let’s say that after viewing the Divi Layout Guides (Layout Packs), you find that you like the HOME page and SERVICES page from one Layout Guide, but the CONTACT page from another Layout Guide, and the ABOUT page from yet another Layout Guide.
Not to worry! You can pick and choose. ANY page within one Layout Guide and use that page on your website. Gotta LOVE the flexibility!
We need to talk about what this looks like in practical terms, so let me show you how to get your client’s buy-in when you sit down to speak with them.
The first thing that you need to do is to change the way you talk about design so that your client will change the way that they think about design. There may be few face-to-face interactions with your client, but when they occur, understand that they will pick up on the way you speak, how you carry yourself, and the confidence you walk in.
Just because you may be a good designer does not mean that you have the ability to sell yourself and your abilities. This is what I am referring to when I say, “buy-in”. You’re number one objective is to get there buy-in. When you have their buy-in, they will trust your judgment and leave a lot of decisions to you, the professional.
When projects are over budget, and the client never seems to be happy, this usually occurs because you have not spent enough time getting their buy-in. The onus is on you.
The number one way to get the buy-in from your client is to treat them with dignity and respect. You are not the answer to all of their business needs, but you may be the answer to their website needs. In humility, present yourself as one who may be able to resolve their website needs. I cannot begin to tell you just how smooth the project will go for you if you simply approach your client in humility instead of arrogance.
Over communicating with your client builds buy-in. Don’t just follow up via email, call them. When you speak to them on the phone, it tells them that they are important to you. It adds that personal touch, showing that you care.
One very important note here: Never oversell your abilities. If you are not capable of doing what your client is asking, then hire someone who can, assuring your client that you have people that can deliver on their need. You may see it as a shortcoming, but they will respect you for your honesty. Honesty always builds Buy-in. This bring me to my next point.
You should never be spending the majority of your time going over Design Guides. If you do, then it is clear that you do not have their Buy-in.
Obviously your client is going to have a say in what their site looks like, but to be spending hours with them going over and over the details of what that design is going to look like is a mistake. Again, if you find yourself in this predicament, you have not done your job adequately.
In other words, sell yourself, not the design. When they buy into you, they will easily buy into one of the three design guides that you present to them.
After you have sold yourself, you can then talk about design, but not until then. If you start talking about design before you have convinced your client that you are more than capable of meeting their needs, your project will not only be delayed, but it will cost you a lot more in time because you will have a lot of rework to do.
Tim has been building websites for clients since 1995, and loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur’s perspective, enjoys freelance writing, all things WordPress, and an occasional game of ping pong.