My 6 simple rules for getting more clients (from your website)

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If “word of mouth” is your main source of new clients – this is for you. Don’t get me wrong, word of mouth is great, but it’s also inconsistent, unreliable, & sporadic.

That’s because you have to wait for your clients to have an opportunity to pass along your name. But how often do each of your clients find themselves in such a situation?

That’s why you need a powerful website that will bring you business on demand. You control the content, the traffic, everything.

It’s like turning on a faucet: Drive traffic, get clients. Schedule full? Stop paying for traffic.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

To help you turn your website into a client-getting machine, here are some simple rules for you to follow:

1. Pretend your services are products

If you were going to buy a new phone today, you’d be able to head to the manufacturer’s website and read a list of features, benefits, specs, etc.

Treat your services the same way.

What are all of the things you provide? What value to they bring to the client?

List all of this out, just like you’re listing out the features of a bicycle, computer, or pair of sneakers.

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Here’s an example of a few features & benefits for a web design service:

features

Hint: 

Features = things client gets.

Benefits = why and how they help your clients reach their goals.

2. Keep paragraphs small

As you read this section…

Think to yourself: Isn’t it easy to read?

The bite-sized chunks of sentences flow effortlessly through the eyes.

It’s almost easier to read… than not to!

By separating individual phrases into their own paragraphs, or keeping paragraphs at most just two or three lines long – I’m telling your eye, “This is EASY to read!”

Isn’t it?

Now as you read this paragraph, tell me, are you having the same experience? Did you even read this paragraph, or were you too intimidated by the large size of it that you skipped it over? I wouldn’t blame you. When I see monstrously-sized paragraphs on websites I head for the hills. Books and printed text are different, somehow. We can tolerate long paragraphs in the novels we read, the magazines. But online? Forget it. The eye instantly seeks a way out. Is there some underlying, societal-induced ADHD we all have from the “wham” and “glam” of modern television and internet? Maybe. At this point, I’m just looking for more things to say to make this paragraph as long as possible. I think this is a pretty good stopping point though.

3. Keep language simple

I’ve mentioned this in some past posts, but I still see phrase like “multi-disciplinary designer well-equipped in a variety of mediums and communication styles” on your websites, so I’m saying it again:

Just like the eye skips over big paragraphs…

It skips over big words and jargon, too.

Write like you’re talking to a friend, not like you’re handing in a college essay.

Instead of: “multi-disciplinary designer”

Try: “I create beautiful websites, brochures, logos, and more.”

See how I communicated “multiple disciplines,” but in a way that makes you not want to shoot yourself? 🙂

4. Your portfolio: More than pretty pictures.

While beauty may be one thing clients are coming to you for… it’s not the only thing.

Don’t fall into the trap of making your portfolio simply an image gallery.

Explain to your visitors the concept of each piece, the goals it aims to achieve, and the results it generated.

Clients don’t just want pretty things.

They want pretty things that help them reach their goals.

Your explanations communicate the latter.

5. Make reaching out feel easy, and even fun.

If clients like the words on your site and your portfolio, chances are they’ll be interested in a conversation.

But initially, that’s all most are interested in.

They’re not ready to pull the trigger until they’ve at least heard your voice and decided if they get a trustworthy vibe or not from you.

So make that initial convo feel easy to approach.

Try calls to action on your site like, “Have a project you need help with? Let’s talk! I’d love to learn all about it.

Make that first chat feel light, friendly, and fun.

No risk is attached to it – it’s simply a friendly conversation with no commitment whatsoever.

6. Testimonials!!!

Every few months I have to circle back to Millo and remind you to load your website up with testimonials, because I’m still not seeing enough of them (or any at all) on your websites!

If you have a lot:

Place at least one on each page in a prominent spot, and have a separate “Testimonials” or “Reviews” page where you list the rest.

If you don’t have a lot:

Place one on each page, in a prominent spot. This is the most efficient way to get your testimonials across, and even if you only have 3 or 4, it makes it sort of “feel” like you have more.

If every page features a new person recommending you, it feels like a lot of people are recommending you, even if it’s really just 3 or 4.

How many of these rules are you following? How many do you need to improve on?

Leave me a comment and let me know! And if you have other advice to share, share it! Questions are warmly welcome, too 🙂

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About David Tendrich

David Tendrich is the co-head of creative agency Unexpected Ways, as well as the co-founder of Reliable PSD: the first-ever PSD to HTML & PSD to Wordpress service run by designers, for designers. He co-runs his companies from Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife and biz partner, Lou Levit.

 

More about David’s business: David is co-founder of Reliable PSD – what happened when a group of designers got fed up with PSD to Code companies… and created their own. Check them out, and see why freelancers & agencies are head over heels for this amazing new service.

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Comments

  1. Great post! I think I may be guilty of a little too much wordy jargon, myself. Well, maybe not jargon per se, but I may be writing at the wrong level.

    Any tricks for avoiding that natural tendency? I want to write well as well as make it easy to absorb.

    • Thanks, Kyle 🙂 Appreciate you saying that

      1. Read things written simply. Hemingway. Soseki. Ogilvy ads. John Caples ads.

      2. Any time you have a big word – erase it – and find one that’s more down to earth.

      For example – where you say “natural tendency” – that could be “habit”

      3. Read your writing aloud.

      If it feels like a mouthful – then it reads like a mouthful.

      Find the areas that are hard to say and re-write them until it flows nicely read aloud.

      Good luck 😀

  2. Great article. I’m doing a lot of this already–it’s good to get a little validation but there are some other good nuggets.

  3. Cool article. I see I have tonnes of work to do on my site, fundfocusmobile.com.

    Especially the point about inviting people to take action in a friendlier way – I think many sites fall down in that regard.

    Paul

  4. Great tips. Funny enough, I have lots of testimonials and before I read this I was just thinking I should put a few on several pages. Would you be kind enough to critique my website for me? You can send me an e-mail.

    • Your instinct was spot on 🙂

      Small instant critique: Make your home page tell me what you’ll do for me. Right now it’s just “graphic & web design services”.

      Also, try calling out more clearly who the site is for. Small businesses? Corporate? Restaurants? Etc.

  5. Great article!
    The one thing that is the hardest for me is this one:
    “Try calls to action on your site like, “Have a project you need help with? Let’s talk! I’d love to learn all about it.”
    I know I should probably be more flexible but I like clients to email me first with all the details. I feel I weed out the tyre kickers that way. If I welcome anybody to call about anything I feel I’ll spend a lot of time on the phone with people that are just after free advice. But it’s possible that I miss out on good clients this way too…
    Personally I love it when I get an email from a client and they tell me that they prefer to communicate via email. Then I know it’s a match 🙂

    • Thanks, Anna 🙂

      I think a lot of us creatives are introverts so email is more comfortable – but there is so much more money to be made and so many great clients to be had when you get people on the phone.

      It is uncomfortable for me every time as someone who struggles with social anxiety.

      Also, a lot of people want to talk to you first to see if they even want to send you all the details.

      “I don’t want to invest time writing a lengthy email if I don’t even like the person,” they think

      As for the free advice part – that is likely due to:

      A) Somehow you’re attracting tire kickers

      B) You’re leaving too much space open on the call for the client to take charge and guide it

      It is more likely B than A.

      It’s up to you to guide the call and control the course of it. Keep the conversation focused on what problem pushed them to reach out – and how you can help.

      It helps to prepare a structure ahead of time, and to let the client know that structure at the beginning.

      “Okay – so let’s dive in. Here’s how this call will work. First we’ll [do this], then we’ll [do that], and finally we’ll [do that]. Cool?”

      Have your agenda for the call open in front of you so you stay on track, and so the call feels like it’s “moving” toward an end goal.

      That movement keeps people engaged and keeps the convo on point too.

      Hope that helps.

  6. Excellent tips, all doable.

  7. Thank you for this awesome post. You’ve touched upon really important issues.
    I would like to add one more thing: create dedicated SEO optimized landing pages for each service (if you’re offering services). For instance, I’m selling translation services in three main areas: technical, legal and marketing translations. I’m currently developing three landing pages for this specialized services.