All site designers belong to a secret club. We talk about our headache site owners. Some of you reading this today are those clients.
We don’t call out names in our club, but we do dish the dirt. We have to, otherwise we would run screaming down the street, pulling our hair out. Why? Because you make us crazy. We have a club because misery loves company and we feel better knowing we’re not the only ones with clients that drive us nuts.
I’m going to spill the beans and tell you what your designer won’t so you can avoid being that client we talk about.
1. You have no idea what you’re doing.
You contact a designer to create a theme for you. You’ve never run a successful site. You have no idea why sites are structured the way they are. You have a vague idea for a logo and nothing else. You haven’t even looked at any of your competition to see what kind of designs work best for them and even if you did, you didn’t know why it was working.
In other words, you have no idea what you want or need, and yet you feel completely qualified to tell an experienced designer how this is going to go.
2. You don’t listen.
First, you hire a pro and then you don’t follow any of their advice. Why? This is the one that designers hate most. It’s what drives them bat shit. That’s when you prove that you’re in the #1 crowd above.
Let’s put it this way. You want to design and build your own house. You hire a general contractor. When he/she starts telling you about loads and codes, you don’t want to hear it.
Not only do you not know what you’re doing, you won’t listen to why your choices are going to lead to a miserable failure because nothing is going to function properly.
Obviously you didn’t really want an experienced, professional designer. You wanted someone who would just do what you said and take your money and not care about your success.
3. You have no content.
This is the top stumbling block to site creation and completion. You’ve spent hours and days, even weeks, pouring over themes to the point that you’ve passed dazzled and gone straight to dazed.
But you have not spent a minute writing any content. None.
Ultimately, content is what drives your success.
I’ve seen six-figure marketers have some of the crappiest sites on the web. I’ve also seen $7000 sites that didn’t bring in a dime.
Respectable designers, especially those who understand the importance of marketing, have a clause in their contract that states you will deliver your completed content before any work begins on the theme.
4. You don’t know where to place what and why.
That’s because you don’t know what your conversion goals are and how online marketing works. Even if you do, you don’t know why one theme will out-perform another to accomplish that goal.
And, you think your designer will help you with that. Nope. Most designers are not great marketers themselves. Developers are even worse at it.
A designer is going to count on you to tell them what goes “above the fold” to accomplish the goal you’ve chosen.
5. You don’t know the difference in structure and style.
That means that you don’t know what’s cheap to change and what’s expensive.
Websites are like houses. They have an underlying structure. Painting a house and changing up the façade is cheap. Same with a site. Changing the colors and fonts is a fairly easy and inexpensive thing to do.
But, picking up rooms and moving them around involves structural changes. And that’s expensive.
Your content is like your furniture. You choose it first, then find the site, or house, that fits it.
Most folks shopping for a theme choose on pretty alone, not knowing that it’s easily changed. Instead, they rule out a theme that would work perfectly for them with a few minor tweaks.
Making a bunch of structural changes really drives up the design costs in a hurry. Of course, you think it only fair for your designer to absorb that cost and stick to the original quote. It also severely impacts completion dates. But then, you expect your designer to just keep working day and night and stay on schedule, right?
Don’t be that client!
A full 70% of my clients are on their second site. But this time they are fully prepared to learn about what really makes for a successful site. In my classes, we do the theme last. That’s after at least 6-9 hours of class time and that much again in homework.
My clients are fully prepared to go theme shopping because they know:
- how to harness the power of WordPress as a marketing platform
- how premium themes work
- have all of their content created
- how online marketing works
- what their conversion points are
- how different structures perform
After they choose the basic structure they need, they can go to the designer with specs in hand. The entire design process is smooth, easy, and fast.
And that’s why designers love my clients and give them the best rates.
Every now and then a designer in the club will talk about the dream client they just got. Everybody else just turns green.
Fortunately, I get to brag on my clients quite often.
One reason for that is because I only take clients who are serious about their success and are willing to do the work and who know they need more than a new theme.
How does your designer, coach, consultant talk about you in their secret club? Did you do any research or get educated about sites and marketing before you contacted them? Do you still think a new theme is all that is holding you back?