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What clients look for in a design pitch

Your pitch deck aims to prove to your client that you understand their needs and have the skills to deliver a web design that will support their business goals. Including the following elements will instill your client’s confidence in you and help you land their business.

1. A customized approach

Clients want to see that you’ve taken the time to research their business and industry and understand their goals and pain points. Even if you use some of the same design elements and characteristics across each site you build, clients want to see that it’s purposeful and unique to them.

For example, you wouldn’t want to propose advanced ecommerce features for a non-ecommerce website focused on events promotion. Your pitch deck should make it clear you’re creating a customized website solution for them. Show how your recommended design will meet the unique needs of their business.

2. Visual appeal

Since design is a visual field, bringing your pitch deck to life with compelling visuals will demonstrate your talent while communicating essential information to help clients see that you’re the right fit for the job. A drab presentation deck won’t do your design skills justice, so create a visually appealing deck to help your client see your creativity and talent at work.

Even though the design direction may change once your proposal is accepted, creating something visually compelling will make your presentation memorable and give your client a taste of what you’re capable of. Using visuals like charts and graphs, as well as data points, illustrates that you understand your client and their industry and demonstrates the value of your work.

3. A good user experience

A beautiful website is worthless if it’s not easy to navigate or use. Your pitch should highlight that you think through the user experience in tandem with your design choices. Show how you’ve accounted for digital accessibility, steps you’ll take to ensure the site is mobile responsive, incorporating empty state pages, and any other features you think would improve the overall user experience. Emphasize how your design will make it easy for website visitors to find what they need on the site.

4. Functionality

Show off your design strategy skills by including advice related to website functionality within your proposal. Your client may have a good idea of what they want their site to do, but you are the one with the expertise to find the most effective ways to achieve those goals.

Think through the client’s service offerings and the customer journey in relation to these things. Then, look for ways to boost web functionality so their site does more heavy lifting.

5. Automations

Sometimes, incorporating automation, adding resource pages, or embedding widgets like Google Maps can make a website a more robust tool for visitors. Automating things like appointment setting or creating a FAQ page with answers to common questions can reduce the workload for a business’s customer support team and free up their time for bigger projects.

6. Return on investment

As mentioned earlier, clients want to invest in a product that will move their business forward, which is why it’s crucial that your design proposal addresses their top pain points. They may know that they need a website, but it’s up to you to develop a site that will solve their problems. Including some helpful statistics on web development projects or case studies from past clients will help your prospects see that working with you will lead to a return on investment.

7. Production timelines

Including a production timeline within your pitch is a great way to manage your client’s expectations. This shows them that you have a clear roadmap to developing and delivering the project and helps them see the phases of the project. Timelines also help illustrate the complexity of a project, as some clients may have a tendency to overlook how involved it may be.

Creating a pitch that resonates with your prospective clients requires some serious thought. Here’s what you need to consider when creating a pitch deck that knocks their socks off.

The most impactful pitch will show that you understand your client’s pain points and can create solutions for them. Spend some time learning about their business and studying their current website (if they have one). Think about the ways you could improve and optimize it to be more effective and provide a better user experience. Does the branding feel dated? Are there pages missing that could enhance the browsing experience? Are there elements you could include that bring their brand to life more?

Ask your prospects questions

Speak with your potential client about their current website and the ways in which they’d like to see it improve. Ask them about their business goals for the future, and consider ways you can position the site to support them. Research their top competitors to get an understanding of how other organizations position themselves in the industry. What can you do to set your client apart?

Your client’s list of needs and wants for their website is just a starting point. There are likely aspects of the design they are overlooking. There may even be simpler solutions than what your client requests. Showcase your expertise by developing a design pitch that addresses both their perceived and unperceived needs.

Before creating your pitch deck, you must understand the client’s goals and the scope of the work required to meet them. Your client’s goals are the central thesis of your design project. Everything you do within the project should be in support of these goals.

Once you’re clear on what your client is trying to achieve, you can determine the scope of work required to create a website that supports them. Often, clients will have a laundry list of requests for a website design project, but ultimately many of them won’t serve their goals. You must sift through their needs and requests and identify what needs to be included in the project scope.

You should also define what aspects of the project you and your team are responsible for and which parts require contributions from other departments. Your design team may be working hand-in-hand with a copywriter or an in-house designer. Ensure your proposal details the specific pieces of the project that your team will be handling, and highlight any responsibilities that may need to be outsourced. This will help you and your client budget for the project accurately.

Aligning your design pitch with your client’s budget and timeline is key to ensuring you deliver a product that suits their needs. While it’s easy for web design projects to expand, clients often have a long list of “nice to have” features they’d like to add. However, it may not seem realistic to include all these in a project with a tight deadline.

The same goes for the project budget. You should have a general idea of your client’s budget before you begin developing your proposal. As you analyze your client’s needs, goals, and timeline, consider what you can create to address these needs to fit within their proposed budget and timeline. In some cases, you may need to streamline your proposal to meet a demand for quick turnaround. In others, it may make sense to request a higher budget to accommodate a more robust design.

This content was originally published here.

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