WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) at this time and is being used to power millions of websites. It’s free to use, open source and highly flexible – all of which amounts to its popularity. There’s a wide range of plugins, themes, templates and third-party add-ons that help a website run exactly as intended. Whether you want to create a simple blog or run an e-commerce website, WordPress can make it happen.
While WordPress is quite popular, not too many business owners have the knowledge needed to create a website or the time to learn how it works. They often require professionals to do this for them. This, coupled with the platform’s popularity, are two valid reasons for becoming a WordPress expert.
Benefits of Becoming a Dedicated WordPress Web Designer
The biggest benefit of being a web designer is that you only need a PC to get started. Even if you don’t plan to open your own business, freelancing is how many designers earn a living. You can start your web designer career from your home computer, thanks to ample online resources at your disposal. WordPress popularity means that you’ll find plenty of people who require web design services. Simple, easy to solve WordPress gigs should be a priority first.
While working from home comes with a lot of perks, you still have to do all the legwork – finding new clients, and enough work to actually be able to make a living. If you want to be successful, it’s important to find a way to distinguish yourself from other WordPress website designers – offer a better service and experience.
Distinguishing Yourself Through Great Relationships with Your Clients
Once you’ve started building your portfolio, you can use it to show your skills and designs to potential clients.
A growing number of businesses and individuals embrace work from home as a viable option, the main benefits being that you work on your own time and that you don’t lose time with commuting. As a WordPress expert, you can also reap these benefits, just make sure you have the right tech and mindset to offer a quality service to your clients.
The Right Designer-Client Mindset
Relationships between clients and designers are often fragile, which can cause problems for both parties. When you work with clients who need your WordPress expertise, you should build solid relationships from the start. Some clients can act unreasonably and drive you mad, but treating them the same way won’t get you too far.
Here are five tips you can apply to help ensure relationships with your clients will survive and thrive:
1. Listen, Connect and Understand
Take the time to understand the client’s requirements. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask. If there’s something in the client’s briefing that you disagree with, explain your objections in a polite, calm, and civil manner.
Remember that as a designer, you’re also in a position to give your clients advice on the best way to do things. Try to approach each client with empathy, as it will show that you’re sincere about understand their wishes, requirements and needs.
2. Prepare a Project Plan and Explain Your Process
Each time you take up a new client, you should create a detailed plan of the project that will guide you from start to finish. When planning your project, don’t forget to include time spent communicating, waiting for approval at certain stages and contingencies should an unexpected emergency happen.
By having a detailed plan, you’ll be able to give your clients more accurate estimates of how much time it’ll take to get the job done. To make sure everything goes smoothly, explain your plan to your client. Be sure they understand your ETAs, when they need to provide feedback, whether they can expect their current website to experience downtime, etc.
3. Be Yourself, Be Straightforward
Building a winning relationship with a client requires high-quality continuous communication. Involve your clients in your work by explaining why their feedback is important at various stages of the process. This makes it more likely that they’ll be satisfied with the work you do for them.
You should also be transparent. If you run into any issues, let your clients know. This will give you the chance to work together to sort them out.
Give your client information about how the design process works. By explaining the steps to them, you’ll make it easier to understand why some parts of a project take longer to complete than others.
If a client requests something that isn’t a good idea, explain why you feel that way. For example, if they want to use too many WordPress add-ons at the same time on their website, advise them that it could slow down the site and cause potential security issues.
5. Be Positive and Flexible
Try to maintain a positive attitude at all times, as this will have a great effect on the quality of your work. Be flexible too. If your client isn’t interested in accepting your suggestions and wants to do things their way, don’t insist too much and just continue on with your work. Your client should understand that you’re a team that works together towards the same objective.
Open dialogue between a client and designer is very important to establishing and maintaining a harmonious relationship. Both sides need to know that they’re on the same team, not adversaries. The goal is to create a WordPress website fulfilling all the client’s needs. Finally, don’t forget to be positive and open, as having this mentality will help you not only as a web designer but in many other areas of life as well.
About the Author:
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88