As web designers we know that our websites are our calling card. But let’s move beyond your website, it is lovely, ranking well in Google (if not check out Andrew’s SEO course) and generating leads.
Now you need to respond to the email inquiries. For some people writing emails (writing anything really, is stressful). I have some tips. Before you read on, if this just isn’t your thing, that is fine, pop over to the shop and pick up Patrick Finney’s full package of client emails, he starts with the pitch and takes you through launch (or hopefully what you don’t need, terminating a relationship).
Communication Tips to Help You Present Yourself in a Positive Light.
- Thank you. Say it right out of the gate, thank you for reaching out, contacting me, whatever wording is your “voice” is just perfect. People like to be appreciated and don’t you feel grateful that they took the time to write to you? Thank them for that.
- Let them know you would like to help them (if indeed you do, if the project isn’t your jam, end things now, don’t waste your time or theirs).
- Tell them a little bit about you, and why you would be a good fit for the project. If the inquiry is from a plumber and you have worked with other plumbers or businesses in the service industry, mention it. If the client is a gym and you are a cross fit enthusiast, add that to your note. Include links to sites that are relevant or recent work that showcase your talent. Don’t bother linking to your testimonials, if an inquiry is coming from your website they have already have read about your awesomeness or if they are a referral, then your previous clients have already talked you up.
- Be clear on a next step. Give them a couple of potential times to meet on the phone or via Skype for you to learn more about their business and the project.
- Thank them again.
- This is optional: It may make sense to tell them if you are booked and that are putting clients on your calendar four weeks in the future (or whatever it is). You can mention that while you will be hard at work on projects, shall you decide to work together you will provide them with a To Do List of materials that you will need OR be really honest, I am booked into X, if that does not fit your schedule please let me recommend one of my colleagues who is taking work.
Your email response can look something like this.
Dear Awesome Potential Client,
Thank you for reaching out about your website design project.
It would be a pleasure to work with you, I have several plumbers (motivational speakers, bakers, bloggers) as clients and I understand the needs of the business and what your website should convey to the user. You can see my most recent web design for another plumber here:
Or I recently trained for a half marathon and spent a lot of time visiting websites looking for workout tips and training guides. It would be great to build a site for a client who shares my passions.
I find a 30 minute phone call to learn more about your business and the specifics of the project helpful in putting together a proposal. We can determine if you just need a website or additional digital services such as social media or an email delivery platform. Would Monday at 10am, Tuesday at 1pm or Thursday at noon (eastern standard time) work for you?
Thank you again for contacting me. I look forward to learning more about you and your X business.
At the end of the day, people will hire you because they like you. If you are honest, responsive and friendly, you are going to win more business than the person who is slow to respond or not engaged from the very beginning.
Web design is a service business and service begins before you even have the client.
Let me know if you have tips for initial communications with potential clients. I love to learn.