All the businesses of the world depend on three basic factors:
- Idea or concept
- Production or execution
- Marketing and Sales
Likewise, in the business of graphic designing, a graphic designer has to undergo all three steps in order to earn from his work. The Internet is filled with matter relating to first two steps of business in graphic designing. In this post, however, we are going to discuss the third part of the business i.e. Marketing or Sale of your product.
In the business of graphic designing (both freelance and company based), selling your work is very important, as it completes the business cycle and you get the reward of your creativity and hard work. Designers, however, don’t pay much heed on the selling-factor of their work and take it for granted most of the time. Although, selling your work to the client is pretty difficult, but by keeping the following things in mind and taking a few wise steps, you can get your designs sold in quite a hassle-free way.
It is quite a general perception among the designer community that if you have understood your client and project well enough and put lots of hard work in it, then your design should sell itself. Here is where you are mistaken. A good design and even the best concepts are nothing if you don’t y advocate them in front of the client. Walking your client through the concept of the design and indulging in a discussion always has a stronger impact and a higher probability for approval.
Following are some important tricks of the trade that might help you get your design sold:
Understand the Nature of Your Client
Understanding the nature of your client is very important for selling your design work properly. It can be very tricky, because most of clients do not show their true colors till you present your work to them. Your contact person can be your source and you can ask him about the taste of the decision-maker.
Also, It is highly important to know who will be reviewing your work, and it is equally important for you to make sure that the one who will review your work ‘should’ be the decision-maker himself (and not his assistant or any other colleague). Doing this will help you tailor your presentation according to your target person and can influence your design decisions as well.
Have a Rationale for Every Part of your Design
A designer, no matter how sharp he is at his work, may not be able to sell his work to the client if he will not have a proper rationale for every element of his design. Often it happens that designers make design decisions without really knowing why it was made.
Let’s suppose that you did come up with a great and wonderful design; however you will still need to know it well. In order to sell your design and gain approval on it you will need to be able to explain why certain decisions were made or certain colors, shapes or even the usage of the typography in the design.
Show the Best Design Options Only
In some cases, the designer tries to research what the client needs then prepares one single design for him, however in many cases the client requires you to show multiple options to choose from. So, in such a case where you are presenting multiple options, try to shortlist the best out of the whole work and only show the ones you feel are good enough.
If you show 2 good designs and one not-so-good option, you may disappoint your client or even cause trouble for your own self (as you never know what the client may like, and if the bad option gets selected, you are stuck with it).
Defend Your Design, but don’t Become Defensive
Always be fully prepared to defend yourself and your design in front of the client; however, do so without being defensive. Actually, whenever you present your design to the client, chances are that you will get some feedback you do not agree with (frankly, sometimes it could really damage the integrity of the design).
Your selling talent here will be not let your clients do or say something bad to your work in a peaceful manner. Of course, I am not telling you to roll over on major design decisions, but do take care without getting defensive. Do not let your ego get in the way of your success.
When it comes to the smaller stuff, go ahead and let the client win and fight those only worth fighting. A defensive attitude will clearly result in damaging your credibility and the designs as well.
Feedback is very important part of the selling cycle. When going into a feedback session with your client, let them know what kind of feedback you need. “I do not like it” or “I am not having the feel” is not the kind of feedback you can rely on. The client needs to be extremely specific and detailed about the feedback; they need to have a reason for not liking something.
Not only will it help get your designs approved, it will also give you much better feedback to work with when it comes to revisions. Communicate it to the client that it is in their best interest to highlight the problems and let the designer work on the solutions.
They are more than welcome to make suggestions, but clients who insist on art directing every step of the way usually lose out and frustrate the designer as well.
Learning how to sell a design is a self-educational process which makes you get better as you gain more experience interaction with client. Remember, the idea is to get the best possible design for your client, and it best monetary reward for yourself!