There is an adage that says, “first impressions last”. Others might not stick to that aphorism but most people would give it a nod. With the first glimpse, one will be able to say something about a person, a situation or a thing. That is the same thing with your online presence. When people see your online portfolio or your social network accounts, they could already jump into conclusion on who you are and what you do. Some people rely on their first impressions but whether they cling to their first impressions or not, you should still make sure that you give a good impression on their first look at you.
This is important since you are a freelancer and you do most transactions online. Establishing a good first impression will help you get clients on their first glance to your website portfolio, blogs and even social media accounts. Many clients hire designers based on first impression. So, see to it that you will be able to give a good one. To help you, here are some things you can do:
1. Give prompt response.
One way to give yourself a good online impression is by promptly responding to your audience. This refers to inquiries from prospect clients, messages from your followers and other people who would contact you. When you are prompt with your responses, it shows that you give importance to them and that you are interested to connect with them. Well, even if you will have a negative response, you still need to let them know. People understand that you cannot say yes all the time.
2. Be polite and professional.
Of course, even in online communication, you need to be polite and professional. Make them feel that you will be able to handle the business appropriately and that you are capable of doing the job. Also, you have to be polite. Carefully choose your words. Do not respond to emails like how you respond to an old friend. You have to sound formal especially with your first email response.
3. Have a fresh portfolio.
You are a designer. People will expect you to have a well designed portfolio but that doesn’t end there. You have to take care of your portfolio for that is your face online. It is your representation when prospect clients want to know what you do and how you work. Having a fresh portfolio can give a good impression on you since people will see that you are active as a designer and that many clients had worked with you.
4. Be personable.
This means that when you communicate with people online, you have to make them feel that they are communicating with a real person. Of course, you are a real person but you can make a conversation better if you will be friendly yet professional. Being personable also means having a personalized approach. Show your interest in others by communicating with them as if you are talking to them in person. Make it easy for them to connect with you. Here are Tips for Effective Communication with Design Clients.
5. Clean up your social media accounts.
Check yourself on the internet. Look how you appear to the public. Make sure that you will look professional online. Delete photos and posts that looks embarrassing or that will not look good for the public to see. Maybe those things are only appropriate for your friends to see but not for professional connections. Some people are nosy and would search for your name on Google. They might find something that is not good if you will not clean up your social media accounts. Check on the Tips to Help Designers Improve Their Social Network Standing
6. Have an agreement.
Agreements should not only be done through good conversation and conformation. You need to put it in writing by having a contract. If you have a contract, prospect clients will feel secured and comfortable. Having one will make clients feel that you will really work on a project. Some people will ask you if you have a contract because there are really freelancers who skip this part thinking that it is not important. When you have a contract, you are protecting not just yourself but also the clients as well.
7. Communicate effectively.
Communicating with people who are not experts on your field has to be of different level. See to it that you communicate with them in ways that they can understand. Do not use technical terms. Avoid confusion and misunderstanding by using simple language. They will not applaud you for being an expert just because you know this and that. They know you are good but when communicating with them, they will appreciate you more if you will use a language that is clear and understandable for them.
8. Have a good website.
A good website can give a good impression online. Upon seeing that your site has a good design and it has contents that are valuable, you will be able to get audience and followers. Your audience will also see how professional you are. Come up with a good design with these Key Points to Consider in Creating a Professional Web Design.Your website can also show people that you are an expert on the field of design.
9. Have a good project offer.
When a client is inquiring, offer options to them about what they are asking about. This will make them feel that you care about the transaction even if you haven’t agreed on working on it yet. Providing options will be a good way to get a project. Also, show similar projects to them. Give them the link towards your website and portfolio. They will feel welcomed by you and will also feel at ease which may lead to a closed deal.
10. Give a detailed quote.
When a client ask for a quote, give a detailed quote. Do not just send how much they will be paying for a certain project. Make sure that you include the complete and detailed specifications of the project. This will let them know what they are actually paying for. You will get a good impression if you do this because it means that you are not adding some charges to the client and that you are being honest to the transaction.
It's Your Turn Now
Giving a good first impression online can lead to more business transactions and clients for you. Your clients might even start a conversation by saying, “I have seen your portfolio and I can see that you are good.” That only shows that clients really research first about a designer before they even start connecting with them. That is why, preparing your online presence is important for it will be your face in the internet. How about you, are you sure you will be able to give a good first impression with your current online presence?