13 Tips for Effective Communication with Clients

by Steven Snell

October 21, 2009 in Business/Freelance

Being able to communicate effectively with clients is easily one of the most important aspects of being a web designer. The communication process starts immediately as you’ll need to learn what the client wants and expects from you, and as you get to know more about their business. The need for communication will continue through every phase of the design process as you and the client work together to create a site that will be effective for the business. After the design is completed, it’s likely that you’ll provide some customer support at least occasionally, so the need for good communication will always exist.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the topic of communicating with clients. Many of the tips that are mentioned can apply to communication in general, but the article comes specifically from the perspective of a designer/client relationship.

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Top 10 Site Search Options

by Steven Snell

October 20, 2009 in Resources

Part of having a user-friendly site involves making it possible for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. A site-wide search is one of the best ways to accomplish this. In this post we’ll look at 10 of the leading options for helping visitors to find the content that they want. Of course, most CMSs come with a standard search functionality, but this may not always be the best options (as is the case with WordPress’ default search).

Google Custom Search

Google’s custom search engine is the most popular of the options presented here. It’s easy to set up (sign in with your Google account and follow the instructions – Pro Blog Design has a step-by-step tutorial here), effective for finding and ranking the content, and can even be monetized through a corresponding AdSense account.

Google Custom Search

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Design a Green Corporate Layout in Photoshop

by Steven Snell

October 19, 2009 in Tutorials

In the past we’ve done some tutorials for designing portfolio sites and blogs in Photoshop, and today we’ll focus on designing a corporate website. The example will be for a marketing and SEO company, but it uses a basic layout that could work for just about any type of business.

The End Result:

Here is a look at what we will be creating (click the image to see it in full size).

Photoshop Layout Tutorial - Corporate Website

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How to Make a Positive First Impression with Potential Clients

by Steven Snell

October 14, 2009 in Business/Freelance

Part of being a freelancer or an independent designer is communicating with potential clients and landing new work. This is part of the business aspect that is not a favorite with many designers, but it is critical if you want to establish a successful business.

For clients, choosing a designer for their project is often based on their comfort level with the designer and their confidence that the designer will do a great job with the website. First impressions make a huge impact here and can either get you much closer to landing the job, or they can lead the client to eliminate you from consideration.

In this article we’ll look at 11 significant factors that will influence the early impressions of a potential client while they are trying to find a designer for their project. These are all things that you can focus on to show clients that you should be considered for the work and that you are capable of giving them an excellent website that will be effective for their business.

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