You know the awesome value you and your work provide to your clients (and the awesome value you and your work could provide to prospects). But the question is – do they? How to present design work to clients and prospects – as well as communicating the value it will bring – is crucial. If your clients and prospects don’t understand a) what it is you do, and b) how it benefits them, you’re never going to reach your potential or take your business to the next level.
But how, exactly, do you show them? How can you present your work to clients and prospects in a way that not only clearly illustrates the value you bring – but will have them ready to send all their business your way?
Showcase the Strategy
If you want to present design work to clients in a way that shows your value, it’s not enough just to send over your work and say “look what I did!” If you want your clients and prospects to clearly see the value you bring to their business, you need to showcase more than the work – you need to showcase the strategy right along with it.
And if your work is the “what,” then consider the strategy the “why.” Showcasing your strategy shows clients why you made certain decisions – and when they can understand the thought that went into your process, it makes it easier for them to understand the value. Showcasing your strategy can also frame you as a subject matter expert (SME) to your clients and prospects – which can build trust, especially if your client or prospect isn’t super familiar with the kind of work you do.
Let’s say you’re a freelance designer and you get hired by a business to design a flyer for an upcoming event. Instead of just sending over the completed design, you should also send over an explanation of why you incorporated your chosen design elements into the flyer (like using inspire specific reactions with the audience).
Or let’s say you’re a content marketer sending over a sales pitch for a long-term blogging content to a prospect. Instead of just shooting over a brief explanation of your blogging services, outline your strategic process. Highlight the keyword research and competitor analysis you do before writing. Showcase how you’ll work with the prospect to develop a strong and cohesive brand voice. Explain your process for developing topic ideas and submitting work.
The point is, detailing your strategy – whether you’re pitching a new prospect or working with an existing client – is key if you want to frame your work in a way that highlights the value you bring.
Illustrate How it Impacts Their Business
Outlining your strategic process is important. But arguably even more important? Illustrating exactly how you and your work impact your clients’ or prospects’ business.
At the end of the day, what your clients and prospects really care about is what kind of results you and your work can drive for their business – so the more clearly you can illustrate those results, the more of an impact you’ll make.
So, let’s go back to the examples above. If you’re designing a flyer for a client event, you might want to include a QR code or a custom URL so you can track how many attendees RSVP as a result of your flyer – then compile those RSVPs in a report to send your client post-event.
Or if you’re putting together a blogging pitch for a prospect, include plenty of statistics on how regular blogging can drive traffic to a website and increase conversions. You could also include case studies that highlight past blog campaigns you’ve managed for other clients – and the increases in traffic, engagement, and conversions they experienced as a result.
The more you can illustrate how your work directly impacts your clients’ and prospects’ bottom line, the more interested they’ll be in working with you.
Frame Your Work Through a Lens That Makes Sense to Your Clients or Prospects
If you want to really drive home the value you bring when you present design work to clients and prospects, it’s important to explain your strategic process and illustrate how your work directly impacts their business. But equally important?
Framing your work through a lens that makes sense to your audience.
You’re an expert in your field, so the work you do (obviously) makes a lot of sense to you.
But your work might not make as much sense to your clients and prospects – and if you want to clearly communicate your value, it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re presenting your work.
So, using our previous examples again, if you’re designing a flyer for a client’s event, don’t use a ton of high-level design jargon in your email communications; not only are you going to confuse the client, but the value you bring to the table could get lost in translation. If you’re putting together a content marketing sales proposal, don’t assume your prospect understands content marketing and why it’s important; instead, put together a proposal that will pack a value punch even if your prospect is a total content marketing noob.
When you frame your work in a way that makes sense to your clients and prospects, it’s easier for them to make sense of the kind of value you can bring to their business – and it’ll be easier for you to get more business in the process.
Wrapping Things Up
The way you present design work to clients and prospects is just as important as the actual work. When you present your work in a way that explains your strategic process, establishes yourself as an expert, clearly illustrates the impact you can have on their business, and is framed in a way that makes sense to them, you’ll never have to worry about convincing people of your value. You’ll be able to consistently raise your rates, work on projects you’re passionate about, and continue to pitch new (and higher paying!) clients.
So what are you waiting for? You now have everything you need to present your work in a way that shows clients and prospects just how valuable you (and your work) are – so get out there and start presenting!