UPWORD Consulting - Week 3

Custom Design


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Hey everyone welcome to week 3, module three, and in this module, we’re going to be focusing on custom designed projects. As I mentioned in the previous module this is my preferred method for designing sites and for a few different reasons. But most importantly, if client is investing a premium with you and for their site, you really must provide them with a custom design so after a client has paid us, we need to get more information from them and get assets that we can utilize on the new design. I’m going to show you exactly how I do that step by step and I’m going to share my screen and show you exactly how I do that

Okay. Great. So you're going to see here that I'm in a platform called base camp. If you haven't used this before, this is what I use for all of my project management.
We also use Trello, but that's all, that's more for internal stuff. When it comes to client facing stuff, I use base camp and I found that even the older non-tech savvy clients are able to work with this super easily.
So I highly recommend it down below in the module. There'll be a link to sign up for base camp two.
It is worth its weight in gold. They have two different options base camp three, which is their newer version. Uh, I think it's not as good as base camp two.
So I highly recommend using base camp to clients can respond via email posts, updates. I have yet to find a client that has struggled with this.
So I highly highly recommend it. Okay. So now let's go through, um, the first steps that I do before I design anything.
So you'll see here, I've got a project set up for the solar client of ours, that we did the customer avatar session with the proposal, and now we're getting going.
So you're going to see here, um, that the very first thing I pull up is a design questionnaire. So the first thing I want to know is have them send us link to their top three competitors.
I want to see what's going on in their space and see if there's any insights or anything that I can extract that we can use.
Um, and then I also ask to send us links to websites. We like visually, uh, and I mentioned here, it doesn't have to be in their industry.
We really want to understand what they like visually, because even though we're designing this site for their customers, we still need to make sure that the pain client is proud of it.
And they're happy with their website because they're going to be looking at it all the time and they're going to be sharing it with people.
So you want to get the aesthetics similar to just what they like. Um, and then also if they have any color preferences, sometimes most of the time it's their logos, but sometimes they have a style guide or exact colors that you need to be using.
Um, and then number four is I like to ask in their own words, how they set themselves apart from their competitors.
And I mentioned that we covered this in some of the avatar call, but I like to hear in their own voice of what separates them.
This helps me learn real quickly. What information, what sections on the homepage really need to go on there that I might not be thinking about.
So this is step one, um, is the design questionnaire. Uh, and so you'll see they responded and I got all the information for me.
Um, and then the second thing I asked for is all their assets. So I literally just asked for high res logos images, testimonials, um, in anything that we can use on the new design.
Um, and that's pretty much it. So once I get all of that information, I then start to formulating a plan of exactly what we need to build on the homepage, what sections we need, how it's going to look, and I'm going to show you exactly how I do this with this project, with my designer.
So let's hop over to that.

Okay, so here we are Upwork, I've just clicked on jobs and create a new job. And I'm going to walk you through exactly how I go about finding a designer, uh, how to filter out the proposals very quickly, so you can limit it down and shortlist.
Um, and then from there, it's really a strategy that I employ, especially working with the designer for the first time on a new project, how to mitigate some risk on that.
Uh, you just have to have, you'll just need a little bit bigger budget for this, um, for the homepage design, but it will make sense and be worth the investment, especially if you've got a client that's in a bit of a hurry.
So coming here, I create short part-time work. This is for me continue, Um, web designer for new solar company. Uh, so here I'm just saying what it's about.
So we select web design, uh, and then, uh, pre-written this, but copy and paste it. So we're in need of a web designer that has experienced with creating websites that convert well for lead generation.
So we want someone that has experience with this. Um, the website that we are redesigning is in the solar installation space and having experience in this space or industry is a huge plus.
Uh, it doesn't have to be because if their design is good enough, if you see something that you really like, uh, then it's not too relevant, but it obviously helps.
We're looking for someone that has a great eye for design, but also has knowledge of converts. Well for lead generation, we have a customer avatar that we can send.
You example, sites we like, and the majority of the assets below are the requirements. So the first one is very important.
You want to make sure that your offer people are available for you at some portion during your time zone. So for us, it's us business hours, and I'm saying we're in Pacific time zone.
And the reason why is there'll be times where you just, you need communication, that it needs to be instantly. You need to give a client an update, or you need to make a quick edit.
You need to make sure that you have hours blocked out that you both agree to. Obviously they need to be fluent in English.
Um, they need to have a great eye for design must have experienced in landing pages or lead generation, and must communicate often during the project.
So I like to keep it short and sweet and just set kind of my expectations here, move on to the next I do a one-time project and here's, what's really important.
So your first question I ask is I want them to sell themselves to me, right? So I always ask, why would you be a good fit Fit for this project?
This helps kind of figure filter out people. And it helps you find someone that's, they'll mention exactly like, Oh, I just did a solar project, or I did this, I had this experience in this.
I did this with lead generation. So it allows them to sell themselves a bit more than just on the cover letter.
The next thing I do is super critical. Um, and this is what will filter out, um, a lot of your candidates.
So what I do is I give them specific instance, action, please upload two of your favorite homepage designs. What this is for is for people that can't follow this simple instruction and upload just to, or they're lazy and copy and paste links, you can get rid of them completely because if they can't follow this simple instruction, uh, they're going to miss details on your project.
I've learned this the hard way, and it becomes a nightmare. Um, so make sure you put something in like this, that's just a simple instruction so that they pay attention to details and are able to follow your instructions.
Uh, I always require a cover letter. Uh, so we go back next and then you can kind of select what this is for.
Um, what kind of design, if you want to put it in there, visual design, user flows, all that stuff. Uh, I pretty much always put in intermediate.
We had to add here. So here's what you would choose us only, or worldwide. What you'll find is when you select worldwide, very few us talent actually applies to it.
So for here, we're going to go worldwide. Then you can filter down by countries. I usually don't because you just never know, uh, what kind of gems you can find.
So next, uh, I like to do only Upwork talent and the reason why is it kind of blocks your job posts from SEO?
Um, so you don't want your job post ranking. And also if you've got freelancers that you work with, then you can just invite only I use that a lot.
Um, and then talent preferences. This is important. Um, I don't usually select any job success, but you can, you can also do a Mount earn, um, always select flip fluent or better.
You can also do native or bilingual only, but this helps as well. Um, so I always start with pay by the hour, cause it's, it's silly to say, what is your budget?
I don't know yet. Uh, I like the designer to tell me what it's going to cost. So I always start if I don't have a fixed budget, which most of the time I don't, I want to know what it's going to cost me.
And I want the designer to tell me what it's going to cost. So I put it in here. I select pay by the hour and you can choose typical, hourly vain.
She could set your own budget or you, you don't have to add it. Um, but you can show. So let's put this in, uh, how long do we think one to three months?
Uh, and I always say time requirement, I don't know yet. So, um, we've got that all here and you can see within, uh, just a few minutes, I've got a job post and I'm going to be having designers from around the world, submitting their designs.
So from here, once this is up, what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to filter through, uh, people that apply to it.
Um, obviously we don't have any proposals. They'll go up here and Upwork will shortlist people for you. And then you just go in and make sure that they followed their instructions.
There are exceptions. There's been times where they haven't followed the instructions, but their design talent was so good that I let it slide.
But for the majority of people, this allow you to filter out people that didn't follow those instructions quickly. Then once you find a few different designers, you like, I would say two to three start interviewing them.
So whether it's SU Upwork chatting with them on a call, just make sure that you can, they can communicate well.
And it's something that you feel comfortable with. Then from there, if this is a new project and a new design, I highly recommend hiring two different designers to provide you two different homepage designs.
This will do two different things. You'll quickly figure out what it's like to work with these designers. This will prevent you if you commit to just one and it comes out terribly and you've lost all that time and investment, um, this helps protect that so that you don't have to go back to your new clients, say, Oh, we need more time.
Um, I always recommend when you're starting with someone new, if you don't have a designer yet hire at least two people, I typically pay around $200 for a, a homepage design.
So it's well worth it to spend that extra 200 bucks or even 400 bucks to have multiple designers designing for you so that when it comes due for you to present to the client, you have options and you're not screwed.
So I highly recommend when you're first starting out, do not select just one designer. This will prevent so many problems and headaches for you.

Okay. So now assuming that you found a design you want to work with, you've got to send them all the information.
So the first thing I do, uh, is kind of break everything down and try and make it as simple as possible and straightforward and clear.
Um, so you see here with my designer, um, I put in kind of delivery when we need it. Um, here's their current site, uh, just a tiny bit about the company sites that they like.
This is taken directly from that questionnaire. Uh, I then break down the navigation. This is taken from the proposal we came up with.
Uh, and you'll see, I got here free quote button. I usually like to have in the navigation, some salt, some sort of call to action.
So whether it's shop now for e-commerce or free quote for lead generation, whatever, it might be like having that at the end, cause it sticks out nicely.
And then for this design, um, we want to have a top bar. So I like when the social media icons on the left and then phone and email on the right.
So people that are coming back to the site that are just looking for quick information, this handles it right away.
And then from here, uh, I like to break down each section. So, um, here's the hero. So I came up with this idea because if you remember on the customer avatar discovery session, they have residential and commercial.
So, uh, I thought it would be great to split the hero into and on the left side, have information about residential and on the right side, have information about commercial.
So when a person comes to the site, we don't necessarily know how they're getting there or what they're interested in immediately.
They're presented with the two different options and you'll see here. Uh, we came up with some placeholder copy. Um, if you don't have copy yet, I just use lorem ipsum.
Um, but what's critical in just the stage is seeing what the overall look and feel is going to be, not so much the copy at this point, but we want to see, Hey, what does big texts look like?
What a small texts look like, what does buttons look like, et cetera. So that's the hero section then? Um, we want to go immediately into trust.
So, uh, I thought it would be good to show in the second area, different media outlets that they've been featured on.
So again, this creates trust by showing the different brands that are already trusted by site visitors that, Hey, we've been, this business has been featured by these different media outlets.
I try to bring these in, in pretty much any project. Um, and then we want to get into the process.
So a theme that came up quite a bit, um, especially when we were talking about, Hey, what is the process like?
What challenges and frustrations work do they face? I wanted to immediately tackle that. So we want to design, uh, the section to kind of knock that out.
Hey, here's what this looks like. Right? So we have first to answer a few simple questions on our website. So that's kind of talking about what we will be building out with the multi-step form, um, in order to get leads, obviously.
Um, and then into the email automation, then we're just presenting, we'll schedule a call with you. We'll put together a design, right?
All this stuff that we talked about in the customer avatar section, then we want to establish more trust. Great. So this is how it works.
Here's where we've been featured. Here's how it works. Now we want to show you review. So we're here. We're going to highlight great testimonials from their past clients.
Um, and then after that, we want to talk about the quality. So another thing that came up quite a bit was about the quality, the warranty.
They only do high quality solar panels, high quality work. Um, so we want to tackle that right after the reviews.
Um, so you can see like, we're starting to tell a story and we're taking them in a flow that's calculated.
So we want to talk about the high quality solar panels, the client offers to their customers, quality of their work, and also the warranty that comes with it, right.
To let them know like, okay, great. This investment is top notch, so they can feel a little more comfortable with it.
Then immediately we go into the worried about cost section. So again, if you remember, that was another big thing people are, I think that was quite a number of times, but in the, yeah, the what frustrates them is they're just unsure of cost.
Right? So we immediately want to talk about the cost. Let's just tackle it right away. So worried about the cost.
And we talked about the tax credit that was mentioned in the customer avatar, and then we want to have a form on the right.
So now that we've told the story, we've created trust, they know how the process works. They see what other clients are saying about them and they know it's high quality.
Let's see if we can capture a lead right here. So text on the left, right form on the right. So what this is, I love multi-step forms because, uh, subconsciously people, when they start something they want their brain wants to finish it.
So I like having these types of forms for lead generation of just a simple question, right? That's low friction. We don't ask for the information till the very end.
Um, I don't even have these all fleshed out yet, but so I thought probably a good question to start with that people can answer quickly is how many square feet is your home.
So we're starting to get them in like, Oh, that's an easy question. And then we'll present them with the next question, easier and easier.
And then at the very end, we ask for their name, phone number, email, and, uh, submit that to the client and also get them into the email automation.
If they're still not sure yet right away, we want to hit them with FAQ section. I do this pretty much on the majority of all sites.
I designed you want to tackle the objections and stuff. This helps prime the prospect for their call. Right. And it just kind of gets those questions.
I get asked all the time answered here, which might go, okay, that's exactly what I needed to know. Let me get in contact with them.
So, um, we have a post install section, so we're kind of going further down the flow. Um, and this was something that was brought up in the customer avatar section of, Hey, after it's installed, right.
They were talking about, the client was talking about how people are confused at after. Like there's just kind of this dead space.
They're not sure what's going on. So we want to tackle that of, Hey, after it's installed, you get an app and you can monitor your solar usage, right?
So it's showing that you get to see exactly what you're paying for, how it's working for you. And it also brings technology to the forefront and creates more trust by going by the visitors saying like, Oh, that's really cool.
These guys use technology to make my life easier. Moving on from there, we wanted to highlight the charitable work section.
So this is obviously something that's very important to the client. So we wanted to dedicate a section here on the homepage.
That's starting to talk about if, if you work with us, 10% of all of our profits are donated to solar one, which is our nonprofit.
And talk a little bit about that. That obviously helps create trust and shows that this, um, this business is doing good while for the planet, for their community and for, um, their business.
And then, uh, after that, that we've got just the latest new section. This I pretty much put on all sites.
It's great for people that want to get, want to read more detailed, see how much of an authority they are.
See what if they want to explore more. I love putting this here. It's also great for SEO and then footer.
This is pretty much the common footer that I do logo about texts, quick links, contact information, social media, um, and then all of the assets you see, I've got a set up there.
Um, and so, yeah, that's basically how I described to all my designers, exactly what we're looking for. And so they got everything that they need to go start design.
And then from there, it's just back and forth until we get it right. And in the next module on the next video, I'm going to show you exactly how we present this to the client, how we set this up and how I explain things to, for clients to not ask you questions and to understand the method to all of this madness, to your strategy, which makes them feel better about your design.
Um, and also it continues the trust factor. So I'll see you in the next video.