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CLINE123 says

I’m curious about how others go about selecting and ‘demo-ing’ TF themes to their clients, maybe there are better ways than my present system.

Right now I demo themes before a client financially commits so they’re not actually clients yet. My process is:

  • Client responds to my ad or online promo
  • I do a brief website overview on the phone and schedule a meeting (my market area is local)
  • We meet and I fully discuss their website requirements
  • At home I shortlist suitable themes from TF
  • I send an email with the demo links to choose from
  • They make their choice and I follow up to collect a deposit

I think this method leaves room for the client to shop the theme they like to a competitor who’ll do their site for less than my quoted price using the same theme. I can’t be sure if this has happened to me but a few times clients pulled the plug and said they wanted to delay their site a little and will get back to me, which may or may not be the real reason.

Your approaches so I may improve?

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infuse01 says

I would say it really depends from client to client. As a freelancer focused on custom work you also need to be a kind of real “salesman”. You need to check while you do the brief what the client actually needs. You need to develop a feeling for that, since not every client is open for the same – but I guess you already know that. I think the clients which pulls the plug are not really comfortable with your approach of let them choose of a list of preset themes/templates. Of course its really wonderful that you’re honest and show them the actual demo of some themes, but as they need to explore them by themselves they may exploring as well the actual prices of the themes. So they get to know that a theme costs about 35$ and may the also know that they can setup Wordpress with no costs. And lets assume now you are quoting them a website for about 500$ (which is of course a low price) but may they ask why should they spend that much money when the actual theme + wordpress costs them about only 35$ (and a bit of time)?

May you need to refine this steps – don’t send them an email with the links to the demos and don’t let them choose from a wide range – try only to make a list of lets say a maximum of 3 themes/templates and present them personally in a new meeting. Try to avoid also to show them where this comes from (themeforest) and talk about customization in the first place. On the end YOU need to show them what they can have. Show them a theme/template and tell them what exactly would you change that the final website communicates exactly their goals. In the end you’re the expert and the client is paying the money so it is your responsibility to deliver what they need.

Of course – if they have a large budget you need to offer them a custom designed, unique website but as long as they want to save some bucks you need to tell them that they actually should take a theme and that it would be fine because you’re anyway customizing it and making it unique.

Hope that helps

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BroOf says

May you need to refine this steps – don’t send them an email with the links to the demos and don’t let them choose from a wide range – try only to make a list of lets say a maximum of 3 themes/templates and present them personally in a new meeting. Try to avoid also to show them where this comes from (themeforest) and talk about customization in the first place. On the end YOU need to show them what they can have. Show them a theme/template and tell them what exactly would you change that the final website communicates exactly their goals. In the end you’re the expert and the client is paying the money so it is your responsibility to deliver what they need.

Of course – if they have a large budget you need to offer them a custom designed, unique website but as long as they want to save some bucks you need to tell them that they actually should take a theme and that it would be fine because you’re anyway customizing it and making it unique.

Hope that helps

These are really good points. But don’t make the mistake to not tell your clients that you used a theme which you didn’t create.

As infuse01 said you should tell them that they save some buck if you use a theme for your development.

Try to be honest but don’t show them your company secrets ;)

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CLINE123 says

Thanks Infuse for taking the time to write such a detailed response. Most of my clients are entry level needing the a basic site with perhaps some extra pages, portfolios, galleries etc. I make my clients aware of my use of templates for the price (you’re on the button though at $500 for a basic site) since a custom site will cost much more.

I pull myself out by stating that I leave creative design and expert coding to the professionals which assures them of solid code compatible across all browsers and good SEO structure, while I do what I do best- configure with some additional HTML , CSS where needed, plug-ins, graphic work, content writing and promotion.

I’m not sure how I can not reveal my source (TF) as I don’t see a way of showing them the demo without it even if I only do the demo in person (which I think I’ll adopt).

@BroOf, good tip, I never make that mistake and I don’t want to lose my soul for I do this full time for a living and enjoy not having a boss.

Thanks for the tips guys :).

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