You need to ask yourself these questions before reading this article.
1. Do you want to increase your freelance business?
2. Do you want to save your precious time?
3. Do you want the highest possible customer satisfaction rate you can get?
If you answered yes to all of these questions then keep reading. If you answered no then this isn’t the article for you.
Let’s get started
When I first started developing websites, I was so convinced that I would never have to purchase any premium themes or templates ever. I had the mentality that I would only use the free stuff, or I would do it myself because why would I pay for it???
Now having been a web designer for around 7-8 years. The reality is unless you have endless amounts of time. You’re not going to get the quality you are looking for in a free theme and in most cases the DIY route.
Now, I’m a premium theme addict and the biggest selling factor for me has to be the time and money you save for the quality you receive.
I run multiple businesses so it’s a no brainer for me, but I fully understand it’s not within everyone’s budget. Think of it like this: You’re either going to pay $60.00 for a premium website, or you are going to have to hire someone for a thousand dollars and have them build “their” own quality of website.
The 3rd option is to spend about 150 hours doing it yourself, and not coming close in quality. Simply because today’s premium themes are built with teams of developers.
I Hate To Be The Bearer Of Bad News.
Hey I’m not trying to be negative or burst your bubble. It’s great that you think you can do it yourself. If you really can, please go ahead. Here’s all I ask once you’ve completed your “premium” theme.
Come back here and send me the link. Show me the theme that you poured your heart and soul into, and I’ll find a premium theme that is just as good, probably better, within minutes.
If yours is genuinely better I’ll admit defeat. I’m that confident in this that I really do encourage you to challenge me on it. I’ve tried the DIY route and I’ve built some good looking websites, but still nothing in comparison to the themes that I’ve bought.
There is just too much competition and teams of talent to compare too..
How Premium Themes Helped This Company Grow..
This is definitely one of my biggest success stories with Premium Themes. The premium themes being from Elegant Themes. This blog is actually running on an Elegant Theme template right now. It’s using the Nexus theme.
But what got me into Elegant Themes was a company I used to work for. They purchased a subscription around 5 years ago now. I was the lead designer and we were working on hundreds of local business websites.
We had a huge increase in web design business after we started using the Elegant Themes subscription, and here is exactly why.
It wasn’t because we were using the Elegant Themes brand. It was because we changed our entire work process, our lead times, and the fact that we were producing a “premium” quality in websites.
These sites weren’t even comparable to the previous work we had done. We even had some older customers approach us asking for an upgrade. The upgrade being Elegant Themes.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Elegant Themes you can read more about them by clicking the image on the right, but for a hands on experience of Elegant Themes, you can actaully try their greatest creation Divi here.
Here’s The Biggest Time Saving Change We Implemented.
The biggest change and the part I enjoyed the most was the fact that we completely eliminated that painful proof design concept. Don’t get me wrong, I love designing websites. I just don’t like designing them for other people, and you all know exactly why..
When it comes to designing a website the CUSTOMER IS ALMOST ALWAYS NEVER RIGHT. I know that sounds harsh, and I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s the truth and you all know it. Sure, they’re experts in their own industry, but it doesn’t mean they know anything about yours and I’m not afraid to say it.
I’ve had my fair share of customers over the years, and you know how many websites have been ruined because of their ridiculous requests. Too many to count.
Whoever said that they are always right was probably not a web designer. It’s like saying my electrician doesn’t know anything about electrical, so I’ll reinvent the wheel and wire my own house. We all know how that’s going to end.
The point here is. I know that most of you can relate to this so imagine a world without that painful process… Well we did exactly that. No more DESIGNING, no more magical unicorns jumping across your screen, no more rainbows, no more “make it look sharp” without adding a knife to the background. No more!
Proof designs can sometimes take up half the customers budget, and that’s because of the time that is put into it. How we avoided this was by showcasing the demo themes when we met with the customer. Those themes being Elegant Themes. That way if they liked what they saw. We would suggest that same design, layout, and completely re-brand it to suit their business needs. I’d say we had like a 95% satisfaction rate with this process.
I actually quit my job at this agency within 6 months of this time, but within those 6 months I’d say we probably created around 60 different websites using Elegant Themes and those websites were valued at around $1000-3000 each. So we’re talking $100,000 – $180,000 in revenue in around 6 months which is amazing for a small time agency.
How Can Premium Themes Help You Grow Your Business
So how do premium themes really help you grow your business?
Don’t get it twisted, you won’t be able to purchase a new theme and business will all of a sudden start picking up. It doesn’t work like that. The biggest value I find has to be with Elegant Themes. It creates a smooth, time saving workflow that allows for you to produce mass websites. These mass websites being of the highest quality, ultimately leading to increased profits.
The main contribution it adds to growing your business is through the process and the workflow it creates. Here’s the process broken down:
- Step 1: Meet with customer
- Step 2: Showcase premium themes or Elegant Themes
- Step 3: Customer chooses a theme for you to brand
- Step 4: Provide quotation for website & development
- Step 5: Receive deposit
- Step 6: Produce results
- Step 7: Customer satisfaction rate is through the roof
Not only do these themes create a more efficient, time saving workflow, but think of it like this too.
These premium themes, especially the ones on themeforest are absolutely phenomenal, and there is no denying that. To a web designer they are beautiful to a customer they are amazing.
The professionalism that they convey is priceless. They can make a 1 man in your basement business look like a big box corporation (if that’s the goal).
Word of Mouth Marketing Still Exists.
There’s no doubt in my mind that with a premium theme you are going to leave the customer with a happy smile, and a happy smiling customer is exactly what you want for new and returning business.
Don’t for a second think that word of mouth marketing isn’t effective anymore. Yes it is the 21st century and online advertising does produce results. I totally agree it does, it produces results for a product that costs fifty dollars. It’s a little different when it’s going to cost them upwards of a thousand dollars.
It may not reach the masses like facebook and google advertising, but let me tell you one thing. When it comes down to a $2,000+ website you’re going to need more than a banner ad to get that sale. After all it’s two grand.
What you need is word of mouth marketing and social recognition. I’m not talking about social recognition on facebook. I’m talking about actual real life social recognition. Because I’ll tell you one thing. No one is going to part with $2000 without hearing about someones previous “amazing” experience. If you want that continued growth then out of this world customer satisfaction is exactly what you have to achieve, and “premium” quality is how you achieve exactly that.
For all you know, a potential customers conversation could go something like this:
Potential new customer: That’s a good looking website you got there.
Existing customer: Thanks John, yes I’m really happy with it.
Potential new customer: Where did you get it done?
Existing customer: It was done by “insert freelancers name here”
Potential new customer: Nice, you got their number or a business card?
I know that conversation is a little far-fetched, but similar kinds of conversations do happen all the time. If your customer is blown away with the design, and the service they received. Then you can bet that they won’t be reluctant to discuss it with anyone else.
Another food for thought: How many business meetings and proposal discussions have you lost?
If you’re a busy freelancer than I bet it’s probably a happened a few times. You have to question how many of the projects would you have received if you had better examples of the work you produced?
I know I could have showcased much better work if I had discovered premium themes earlier. There is nothing wrong with you showing off the demo of a premium theme as your own. If you’re planning on buying that theme for the project then there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you showcase a demo and try to build it yourself, well that’s not going to go well for either party. So try and avoid that at all costs.
Like I said before some of the demos on Themeforest are truly amazing, and I could almost guarantee that they would lead to a better conversion rate. Here’s a link to the WooCommerce section for premium themes on Themeforest. You take a look and tell me that they aren’t outstanding.
These tiny little details are what’s important when running a business. Especially a successful business. It’s what makes you unique as a freelancer.
Please, please don’t try to cut costs when it comes to design quality. You think about it, if you land a $2000 project. 3 percent of that is the equivalent of a premium theme. 3 percent is nothing. At the beginning of a business it’s not about the money. It’s about the everlasting impressions you leave with your customer and the quality of your product which leads to more business. Premium quality achieves exactly that.
Update – Apr 2018. No longer am I using the theme below. I’ve moved on to a different premium theme for my ecommerce business, but Salient is still a phenomenal theme.
Here’s one of the premium themes I’m using for my ecommerce business Exooto Media. I used the premium theme Salient and it’s one the best purchases I’ve made. I’m still working on Exooto Media to this day, and there is no denying the quality this theme brings to my website. This site cost me a whopping fifty nine dollars and saved me endless hours in design time. It is now my full time income, and I actually think the theme is cheaper now.
I’m not saying that this theme created my full time income, because I’ve put a ton of hours into this business. However, it sure made the entire process a whole lot easier. The design conveys trust and professionalism into my customers that I couldn’t have done on my own.
Here are some examples of the demos that Salient offer. Click the image below to see them in action.
Another example, I used to work for this multi-million dollar company as their web developer, but it wasn’t the best place to work in fact if I’m going to be brutally honest it was a soul sucking job.
Internally this company was a huge disaster and I was literally doing marketing, web design, graphic design, printing, and on top of all that I was even doing tech support. Having said that, it was also one of my best paying jobs, but money isn’t everything as it was hands down the worst place I’ve ever worked in my entire life.
Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. It was not a good place to work and I’m not going to say their name for that reason.
The positive side to this story, is if I hadn’t had hated my job so much I wouldn’t have walked out, and made the best decision of my life to start my own business. So some good came out of it.
Anyway, the point here is I ended up purchasing a premium theme for their website because of all the additional hats I was wearing. They literally to this day don’t even know that I did that, but I had no choice because I was pressured to finish an amazing website and had all these other jobs?!?
I chose the Kallyas theme for this company and it’s actually sent them a huge amount of wholesale business. At one point the Kallyas Theme was a best seller on themeforest, and I think that was around the time I bought it for this company. I’d also like to mention that I bought it out of my own money just to save me some time. They were really impressed, and it probably saved me my job at the time. Even though I hated working there..
I didn’t expect this article to be as long as this, but their was some explaining to be done. I’m going to end it here with this.
Consider switching to premium themes today and change your freelancing business. If you want to read more about Elegant Themes, check it out here. They’ve introduced a bunch of new WordPress themes, and are always creating more. They also have their own line up of customer plugins that include innovative WordPress features such as a drag and drop builder, and more.
If that’s not what you’re looking for then I also encourage you browse the themeforest marketplace who also have a huge variety of premium themes.
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