This is the final post our series How to Sell Infographics to Your Clients. Previous posts covered how to first evangelize infographics (IGs) within your own company and then how to spread IGs to your clients. While the posts could have ended there, we decided to tackle one more important issue: what to avoid.
Success with infographics depends on a variety of factors. Avoid problem clients, designers, and making promises you cant deliver are all important things to keep in mind. Maximize quality and avoid lost time dealing with problems are the keys to success in just about any industry!
Promises To Avoid
In sales, its always important to not over promise and under deliver. Just like any SEO campaign, IGs require a time commitment that can be difficult to ascertain. They do not provide instant success. Make sure your clients know that IGs take time. Clients need to invest in a few IGs to get a full idea of how successful a campaign can be. Some might turn around a lot of links in the first few days, while others may need some time to marinate on the web, driving in a few links every week over a longer period of time (leading to hundreds months down the road).
Unscrupulous SEO agencies can make life difficult for the rest of us who are trying to do things honestly and realistically. If a client has been promised thousands of links for one infographic by another agency, resist your initial urge to tell them that theyre being lied to!
Instead, educate them about the reality of infographic campaigns. Sure, there are agencies out there that might be able to get thousands of links for one infographic. Maybe they are buying the links, own the websites linking to the infographic, or are just hoping that the client doesnt double check their work in the end. Either way, none of these tactics are going to get the client the high quality results that they want in the long term. Its important to educate your client about the risks of obtaining links this way.
Its also important to educate your client about the process you take to promote IGs. Promoting IGs isnt necessarily a challenge, it just requires time and elbow grease. Some people keep their promotion and SEO methods a secret. However, with infographics, if you tell your clients exactly what you do to promote infographics, odds are they probably wont decide thats easy, Ill do it myself. Instead (hopefully!) theyll get a good idea of how much work goes into it and appreciate the fact that they can hire you to do the work for them. This will also give them a firm grasp of the time required to promote infographics and obtain inbound links, which means their expectations will be properly set.
In the end, if your clients want instant success, tell them to sign up for Google Adwords.
Avoiding Certain Designers
If youve followed the steps from my previous two posts, you have likely already picked a design agency. If you have not, I will touch very shortly on this.
When choosing an infographic designer, be sure to request examples of IGs before moving forward. The designer might be absolutely amazing at web design, banner ads, or print design, but this does not mean they are good at designing IGs. If the designer or design agency wants your business to create IGs, they should have examples to show you - even if they have never been hired to do an infographic in the past! The designer must prove their worth for this very specific design form before you get a client signed on, or else you may end up with a very disappointed client.
Avoid Certain Clients
If your clients need a lot of hand holding, then IGs might not be right for them. While IGs are a lot of fun due to their creativity, they can also be a big headache with some clients as most people like to be highly involved in the creative process and tend to be more verbal about visually driven mediums than other forms of art. As such, if the client needs to be coddled a bit, you may want to avoid the headache that a game of telephone surrounding an IG can become and just stick to the basics. If you have an in-house infographic design team, then you can likely deal with issues with a bit more ease, but when you have to constantly act as the middle man between your design firm and a client, it can become a huge time suck.
When it comes to infographics, communication is key with a client. Make sure you and your client have identified the perfect form of communication for them (not for you). Whether its Skype, email, coffee, or a simple phone call, you will want to know your clients preference before starting down the path of an infographic design with them.
Many clients like to have a say in each stage of the design process, which may seem time-consuming and unnecessary, but if they dont have their say until the design is complete, it will cost you hours and money during the inevitable edits.
Because of this, its important to get your client to sign off on all research and wireframe before moving into design. If this ends up taking weeks to achieve, then this client might not be worth it. In other words, if it feels like pulling teeth to get an opinion out of your client, IGs might not be right for them.
The Big Why?
If youre an SEO agency, you are a for profit business (likely). That means that your bottom line will always be how does this produce profits? While some clients might leave one SEO firm to head to a different one that provides IGs, if your other SEO services are really strong, you dont have a lot to fear from SEO agencies with IGs.
Still, though, if you are going to add IGs to your list of services, its because there is a lot to gain financially. You either have a list of loyal clients that you can upsell IGs to, or a list of target clients that you know want them. Either way, its important to keep this in mind when partnering with an infographic design firm. Make sure that they are thinking about your bottom line as much as theirs, because the best agency to work with is one that has their clients success in mind (as you no-doubt do!).
Amy Balliett is the co-Founder of Killer Infographics, a globally leading infographic design< agency located in Seattle, Washington. Killer Infographics has produced thousands of viral infographics, motion graphics and interactive infographics for a global clientele including Microsoft, Starbucks, the BBC, Adobe, and more.