How to Get Your Web Design Clients to Send You Content

Posted on October 21, 2016 by in Tips & Tricks |

When putting together a proposal for web design clients, one of the most overlooked parts of the process is also one of the most important pieces for finishing a project. Can you guess what it is?

It’s content.

As a designer, your job is to design your client the website they’ve been dreaming of. But in order to create a site, you sort of need content for the pages your designing so that you can wrap it up.

But what do you do when clients keep dragging their feet to get you what you need? Today’s article will give you some suggestions on what you can do to make sure your web designs projects don’t get held up by unresponsive clients.

Make It Easy For Your Web Design Clients


Image Author Rimma Zaynagova via Shutterstock

Part of the reason your web design clients may be stalling in the content department is because they may not fully understand what they need to put together. As part of your proposal, you should clarify this process to make it easy for them to understand and execute.

To do this, you can create what I like to call a Content Requirement Folder as part of your proposal. The purpose of this folder is so you can either physically or digital hand over a folder with documents outlining exactly what content you need and when.

Here’s what you could include:

  • Call out the need for content for specific pages. The Home, About, Contact and Services pages all need content. List out these pages specifically so nothing gets missed.
  • Explain the type of content you need from them for each page. This is important because you want your client to give you a variety of information and assets for each page so that you’re not pasting the same thing over and over again. About pages need background information. Contact pages need addresses, phone numbers, logos, business images, written content, etc.
  • Get industry-specific quotes from them that explain what they do. Each client will have something unique to them and their industry. This information will help you understand their work so you can fill in gaps in the content if need be. You may want to list this part out as questions in the doc.
  • Put due dates for each piece of content and confirm it with your client. Adding due dates to this for them can help keep everyone on the same timeline and keeps your client in the loop.
  • Ask for URLs. Most times, your clients have social media profiles you’ll link to. Asking for this ahead of time will save you a phone call or email.

Make It Part of Your Contract

Contract proposals are one of the hardest parts of landing a client. And while it may seem like a good idea to leave things like getting content from your client up to them, chances are you’ll end up wishing you stated terms about this in writing.

So instead of kicking yourself after it’s too late, consider adding terms about content to your proposals and contracts. I’ll buffer this with saying I’m not a lawyer, but here are some ideas you could add to your web design contracts.

  • Make it clear that content for XYZ pages is your client’s responsibility. This way they can’t say you never told them this.
  • State that payment or the rest of your fee is required when the design project is complete, and content is not a factor in completion. Something along these lines will help make it clear that you won’t get stuck not getting paid even though you’ve done your job and you’re just waiting for content.
  • Charge late fees. I don’t like to do this, but it works for others and acts as a good incentive for your client to get you what you need.

This list is not exhaustive, but the point to take away here is you want to get something in writing about what you are and are not responsible for when it comes to content. And including something about payment not being contingent on content is a great way to cover your ‘you know what’ if they take forever to do it.

Offer to Write The Content For Them


Image Author lyeyee via Shutterstock

While it would be great to have your client’s get you everything you need for their website content, many just don’t know how to put together the what you need because they’re not writers.

You might find offering to write the content for your web design clients is not only a speedier way to gather information for the site but also a great upsell for your business.

If you’re knowledgeable in the industry your client is in, then writing content could be a breeze. But if not, set up a one-on-one phone call with them where you can gather all the information you need to create the content.

Note: Don’t forget to charge for the time to talk, the time it takes to create the content, and editing if they have changes to make to your copy later.

Do They Have A Site Already? Consider Content Import Options

Sometimes, clients who come to you already have a website but are going in a new direction. This means that you may already have some copy and content at your disposal.

But let’s face it, copy and paste is something all designers hate doing. Or at least I do.

Not too long ago, I was talking with my friend Itai Sadan, CEO of Duda, about the Content Import function on their website builder. So when it came time for me to write this post it got me wondering about options to do the same with WordPress.

As far as I’ve been able to find, there isn’t a plugin or tool for WordPress that will pull all the content from one site into a new one at the click of the button so that’s a bummer.

But the next best thing is to go through and export all the posts and pages and import them into the new site. We have a great tutorial by Kevin Muldoon on our blog about how to do just this.

While it would be great to have a much easier import function than what WP has, at the end of the day, even though it’s a lot more time intensive, copy-and-pasting (while thoroughly annoying) can still be a go-to option if need be.

Wrapping It Up

Getting your client to deliver their content can be really tricky and a challenge that has frustrated more than one web designer. Hopefully, these suggestions can help get you what you need in your next project. But now I’d like to turn it over to you guys.

What do you offer or include to help get your web design clients to get you the content you need? I’m sure you all have a few tricks up your sleeve so let us know in the comments below.

Image by Author BarsRsind via Shutterstock


By Ariel

Ariel is a Hubspot Inbound Certified blogger, copywriter specializing in autoresponders, and social media manager for hire. She enjoys testing SaaS products, diving into Twitter analytics, and reading Jane Austen novels. When she’s not typing away on her Mac and drinking copious amounts of coffee, she enjoys spending time with her amazing boys.

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