Yeah, I said it! Perfection is for suckers!
The problem is, so many of us need things to be perfect. You may think you don’t, but if a site is taking you forever and a day to launch because this or that isn’t right, then you’re a sucker!
I’m not trying to be mean; I just want to get this through to anyone who is going through the never ending project struggle. The projects that need this logo moved over 2 pixels to the left, and this text needs to be a little bigger, and let me get ten people to look at this before I get back to you. And WE’VE ALL BEEN THROUGH THIS! If you’re not currently a sucker, I bet you were.
I definitely was! There was always this constant need of “The client just needs to be happy.” or “The client needs to approve this, I mean it’s their site.” Looking back and learning from everything I’ve done, I realized, this is a horrible way to manage clients!
First, let’s look at perfection in it’s most basic form. It’s ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE! What’s perfect for you isn’t’ perfect for someone else, and what’s perfect for them isn’t perfect for their partner and so on and so on.
You end up in this never ending cycle of people who want things to be perfect the only way they see it, and much like art, no one knows what they’re talking about.
I was just listening to the new Gary V Book, “Ask Gary Vee” and it’s excellent so far. He said something like “I hate perfection. Just move on. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder my friend,” and man, I could not agree more!
When you take on a project, yes, the client is paying, but much like I pay a mechanic to fix my car, I’m not going to start telling him how to put together my transmission. I don’t know why web designers take so much crap from clients.
Who’s the professional web guru here? You run your business, and let me run mine. My job is to help you, not to do whatever you want. Why? Because you don’t know anything about the web!
Simple as that!
Care to discuss? Leave some comments below.
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About the AuthorWhat's UP! This is my site, I write 99% of the articles on here. I'm also the owner of SureFireWebServices.com. I help out a lot of developers and designers getting into the web game. Helping is fun for me, so feel free to ask me any questions! I've made courses and have a membership as well to help get you on your feet!
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As folks related in the web industry, we’re no strangers to the pain and frustrations that this job brings.
When I first started getting into building websites, one of the biggest pains in the arse that I faced was getting content from clients. This would make projects drag on and on until it got to the point where I didn’t even want to work on it anymore.
The same would go for approvals.
“Hey client, the design is done, can you please look it over.”
…3 weeks later…
Client: “My team of 20 is still making changes. Can we hop on a conference call?”
All of these things end up taking forever just to get a project done.
The fact is, when you lose control of clients, you start to lose motivation and interest in the projects you’re working on.
Here are a few tips to start grasping control of your clients and managing them better, so you can start collecting that Mula!
Make Sure There’s One Point of Contact
The line above mentioning a team of 20 is no lie. In fact, when I was getting into this, I had a few clients that would take a design, and then have a round table with the look.
Then they would get back to me with a ton of mixed suggestions, contradictions, and nothing would get resolved. This lesson was learned pretty fast.
Determine who the final decision maker is before moving forward with a project. You don’t want too many chefs in the kitchen, especially when it comes to design.
Design is 100% subjective. What’s beautiful to you, is not nice to someone else. The key in design is making sure the sites are functional and work in a way to get business, not whether something is green or blue.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Design is 100% subjective. What’s beautiful to you, is not nice to someone else.” quote=”Design is 100% subjective. What’s beautiful to you, is not nice to someone else.”]
The decision maker can take suggestions and run them by you, but work with them to come to an actual decision in what is going to get done and not speculate over every little detail.
Create A Timeline
It’s very easy for a project to lose control and end up taking six months or more. This is a horrible way to run your business. Unless you’re charging a small fortune for the project, you need to wrap these things up.
We give about a 4 – 6 week timeline for full design and dev jobs depending on the complexity.
You can create your timelines based on what you do and how fast you can deliver, but it could look something like this.
- Start Date – x
- Design Delivery – 1 week after x (You can replace these with actual dates)
- Then continue with development, testing, and launch in a similar fashion.
Now the key here is to instill some type of penalty or clause in your contract to make sure the client sticks to the date. You can charge $x amount for every day over the schedule, or you can say something like, “if this project isn’t approved by the deliverable dates, it no longer becomes a priority,” or something like that.
Anything you need to do to make sure the client sticks to the given dates provided. This will help keep your project organized, and you will be much clearer on your budgets and what you need to deliver and when.
Sometimes I like to say, be the boss. Truthfully, you ARE the boss. It’s your company, your rules, so you say what goes.
The authority and confidence that you have in yourself need to reflect that in your business and your projects.
Don’t second guess the things you know you should be doing. If you feel strongly about something, voice it to your client.
Remember that you’re the professional here and you have your customers best interest at heart. You would never go into an auto shop and start telling the mechanic how to fix your car right? Same with a website.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You would never go into an auto shop and start telling the mechanic how to fix your car right? ” quote=”You would never go into an auto shop and start telling the mechanic how to fix your car right? Same with a website.”]
Take control of what you know should be on the website and run the project the same way. Sometimes you’ll get resistance, but that’s normal. In that case, what I usually do is say something like:
“I highly recommend you don’t do that, but if it’s something you truly want, we can do it for you, but it’s not something I agree with.”
Most of the time, they’ll follow your lead, because good clients trust who they hired to do the job for them.
Be Cordial and Honest
The key here is to realize that you’re clients aren’t just dust in the wind. You’re not selling a product here; you’re building a service and building your brand. With your clients, you’re building a relationship. You need to remember that with every interaction.
It’s like dating. Don’t turn off your date, the goal here is to get married! 😀
[clickToTweet tweet=”Client Relationships are like dating. Don’t turn off your date, the goal is to get married!” quote=”It’s like dating. Don’t turn off your date, the goal here is to get married! :D”]
Take everything your client says lightly (unless they’re being a total jerk) but remember that they’re not the web professionals. It’s easy for us to take for granted all the things that we know.
Take your time, explain what they don’t understand, answer any questions they may have, and do it because you genuinely want to help them. When you’re both on the same page, it benefits both parties.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
Sometimes, you just need to stand your ground. I’ve been involved in cases where the client just want’s something absurd.
“Make that header light green with yellow text.”
And then if they are pushy about it, push them into understanding why you don’t want that to happen. Sometimes I’ll tell them something like, “OK, but if we do that, I’m not going to be able to put this on my portfolio.” While it may work, some clients are super stubborn, and those are the ones that end up giving you a lot of problems, mainly because they do NOT see you as the professional in the situation.
You may have to fire them. Don’t be weary if you do. On many occasions, it’s a load of stress off your plate if you just remove a client from your workload.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Sometimes, clients just need to be fired.” quote=”Sometimes, clients just need to be fired.”]
I had a customer earlier this year, the biggest one I ever had! We had a $20k contract to build out some sites for them. In the end, though, it didn’t work out. They weren’t clear on expectations, and without getting into too many details, I felt like my company was put in a position to fail. What’s funny is since I use Genesis, Beaver Builder, and Views, the client yelled at me saying I didn’t know WordPress!
So, I kept it cordial, and we parted ways. Money wise, it sucked, but I never want to work with anyone who doesn’t respect what I do, and you should either.
Do you have any tips on managing clients? I’d love to hear some, share in the comments!Post Views: 524
I love the web industry. It’s so vast with a plethora of choices for direction.
There are tons of people making piles of money and it all comes down to how you think about your offers, and how you market them.
One of the most common things I see with web designers and freelancers that are just starting out, is they don’t have a solid direction.
And it’s absolutely not their fault.
The Generic Web Industry
The easiest thing to do when you enter the web industry as a web designer or freelancers is say, “I’m going to build websites for people.”
The only problem, is “people” come in all different shapes, sizes, mentalities, ages, incomes, interests, locations, cultures. I think you get the point.
As time moves on, you should really start to pin point what it is you want to do and where you need to be going.
Even the bigger agencies tend to have a specific direction when it comes to the types of clients they work with.
For example, Vayner Media (Gary V’s company) does high end services for companies with budgets of 500k a year and up!
My company Sure Fire Web Services, Inc., focuses on White Label WordPress Services for Digital Agencies and Freelancers.
My Buddy Lee Jackson Dev (soon to be Angled Crown), focuses on White Label WordPress Development for Design Agencies.
These are tight niche areas where someone who’s looking around on the website, would clearly know the market.
Direction Comes With Time and Experience
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who knows exactly where you want to be in the next few years, most of this insight comes with a lot of experience.
It took me a little more than 5 years to decide I wanted to go the white label route.
Most Web Designers and Freelancers are trying to find themselves and what they want to do.
You only figure that out though, by doing. I learned a lot more by doing the things I DIDN’T want to do, than doing all the things I did.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I learned a lot more by doing the things I DIDN’T want to do, than doing all the things I did.” quote=”I learned a lot more by doing the things I DIDN’T want to do, than doing all the things I did.”]
Web Design Review
Over the weekend I did an website review for one of our 30k Members (completely free FaceBook Group). The instructions were simple, send me a link to your website, and tell me what your goals are, and I’ll review it and let you know my thoughts.
I’ve actually been doing this type of thing for a while. Any time I design something or have a project, I always play the consultant role as well. I never actually did it though, just to offer advice. First time for everything! 😀
I recorded the entire review and you can see it below.
The site is by a freelance web designer, and the future goal of the website, is to offer white label development services. Now you’ll notice that the first thing I noticed, just as above, is the general direction of the current design is very broad.
We are all guilty of this! So no worries there, but once you know your direction and what you want to do, planning is vital.
Check out the video below and let me know what you think!
[thrive_leads id=’7688′]Post Views: 470
I’ll probably get some flack for this, as I have in the past, but I really don’t care, because I’ll stand behind this rule forever.
Take A Break
The worst thing that can happen to you is Burnout and believe me when I say, that shyt sucks!
I generally work every night from 8 to 10, but keep in mind that I have 2 little kids. One is 1, and the other is 4.
This get’s pretty exhausting. My youngest doesn’t sleep very well, so there are some nights where I am just way too tired to do anything!
Here’s what I do…
I try to think of anything that needs to get done that I can get done pretty quickly. On Monday it was to create a FaceBook group. So that’s what I did. It took me a few minutes to get the graphic in and set up, but that was it.
I went to sleep right after that, I was totally shot.
And THAT’S PERFECTLY OK!
It get’s really annoying to constantly hear, “Keep going, don’t stop, you need to work work work, someone else is going to beat you” OMG Please SHUT UP!
We’re freakin’ human, right? Sometimes, we need a damn break!
[clickToTweet tweet=”We’re freakin’ human! Sometimes, we need a damn break!” quote=”We’re freakin’ human, right? Sometimes, we need a damn break!”]
So the next time you’re feeling rushed, or a lot of pressure to get something done, just take some time for yourself to enjoy the moment.
Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air. If it’s too cold (Like where I live) watch a funny tv show and just enjoy some time for yourself. Then when it permits, go back and do something.
Trust me, it’s totally worth it! When you feel refreshed, your brain will work so much better and things will just pop in! 🙂
Make sure to join the FaceBook Group Zero To 30k, then you can vent your heart out 🙂 It’s definitely a healthy practice and a no judgment zone.Post Views: 443