A couple of weeks ago I presented at WordPress Orlando on Client Transparency in Creative Development. For those of you who weren’t able to attend or wanted to watch the presentation below is the video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end as the Q&A session was also recorded at the end of the video, as well as some commentary from other members of the WP Orlando community. Of course if you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us and we help.
Earlier this week I did a presentation at my local WordPress Orlando MeetUp about Client Transparency. This talk was a really open look at what it’s like being a creative, dispelling some perceptions on the creative lifestyle, as well as some insight into the thought process of a designer or developer working with the average client. I’ll be honest and say that most of these views are my sole perception, however many other creatives have echoed the same emotions and feelings.
The purpose of this though was to bring some light and understanding to both sides of the table when it comes to working through creative projects. The better both creatives and clients understand and respect each other, the better the development process will be and increase working relationships for long terms.
If you were unable to attend the live presentation, it was recorded and will be shared soon.
If you’ve been checking your emails over the past few weeks, chances are you’ve seen a bunch from Linked In with these messages from your connections endorsing you. When I first saw these I actually didn’t pay it much attention because it didn’t really seem official. I’ve had recommendations written for me, and those I take quite seriously. However an endorsement didn’t ring a bell. After about seven more endorsements from various people who normally aren’t frequent on Linked In, I had a newly sparked interest to find out what this was all about.
First lets take this back to the addition of skills that you can now add to your profile. The skills can be just about anything like web design, graphics, SEO, HR, filing, management, etc. If you haven’t yet, go through your profile and add all the skills that pertain to your work history and expertise.
Once you’ve selected all of your skills, you’ll have a list of them towards the end of your profile page. This is now also public so people who are connected to you to be able to click small plus buttons to endorse you for those selected skills.
So now what does all this mean? Well for now it’s kind of like a public notoriety display. It may be that people don’t take the time to write out recommendations for their connections, or Linked In figured they’d create something much faster for user engagement similar to the Google Plus 1 (+1) button. However you feel about it, I suggest you start listing all of your skills, and ask for others to start endorsing you. Before long you’ll have multiple endorsements that you’ll be proud to show a prospective client or HR manager.
Good morning all – Jean and I had a great discussion during our video blog yesterday and we hope you enjoy it. However, if you don’t have time to watch it or take notes, we’d like to share some of the key points made. The next time you take on a new client, consider these questions or issues to raise, dialogue about and seek answers to in order to successfully manage your clients expectations.
1st Element: Understanding Who Your Client Really Is
A. Find out the type of personality they have & how they best communicate (email, text, telephone or in person).
B. Through discussions, try to extract the purpose of the website and their business goals even if they aren’t clear on them.
C. Stress the importance of branding & being clear about their business identity & its goals so that the website and/or branding efforts are successful.
A. What’s the vision of the company?
B. Who do they believe their customers & consumers are?
C. What do they think their consumers & audience want to see & expect from them?
D. Take the initiative through dialogue/research to get a firm understanding of their product or service and how they want to market it.
E. What are the goals they want their website and branding to achieve?
3rd Element: Setting Client Expectations for the Project
A. What is the projected costs & overall budget (with wiggle room)?
B. What are the time frames for benchmarks and completion?
C. Are you requesting and receiving all relevant content for each page of your website upfront? Consider how this affects time & workflow of project.
D. Are their images web-worthy (i.e. are clear, look professional), of high-resolution and large enough to scale down for editing if needed?
E. Have you established a good client relationship that can endure project delays and/or disappointments?
F. Can that rapport endure if there are issues with responsiveness from the client that affect workflow, benchmarks & completion dates?
4th Element: Clients Expectation for ROI
A. Make sure you set realistic expectations of the actual ROI and timeframe in which they might see the fruits of their investment.
B. What do you do with a client that has unrealistic expectations of ROI?
C. Explain why advertising their website is crucial once it is launched and the need for continued marketing efforts.
– They need figure out how they are going to notify current customers about their new website.
– Make announcements via Social Media platforms.
– Invest in marketing materials that reflect an online, worldwide presence.
D. Encourage them to think outside the box to market their website.
– If you’re a Mom & Pop, consider Small Business Association meetings, posting marketing materials in coffee houses & restaurant/business lobbies.
E. All businesses need to focus on and execute strategic customer outreach campaigns to see profitable ROI.
The Wrap Up It’s important to set the expectations from both parties from the beginning. Set your workflow & do your best to stick to it. Hold your clients accountable for their website’s success. Help them understand that the success of their website requires THEIR initiative, drive
& passion for THEIR business. Remember, good content does wonders for customer engagement and willingness to purchase the product or service. Understand it’s about client relationship & the longevity of that relationship.
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