If you’re a web designer, getting and keeping web design clients is essential to the survival of your business. Just because a client wants to use your service does not mean they are as tech savvy as you are. This is especially true with new clients.
Web Design entrepreneurs can do several things to enhance their clients experience and make the working arrangements flow smoothly.
When dealing with new clients and people in general, you need to show them a little patience. They do not have the skills to design a website, which is why they hired you. Your attitude should be, “I’m here to help you do what you do better.” This will require a lot of listening and understanding. It is always good to learn more interpersonal skills as you build your business. They can help you learn to communicate better with your clients.
Finding out exactly what your customer wants may take some effort. A good technique is to have your clients fill out a questionnaire that details what they expect from your service. You can then go over this questionnaire with them to make sure you have identified their needs.
Handshake deals are okay but professionals put it on paper. Once you have gone over the questionnaire, it’s a good idea to put all of the expectations in a written agreement. The agreement is nothing to hold over the clients head, and it should be used as a last resort if there is a disagreement.
It’s a useful tool to keep misunderstandings to a minimum. When roles and responsibilities are clearly spelled out, then each party involved knows their expectations.
One of the main things that should be covered in your agreement is which party will be responsible for ongoing website maintenance. Some web designers are good at design but hate writing content. If you are this type of person, explain this to your client in advance.
It’s also an opportunity to offer content development services to your clients and subcontract the work out to someone who does it for a living.
Thinking of yourself as a coach to your clients can help both parties achieve the ultimate goal. You must assume that your client is completely green and has no knowledge of your business because typically they don’t. Some clients will turn the whole project over to you and there will be others who want to be involved every step of the way.
This will be where your patience will be tested most often, and you must be willing to educate your client. As long as your coaching them doesn’t interfere with the quality of your work, then you should have no problem with sharing the details of the project.
Once you’ve earned the respect of your web design clients, they will trust your decision-making and understand you are ultimately looking out for their best interest. They will also see the effort you have put into coaching them, and will be more than willing to recommend you to potential new clients.