Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a contestant on one of those crazy reality shows. The kind where they drop you off, blindfolded, in the middle of a thick jungle. Maybe they provide you with a compass and a very rudimentary map. The goal is to find your way to a road that leads to a posh resort.
Part of being a web designer involves developing processes. For instance, we have a process for how we go from concept to finished product. Over time, we may even create a process for dealing with a specific type of maintenance task. The idea is that we do things in a certain way in the name of efficiency and perhaps sanity.
For many web designers, finishing off a brand-new website for a client doesn’t mean the end of that relationship. Potentially, you may continue to work together in some capacity for years to come. Things like maintenance, repairs and maybe even a lucrative redesign could all be in the cards.
Imagine that you have been building up a pre-sale relationship with a client for some time and you need to make the final move and present your proposal. Although, very few manage to hit the perfect strike with the first ball and meet all of the client’s expectations. The goal is that you do, or at least come pretty close.
Web design is an industry that is loaded with opportunities for upsells and extra revenue. Odds are that your clients will benefit from services that go beyond basic design and development. However, just because you can offer extras doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
When working with clients, patience is both a must-have quality and a delicate balance. Of course, you’ll want to calmly train clients to use a CMS or explain the specifics of a project. That’s just a display of good manners.
Freelance web designers are often asked to provide clients with a wide array of services. Design, custom development, mobile applications, SEO and social media management all come to mind. And, while some designers do attempt to wear these many hats, it can be quite difficult to master them all. There’s enough depth within each one to support a more segmented industry.
Okay, freelance designers. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: you’re working on a project for a client, and all of a sudden there’s a discrepancy with your payment. Perhaps it’s because of scope creep, or maybe the client just went over budget for some reason.
Throughout the last 10-15 years, many things have changed with regards to how we build websites. Broadband and computing power have brought time-saving efficiency, while coding and markup advancements have ushered in a new era of interactivity.
So often, we like to discuss the worst in people. And it certainly makes sense that, as a freelance designer, you’re sure to deal with any number of clients from hell. In its own way, these stories tend to bring us together as a community. We can swap tales of disaster and have a laugh about them after all is said and done.
Once they’re out of design school and battling it out in the real world, designers can find themselves in a pretty crappy predicament. Maybe your teachers warned you to be as discerning as possible when taking on new clients (or maybe they told you the opposite, but you knew it was BS), but reality is often a rude awakening from what you expected when you first started working.