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  • #31065
    clokey2k
    Participant

    So this year has seen me learn so much about web design. HTML5, CSS, PHP, WordPress and jQuery enough tools to solve almost any (web) problem that is thrown at me with plenty of “Ah-ha! Moments”. My personal successes, be they small (using calculated heights in jQuery for resetting animations for example), have made me dig deeper, and try more challenging things.

    That is except one.

    I have never really had an ‘official’ client, which brings me to my question:

    Based on experience (yours or otherwise) how do you kick things off with a new client?

    I have, to date, only helped other people get sites up and running. I never really treated them like clients. I never really pitched any ideas to them. I have plans to do so, but thought that your inputs would be invaluable at this time.

    I have read plenty of “Nightmare Clients” articles, I’m hoping for some good news stories and advice.

    #69265
    jamygolden
    Moderator

    Have a look at this, it might help :p

    Clients need to be managed. When you talk about a 4 page website with a gallery, your client might be thinking of something completely different. Perhaps your client is used to flash galleries that are CMS driven. It’s important to make sure that you both understand eachother.

    #69266
    silverlulu
    Participant

    yeah i have had some absolute nightmares… so take my advice and do a few things right first time…

    i always give them a contract now… in fact this is one i did today…

    (i use wordpress for my company website and then make a new page on that website and put in the details of the contract, then link them to it in an email – this is awesome as it looks professional… and the dirty bit, is that you can change the details of the contract at any time in the back-end. i also add a link to paypal so they can just agree to the contract and pay straight away)

    http://silvermanwebdesign.co.uk/i-land-property-website/

    as you can see i charge nothing for a basic website as i know i can knock it out in a day or so. i try to get payment upfront as well. i use paypal as this tends to give them a feeling of safety.

    it’s best to over estimate how long it will take. i know i can do it in 1-2 days so i said it would be 7 days. i hate being under pressure. don’t under sell your services. i still do all the time. i should charge more.

    when they are happy and the website is doing alright, you can then sell them extra services – add a gallery etc… i also explain that if they want to add thier own pics and write their own posts they will need a cms. it’s best to be brutal and honest as this scares away the crap clients.

    and lets face it… crap clients are a pain in the ass. they leech off you and expect to pay nothing and get the world.

    #69176
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    I cannot begin to explain how important contracts are. Even for friends and family, they are important to set boundaries and expectations (for both sides).

    #69134
    clokey2k
    Participant

    @jamy_za – Thanks for the link, it was a rather silly mistake of mine NOT to search the forums first!


    @silverlulu
    – Your ‘dirty bit’ reminds me to print a hard copy of any contract written to me – a bit sneaky on your part!
    Your contract example highlights some basic contract bindings. “Website must be live and fit for purpose to be considered complete.”


    @TheDoc
    – I like how you worded your first meeting as a ‘Discovery’ meeting in the old thread. Are your ‘Discovery’ meeting Face-to-Face all of the time?

    All valuable information; Thank you;

    I’ll hold this open for a little longer see if anyone else chimes in.

    #69110
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    @clokey2k – Not always – over the phone is okay, too, if the client isn’t local. It’s just an important time to learn about some of the client’s needs and expectations.

    #68831
    Rob MacKay
    Participant

    Completely agree with @silverlulu

    Most “nightmares” are caused by people not knowing boundaries – if everyone is clear at the start things go a lot smoother :)

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