We’ve been working with web developers and designers for 5+ years and have have many ups and downs throughout our dev relationships. The biggest issues that we ran into (and that many clients communicate to us) is that developers and designers are harder to trust because of poor planning and communication that happens.
Have you ever been unable to provide a concrete timeline for a client project? Or have you failed to communicate with your client on a daily basis providing updates?
We understand that everyone makes mistakes, but those surrounding planning and communication can really take a toll on your client relationships. Continue to poorly plan and communicate and you’ll find your clients seeking other developers for their projects.
We want to see you succeed on the FreeUp marketplace and so we’ve put together tips for how you can impress all of your clients with sound planning and communication. If you can follow these simple marketplace guidelines, you will have a much better experience freelancing on the FreeUp platform.
All experts on the FreeUp marketplace work the same way whether they are an eBay expert, an Amazon expert, or a web development expert.
For the first 1 to 2 hours billed, you should be meeting with client to discuss their goals and expectations for the project. This is your Discover Phase. Ask them questions about exactly what they want and take tedious notes so you can create a blueprint for the web development project.
Once you’ve gathered information from your client, spend the remainder of the first 1 to 2 hours billed and perform research into what it will take to complete the project. Create a full game plan that includes hourly estimates broken down for the major aspects of the project so that your client can see what the road map looks like.
Present the gameplan to your client and make changes based off of their feedback. Finalize the gameplan with the client and get them to approve the estimated hours to start the project.
Once approved, get started on executing your game plan.
This is such an important aspect of being an expert and setting the stage for a strong relationship with your clients. If a client says that they don’t want to go through the Discovery Phase, simply tell them that it’s a requirement of the FreeUp marketplace in order to maintain a high level of expert level work and that you can’t work on the project without completing it.
In the rare case that a client hires you for a 1-2 hour project that is a quick fix, it is acceptable not to go through the Discovery Phase.
We completely understand that giving estimates for web development projects can be extremely difficult. The same goes for any larger project, but if you don’t provide any, you are not going to have a good relationship with your client.
You have to be able to estimate hours for your projects, even if it means adding safety hours onto each estimate to account for roadblocks along the way. The best way to do this is to break down the project into smaller phases so you can create estimates that are as accurate as possible.
Here’s an example: You’ve been hired by a client to build a website for them from scratch. They have the content ready for the website, but the rest is up to you to create and design. On the surface, that seems difficult to estimate hours for. But if you break it down, it becomes easier.
Do you see how we did that? By breaking down the project into smaller chunks, you can create better estimates and give your client a look into the steps you actually have to take.
Important to Remember:
You can never over communicate with your clients, especially on web development and design projects. You are working on a project that most clients will not fully understand. If you don’t provide updates, they will start to question what you are doing. You do not want this to happen.
To communicate like a BOSS, follow these simple rules of thumb:
Once you’ve completed the project, make sure to ask them if there are any additional features that they would like. If there is a second phase of the project, make sure to go through another Discovery Phase so that the project part 2 goes as flawlessly as part 1!
If the client expresses they are happy with the project and it is finished, make it clear that you are moving onto other projects and that you may not be able to help right away unless they keep you on for a continuing task.
It is an art to be able to estimate and communicate as a web developer or designer, but you absolutely have what it takes to impress all of your clients. Keep these 4 tips as a resource while you are beginning new client relationships. Print it out, add it to a notepad, or just memorize the 4 tips.
If you can incorporate these tips into your client management strategies, you will have the potential to create amazing success working on the FreeUp marketplace.
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