The Gaudi park (pictured above) is one of the most amazing public parks in the world, but it wouldn’t have been so amazing if Gaudi hadn’t become deeply invested in it’s design. Park Güell was originally intended to be private commercial luxury homes set up on the hill to exploit the fresh air away from all the factories, but after the first house was built and failed to sell, Gaudi purchased the house with his own savings and designed and built the rest of park whilst living onsite.
We get asked all the time about how we seem to always be working with such great clients .. and it’s true – Pixel Palace jobs these days are a dream. So here’s a little insight in to how we’ve maneuvered our selves in to this enviable position.
I’ve learnt a fair few things over the last 10 years I’ve been in this business. Some things are obvious straight up – like Internet Explorer sucks – but other things are lessons hard learnt. Like what makes a great client.
Working with a fab client will make you skip in to work on a Monday morning, ready to go above and beyond, super keen to do the best work you’ve ever done. I am on a mission to rock in to the office in that head space.. Every. Single. Day. I want to feel invested in the work I do every day. If a job is going to demand my attention, time and talent for the next month I want to be inspired and engaged.
But in order to do that I have learnt we need to be specific in the kinds of jobs and clients we take on. This topic is thrown around our office regularly – what is it about certain clients and jobs that makes you feel thoroughly invested in the project? The list is constantly evolving but there is one main prerequisite that has become non negotiable.
Yep – we need the client to be “invested”. What does that mean I hear you ask? Do they have to be paying a fortune??
Well the answer to that is – not necessarily. “Investment” from clients is multi faceted. So let me outline the ways we like clients to be “invested”.
INVESTED IN US
Clients hire us because they need an online solution, have seen our portfolio and love what they see or have been referred by someone they know who had previously worked with us. They want to hire an expert and want an awesome result. But so many clients hire web developers and then try to drive the project themselves. This is a problem. Let’s say you had a heart condition and needed surgery. You hunt down the best heart surgeon in your area and arrange an appointment. You meet and you feel confident in his past patient statistics and liked his bedside manner so you agree to let him do the surgery. Are you then going to try and direct him throughout the surgery and demand he “do it your way” because it’s your heart and your body and you are paying?? Or are you going to sit back, answer the questions he asked clearly and succinctly and then let him do what he has to do to get the outcome you both want?
In the past we have had projects where clients have demanded to drive the design process and it honestly never ends well. If you sign on with us we’ll ask for a clear brief, we’ll get inside your business and look at the problems you need solved by your website and then develop a plan and design based on solving those issues. And we do this using our knowledge and experience in design, latest web technologies, understanding of user experience and best practice. When a client with no experience in any of these areas tries to control the process they end up with a result that often doesn’t actually solve the issue or even worse – creates new ones.
So we know are very open in saying that we will only work with clients who are invested in us. Who have faith in our ability and experience and that trust us when we come with a solution. And who know that we want every bit of work that comes out of Pixel Palace to be awesome – not just visually but technically and financially. We want clients who give great constructive feedback and offer ideas but who are also open to us pushing back if we think it’s not a good idea (which will always be accompanied by a clear no bullshit explanation of why) We want clients who get that we also want them to succeed and to get return on their investment. We want to build successful online solutions – not just push work out the door.
INVESTED IN THE PROJECT
Getting a new website sorted is usually a big deal for most businesses. After all – your website should be your best sales person. So you’d think it’s a no brainer that clients would totally invested in the project themselves? Believe it or not – this is not always the case. And it really hurts a project.
If you are truly invested in your web project you will have thought through content and have a really clear idea what you need the website to do. If you don’t have this sorted then you need to be willing to pay to have that sorted by a content strategist and copywriter. (Read: Invested!)
You need to have thought about photography on the site. If you haven’t then again you need to have a budget to get that sorted – whether by paying for sourcing and purchasing stock images or having a photographer take some shots.
Being invested in the project also means being available to provide feedback or info when we need it once the project is underway. Too often people view the process as solely the web developers responsibility to complete the project single handed after the contract is sign and the deposit paid. But that is an impossible task. To get a great result you need to be partnered with your developer and be in constant contact throughout the build. You need to invest your time and energy along side us.
An invested client cares about the outcome of the project and values their online presence. When potential clients come to us and say “The website isn’t really important. We just need to have one because that’s what you do these days” it’s a massive red flag. Having an understanding of how powerful your website can be and valuing it as an important business asset is a great indicator of how invested in the project a client is.
Talking pricing when it comes to web development is tricky. With so many variables and what looks like such varying options when it comes to cost (eg: a site could cost $500 or $50,000) it’s no wonder it’s confusing to the average person. But here’s the thing – to design and build a fully custom SOLUTION for your business, from scratch taking into account your unique positioning and issues and solving them and then making it work across all devices, operating systems and screen sizes takes..you guessed it.. time! Which means you need to be ready to invest financially to get it done and done right.
So that’s it. It’s about investment. If you’re a service provider, how invested are your clients? And if you’re in the market for a new website, are you ready to invest and get a fab result? Let us know in the comments.