Working with your client

The qualities of a good relationship are defined in the first meeting. Any misunderstanding will result in disappointment.

 Find out what the client wants

Computer ChaosFirst I want to be sure I understand what their business is about and what they want their website to accomplish. These questions apply:

I find many business just want to be able to show potential customers
they have a website. They are not interested in using their website to
grow their business. Vanity sites are much different than sites
designed to build a business or organization. Sometimes a client just
doesn’t know the potential of the internet. It is my job to educate them
but what purpose they want their website to serve is up to them and I
have to know what they expect so I will know when I have achieved there
expectations.

I repeat to them my understanding of their business and what they want to accomplish:

  • Based on our conversation, I understand you want to use your
    experience to (XXXXX) and your values will determine who you choose to
    work with.
  • I understand you want your website to help you brand your business by
    sharing with your audience who you are, what you have accomplished and
    how you can help your audience solve their problems.
  • You have name recognition and you want to use that name recognition in leveraging your business.
  • Lets draw a picture of your average customer

Find out what they want to accomplish and what message they want their website to convey.

  • What do you want to accomplish by the start of the 201X? How do
    you want your business to be position by the end of 201X? At the end of
    201X what do you want your business to have accomplished? 
  • What message do you want your website to convey?

I suggest:

  • the home page states your mission and summarize the services
    your company provides. Focus on how your product can help your visitor
    solve their problem.
  • The about page should tell the story
    of what led you to form your business and a short bio that briefly
    summarizes the life experiences that formed your character.
  • You have a page for each of the services yout client offers. The page describes
    what they can do for their clients and how their service will benefit their client.
  • You need a blog which is your newspaper. Share with your audience updates on products and how you are working with clients to help them solve their problems. Keep your visitors informed of what is happening related to those things that interest you and hopefully them.

Security and responsiveness

 Recognizing nothing is 100%, your website must be secured
against hacking and spam and should be backed up regularly. I specialize
in the WordPress platform and will make sure the themes and pluggins we
use are up to date. I recommend purchasing themes and plugins because
we can be assured they will be maintained. I will never use a theme or
plugin that has not been upgraded within the last year. It is important
to be able to analyze your traffic and I will install Google Analytics
on all my clients website. All pages are mobile responsive.

DIY or outsourced

I recommend my clients become familiar with the processes
involved in developing and maintaining your website. That way they will
be better able to evaluate whether or not their consultant is giving you
your money’s worth. You can save a lot of money when you
do-it-yourself. I prefer to train my clients so they know how to add
information to their site. When they want to outsource the website
development and maintenance, I’m there to help. 

Define the website project

Design your projectAs I work with my client, my understanding of their
business evolves, we will have a better idea of how I can help. We will
define various projects and I price the project based on its complexity.
When you are getting started you may need to find a non-profit you want
to work with as a volunteer. Your work wil be you portfolio and you
will be learning so much by learning how to achieve the requirements of a
real world organization.

When you are ready to start your business, don’t price your work too low. You are a professional. You have to pay yourself a living wage and provide your own beneftits.

Our first project is to build out your website as described above.

I will create a website with the following pages:

  1. Home Page/Landing Page
  2. About Page
  3. Major accomplishments
  4. Blog

We can build out our site from there

Working with the client

There are two approaches I will take:

The client provide me the graphics and the text for each page. I’ll
tweak the text for key words and create each page based on their
content. My contract spells out how long they have to provide that
content. Oh! did i mention contract? Don’t do business without one. Get
half you fee upfront and the rest on product delivery. I do my work on a
dummy site so the client can see and approve te finished project before
we go live. When I get paid the final amount I transfer my site to
their URL.

Compiling all that text and visuals take time my client may not have. In that case, we use our second options. We can use what I call the hybrid ghostwriting approach.

The problem with tradition ghost writing is it lacks context. In other words, the
finished product sounds like the ghost writer and not like the client.

We have to discuss what you want to say in enough depth so I understand
both the content you want and, more importantly, the style in which you
want that content presented. Just remember, when writing for the
internet we are using 6th grade English for people with very short
attention spans. Pictures and particularly video are becoming
increasingly important. I can provide whatever graphics the client
needs.

For my client, this has the added advantage of having a product where the content including the graphics are SERP optimized.

You are trying to build an audience of supporters.

That is where your mailing list and your webinar comes in. It also
involves effective use of social media. Go beyond your website and think
about other ways of sharing your message. We need to get you
opportunities to talk on radio, tv and to share your message with the
print media.

Getting your website up is an important part of promoting your
business, but it is only one part. That is why a marketing plan is such
an important part of your business plan. That marketing plan has to
reflect you as a person.

Marketing Plan

Copywriting is different from any other form of writing.
The internet is very visual, so graphics, photos and video become
important. People have to relate to you as a person. Your website cannot
be generic. It has to reflect you. There are 5 Levels to Personal
Branding.

  1. Your essence based on your personal values, your character and your personality
  2. Your message. Your message is the bridge between your essence and your niche
  3. Your niche.
    Your niche is not static. Most marketers tell us to focus on a very
    narrow niche because it is easier to market to a group of people who all
    want the same thing. I modify that a bit because your niche will evolve
    as you do. It is OK to start with a tightly focused niche, but don’t
    let your niche box you in. Be prepared to market to you audience because
    your niche has to reflect your point of view.
  4. Your expertise. How does your experience and expertise help you accomplish your mission?
  5. Finally, we get to the place most people start, create your message.
    This is the message that creates clients. It addresses their needs,
    provides your solution, shows examples of how you have worked with other
    clients and asks for a call to action.

Your call to action

Seal the dealMost people make the mistake of trying to sell themselves or their product too early in the sales cycle. The one thing your website must do is get contact information so you can stay in touch and start building a relationship with your visitor. Once you have established a trusting relationship, it will be time to ask for a meeting. When a person comes to you because of a recommendation or because their research has convinced them they want to work with you, they are already deep in the sales funnel and it is time to close the deal.

After the deal

What you do after the deal will make or break you business, It is much
easier to keep a customer than to create a new one. Stay in touch. Make
the buyer part of you club. Provide them information and opportunities
available only to members of your club. Make sure you get the email of
your buyer. Stay in touch and cement that relationship.

About the Author William Sager

To stay relevant in the 21st Century workforce we must manage our careers like we would manage a business. I can help you define your purpose, identify your goals and soar on the winds of change from where you are to where you want to be. Know what you want to accomplish. Know what skills you must develop to do what you want to do. I will help you use the internet to develop the life of your dreams.

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