Caring about your work

The most stressful part of what I do is the reveal.  That moment when the client gets to see what they’ve paid me to build for the very first time.  It’s usually not a finished product as I want to give people the opportunity to change directions before the work is complete.  Still, by the time I’m sending sending off that email I’m usually pretty deep into a project.

There was a time when I’d send a much earlier draft off to clients.  It was at a time when I was less confident about my work and I wanted more direction from the client despite the fact that the general reason people hire me was that they lacked the skills and creative vision to do it themselves.  This more often than not backfired as the early drafts lack the polish the client is expecting and can cause them to lose confidence.

Once I do have a site to the level of polish I feel the customer deserves, it’s time to send it off. The time between when I send that email and the time I get a response feels like an eternity. It’s at this time I find myself getting super critical of my work; where I notice the smallest imperfections that I convince myself the client will hone in on and decide they hate everything I’ve done.  

Now as a general rule there’s not usually any huge surprises for what my clients are going to get.  I try my best to get a clear outline of what they want to accomplish as well as any designs that we can use as inspiration for their project.  If I’m unclear on something I’ll ask for clarification or use my best judgement. Truthfully if the client is unhappy with what I present them, it’s unquestionably a failure on my part for failing to understand their needs.

Even if a client did absolutely hate something I’ve done, I can always change it.  Nothing is ever finalized even after a project is launched.  Long term support and relationships with clients is paramount to the success of any small business.  There have been several occasions where clients have outgrown what I originally built for them and I’ve worked with them update their existing solution or to build something new to replace it entirely.  Nothing makes me happier than to know my clients are doing well and need to update their web site to match their new growth.  Businesses change and adapt over time.

I strive every time to make a product that our client is going to love.  I care about their success as much as my own and I know that your web site can make or break it.  This passion can also lead to devastation if the reception isn’t what I was hoping for.  I want to create designs that my clients will love and that allow them to grow. 

If they don’t love it, then I’ve failed and I need to work to make it right.

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