clients (3)

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Late Night Post About Clients

Late Night Post About Clients - Small Business, Marketing and Web Design BlogIt should be a common knowledge already that the less the client pays for your service, the more of your time he/she consumes. Usually this happens because they try to save every penny and argue about minor things that naturally should have been let go. However, by concentrating on such minor issues, the client totally misses the major stuff that needs his/her attention.

For example, let’s take an online store. By being a royal pain in any place you can imagine the client takes about a week to decide between the two offered ways of presenting a single product on per line in the store (a decision of two hours at most, really!). Then we, thinking of a better way to promote the product the client sells, offer an addition to the store that (by our calculations) should increase product exposure by large volume. It’s a trendy perk, not many stores have it, so it would naturally rise confidence in web site. Client impolitely declines, since it will be more expensive and push us to complete the project. Which we, of course, did.

On the closure meeting that lasts two hours instead of 40 minutes client politely listens to the presentation on how to use their store (almost without taking any notes), after which goes on about how he wants us to change the design since “we never discussed that there would be only one item per line”. That is – after they have agreed on the draft, confirmed (no less then two times) that no additional changes are necessary and that web site will look exactly like on the picture. And after the week-long heated discussion on how to present single item per line in a best way. They delay the last installment. We offer that they keep the last installment and go with another web design studio, since they are dissatisfied with the job we did (although we did everything according to the specs, offered additional functionality and features, accommodated their shoe-string budget and so on).

Now, I am not writing this to bash clients – they are in their right to make mistakes. They probably just need to learn how to take responsibility for them, but that’s not my concern. The more clients come in our way the more I see a trend where people who pay more money for essentially same product (i.e. web site – in any of its form) take less of your time by managing important parts of their web sites and leaving technicalities to us. After all – that’s exactly what they are paying us for. People who can afford to spend more money value their time and our time more then those, who spend less. In different terms – they know how to delegate responsibilities because this makes them more money. This knowledge, as far as I understand, comes after certain level of acquired business experience. What’s cause and what’s effect – knowledge or money – I think is obvious.

So the next time I see this client (hopefully it won’t be as painful as it was last time) I will give them couple of links to a good articles on delegating responsibilities. No matter how much hard time our clients give me, I still believe in educating our customers. Can’t vouch for this particular case, but the general trend says that it helps.

Blogging For Small Business

Many resources recommend having a blog and creating content in order to position yourself as an expert in the field. Blog attracts attention to the product you are selling giving it a contextual boost from the content you are writing. In most cases, people who know the most about the product or service are those who run the business. They are so busy creating the product or service, dealing with clients and suppliers or whatnot that they simply don’t have time to create quality content.

Sure, you can hire a blogger, ghost writer or just an English-major intern to write stuff for you. Problem is – he doesn’t know the product. He doesn’t have the feeling for the product, like the owner has. There is no passion, no interest (except for being paid) and no understanding of how to present your product to the readers. Those readers, who later may become customers. It’s all about presentation, after all. So blogging becomes new sales tool that the owner doesn’t have time (or some times skills) to use.

What we recently started doing is we offer our clients to keep their blogs for them. We know the product, since we worked on presenting it for so much time. We know the target audience, since we’ve been talking to them since the launch of client’s web site. And we have interest in promoting clients’ businesses, since it means more business for us.

Everybody wins. Except for the guy who’s hands are full already.

Yahoo clicks aren`t clicking

Today I got a call from one of my clients asking me to check stats with him as he is seeing certain discrepancies in Overture reports. We went in and figured that the number of clicks reported by Overture roughly 3 times larger then what is being reported by AWstats. Upon contact, Yahoo/Overture issued a statement that basically says “your software is badwe know better”. Alright, we thought, and ventured to check on Google. The result was astonishing – the difference was 0.6%. Either Google is very good at serving ads that are traceable, or Yahoo/Overture isn’t being honest. Or both.