Sometimes It’s Easier to Give In Than to Fight

Give-in-or-fight

I have recently completed my ugliest website to date. And while I am in no way proud of the design, I am pleased that in the end the client was happy.

There is definitely a fine line between fighting for what you think is best vs. what the client thinks is best. This fight is always a mix between your expertise and good customer service.

The Why

When a client wants some major changes, I always ask “Why?” Many times just because I think it should function a certain way, does not mean it is the way a client intends for it to function. Plus, sometimes they just know their audience a little better than I do.

But for the times that I am confident that my way really is the best way, I always test the waters and see how receptive they are to my “expertise.” Some are willing to listen, others just don’t get it. So how much do you push it?

Step Up

There are times when you need to step up to battle. And I don’t mean you fight because you think something is ugly and you would be embarrassed to add it to your portfolio.

I ask myself if this is something worth fighting for. How much does this issue matter? How much extra work is it going to be? How will it affect the overall project? How much longer will it take to make these changes? How will this affect my client’s satisfaction with the project? If it’s worth it, then and only then do I step into the ring.

And keep in mind that by battle, I mean a gentle conversation. Customer service should always be a top priority whether or not you agree with your client. Be an adult, even if they missed that memo.

Be the Teacher

There are also times when you need to educate. Much of my job requires teaching people how websites and WordPress work and why things are laid out and designed a certain way.

When my client has a good understanding about how and why things work, they are much more willing to jump on board with my suggestions. I’m not going to lie, this can sometimes be time consuming. But it is almost always worth the time.

When you started freelancing, you didn’t think teaching was going to be such a huge part of your job, huh?

Speak Up

Keep in mind that there are times you need to be your own advocate. Don’t be a pushover. If what the client is asking is outside the scope of the original project, then you have to be willing to speak up for yourself and let them know.

While this can be challenging for me to do sometimes, most people are receptive to it. Especially after I’ve taken on the teacher role and explained how things work. We can usually come to a revised pricing agreement and continue on with the project.

Wave the White Flag

Then there are times when you just need to give in. And if you really can’t bring yourself to do that (or you literally physically just can’t do that) it is probably time to call it quits on the project.

Again, it’s that fine line between what you think you know best and if it’s worth it for the client to be unhappy.

The work you do is valuable, whether or not people think it is. So remind them, educate them, and be confident. But most of all be nice. It will go a long way.

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