As a professional and a business man or woman you come across all manner of clients and you are constantly reminded that customer is king so you tread carefully. I’m a strong believer in offering more than you are expected to offer because I believe business thrives on good referrals.
I also believe that you should be very careful about the kind of client that you choose to work with. Some clients are just not worth even bothering with. You can only know who to deal with and who not to deal with after a considerable length of time in business and also the type of business you are into of course.
So to emphasize my point about the dilemma of professionalism I can only talk about it in relation and in the context of the kind of business I’m into which is web development and digital marketing. I come across clients who are not sure about what they want and have absolutely no clue what they want to achieve from the work they want me to do for them. I understand that it is my job to educate them but be careful and assess motivations and intent first before you even decide to work with a client
Value for your work and time is very crucial and you should choose clients that value both. Business owners understand their business well and they should at least have a clue to a certain extent what sort of content they need to put out there and also have it written somewhere. When a client can’t even articulate their mission statement or vision, that’s a red flag and a big one.
If a client cannot articulate at the most basic level the expected outcomes for a specific campaign or even have the initial basic content for their website, that client is probably not going to value your work and will not even pay you your work’s worth.
As your starting and building your portfolio you are eager to please and willing to take on anything to build your CV. It could even be a good thing because then you learn a lot and improve your skill and grow your intuition muscle but be ready for the roller coaster ride and moving on avoid toxic clients.
Entrepreneurs should value their time because it’s not a renewable resource and more so if you are in business, so avoiding time wasters is a very necessary and crucial skill.
As you on board clients be organised and have a well-documented process that is predictable and makes both you and the client accountable. Make sure that new features are signed off when they are done for example in the case of building a web presence and keep your approach much more agile. The agile process involves the client at every level of development and in the end there are no surprises and both of you know what to expect.
Please endeavour to educate and advice but be very careful and use your intuition to determine whether it is worth it to go ahead with a client. I understand sometimes you need the work and you are tempted to just accept even when you are not sure but follow your instinct sometimes and draw on your experiences working with other clients.
Good points you make, I relate!
[…] In my daily work, I must do a lot of learning new technologies and teach them. I need to always be abreast with the latest tools, trends and new ways of doing things. It’s just the nature of my business. All this can be a bit overwhelming because on top of all that I must deal with my own clients that I do work for, some difficult and others not. I wrote something about bad clients here. […]