Are you a developer looking to make the most of your experience working through the FreeeUp marketplace?
We’ve been working with web developers and designers for 5+ years and have have many ups and downs throughout our dev relationships. The biggest issues that we ran into (and that many clients communicate to us) is that developers and designers are harder to trust because of poor planning and communication that happens.
Think about it…
Have you ever been unable to provide a concrete timeline for a client project? Or have you failed to communicate with your client on a daily basis providing updates?
We understand that everyone makes mistakes, but those surrounding planning and communication can really take a toll on your client relationships. Continue to poorly plan and communicate and you’ll find your clients seeking other developers for their projects.
The Purpose of this Guide
We want to see you succeed on the FreeeUp marketplace and so we’ve put together tips for how you can impress all of your clients with sound planning and communication. If you can follow these simple marketplace guidelines, you will have a much better experience freelancing on the FreeeUp platform.
Tip #1: Act Like an Expert
All experts on the FreeeUp marketplace work the same way whether they are an eBay expert, an Amazon expert, or a web development expert.
For the first 1 to 2 hours billed, you should be meeting with client to discuss their goals and expectations for the project. This is your Discover Phase. Ask them questions about exactly what they want and take tedious notes so you can create a blueprint for the web development project.
Once you’ve gathered information from your client, spend the remainder of the first 1 to 2 hours billed and perform research into what it will take to complete the project. Create a full game plan that includes hourly estimates broken down for the major aspects of the project so that your client can see what the road map looks like.
Present the gameplan to your client and make changes based off of their feedback. Finalize the gameplan with the client and get them to approve the estimated hours to start the project.
Once approved, get started on executing your game plan.
This is such an important aspect of being an expert and setting the stage for a strong relationship with your clients. If a client says that they don’t want to go through the Discovery Phase, simply tell them that it’s a requirement of the FreeeUp marketplace in order to maintain a high level of expert level work and that you can’t work on the project without completing it.
In the rare case that a client hires you for a 1-2 hour project that is a quick fix, it is acceptable not to go through the Discovery Phase.
Tip #2: Provide Estimates to the Best of Your Ability
We completely understand that giving estimates for web development projects can be extremely difficult. The same goes for any larger project, but if you don’t provide any, you are not going to have a good relationship with your client.
You have to be able to estimate hours for your projects, even if it means adding safety hours onto each estimate to account for roadblocks along the way. The best way to do this is to break down the project into smaller phases so you can create estimates that are as accurate as possible.
Here’s an example: You’ve been hired by a client to build a website for them from scratch. They have the content ready for the website, but the rest is up to you to create and design. On the surface, that seems difficult to estimate hours for. But if you break it down, it becomes easier.
- Creating wireframes: phase 1 estimate
- Setting up hosting, domain name, and settings: phase 2 estimate
- Building pages and menus: phase 3 estimate
- Inputting all content: phase 4 estimate
- Adding final design elements: phase 5 estimate
Do you see how we did that? By breaking down the project into smaller chunks, you can create better estimates and give your client a look into the steps you actually have to take.
Important to Remember:
- If you cannot provide estimates for a project, do not take it on.
- Clients on the FreeeUp marketplace will hold you accountable for the estimates that you give. If estimates change as you are working on the project, you need to tell your clients as soon as you know.
- Make sure that the scope of the project is clearly defined. Make it clear to the client that if the scope changes in the middle of the project, it could drastically impact the estimates and you will most likely need to run another Discovery Phase.
Tip #3: Communicate on a Daily Basis
You can never over communicate with your clients, especially on web development and design projects. You are working on a project that most clients will not fully understand. If you don’t provide updates, they will start to question what you are doing. You do not want this to happen.
To communicate like a BOSS, follow these simple rules of thumb:
- Show your client the work you’ve completed after every 3-5 hours. Don’t work over 5 hours and then show it to the client. If they have feedback, it could slightly change the direction and end up wasting both of your time.
- Provide your client with DAILY updates on the project. This can’t be stressed enough. Updates need to be daily! If you can’t provide updates for a few days, make sure that you let them know so they don’t think you’ve fallen off the deep end.
- Provide the client with your work times upfront. There may be situations where the client has a question, but you are busy with another client. They will understand, but you need to provide your availability upfront so it doesn’t lead to any issues.
- If there are specific days that you won’t be working on the client’s project, give them at least 3 days notice. This is a common courtesy and creates a strong level of trust between each other.
Tip #4: Properly Conclude Each Project
Once you’ve completed the project, make sure to ask them if there are any additional features that they would like. If there is a second phase of the project, make sure to go through another Discovery Phase so that the project part 2 goes as flawlessly as part 1!
If the client expresses they are happy with the project and it is finished, make it clear that you are moving onto other projects and that you may not be able to help right away unless they keep you on for a continuing task.
Get Out There and Create Happy Clients
It is an art to be able to estimate and communicate as a web developer or designer, but you absolutely have what it takes to impress all of your clients. Keep these 4 tips as a resource while you are beginning new client relationships. Print it out, add it to a notepad, or just memorize the 4 tips.
If you can incorporate these tips into your client management strategies, you will have the potential to create amazing success working on the FreeeUp marketplace.