How To Become A Better Client – Part 2

It’s amazing how much I’ve learned while freelancing on Codeable, especially when it comes to managing long-term relationships with my clients. I’ve worked for both good, and great clients throughout the years and today I’m here to share eight more mistakes that I’ve personally seen new clients make.

These common mistakes are what’s making the search for your next developer seem so difficult.

bad clients

So, if you’re a new client outsourcing your very first project, you’ll want to pay extra close attention here. Following these recommendations will help you attract more talented developers to your projects.

In the first part of this series, I covered some over-arching personality traits from clients that ultimately do them more harm than good. Please check it out if you haven’t already, it’s a great introduction to seven big-picture things you must avoid in order to establish yourself among the best clients.

It’s not just big things that bother developers though.

There are “little things” that bug us too, and I’ve seen them repeatedly from newer clients.

identify red flags quickly

So, think of these next eight tips as a big heads-up in avoiding the small issues. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re not just a good client, but a great one. The kind of client developers prefer to work with.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #1 — Make sure you have enough time to do this.

Wait, isn’t it the developer who’s on the clock?

Well yes, but we still expect that we won’t be talking to an empty room when we need to reach out to you. Waiting several days to hear back from any client is a big turn-off for developers.

Heck, even waiting an hour or two for a response can feel like an eternity sometimes.

waiting for clients

At the onset of a project, it’s in your best interest (as a client) to communicate with developers in real-time. We know you’re busy, and we are too, but committing yourself to a real-time conversation is especially helpful. This allows us to think through your project once instead of many times over multiple days.

Bottom line, productive developers prefer working with responsive clients. So if your website really is as high of a priority as you say it is, then we expect your pattern of response time to reflect that.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #2 — Stop saying “I needed this done yesterday.”

What’s that?  Your corporate website was hacked and is routing all your traffic to porn sites?

Okay, I agree, that’s urgent and I’ll help you fix that right away. Otherwise, bugger off with any request that requires a time machine to complete. Unless you’ve hired Marty McFly to develop your website, of course.

time machine

Believe it or not, some clients will actually ask us to develop their full website, A-to-Z, before sunset. I hate to rain on your parade, but let’s be real. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your website won’t be either.

Urgent requests like this scream POOR TIME MANAGEMENT from the client and typically end up being extremely stressful, high-pressure projects with a very low reward.

There are also times when new clients mark their projects “urgent” while still expecting to pay the standard rate. Think about ordering from Amazon — if you want it delivered overnight, you pay more, right?

Well, that same concept applies here. Your developer wasn’t expecting your urgent concern, so now they have to push back their other clients in order to bump you up to the front of the line.

For express delivery you’re going to pay a higher rate, that’s just how it is.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip # 3 — Stop blaming the exchange rate.

Developers are not bankers. I’m sorry, but we don’t have those fancy up-to-the-second tickers like they do at the bank to compare the relative value of your local currency against ours.

Clients who blame the exchange rate then try to negotiate a better deal are being petty.

get paid

If money is really an issue, then you should figure out your maximum budget then compile a list of your wants vs needs. As a developer, I’m happy to work through your task list one-by-one for as long as your budget allows. But, I’m not going to do huge favors solely based on the current exchange rate.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #4 — Save your non-profit sob stories too.

If you’re a non-profit business, that’s great! But, most of us are for-profit developers. Our heart strings will not be tugged by your tales of community stewardship. We’re not trying to sound like a bunch of heartless monsters, but we can’t set a precedent of providing favorable treatment based on circumstance.

Once per year I’ll personally take on a pro-bono project for one legitimate non-profit organization, but that’s by far the exception to the rule. I can’t donate my time to every group that approaches me, so please do us both a favor and stop including your non-profit sob story as the opening line of your project brief.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #5 — No negotiations. That’s non-negotiable.

Negotiate once, shame on you. Negotiate after I warn you that I don’t negotiate, and I’m out.

Often times when you’re hiring, or purchasing from the best in the business there won’t be any room for negotiation. Don’t believe me? Head on down to your local Ferrari dealership and try breaking the ice with their salesman by attempting to negotiate the price. How’d that go for you, did they laugh you off the lot?

Now, I’d like to think you’ll have a more pleasant experience with a developer than a used car salesman, but still, please stop trying to haggle with us. Again, it comes back to creating your needs vs wants list.

Successful freelancer rules to follow

Simply put, if you want to reduce the price, you need to reduce the workload.

We’re in business to put a smile on your face from the work we do, not the discounts we hand out.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #6 — Don’t be a task spammer.

Developers are smart. You’re going to have a hard time pulling one over on them, especially when they’re working so closely together.

That isn’t supposed to be a cocky statement either. I’m saying that any attempts to game the system and start a lowest-bid war by posting the same task multiple times on the same network isn’t going to work.

Post your task once, if the estimate isn’t aligned with your expectations then let’s figure out why.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #7 — Know your passwords.

In the first part of this series I mentioned lazy clients being a red-flag (tip #4).

But not knowing your passwords takes lazy to another level. C’mon now, this seems like common sense, you’re going to need to know your passwords in order for your developer to get started working.

When we ask for your login information and you say “try this” we’re instantly less excited about you.

try this

99% of the time, passwords prefaced with “try this” don’t work, and neither will the next couple you send either. Great, so now we’ve both wasted our time and you still need to reset your password anyways.

If you can’t spend 30 seconds testing your own logins before sending them to me, I’m moving on.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

Tip #8 — Accept advice from credentialed experts.

This is just the nature of any client/contractor job in any field. But still, some clients think they know better than the experts whom they’re trying to hire to solve their problems.

It’s perfectly fine to have an opinion, but you’re consulting with experts for a reason. Many developers on Codeable, all of whom are among the top 2% in their field, reject clients with a “my way or the highway” mentality. To be blunt, we’re only interested in your money if you’re interested in best practices.

codeable expert wordpress developers

Just because you can pay for it doesn’t mean we’re going to build it for you. Our reputation is on the line with every project and we believe in providing quality work above all else, every single time.

[separator type=”tall” size=”” icon=”thumbs-o-up”]

So there you have it. An extensive, but never totally complete, list of ways you can set yourself apart and establish yourself as a great client to expert developers. I’m sure I’ll continue adding onto this list over the coming months as surprises are seemingly never-ending in this business.

I hope you’ve learned something here from a developer’s perspective, I’d be happy to chat about this topic with you any time. If it seems like I’m picky when it comes to new projects, well, that’s because I am.

I’m passionate about the work I do, and the clients I work for — so, if you’re a great client, let’s connect!

[actionbox color=”primary” title=”ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?” description=”” btn_label=”Hire Nathan Today” btn_link=”” btn_color=”white” btn_size=”big” btn_icon=”thumbs-o-up” btn_external=”1″]