A nasty trend is floating around the web world these days and it ain’t pretty – it’s the all inclusive “Ego”.
While I’m definitely guilty of this from time to time (and who isn’t?) it seems to be a common thread in all of the freelance and development blogs I subscribe to. How many times have you seen posts entitled:
- How To Say No
- How To Fire A Client
- Why Your Design/Development Sucks
- Why The Client Sucks
- How to Spot Bad Clients
and so on and so forth? What ever happened to the client always being right and giving something a little extra?
I think the business world has finally realized that the client isn’t always right, and that’s ok. But instead of telling the client no, you should always try to give them some kind of yes. A negative will always turn someone off from you, so it’s best to give a positive right after.
For example, if a client asks for a fancy splash page, please do tell them no. But instead of just “no”, how about:
Not only does this educated the client on why you’re saying no, but it gives them a positive in the way of offering a similar alternative.
I admit, I’m guilty of this. But I’ve seen as to why. I’m picky. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember and have worked hard to become one of the best at what I do (at least I think so). Therefor, when I see other developers’ work, I judge immediately.
What we don’t realize is that, even if we are better than the next person, there’s always someone better than us. We should be nurturing those noobie developers, or those with bad code (or design) and teaching them the correct way of doing things, instead of bashing them. Also, your way may not be the right or only way either.
Shank The Client
We like to think we’re awesome freelancers. And we are. But somewhere along the way we lost that “pleasing the client” attitude and we don’t allow the client to get away with anything. While we probably don’t rip the client off, we don’t give anything extra. Our emails and calls are brief. We charge extra for everything, because hey, time is money right?
I have a couple of clients that I go way, way, way out of my way for. I’ll make minor changes to the site, give extra long consulting time and generally try to be there when they need me. As a result, they don’t freak if I make a mistake and blow up the site without a backup (because they know I’ll fix it ASAP). They always come to me for more work, even if I charge more than the extra guy. They know they can count on me.
But strangely enough, I don’t offer this level of service to all of my clients, and I’m not sure why. Most of the clients I have, I send them a quote, they send me deposit and files and I send them a site. That’s it. Perhaps it’s because I’m slammed with work and can’t offer extras to every client, or perhaps some clients are more friendly and I feel more at ease with them.
We should aim to go that extra mile, otherwise we’re just a robot churning out code and designs, and clients can always find more robots either.
The Big-Headed Egos
Some of the worst egos I’ve seen have been from the “experts”. Fine, you’re famous. You’re all that and a piece of cake. But who helped you to get where you are? The majority of it was blood, sweat and tears – but what about those lowly developers you’re so rude to, did they not buy your materials and support you? What about those clients you brush off?
It’s important to realize that no matter how “big” you get, you’ll always have clients. Even movie stars have clients! (The people who watch the movies). Get a big ego and you’ll quickly lose those clients – and your fame.
What are your thoughts on big egos in our industry? Have you noticed it as well?
image by andrewrennie