So, I have been a blog designer for many years, and I’ve learned so much! I feel like the local business school should hire me to teach a class in client management, how to deal with people, and all of the ins and outs of general interpersonal business management. So I like to pass on some of these tips because really what makes a good blog designer is a good client! Sometimes, the birds and bees meet and it’s all trumpets and flowers and happily ever after! This is the ideal client-designer relationship, and I’m so happy to say that 9 times out of 10 this is how a project ends up. But sometimes it doesn’t and at that point, as a professional blog designer, I have to do a little evaluation so I can improve my process.
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One rule I use (and this is actually a great life tip), is, what is consistent in the situation? So I know that for me, my custom website design and custom blog design packages remain the same, they contain all of the same elements, the blog design template I use is standard, customized of course to the client’s wishes, I have a really solid and robust portfolio page that I always encourage potential clients to view (and not just view the screenshot, but to click on each link so they can see the full, live custom website design or custom blog design in action). So, much like Starbucks, the product (in this case, blog design template), remains the same. So, if the product is consistent, where is the issue? Perhaps in communication, and perhaps in expectations.
So, this is another life lesson (at 41 I’ve learned a few!) to share. What is a resentment, but an unmet expectation? So, a good blog designer is expert at managing expectations. That is the key to any blog designer/client relationship, that each party knows what to expect. In my case, I have worked really hard on my website to outline the custom blog design and custom website design packages, to bullet point what is included in each blog design template and website design template, to outline terms and conditions, and to visually communicate the end result. So, in order to be a good client, you will want to carefully(!) peruse a blog designer’s portfolio of blog designs, and also take the time to read their terms and conditions as well as any additional material on their site relating to the package you are looking at. I know, I know, I hate reading the fine print as much as the next person, but it is important if you plan to embark on a relationship with a blog designer.
Not all blog designs are the same, and not all blog designers are the same. Some blog designers hold the client’s hand every step of the way, but this often comes at a cost. Many blog designers charge per minute for phone calls and most definitely charge hourly for face to face meetings if they do not work remotely. Others, like myself, accept no phone calls or personal meetings, but alternately, because we do not have to charge for that time, are able to offer custom blog design or custom website design at a more affordable price. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, some blog designers only offer premade blog design templates, with no customization whatsoever. This can be a great option if you are a blogger just starting out, and you’re not sure how much time you are going to spend blogging, and you don’t want to make a huge investment in your blog designs. One valuable tip I like to share with clients: generally, a blog designer or website designer will put their link in the footer of a custom blog design or custom website design template. So, if you see a blog design that you like, check the footer for a credit link. Check out the blog designer’s website. Do you like their style? Also, take a moment and check their pricing and terms. If you see an awesome blog design template, find out who created it, and check their price list. If they charge upwards of a few thousand dollars for a custom blog design, you can’t reasonably expect a blog designer to replicate that creation at a fraction of the cost.
You just want to find your sweet spot as far as what a blog designer offers, how much they charge, and their style. Think about this. When you go to a nice restaurant, are you super specific about your likes and dislikes eg: sauce on the side, amount of ice in your drink, temperature of the restaurant, etc.? Or do you tell the waiter that you trust the chef, and want him or her to surprise you? If you’re super specific, it’s probably worth the investment to choose a blog designer who can hold your hand and accommodate your whims and additions. If you’re more adventurous, you will probably have a great time entrusting the process to a blog designer with proven creative talent who will work hard to deliver your vision on time, at a reasonable cost, and you’ll probably have fun doing it!