Working with any type of service-based business owner for the first time is intimidating. I remember the first time I worked with a coach. I was worried I’d say the wrong things, do something that kept me from seeing results, or wouldn’t benefit from the sessions. Luckily, I was wrong about all those things.
I don’t want you to go into working with someone like me with these same feelings. Today we’ll go over the common fears of working with a strategic WordPress developer, where people sometimes get tripped up, and an overview of what the entire process looks like.
Top 3 fears about working with a strategic WordPress developer
I don’t know enough about strategy
I find that a lot of designers feel a little self-conscious about not being strategy experts. If you’re feeling the same way, don’t worry! We wouldn’t work together on strategy if you were also an expert in it, right? If you want a head start, just make sure you avoid the 5 most common myths.
With the way I work, you won’t even have to show me your level of strategy knowledge. Our first call happens before your design process begins and in that call, we go over everything you need to do to make your design strategic. That way, the very first mockup you show me will already have a strategy in place.
I don’t know how to work it all into my process
I’ve crafted my strategy services to fit in perfectly with your normal design process. As you’ll see later in this post, each of our strategy calls are placed throughout your existing process in a way that won’t require you to add any extra time to the project.
I don’t know how to hand my designs off to a developer
This one is a common fear and one that I’ve planned for. Before you start your design I’ll provide you with a detailed checklist of everything I’ll need before I start development. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing anything and once I have all the materials I’ll be ready to go. The only other thing to keep in mind is to keep your layers organized and clearly labeled.
It’s really that easy! 🙂
Simple roadblocks that can come up
Now that we have your fears out of the way, we’ll take a minute to talk about where some people still get a little tripped up (and why you still don’t need to worry).
First, occasionally someone will get inside their own head too much after our first call and overcomplicate what’s needed for their design. But just remember, nothing we talk about will change the overall feel of your design, we’ll just be making sure items are placed strategically to get the best results for your clients. If you do end up in this situation, we’ll hop on another quick call so I can give a pep-talk and go over your action steps one more time 😉
Not being ready on time
The second mistake is not having design materials ready in time for my development start date. I do understand that sometimes things come up or a client won’t cooperate during their revision rounds. If you’ve found in past projects that your design has taken longer than you anticipated, we can always allow for an extra week or two for design before scheduling my development start date.
The complete process
Now we’ll take some time to go through the full process of what it’s like to work together. Once you read through it and think about the process you’ll realize that it’s simple and will fit right into your existing design process.
To start out I’ll provide you with an organized list of questions for you to give your client. This can fit right into any sort of questionnaire or intake form you usually use to keep things simple for them.
The answers we get to these questions will be what I use to identify your client’s real goals and craft the strategy before our first call.
Pre-design strategy call
After I’ve had a couple of days to look over your client’s answers and craft a strategy, we’ll hop on a 60-minute pre-design strategy call. In this call, you’ll give me an idea of the overall look and feel you’re going for and any specific layout ideas you have.
We’ll then take that and go over the exact steps you’ll need to take to make your design strategic. Our goal will be to create a design to lead the client’s audience on a journey, ending right where our client wants them to be.
After this call, you’ll have a complete action plan for your design. Remember, it won’t change anything about your overall aesthetic, but it will take the thoughts you already had and make them more effective. After this point, I’ll be available through email or Skype for whatever questions come up.
After you’ve completed your wireframes we’ll hop on another 30-minute call to check-in and make sure the design is going in the right direction. If any tweaks are necessary to get the best possible results for your client we’ll get them taken care of.
If you don’t do wireframes, no problem, we’ll talk about where this call should fit in. The goal of the call is to make any necessary changes before you get too deep into the design.
Post-design client presentation call
After your design is complete, we’ll have one last 30-minute call to talk about how you can present your strategic design to your client. The presentation is important to help your client really understand the value of what you did. This will allow them to appreciate your work and naturally lead them to write better testimonials and talk about the extra value you provided when they’re referring you to someone else!
On to the development phase! On the development start date, you’ll send your design materials over to me. If you’re not sure what all that is, no worries, I’ll provide you with a detailed checklist at the beginning of the project so you don’t have to worry about missing something.
I’ll get to work
After I’ve got your design material and the client’s content, I’ll get to work. You’ll have access to my staging site so you can check-in on my progress anytime. This is to make sure you’re never sitting and wondering how the website is progressing.
My goal for this phase is to create a website that looks so close to your mockups that you can’t tell the difference between the two!
On to revisions! You and I will have two rounds of revisions where you can do all the testing you want to see if there’s something I missed. If tweaks are needed to make the website match your design more perfectly or improve the mobile version, we’ll take care of that here.
Client’s first peek
Now it’s time for the client to take a look! Since we’ve already done two rounds of revisions on our own, this part is usually super exciting and goes nice and smoothly.
Make it live!
After that, we’re on to getting the website installed on your client’s site. This is also where I’ll install my recommended plugins, start the two-week support period, and talk to our client about ongoing maintenance packages. Woo hoo, we did it!
Notes about the process
The entire process has been created to fit right in with your existing design process. The strategic coaching at the beginning won’t add any extra time to your project, while still allowing you to come out with a better final result.
The development portion is also designed in a way to give your client the best possible experience. Between my perfectionist tendencies and your revision rounds, everything will be perfect by the time they take a peek.
Are you ready to team up?
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