I feel exploited when a customer takes to much time to send me all the images, texts, videos, ideas etc that I need to complete the project. In the meantime, severals changes are asked from the client. A web site project could take 3 months! Eating peanut butter 3 months in a row is not very interesting (itís juste an exemple of how poor I can be cause I wait for my money). A project could be finished in 2 short weeks (that never happened to me)Ö Even if I charge 40% of the total price at the beginning, I always feel that Iím more interested in finishing the project that the customer is. Sometimes I wonder if Iím in the good job in my life, but I prefer to be poor sometimes than having a boss. Iím open to any ideas to not feel exploited, and sorry if Iím definatly not in the topic, thatís what I understood from the article, feeling exploited in any way. Ask for 100% cash at the beginning?
The first step in this situation is to look at the contract. Make sure you have things like a forfeit clause if the client takes too long to get content to you and that you have dates specified in the content for when the client delivers content to you as well as when you deliver things to the client. This can be very difficult for people - they don't want to be tied down to a specific date. If you get a client like that, then tie your deliverables to when they get content to you. I did that even when I was a corporate Web developer. I might say:
"This project will be completed 5 days after I receive final imagery including 3 thumbnails, 2 400x400 shots, and 1 600x800 shot."
Don't be afraid to ask for what you need, and be demanding if you have to be. Remember that email may not be enough - get on the phone if content is really late.
There are some great suggestions already posted by other readers in the comments of the post. Some of them include:
- Set a timetable with the clients. It should include both dates that you will complete things and dates when they will have content to you.
- Get the details in the contract. Details include what copy and images they will provide you, and by when.
- Use obvious placeholder images. If the image has plastered over the top of it "SAMPLE" or "PLACEHOLDER" it's obvious that you don't have final images.
- Remove the greeking. Use false text (greeking) for the layout demonstrations, then when you've got agreement on the layout, remove all non-content text so the page is blank.
- Be willing to move on to another project. If the client isn't serious about their site, then why are you? Holding off on other sites because this site hasn't paid you is a great way to lose money.
How do you get content from clients?
What has worked for you and what hasn't? Do you find it more difficult to get content for less expensive jobs? Or do you handle the situation by providing copywriting and graphic design services right in the contract? Why not let us know by posting in the comments.