What it’s like being a client

I’m stuck. You see I have this idea – a great idea – which I know would be successful if I could only get around to putting it together. The problem is, I’m much better at design than I am at code. As I look for a great developer who I can trust and feel like he/she would put as much heart into my idea as I would, I am getting a quick – and often disappointing – glimpse at what it’s like to be on the other side of the client/vendor coin.

As a very self-driven designer, I rarely find myself in this position. Usually when I encounter a problem (particularly with design, software, code, development, etc), I am quick to scour the web for tutorials, articles, and any source of knowledge I can get my hands on. I figure things out. I solve the puzzle and make things work – albeit my own convoluted way – but it works.

This time, however, I feel like my idea deserves so much more. It needs care, nourishment, and good capable hands to put it together. Finding a developer I can trust is nearly impossible given this criteria. My budget is not endless, and I feel like time is running short. How can I make this happen?

I don’t know the answer to the questions I’m posting here (if you do, please email me) – but I do have new insights into what clients go through when they contact us designers, web developers, firms, etc. Clients want need someone who can qualm their fears. Someone who they can trust with their project, no matter how big or small. Someone who’s willing to put as much care into developing the project as they have conceiving it. Clients are willing to pay what it takes. They really are. But budget issues are always a concern. They want to be guided, held by the hand almost. They need to know that you’re on top of things and that they’re important to you and your business. I think the cliché holds true: they’re looking for a true partner.

If you have never been in the position of needing web services, it’s really a sobering experience. I’m very knowledgeable about web technologies and services, yet I’m at a loss and it’s incredibly frustrating to me. How much more frustrating must it be to a client who’s not as well-versed in technology and the internet? No one likes feeling stupid – and yet – that’s exactly how I feel right now, knowing full well that I’m quite capable.

So next time you go out on that new business meeting, keep these things in mind. Empathize with your prospective partner and help them feel comfortable trusting their business in your hands.