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It took time before the editors approved this idea. I agree with their concern. 1WD (and almost all genuine blogs) have a plethora of inspirational articles that aspire to inspire readers like never before. Most end up as half-read, sometimes even by the loyal readers of that blog. Somewhere, something surely goes wrong.
I don’t know if I am aware of the original set of juices that conspire in the making of an inspirational punch but I can assure you that I won’t be trying to inspire you with the upcoming discussion. I really don’t believe in inspiring someone. See, if XX years of lifetime (where XX is your age) hasn’t been enough to inspire you then a 2000 word article cannot help you. And, please don’t tell me that you haven’t faced an hour of harsh reality in your complete lifetime which could have led you towards some form of inspiration. Moreover, you really don’t need inspiration if you are living such a comfortable life. Do you?
Well, I haven’t forcibly chosen a florist as the protagonist for my discussion. Things just happened and so did this idea. My friend wanted to plan a surprise birthday present for his girlfriend and we were busy searching for ideas. We zeroed down on the most simplest form of surprise because we are believers of simplicity (and also because we weren’t smart enough to plan something really innovative!) The pointers finalized were:
We are from India where online business hasn’t yet reached its peak like it has in the U.S. We should have started searching for the above services in stores nearby. Instead, we chose to go online because we consider ourselves to be ultra nerdy Internet junkies (and because we were pretty lazy and didn’t feel like leaving the comfort of our bean bag chairs even if it was to impress a girl!)
We started Googling for expected keywords like “flower delivery in India”, “midnight flower delivery in India”, “best flower delivery services in India” and similar stuff. Google was quick to introduce us to some of the smart SEO friendly websites. They had done their job well. An appreciable template with lots of options and plenty of keywords was enough to push them into the top pages of Google.
Again, we zeroed in on five services that aesthetically looked good. Below were the results once we had tried all seven:
It took a lot of keyword combinations for us to find a flower delivery website where it felt like our planned saga would come to reality. Here is the minute-by-minute replay of the aura that we we got lost in:
Now comes the real juice of this story. How could have I sit down calmly after our mission was accomplished? I am an entrepreneur by heart and I can’t let a successful business run smoothly without me being aware of what makes them work. So, I started searching. I questioned their staff, Googled a lot about them, visited their different stores in my city, called their call-center multiple times and tried to dig up as much information as I could. Here is what I learnt from this small business which seems to have grown simply because of their hard work and honesty.
It is irritating to work with an organization where I have to explain my requirements whenever I talk to a new customer service rep. In the above case Janet called us multiple times for various confirmations. Those calls were short as she already knew what we wanted. I wish I could get her personal phone number *blush*
Similarly, your client will go mad if you are a company of multiple designers and the client ends up repeating job requirements every now and then.
What I mean is that whatever a client wants must be the final thing. You can of course discuss various changes when you are listening to your client’s requirements, but when the final list is wrapped up then it must be taken seriously. You do not deliver flowers at 11:30 pm when they’re supposed to be delivered at midnight.
Similarly, web designers should not skip a feature just because of browser compatibility issues. If you confirmed that you can do it, then you better do it.
You won’t always know how you get your business, or where it comes from. The tea stall in the store next to you might be searching online for a web designer even when you live nearby. With proper marketing one can really reach the untapped market of clients who are willing to shell out money for great results.
To be frank, the company that I have been talking about above specializes in flower delivery, but they have adapted with the times. They now deliver cakes, chocolates, stuffed toys, greeting cards and everything else that girls love. The end result is the expansion of their business. At times those looking for flowers only end up buying other items which is good for their business.
Similarly, web designers must specialize in web designing but offer other services like WordPress setup, basic SEO, Hosting setup and other innovative ideas. These won’t take much time but will give your clients the much desired comfort.
If your client is looking for a module which isn’t possible for you to code then it is suggested that you tell the client. You can share with them that you would be willing to work with another party in order to complete that module. There is no problem in being honest. All that I can say is – stop being comfortably honest!
I did not want to tell you that a shining portfolio is important and you must use SEO to increase your client base. All these tips have already been shared over and over again. I wanted you to understand how an honest business continues to exist in between all the cut throat competition. If you are honest and you have the knack to satisfy your clients then you will have clients. Just. Be. Honest.
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Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.