In past years I posted something up regarding social media management for clients. From writing social media guides, to teaching them one on one, then to explaining the concepts of new trends.
I like to work on probabilities, and one which would deliver virtually no complications. This can be achieved with the right approach, surely. There are too many variables, every variable can cause a problem.
Social media management from my experience on the client's side is a failure. What is the purpose of setting a Facebook and Twitter page with their site if the client's won't bother using them, even after the training them? I am guessing there is no point. A solution would be to manage this for them.
What about content? From waiting for client responses on content, to supplying marginal content. You could go down the root of Lorum Ipsum, but there is a good chance that our friendly Ipsum text would be lurking somewhere. A Solution would be to write the content for them!
Websites always need to be kept updated with their recent posts, guess what would happen if you delivered a premium WordPress blog...
... probably nothing!
Not sure if I have over dramatized this issue, but it's a big issue for somebody not knowing the facts.
Companies are loosing money as they don't pay attention to their online presence. Many try to save money by wanting to self-manage, but almost always they don't carry this out. More importantly the website you designed and/or helped setup is now looking in bad shape.
I think your problem here is that you are looking at the web through developers eyes instead of the eyes of your clients. Selling services they don't want or need, such as a Social Media page is counter-productive to obtaining return business, and that should be your priority. The only way to achieve that successfully is to determine your client's true needs, through discourse with the client, instead of the slate of services you would like to sell them. Do they need social media? Admittedly it will help them to expand their web presence, but unless you can sell them on that idea, no, they don't need it.
When you were in school, you probably learned a great deal of things that you don't use day to day. That was because you had to follow the teacher's curriculum whether or not you were interested in it. If you look back on school years, you will remember that your favorite teachers were those who could strike passion in you for their subject and inspire you. That's what you need to be able to do with clients and that comes with putting their interests before yours.
While you may see the need to update a website, your client may not and while you may have taught him how to do it, he may not be have the time or inclination to do it on his own. Quite frankly, what a client does or does not do with a website, once bought and paid for, is none of the web designer's business. In my experience, I have designed a great many websites that are today candidates for "Websites that suck" and written content that has been trampled syllable by syllable into rubbish. You just move on, unless you can convince that client to return to your expertise for an update.
For me a website is an ongoing process. We need to be able to provide constant help and support on their website. Figuring out the complications only makes you better at what you do.
Most people I meet want a website that sells, but they don't know how to make it sell.
A CMS webite might be crafted well from that point of view, but without the appropriate design and content, it would lack that selling instict.
It is preferable to be covered in a support plan. Websites are negatively affected when you don't completely understand what you're doing.
If you for example have customers tied into a support plan you would be able to manage all this for them and in the long run be able to evolve them in the best way intended. Some would come not wanting the support plan, and this is where you'd either let them down or provide them with what they want.
A prospect asked me to do a one off web job with no support plan, as they wanted to host and manage their own website. I asked them who would help them afterwards. For them it was implied that it would come with a support plan. As I would love to do this for them, doing this would be counter productive.
From experience customers always ask for Facebook and Twitter, many don't manage it, and the ones that do, manage it badly. Providing somebody with a failed solution in my part makes me a failure, as what I have sold or part-sold did not do it's job as intended. Whether this is down to the client or myself is irrespective.
Teaching someone how to use Social Media or manage a website isn't selling them what they need. Many small businesses don't have the time to devote to either one. It they are expecting you to sell them support services, then sell the support or hook them up with someone who will provide the support they need.
Clients come 1st, your developers have to conform to what the client wants... if this wont be possible then you shouldn't take the job on!
Well said! I grew up with the old adage "The customer is always right." Although it seems many modern businesses have discarded that idea, I firmly believe that real success still begins when you are able to put your clients' desires over yours.