This week we’ve been discussing content and more specifically how to get it from clients on time. There is so much that a designer has to do when it comes to design let alone web design. After that hard work, not having a project completed on time or at all can really put a damper on things.
I have a project that is almost 2 years old and was never released because I’m still waiting on content. So I can relate and wish I knew back then the tips given on my latest episode by Abby Herman.
Let’s recap the top 3 ways to get content on time from your web design clients….
Never suggest or allow the client to provide the content after the website is completed.
Remember how I stated I’m still waiting on content from an almost 2-year-old project? It’s because of this mistake I made. Abby states:
“It’s a challenge for me as a writer because I have to fit the content into premade space.”
As well as
“Sometimes it ends up costing time and money by the business owner.”
I continued on with the project allowing them to submit content later even though in the end I never got it. The business owner ended up losing time because the website is still the same and they spent money for me to design and develop it.
If your client doesn’t have the content, suggest a few copywriters that they should work with.
Don’t be like me and make my mistake. Require your clients to submit the content before the project starts. You’ll find out right away if your client will need a copywriter or not by simply adding a question pertaining to this in your client questionnaire.
“I’ve worked with designers where we work through the process of developing the website together..which is actually ideal for me.” - Abby Herman
When you’ve learned that your client will need a copywriter, immediately advise that the content will be needed first in order for the project start. Then urge them (in a firm and nice way of course) to work with a copywriter.
It’s best to have a few key copywriters on hand so that you can work closely with one to ensure the design is executed properly.
The same way you would when collaborating with a developer during the development stage.
Add a “pause clause” and/or penalty fee in your contract.
You may be thinking: What’s a pause clause? So that I can be sure to quote exactly what it is here’s the definition stated by the creator himself:
If a client deliverable — such as input, approvals, or payment — is late more than 10 business days the project will be considered “on hold.” Once the deliverable is received and the project is re-activated it will be rescheduled based on nGen Works’ current workload and availability. Just to say it loud and clear, it could be weeks to get you back in the system if the project is put on hold. - Carl Smith
I added this to my contract as soon as I discovered it last year. It really makes a client think twice about delaying the submission of content AND anything else you need from the client like images for the site, feedback on revisions, payment, etc.
Also as Abby mentioned in the latest episode:
“If the project stalls for a certain period of time, I take their project and archive it. Then they have to pay 10% of the total cost of the project in order to un-archive the project” - Abby Herman
So along with rescheduling the project as mentioned in the pause clause, you can also add a fee that a client has to pay in order to activate the project.
Getting content from clients can be hard but it doesn’t always have to be this way. As long as you can avoid some of the most common mistakes, the process will become easier. Especially when you find a few tricks of your own to incorporate!