Jul 27, 2014 06:31:42 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:29 PMbyTony H
"What do you think will take the most time in this project"
Periodic discussion, meetings and strategic planning to ensure I am delivering not just another 'Wordpress site'. I strive to ensure each and every one of my clients goals are met and exceeded, and this often requires a back and forth approach as the project develops and new considerations arise.
Fortunately, my previous experience working with multiple clients from multiple industries will help alleviate many common issues small business owners face during the various phases of building their online business.
I look forward to working closely with you throughout the projects development. Together we will take this one step at a time and make sure you end with the best possible solution for your goals.
You can choose to scoff at their lack of experience, or you can demonstrate how your own experience can assist them. By asking the questions they do, they are also giving you a boat load of information to work with. You know they are new or small, and probably have faced troubles in the past due to their way of communicating and apparent lack of understanding of their own needs.
Jul 27, 2014 08:46:32 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:30 PMbyNicole H
How on earth could you NOT answer that? If you have built a WordPress site before, you should be able to answer it because you will have the experience with such projects and understand the process. I know I could.
Jul 28, 2014 02:40:00 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:32 PMbyNick M
Listen, clever cloggs, it was an example that can be extrapolated to the extremes - the point i was attempting to make is that clients have "questions" that sometimes simply cannot be answered. The questions should be specific to the particular project, so if they're asking me what part of THEIR PROJECT is going to take the most time, how is that easily answerable based on zero information that has been provided?
It may turn out that they need a booking system that they've poorly described in their job description - how am i supposed to forsee that they would want something like this, but didn't quite manage to properly explain their requirements in the job posting - since they have literally no information in it?!
Jul 28, 2014 06:30:16 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:35 PMbyTony H
Then why not offer them a free consultation to help them organize their project or design process, instead of trying to systematically answer a question? Think creatively, save the logical way of thinking for the actual key mashing?
For every post I see like this about such things as questions that don't make much sense, I see at least (least!) one opportunity. Perspective.
I'm not trying to be a smart ass or anything, I'm just saying... this is my approach and so far it's given me an opportunity to turn away literally 90% of the invites I receive, get interviewed for almost any contract I apply for, a strong rating, and a livable income from oDesk alone if I wanted it.
Before I started ODesk, I had very little options worth putting time into... now I don't even have the time to look at all the options. Not bragging by any means... it's just an opportunistic way to approach these things like unanswerable questions.
The client is pretty much screaming 'HELP ME!' when you see nonsensical postings. Super easy opportunity to show your level of expertise to someone who could really use it
A reply definitely does not need to be a direct answer.
Jul 28, 2014 06:55:31 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:37 PMbyNick M
Tony i completely appreciate what you're saying, but it's still not the point. The point is, these questions are more often than not useless and a waste of time - of course, i'd still answer them to the best of my ability and the fact that i get around 80% of the contracts i apply for speaks volumes for my application process.
It's not a case of not taking up the opportunity from the off-topic questions, but rather a case of making the process more streamlined and easier for both client and contractor alike.
The point is, these questions need to be more to-the-point (or actually on point) or not asked at all. There needs to be a system in place so these questions are used more in context and ultimately help freelancers help the client - not just have questions for questions sake.
Jul 31, 2014 08:05:46 PMEditedOct 30, 2014 07:58:45 PMbyTony H
Hmmm, well I know absolutely ziltch about PP, lol.. but generally speaking, for those 'why' questions I try to mention how I actually (like for real, just just saying it) enjoy the type of work and how I seek more like it to better my skills and try my best to absolutely knock the client's needs out of the park because I personally have an attachment to it
That's the honest to God's truth though, but I also only apply to jobs that have that inner fulfillment. I would seriously do most of the stuff I do for free, because I also learn from it and many of my clients do charitable things on the side if not directly through their business. Each contract I take has an element of what I need to become extremely good at it myself for my own career path in the future. It's like getting paid to go to school.
If the job isn't your bag of tea, then maybe some straight up honesty could work. I'd have no shame in telling a client I need the work and am applying to help put food on the table. I'd also stress how honest I'm being, and not just telling them what they want to hear to land the job. Again, I'd tell them I'd knock the project out of the park in hopes to retain the client on an 'on call' basis for future tasks if needed.
If the client see's you're a genuine person, being up front with them, not exaggerating or filling them with sales pitches, they may actually really appreciate the refreshing change of pace compared to most freelancers.
I honestly haven't got to that point yet though, but probably would approach it that way.
Maybe tell them you love the creative side of that task? You love the thought of being on stage and giving a presentation. You think about how it would flow if it was you on stage, and how you aspire to do it yourself one day?
Just a thought. If you actually enjoy the work, that question shouldn't be too hard, right? If you hate it, then hehe.... I dunno, keep looking or just be honest?
As someone who often helps clients find additional staff, my biggest pet peeve is people who glam things up. They make themselves sound like superstars... but if they are, then why the heck are they looking for work at a couple bucks an hour? Those who 'talk to me' earn my respect and trust very quickly. I'd rather grow with someone who knows they have a lot to learn or wants to earn their preferred position within an organization after 'paying their dues'- then hire someone who tells me anything they think I want to hear, just to land the job. Those people don't last long, and if they do, their true colors quickly shine through. Quickest way to crappy feedback, haha
kinda went off topic a little, but yeah... I'd talk to them (not tell them) about how you generally personally relate to the task and how much you'd enjoy doing it for them at the highest level you possibly can. Or just simply talk to them about growing your client base up and using this task as a first step to an ongoing relationship. Either way, trust is earned a bit?
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