One of the challenges of being a designer or anyone who needs to receive content in order to complete their job is getting it in the first place! Don’t worry we all go through it but I want to share some tips on how you can increase your chances of getting website content from clients in a timely manner.
Raise your hand if you have experienced not receiving content from your clients.
1 | Process
Having a clear process can be a game changer for those working with you. In your process map out all the necessary elements, you need in order to complete a project. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I need before the start of a project?
- Will my clients need a certain amount of time to gather certain information?
- How will I deal with projects possibly going over a specified time?
Once you have your process down share that on your website. Be clear about what is needed in order to begin working with you. This allows your clients to see that they have to be prepared in order to work with you.
Here’s a tip! Ask potential clients on your inquiry form if they have all the necessary content required or do they need help to attain the information. This will give you a heads up on how you can best support them. For example, maybe they need to schedule their project start date out farther or they need a different service first such as copywriting or branding.
2 |Have Clear Expectations
Be clear on your expectations when you are working with your clients. If you know you need to have certain content by a certain date be specific. You are probably saying “but I do!” that’s great also make sure you include the consequences of not having that content by X date.
- Delayed project start date
- Unable to complete project
Are just some of the consequences that can occur without the necessary information. Here are some tips on where you can provide explicit explanations of the consequences of not receiving content on time.
- Your welcome packet – give a clear message on what is expected from your clients as a result of working with you. This will help set the tone from the start and introduce your clients to your expectations.
- Your contract – touch base on this again in your contract and add in any consequences such as (possibly moving the project start date to a new date and any fees associated with doing so). Plus include any explanations behind doing so, i.e respect for your other clients that are working with you. Also that you are able to do your best work when you have all the necessary elements.
This will help set the tone for your client experience and provide clear instructions on your expectations.
3 | Setup A Way to Collect Content
Now your clients need to deliver that content to you in the most efficient means possible. Make sure whatever method you choose to collect content, it’s easy for your clients to use. I am going to give you two methods!
- Collect via a project management system (Asana, Trello, etc) – Using a PMS keeps information in one central location plus you can receive updates on when changes are happening. Let’s break this down!
- Pick your system of choice
- Set up a section exclusively for content
- Inside of the section break down what you need inside of folders:
- Home page content
- About page content
- Contact page content
- Add a link inside of the folders to a Google doc file for content.
- Then have your clients add their information to those files.
- Use a paid option such as Content Snare – Content Snare allows you to setup up the necessary file requests and then it takes care of emailing your clients reminders that their content is due. It takes the pressure off you and helps remind clients that they have tasks due.
Using either of these methods will help you collect any necessary information needed in order for you to complete your project.
One thing I want to mention about using the folders method is inside of the document information sheet include instructions or tips that will be helpful to your clients on how to provide information. For example, if you want them to have a Call to Action give them tips on what that looks like. A great resource to help you set this up is from Christine of Design to Delight she has a great designer resource to help you rock your design business. Inside of the resources, you will find a Website Content Planner that you can use, plus some other awesome goodies!
Getting website content from clients can be a challenge but if you set up the right methods you minimize the chances of squeezing everything into a tight deadline.
If you found this information helpful share it will a fellow designer friend so they can rock their business!