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Empowering Your Clients and Be an Advocate for Yourself

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One of the biggest challenges any business owner, freelancer, project manager or customer support expert comes across is gaining trust of their potential and current clients.

Within this session I will be sharing insights into clearly establishing project plans for yourself and clients; with the over arching goal to stay organized and hold each other accountable. I will be speaking about pitfalls of going too far out of your comfort zone or taking on projects that aren’t “quite right”. I’ll touch on jumping into Higher Education, E-Commerce, Online Publications and simply taking on your first big project.

Lastly I’ll provide examples of scenarios that have and have not worked for myself and my team in relation to educating our clients to get the most out of WordPress by getting into the WordPress dashboard and feel comfortable to take ownership of their content and their website because you’ve got their back!

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Empowering Your Clients and Be an Advocate for Yourself

  1. 1. @aaronware #wcbos ANDBEANADVOCATEFORYOURSELF Please put your awesome tagline here EMPOWERYOURCLIENTS
  2. 2. AARON WAREPresident @ Linchpin Co-Organizer of WordPress RI + WordCamp RI Biz Owner, Plugin Author, Doer of WordPress Nearly 20 Years in the Industry. @aaronware jetpack.pro/profile/aware LILOL'ME
  3. 3. @aaronware #wcbos WE’REHIRING 3 HOWMANYWORDSYOUPRESS? https://linchpin.agency/careers
  4. 4. $ WORDCAMPRI SEPTEMBER 30TH & OCTOBER 1ST NEW ENGLAND TECH
 EAST GREENWICH CAMPUS TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE! 2016.RHODEISLAND.WORDCAMP.ORG
  5. 5. LET’SGETSTARTED Post Live Relationship Supporting your client and/or project as needed  Pitch + Contract Establishing Expertise and Setting Project Expectations  Kickoff
 Putting the plan into action  Doing the Work Following the plan and getting all the things done  5 @aaronware #wcbos
  6. 6. 6 WHYDIDTHIS PROSPECT COMETO YOU?
  7. 7. @aaronware #wcbos YOUAREAPROFESSIONAL+THEEXPERT First and foremost, do not lose sight of this. 7
  8. 8. @aaronware #wcbos SOACTLIKEIT Dress professionally for first meetings, show up on time. Have materials ready before you show up or sceenshare 8 
  9. 9. @aaronware #wcbos TRYNOTTOFAKEITTILLYOUMAKEIT too much… 9
  10. 10. @aaronware #wcbos YOUARENOTLABOR 10
  11. 11. @aaronware #wcbos SETTINGEXPECTATIONSSTARTSEARLY 11
  12. 12. GETTINGON THESAME PAGE 12 deliverables You provide, proposal, SOW etc..
 Do A they get B in C time frame for (D)inero  deviation Effects A,B,C and potentially D  requirements RFP, User Stories, A simple email, cocktail napkin, some form of documentation  What are you and/or your team responsible for @aaronware #wcbos
  13. 13. @aaronware #wcbos BUDGET 13
  14. 14. @aaronware #wcbos PITCHING + NEGOTIATION should not be like this BUT sometimes feels like it 14
  15. 15. @aaronware #wcbos MAYBEMORELIKETHIS? 15LESSFIGHTINGANDMOREDANCING
  16. 16. DOLLARSTODONUTSA non scientific anecdote 16 THEREISACORRELATIONBETWEENHOWCLOSEACLIENTIS TOTHEDOLLARSTHEYSPENDWITHYOU AND HOWMUCHTHEYTRYTOSQUEEZE THEMOSTOUTOFSAIDDOLLARS* *DISCLAIMER:IHAVEZERODATATOBACKUPTHISHYPERBOLE
  17. 17. @aaronware #wcbos Contract You have a contract right? • Accountability • Protections • Proof of agreement on deliverables and expectations A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. - Samuel Goldwyn 17
  18. 18. @aaronware #wcbos CLIENT REQUESTS CANESCALATE OVERTIME Without expectations* 18 How easy is it to?…  Can we just?…  Just one quick thing… 
  19. 19. @aaronware #wcbos IFYOUKEEPSAYINGYES 19 @aaronware #wcbos
  20. 20. @aaronware #wcbos IT’SGOLDPLATING 20 @aaronware #wcbos
  21. 21. @aaronware #wcbos KNOWWHOUSEDTODOITATON? 21 @aaronware #wcbos
  22. 22. @aaronware #wcbos REMEMBERTHISGUY?
  23. 23. @aaronware #wcbos IWOULDPLATINUMPLATEATON 23 @aaronware #wcbos
  24. 24. @aaronware #wcbos ANDI’MOKWITHTHAT 24 @aaronware #wcbos
  25. 25. @aaronware #wcbos EVERYTHINGIS NEGOTIABLE ANDIT’SA RELATIONSHIP Every relationship has give and take concessions etc 25 CHANGE REQUESTS ARE OK AND IT’S OKTOSAY YES NOTNOW NOTINSCOPE ORNO
  26. 26. @aaronware #wcbos DOWHATYOUTHINKISFAIR&REASONABLE 26 @aaronware #wcbos
  27. 27. LET’SRECAPWe spent a bunch of time on just the pitch and if you have a contract Post Live Relationship Supporting your client and/or project as needed  Pitch + Contract Establishing Expertise and Setting Project Expectations  Kickoff Putting the plan into action  Doing the Work Following the plan and getting all the things done  27 @aaronware #wcbos
  28. 28. @aaronware #wcbos RECONCILIATIONAFTERBATTLE! 28
  29. 29. @aaronware #wcbos COLLABORATION OFALL STAKEHOLDERS Everyone one is on the same side 29 Marketers Designers IT / DevOps Vendors Copywriters, SEO, Design/Dev Support, Video Production Your team You The expert  The Client Company or Individual 
  30. 30. ESTABLISHLINESOFCOMMUNICATIONAs set expectations of response times. 30 Phone / Text I try to not text too early into a project unless the client establishes that communication Slack / Hangouts Hipchat, Campfire, or any of the other chat can help streamline Email I’ve tried to cut down on emails with clients but it’s not going a way
  31. 31. PROCESSLEADSTOCLARITYDon’t have process for the sake of process 31 Tasks, Take Aways, Action Items + Check-Ins Everyone involved in the project should have tasks + due dates goalget to the next
  32. 32. @aaronware #wcbos EVERYONEAARON?I mean how do I keep track of all that? 32 
  33. 33. @aaronware #wcbosEVERYONE! 33
  34. 34. @aaronware #wcbos TIMELINETHE PROJECT 34
  35. 35. @aaronware #wcbos TONSOFTOOLSAREAVAILABLE ONLINE.YOUKNOWGOOGLE USEIT Use what works for you. Our team uses Atlasssian Jira sprinkled with google sheets jira trello redboothwunderlist sheets asana basecamp
  36. 36. LET’SRECAPWe’ve established everyone involved, scheduled check-ins. Refined our project plan. Doing the work is the easy part Post Live Relationship Supporting your client and/or project as needed  Pitch + Contract Establishing Expertise and Setting Project Expectations  Kickoff Putting the plan into action  Doing the Work Following the plan and getting all the things done  36
  37. 37.  Familiarity w/ the platform Installed WordPress Have we gotten the client in there?  Create Custom Things Have the client review when stable  Find Bugs Earlier Get some QA INTRODUCEYOUR CLIENTTOFEATURES ASYOUGO 37 
  38. 38. @aaronware #wcbos  There is no need to wait till delivery to do training GETYOUR CLIENTINTO WORDPRESS EARLY This helps gain adoption and fosters engagement. 38 START GOLIVE
  39. 39. AVOIDING INFORMATION OVERLOAD 39 “Learning from Aaron @ Linchpin is awesome but sometimes it’s like trying to get a drink from a fire hose. So much information to absorb in rapid fire Through out the entire process Mitchel Sliwaphoto by dallas adams
  40. 40. @aaronware #wcbos REDUCING REPEATEDPOST LIVETRAINING +UNFORESEEN USABILITY ISSUESIN CUSTOMDEV • feedback earlier • find bugs earlier • less gotchas before golive 40 0 35 70 105 140 timeline of the project post live Highest late arrivalearly adoption  
  41. 41. @aaronware #wcbos GETTHEGOTYABEFORETHEYHAPPEN 41 • feedback earlier • find bugs earlier • less gotchas before golive
  42. 42. @aaronware #wcbos EDUCATIONDOESN’THAPPENOVERNIGHT 42
  43. 43. NURTURETHATSEEDWatch it grow. 43                 
  44. 44. CLIENT SKILLS GROW OVER TIME Client dependency lowers over time. 44 Build Client Skills WordPress Admin (core) Installed Plugins Custom Built Plugins Team work Theme Adjustments
  45. 45. @aaronware #wcbos  YOUANDYOUR CLIENT AREREADY! 45 START GOLIVE
  46. 46. @aaronware #wcbos GOLIVEWASEASY PROJECTWASNEGOTIATED,PLANNED, EXECUTEDANDLAUNCHEDWITHOUTAHITCH 46
  47. 47. LET’SRECAPWe’ve established everyone involved, scheduled check-ins. Refined our project plan. Doing the work is the easy part Post Live Relationship Supporting your client and/or project as needed  Pitch + Contract Establishing Expertise and Setting Project Expectations  Kickoff Putting the plan into action  Doing the Work Following the plan and getting all the things done  47
  48. 48. @aaronware #wcbos THEPOSTLIVERELATIONSHIPISUPTOYOU If you’ve established your expertise, trust and a good working relationship. Keeping that ongoing is easy 48
  49. 49. @aaronware #wcbos QUESTIONS? 49 
  50. 50. @aaronware #wcbos •PROCESS •TOOLS/APPS/SERVICES •RECONCILINGPROBLEMS •PROPOSALSANDPITCHING •WHATEVER 50
  51. 51. $ WORDCAMPRI HOPE TO SEE YOU SEPTEMBER 30TH & OCTOBER 1ST NEW ENGLAND TECH
 EAST GREENWICH CAMPUS TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE! 2016.RHODEISLAND.WORDCAMP.ORG THANKYOU!

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