I dont post much but I have a question for all of you so I can better understand how to help my customers and grow.
I have completed a ning site a few days ago: http://dsrrs.com/
Please ignore the load time..it will take a time to load because the customer had me add all these scripts and HTML and flash stuff to the site even though I told her it would make it difficult in some cases and some computers to load fast. Anyway, The design is complete..has been for days but the customer is constantly emailing me with tech issues and questions. I have given her the websites to go to to figure these things out as well as sent her detailed emails with tech help..most of the time time, tech help is just telling her to READ the directions on the sign up section and letting people know that they have to click the link right away and then go to the ning site as soon as this is done.
I was wondering..if she is not paying me to be an admin of the site, how much responsibility do you feel I should take upon myself? Her network already has WAY more ppl in just two days than most of my other networks have gotten in a months time. Its growing and the more people..the more times she emails me for help. Its always a log in or loading issues mostly as well as asking for help with marketing her network.
How much help do you give people when you are only paid to design the network? I do a 40 min. tutorial session to go over the ends and outs at no charge..
What do you guys do and how do you keep it from all getting out of hand?
I would appreciate any of your responses on this..I really want to judge what I should or should not be doing.
thanks so much..
Most web designers have a list of everything included with a design fee, IE:
Web design and website maintenance are two different things. If she wanted maintenance, she should have asked for it and you should have agreed on a price. I would let her know that that is an additional cost and work that out with her.... And make sure you agree on how many hours you provide for what cost, or just let her know your hourly rate and keep CLOSE track of your time in case she disputes it.
Janette, I do that actually..all except the repair/tech changes since she has a premium account 59 bucks...I told her she will be able to call ning for that type of support. She actually did ask for maintaince but she told me she could only pay me 10% her profits per month. I told her I would think on it after the site was done. After she explained to me all that she needed, I decd. it would not be a profitable thing for me to do since I would be getting $80 per $800 made based off of $7 packages...lol im sure she thinks this is a lot of money but i am a biz owner myself and the numbers just did not add up for everything that she needed (marketing, emails, maintenance, ideas, post ect. Again, thanks for the advice:)
This is why I don't do websites for people...it never ends. If you do the site then you are the only person that they know and rely on you for everything.
LOL, I knew a woman that kept complaining that her web designer would take forever to answer her emails, took forever to make changes and a laundry list of other things. She wanted me to look at it. Then she says, "I don't understand it. I paid her $200 to do it!"
I looked at her and said, "I wouldn't get out of bed to even look at your site for that." LOL, I didn't really like her, anyway.
So, send her an email saying something like:
Thank you for your business. Your website is now live and functional. Don't worry, our relationship does not have to end. I can continue supporting your site on an hourly basis. Additional work is $45 an hour billed in 1/4 hour increments. All fees must be paid up front and a $150 deposit is required. An invoice will be emailed after any work is done so you can keep track of your balance.
This way, she won't email you on every little thing and knows you will be charging for your services.
Tyler, thank you for that email template. I have been responding to emails from this particular customer all day, every day since I finished the site. She was like, "What, now you are leaving me and hanging me out to dry!". This was after I gave her my hourly cost and told her I needed to know exactly what her needs were and how much she intended to pay me for administrator of her network. I originally took the job because she needed me for BOTH design AND Admin work. However after she broke down that she wanted me to work for free until she was bringing in at least $800 and month, in which time, i would recv. 10% of that price, I had to decline. She wanted me to do all the marketing, send out the email blast, administer the site, be the technical support and EVERYTHING else including content of the site. She has no idea how much work all this installs and I politely declined her offer and told her that I would be availb on an hourly bases after the design and tutorial session was done at the rate of $35 an hour which i think is DAM$ good for everything she needs me to do. I would be pretty much running her company for her, getting 10% of the profit while she sites back, recruits them and gets the other 90%. I did not think it was an even trade..still dont. She has an interesting eye popping network site..now she either needs to play with it and learn how to use it after her help session with me, or pay someone to do it for her. Network sites dont run themselves.. thank you again for your response.
Oh thank you Bon! very nice of you to say.
Checked out the site. nice work. Contact me. I may have some design work for you.