Whose the expert anyway? You, as a web designer, are the expert but why are your clients acting the way they do – asking you questions which makes you feel inadequate?
Paul Jarvis tells you in this video that it is not your client’s fault, but yours when your clients ask you those kinds of questions. He goes as far by saying that it is your responsibility to educate your clients so they will ask you better questions and, eventually, become better clients.
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It’s Not Just about Design
Clients don’t just hire you because you know about design. Clients hire you to solve a problem, which can range between more traffic and more conversions.
Your design should be able to address and solve these problems, and when your clients see that you have solved whatever problem they have, they stop becoming your critics and enemies – they become your allies and number one fans.
Communicate Your Ideas Well
Real communication works (with this we mean, you sit down and a “give and take” process happens). It solves any existing problems and prevents forthcoming ones.
As a web designer, you need to communicate the fact that you understand his vision and his goal. Learn to rephrase what he tells you so he knows that you understand what he means and wants.
Once you puts his mind at ease, go for the deeper issue about trust. Tell them that they have to trust you with the expertise and value you could bring to the table. Then, proceed to show them that you back up your words with your action.
Be a Generalist, but Be Specific
A generalist, according to Paul Jarvis, is someone who offers various services to his clients. This works to your advantage because you are not limiting yourself to one single opportunity, but you are expanding your territory because you have more to bring to the table than just web design.
Being a generalist does not mean you get any client that comes your way and become a one-man agency that runs the website. Doing this can make you ineffective because you might spread yourself thinly. You can be a generalist, however, and still focus on a specific niche or types of clients.
This exercise limits you in a good sense because you will be able to screen which client to accept or reject. It also helps you gain more knowledge and information about that specific type of clients making you an expert of that certain niche.
Find who your dream clients are and what specific niche you want. Once you do identify them, you can bring all the value you can give to advocate them.