My favorite part of web design? Launching a client’s new website, of course! Yet too often, the launch part gets delayed. And it always happens at the same point—giving me with the content that is going on the site.
It’s one of my website nightmares, and I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with it. I’m hoping you can help. How can I get my clients over the content hurdle so we can share their new websites with the world?
Yippee, let’s get started!
Clients are super-excited. Most clients want the works: a newsletter, a blog, a free report and a number of website pages. We set a design schedule, and agree on a date when they will deliver the content.
And then momentum fizzles…
The site is designed and developed—ready for content. The content delivery date comes and passes. I follow up. The client’s excitement and urgency has diminished. Yet it’s urgent for me now! I want to launch the site so they can engage ideal clients! I keep following up; weeks and months go by. When (if) the content finally arrives, my timeline is thrown off. And depending on the amount of time that’s passed (sometimes years!), the design needs updating!
I’d love to solve this problem by saying to future clients:
“Before we start your website, I need content!”
In a perfect world, content comes first. When I’m given a Word doc that defines the pages and their content, the words inspire me! And when content is delivered first, a project always launches on schedule. It’s risky to make content mandatory at the start of the project, but I get so bummed when a project stalls, the risk is becoming worth it. If content is too hard for clients to write, they can get help from a copywriter—right?! Here’s what I’d like to ask clients for up-front:
- Content: If a blog, newsletter and free report are too much to tackle at once, start with these 5 pages. We can build from there! If you’d like a blog, I need 3 posts to start. If you’d like a free report, I need at least a title and overview.
- Portfolio: Ideally, I need at least 6 projects for your awesome portfolio. If you don’t have 6 projects to show, send as many as you do have.
This isn’t just about getting the website done—it’s about helping my clients bring their visions to life. I hate when a website gets stuck in working-on-my-content-land. A website is constantly changing and evolving—so let’s get it out there!
What do you think? Can I require content up-front?