Home – New Forums Find the help you need Why is state important in, “I’m looking for a (state) designer”?

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  • #979082
    DavidM
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    I’m keen to understand the needs/motivations , of clients who add a location requirement to graphic design and web design jobs. Now I can understand if these are large complex projects that require significant face to face time. But surely, the majority of projects aren’t on this scale.

    Is it because clients:

    Want someone with local knowledge?
    Are more comfortable with a local? Why?
    Want face to face communication?
    It’s cheaper calling a local number?

    In this digital age where communication is easy from anywhere, it would be great to have a discussion on this one.

    #1111810
    Greg_M
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    This location requirement got up my nose a bit too, till I had a think about who was approaching me to do work and why.

    With the experience I’ve had with my own client’s, I reckon it boils down to two main reasons;

    A lack of IT literacy … they’re not comfortable managing a computer, let alone doing business on one.

    Lack of trust … compounded by the above, they need to know they can get someone by the throat if required.

    None of the above probably applies to the young and IT savvy and those who work on a screen continually but there’s a big demographic out there (say 45 plus) who have money, successful businesses, realise the importance of going online and getting digital but are not confident dealing with the digital world.

    My whole business has evolved by accident out of being able to resolve these two factors, I’ve become a “go to nerd” for anything digital (quite amusing for someone turning 60 soon), I don’t necessarily do it all but I’m trusted to act as a go between and sort it out.

    I’m not talking about tinpot businesses here, I don’t have a lot of client’s (and I don’t want more) but the three main client’s I do regular work for all have payrolls in excess of 10 employee’s, turnover’s measured in million dollars plus, have been in business over 15 years and none of these three owners can do more than struggle with email, they all hate using computers … though they can all make an iphone do back flips and one is slowly progressing to a tablet.

    So to engage anyone via the web to perform a task, doesn’t even enter their head, unless they know the brand (unlikely unless your a bigger company) or the dollars involved are insignificant if it all goes pear shaped.

    Don’t know if any of this helps answer your questions but I think many web developers are missing out in this demographic by trying to sell bells and whistles that go straight over customer heads before establishing a reason to trust them (the developer).

    I guess the you can’t really assume digital communication really is easy for many people.

    Cheers

    #1111811
    soulclothing
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    For me:

    -Want to be able to have lots of face to face time and therefore a good amount of training if need be
    -Want to be able to see how the person interacts and know what they are like in real life
    -Want to know they are quite close by if I need them urgently in person

    #1111812
    bridiej
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    I find it strange too David.

    I’ve had both graphic design jobs done and also a new website and both providers were based in Melbourne. I got to know them through social media before I engaged their services. This is why social media is great particularly for small businesses: the ability to build up a relationship and show that you’re trustworthy which, in turn, leads to new business.

    #1111813
    Divert To Mobile
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    When I’m purchasing a persons skill rather than a specific product or service I like to meet them. Much like an informal interview.

    Dont fight it people, if it wasnt at all important you would probably notice a lot more work ending up offshore.

    Steve

    #1111814
    bridiej
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 124640 wrote:
    When I’m purchasing a persons skill rather than a specific product or service I like to meet them. Much like an informal interview.

    Dont fight it people, if it wasnt at all important you would probably notice a lot more work ending up offshore.

    Steve

    Why do you feel the need to meet them?

    I’m not trying to start an argument, just interested as out of all the clients I’ve had over the last nine years I’ve only ever met four face-to-face (and two I met for other reasons who later became clients).

    #1111815
    Zava Design
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    I too have never met 90% of my clients, and haven’t had anyone not satisfied with my work processes and the outcome.

    And financially, me not having to travel to meet a client either saves them money, or means that I can dedicate more of my project time to the actual work.

    But each to their own obviously, in the end you have to be comfortable with your service provider, whatever we’re talking about.

    #1111816
    bluewoodstudio
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    I understand that meeting someone can help with a vibe and a feeling that (particularly with creative work) you are on the ‘same page’ with someone.

    But that said, I have found Skype an excellent way of achieving this whilst being in a different state or continent even!

    Heidi :)

    #1111817
    Divert To Mobile
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    bridiej, post: 124686 wrote:
    Why do you feel the need to meet them?

    I’m not trying to start an argument, just interested as out of all the clients I’ve had over the last nine years I’ve only ever met four face-to-face (and two I met for other reasons who later became clients).

    I can communicate with the person better that way.

    Steve

    #1111818
    SuzsSpace
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    I, personally, think it’s a personal thing. Some people absolutely have to be able to have the ability to meet up and work with someone face to face whereas others are quite happy to work by talking on the phone and other still are quite happy to work remotely without every meeting a person. This last is awesome for those who have no people skills but are fine in print, I wouldn’t dare mention Asperger’s or Autism here.

    #1111819
    bluepenguin
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    I find that there is usually much more loyalty when there is a face to face relationship involved.

    #1111820
    Zava Design
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    Then you’ve had bad luck. As I said, over 90% of my clients I have never met face to face, and many of them I have an ongoing relationship with, and the majority of my work comes from referrals.

    I think it’s everything to do with who you do business with and what checks/referrals you do, and nothing to do with being either face to face or remote.

    #1111821
    SuzsSpace
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    Loyalty is a personal thing, some people are and some people aren’t.

    #1111822
    otilas
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    With our clients we have had mixed results, some are happy to work with us without a face-to-face meeting while others require it. I don’t think there is any valid reasons for it other then a personal preference as stated by some here.

    At the end of the day its up to the client, but there are other ways to communicate with them. Perhaps you can suggest a Skype conversation in the beginning, I think this works well and you can get to chat and see the person you are communicating with in the beginning and helps put peoples mind at ease. In this instance there is no commitment, so if you don’t feel the person is right for you then nothing has been lost. Then from there you can decided whether you can continue the business relationship via that medium.

    IMO when it comes to web design and development I believe that the persons ability and the quality of their work is more important than having them in close proximity. Unfortunately it’s a competitive industry and you need to look around for the best people.

    The exception to the rule is larger projects, this is a time when I do believe that it maybe beneficial to work with local resources, that’s not to say that there should always be face-to-face meetings but sometimes it will be required.

    At the end of the day what ever form of communication works for you should be used. Whether it’s face-to-face, remote, or communicating via Skype, use whatever is comfortable for both you and your clients.

    Ben

    #1111823
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Some people love face-time, think it’s just personal preference. Sometimes an age thing.

    Happy to oblige but 99% of my clients live at least 2 hours from the studio and are happy as punch :)

    I don’t think communication mis-haps are minimised by meeting face-to-face but more of a benefit of being a good fit with the client.

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