Is A Relative or Friend Designing Your Website? Read This First:
Working with a relative or friend always seems like a GREAT idea at the beginning. They’ll most likely give you a price break or maybe even do it for FREE! You know this person, it’s comfortable and they support you in your business venture, so it’s a no-brainer...
Well...this isn't always the case to be honest. In my experience if expectations of the project are not clearly written out up front it can get sticky and resentments start to form, which really sucks.
Here are three things to avoid when working with your relative or friend:
- Treat each other like you would in any professional situation. For the designer, use your routine you would use when working with a client, including a contract*. For the client, think about what you want ahead of time and tell the designer. Having everything upfront makes the process smoother and keeps resentments away!
- Have a clearly written list of what each of your expectations are. One for the designer and one for the client. Include this with your contract*.
- Communicate and write everything down. Whether you meet in person or write through email, make sure you get back to each in a timely manner (24-48 hours is a good starting point). Just because you know each other doesn't mean you should stick this off to the side. This is still a professional situation, treat it like one. Writing everything down (revisions, notes, etc) helps to limit mistakes and resentments ;).
*I am in no way a lawyer, this is strictly advice. Take it or leave it.
Let me give you an example:
You reach out to your friend and get to talking about your new awesome website ideas. You both start getting amped up about the project! Woo! They tell you it’s going to be awesome and it will only take a couple weeks, you just have to worry about getting your audience amped or start building your audience.
They tell you it’s free (yay!) and all they want in return is to use your website to build up their portfolio. Cool, sounds like a good deal.
Flash forward two weeks and you haven’t heard a peep from the person.
You email them…”Hey! I was just wondering how the website is going? So excited to see it all finished!”
Radio silence for 2 days, until the response comes back…”Oh hey! I’m SO sorry, but the website isn’t done yet, I’ve been SO swamped with my paying customers, that I haven’t had time to work on it :(. I’ll get working on it ASAP!”
Ouch [insert new resentment here].
You think, "The website isn’t done? Ah! What happened? They said they would take care of it?"
You’re highly disappointed and start to respond…”What the hell?! I told my audience that my website would be up and running I’m losing money…”
You rethink the response and decide to play it nice…”Hey! Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re swamped…well actually that’s a great thing! When do you think it will be ready? So excited!!”
Radio silence for 3 days [insert another new resentment here]! You email back…”Hey! Just checking in on the website. Any updates?”
Finally a response! “Hey! Ah! Still really swamped and don’t think I’ll be able to get this done anytime soon! Sorry!”
[Insert a third resentment here]...
Okay…now you’re pissed! It’s been close to a month of absolutely NOTHING! Nada. Zilch. You’re losing money by spending all this time worry about not having a website.
The situation just got sticky and icky and you don't know what to do now. With all this time wasted you want something up ASAP, since you already told your audience all about it.
Do you try to DIY it? No, that'll take even longer.
Do you hop on Fivver and get a "cheap" site up? No, you'll just end up spending more money in the long run when you hire a designer in the future.
Do you hire a designer that chargers major bucks for their services? No, you don't want to shell out that kind of money right now.
So what do you do??
Now, this is definitely not the case for everyone. There ARE designers out there who treat their friend/relatives like any other client. More often than not they learned to do this through making the above mistake or have been on the receiving side or both.
I know I've done it.
If you don't want to chance it and just save time and money the first time, I have a solution for you, it called the Simple Website Kit.
This kit allows you to have a beautiful website created and hosted in Squarespace. It will look like it costs thousands, but starts out at only $499. Not only is it budget friendly, but you won't have to set-up or design a thing. I will do the tech-y side of setting up your website and designing it. You just have to put your imagination to work!
Check it out and if you're interested sign on up! I know we'll have a blast working together!