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A BIG Mistake to Avoid as a Web Freelancer

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When my partner and I first started Synergy, we were eager to hit the ground running, so away we went. Little did we know, our eagerness resulted in some big mistakes that taught us very valuable lessons. This is one of those lessons learned.

Protect Your Business With a Contract

It is SO important to have a contract that protects you when building websites, and here’s why. 

When Synergy was first started, it was a great friend of mine and myself as partners. We didn’t know much about what the proper process, but we knew what we wanted to do and how to design websites.

So, not too long after we were in business, we connected with a lead looking for a website and some print marketing materials (which at the time was something we offered). 

So when my partner found the lead, simply through networking, we were ecstatic. It seemed like a big deal for us. This potential client had a kiosk in the mall and was pitching for further investment in his product which was a cosmetic sort of product.

How did we know about these things? Well, the first thing we did following my partner networking with the owner was schedule a meeting. 

We ended up meeting at a local Starbucks, which made us feel so cool and official. We brought our iPads and our sharpest minds and were ready to begin onboarding this potential client, except there was one problem….

We didn’t know what we were doing!

Us being new, naive, and too quick to act, we didn’t have ANY contracts put together, no pitch presentations – which was fine, and no set internal rules for what happens when we land a new client.

So at this stage in our brand new business, getting a client for us was as simple as one meeting and a shake of the hand. 

Admittedly, we got extremely lucky that ANY client was willing to work with us at the time, I mean we had barely any portfolio, NO pricing information, and in general, no idea why we were doing… but that luck quickly became a learning lesson I will never forget when this next thing happened….

So the first part of our task was to complete a banner for a convention that the client was going to so we got to work, and boy was it fun. We spent hours looking at banners trying to find inspiration for the best design to deliver. 

And after many passionate hours spent working, we presented the first draft to the client and were greeted with radio silence on the other hand…

So, we waited patiently for the first day… then the first 3 days… then a week… then a month…. And, in the end – we got what was coming for us – we got ghosted!

Oh, and it gets worse… you see, when this happened, my partner and I just thought “oh they must not have liked our draft at all” but rather quite the opposite was true.

One day, my partner was on social media, and stumbled upon a picture of the client at the convention. What was behind him? 

The EXACT design we sent them on a banner. 

We quickly came to the conclusion that they saved the low quality image we sent to them and either somehow replicated this, or hired someone on Fiverr to do the job much cheaper by just copying the image they had.

In the end of the day, we deserved all of this, because we had no idea how to protect ourselves nor really how to do ANYTHING!

The crazy thing is, I couldn’t be ANY happier that something like that happened to us so early on, because our business has forever changed since that incident.

We now protect ourselves with contracts and a more in-depth sales process before onboarding any new clients, and if you would like to learn how to do the same, stay tuned for further blogs and subscribe to the Synergy YouTube channel by clicking the video at the top of this blog!

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© Synergy Solutions Digital Marketing Services LLC, 2021.

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