ep2012 — 2013-02-08T21:10:51-05:00 — #1
So normally I don't have to do this, but I had to start freelancing recently. I usually only do small jobs here & there which don't require a lot of interaction with the client, but now I have a client who needs a lot more work done to streamline her business & get her moving forward. The problem is that she's VERY busy, I don't think she types fast, but I could be wrong, & she prefers the phone.
She's a lovely person, but busy from like the crack of dawn until gawd knows when at night.
I have a feeling organization isn't her strong suit, so I'm trying to figure out a way to get her to answer my questions every day so I can continue working & she doesn't end up with e-mails & word docs piling up with all my questions. This is already stressing her as I can be very detailed. It's either a long e-mail with several points, or an e-mail per point & then she gets like 20 e-mails. She prefers short.
I hope that as time goes on I'll have less questions, but for now I'm teaching her a lot about SEO, her site, etc. & I can't do much without her go ahead on certain tasks, figuring out what software to get etc.
I did suggest maybe she answer my questions in a digital VR (then she'd have to e-mail it to me & that could be a problem), but I'm also concerned about when she's even going to have time to do this. I assume she drives from client to client & networking gatherings & while she can talk while she's driving, she can't read my questions.
So I'm wondering what ideas you have either b/c you've had this problem before & solved it, or you had a client who solved this problem.
I want to get a task manager set up, but again, if she doesn't even have time to go in there to take a look around, how is she going to have time to address my e-mails every day?
ralphm — 2013-02-08T21:53:01-05:00 — #2
I see it as an issue of priorities. If the website is really important to her business, then she needs to give it higher priority and make some proper time for it.
ep2012 — 2013-02-08T22:16:26-05:00 — #3
Sure, but I also want to find a way for her to answer my questions easily so it's not a strain on her.
picnictutorials — 2013-02-08T22:33:25-05:00 — #4
My phone is in my pocket at all times. Isn't everyone's? Email is received instantly on my phone. Isn't everybody's? When I get a email I answer it immediately. Most I find are not like that. I don't know how they succeed in life like that. Yes it drove me crazy too.
ep2012 — 2013-02-08T23:41:37-05:00 — #5
Yes I've asked her what kind of phone she has, but she's the type that doesn't want to be interrupted when she's with a client, potential client, etc.
pullo — 2013-02-09T02:10:35-05:00 — #6
I have a client like this.
If I send him simple mails which require short answers, these normally get answered quite quickly. Long mails that require him to think or understand a concept, don't.
When something needs discussing we schedule a meeting.
It took me a while to get used to this, but once I did it works quite well.
I also needed to learn that he doesn't want to be bothered with every little decision and is quite happy for me to decide and implement the vast majority of things off my own back.
sagewing — 2013-02-11T16:22:28-05:00 — #7
You can set up a simple workflow system, like basecamp or even mantis and make each ticket/item an individual question.
ep2012 — 2013-02-13T01:27:03-05:00 — #8
Yeh, I already figured out she's like this, but I am just starting & I have to get tons of answers from her. She hasn't yet told me to just do whatever I think is okay, but even if she did, I don't have enough experience with her setup yet although I'm sort of getting there.
Just getting simple logins for sites, etc. I'm not getting. She's VERY disorganized which is an issue for me, as I'm very organized.
Anyway, thanks, it makes me feel like I'm not alone LOL
ep2012 — 2013-02-13T01:29:57-05:00 — #9
I was thinking of basecamp, but many years ago I tried to use it & hated it. It was ugly, wasn't intuitive, etc. etc. Have they improved it since?
I tried to look for Mantis & the only thing I see is a bug tracker. Do you have the URL for that?
I was also wondering (I'll start a new thread for this) if there's a CRM that has a task management system included in it. She needs a new CRM anyway, so it would be great if I could find something that's all under one roof.
pullo — 2013-02-13T01:33:04-05:00 — #10
No problem. Glad it helps
One thing you need to realize, is that you are very probably not going to get her to change her ways.
I was just dealing with my unorganised client this week. All I needed from him is a simple "Yes, it works", but apparently this is too much.
In this case I waited 48 hours, thought "Oh well!" then sent him the invoice regardless.
When I first started dealing with this guy I interpreted his lack of communication as rudeness and was quite close to quitting the project.
However, I stuck it out, adapted my behaviour to suit him (I am very organised, too, so this was initially quite difficult), but now I'm glad I did, as the project has turned into an ongoing one and has proved quite lucrative.
ep2012 — 2013-02-13T02:10:49-05:00 — #11
Well my client doesn't seem to be as lucrative as yours, & of course if I have to chase her, things don't get done quickly, plus it costs her more b/c I do charge for e-mails.
I never took it as being rude, I just can't do my job if they don't respond. Not only that, she pays money for these terrible company's services. Her hosting is Go Daddy & I've never dealt with them before other than for domains & SSL & I find out they won't help with anything unless it's hardware, so they are useless.
Trying to get her to change to better hosting, better list building, etc. is going to be an issue. I get that there's a cost of moving, but it costs more for me to do things the long way or the hard way b/c these companies suck LOL
I have another client where I had to tell him 3-4 times that the reason things aren't moving along is b/c you AREN'T responding to my e-mails. Sometimes it would take him 4 days to respond back. Sometimes I feel like he's blaming me for things not moving along & that bothers me.
He's not as bad as this one & he's better now b/c of my prodding, but still, they expect things to get done & then they see nothing has been done & yet hours are being billed. I told her that I'm working on your biz even if no tasks are being completed.
I get they are busy, no question about that & I know how it is, but they have to learn how to allocate time each day to address my questions otherwise I just can't do the work.
As for her not changing LOL, she's a coach who teaches people about how to change their communication skills so she should be accustomed to change, but clearly the shoe is on the other foot now.