Awesome approach to creating a great article.
---- On Sales ->
I'm weird. I don't think clients are evil in general, in that they are out to take advantage of us.
BUT that "feeling" of being taken does exist and I think it's a combo of how the web designer behaves
and how the client behaves.
So ... the client, one who isn't very knowledgeable, but wants to know everything can be a big pain
for the web designer who is very talented and very giving with his/her time. This is trouble in the making.
What happens, and has happened to me, is that as a client starts asking about how you do things, what technology
you use, what do you do for hosting, organizing content, etc. You start telling them answers that they can actually
use/apply either themselves or with their current designer (who is limited) or perhaps hire someone cheaper when
they hear of you big ticket (and of coures they got some gem info out of you).
The problem in this situation is how you handle your answers, how you usher them to a contract, and get them
to sign before giving away info, answers, comps, ideas.
So, to answer your question about abuse.
The abuser is the know-it-all client who digs and pries into your brain and time.
AND, to stop the abuse is to have a process for answering questions,
(giving just enough), you asking lots of questions (about their big goals so they stop fussing over the little stuff
that well, they just don't need to know), and well being ready to say NO to a prospect cause it's going down that ugly path.
(In my guide, Web Design Clients Galore, I discuss dodging tire-kickers and bottom-feeders, and give insights for keeping
clients moving along the sales process into a paid contract, it's conveniently here http://www.WebDesignClientsGalore.com).
---- On Fulfillment
Let me just add to your point (someone's point above) about getting content.
On AWESOME thing about me narrowing my web design to a specialty : Professional Coaches (executive coaches, life coaches, etc), is
that I know what content I need from them, I've amassed guides to help them get the content done well and timely.
BUT regardless of how niched you are in your web design biz, i'm a BIG on giving clients due dates to get me stuff. I ask them, "Can you take 1 hour
to draft the content for the services page and send that to me by end of day Tuesday?" (given today is say Friday). Give them short deadlines
and chalk it up to getting this done fast. Also, tell them to "DRAFT" it so it's not as big a deal and tell them to just spend an hour, or half hour, or 20 minutes,
whatever, makes no difference. The key is to get them to do something!
Then if they struggle, ask them, "By which day can you get me the [insert whatever content here]?" .
Looking forward to this article John.
Hi everybody else ( no time to read deeply riight now!).