Give a little to get a little

Well, it was bound to happen.

I almost had to fire my first client yesterday — not my first client, but the first time I came close to severing ties with any client.

We started off fine. He wanted a Website redesign and “X” was the amount he was willing to spend. I assured him I would do it, even though it was less money than I’d normally charge. Half a loaf is better than nothing, right?

Not always.

Then the project grew. He wanted:

  • photos — lots of ’em
  • contact information on every page
  • and new copy — keyword-rich copy that would propel him to the top in the search engine listings.

Now I never promise results in Website design. There are just too many variables with page rankings, and the darn search engines keep changing their parameters.

But I got busy and designed a killer home page. He loved it. Problem was, his cash flow had dried up, and he was going to have to scale way back.


Having already invested hours on this project, I wasn’t a happy camper.

When he suggested I “hook up the new home page with the old other pages” and we’d be done, I hit the roof.

I explained that aesthetically, a Band-aid approach wouldn’t fly.

He wasn’t listening.

So I slapped together the remaining pages, not wanting to expend any more time or effort on something that wasn’t paying squat.

Late that night, I got an angry message from him.

The next time we talked, we “duked it out.” I again explained what he needed and told him I couldn’t do it under such a meager budget. I volunteered to return his deposit, remove the pages I’d published for him, and turn him loose to find another designer.

Whoa, he said.

After much haggling back and forth, we finally agreed to finish the job we started.

I’d get more pay, he’d quit micro-managing, and I’d do him an awesome job.

Now that‘s what I call win-win!

4 thoughts on “Give a little to get a little

  1. Debbie,

    That is a wonderful story of “sticking to your guns” and honoring your own commitment to excellence. Thanks for sharing and go girl!!

  2. Aw, shucks, y’all are so wonderful with your encouraging words! Thanks a heap for reading and commenting — it was a potentially awful situation, but it turned out OK (for now, at least — we’re not finished yet!).

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