A short guide to working with me

Table of Contents

    Introduction

    I’m excited we might work together on a digital marketing or website project!

    But before we talk, please read this short page to get a sense of what it's like to work with me. I have a process we'll follow, and I want to make sure you're on board.

    It's worth mentioning that, among other roles, I'm a website consultant. My clients value my expertise. So if you have a detailed vision for the design of your website and aren't open to other ideas, then consider hiring a contract developer who charges by the hour instead.

    Having said that, if you're on board with this document, the next steps are outlined at the bottom! And of course if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask - my contact info is towards the end.

    Communications

    My office hours are generally Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm Eastern time.

    If we end up working together, you can expect regular email updates from me. These emails will explain what I'm working on, and what I'll be working on next. My hope is that those emails will anticipate and answer your questions.

    We'll also have scheduled check-in meetings via phone or video chat. Those meetings are the best time to communicate since we'll both be in the right mindset and free of distractions.

    Outside of the regular check-in meetings, email is the next best way to communicate. I typically respond the same day or the next business day.

    If something is too complicated for email, you're welcome to call me during business hours, but I may not be immediately available. I also will take a phone or video call outside of my standard business hours, but it has to be scheduled in advance.

    Finally, I don't answer client requests via any other method than video chat, phone, or email. So, please don't send me messages via text, WhatsApp, social media, carrier pigeon, or any other means!

    Services I provide

    My main service is digital marketing - which includes building and maintaining custom websites. The specifics of each project will be detailed in a project-specific scope of work. While no two projects are the same, most have these features in common:

    • digital roadmap to clarify your business goals & requirements
    • Google Business Profile (if applicable)
    • website text & image content
    • low- and/or high-detail designs
    • custom lead-generating website
    • found by search engines
    • looks great on devices of any size
    • loads fast (even on mobile devices)
    • accessible to visitors with impairments and assistive devices
    • website security and backups
    • regular communication & professional project management

    In addition to these basics, most sites include some of the following: lead generating email opt-ins; blogs; stock photography; an auto-updating privacy policy; hosting; and monthly code updates, website edits, backups, and security checks.

    This is a good time to point out that I don't handle certain tasks that you may also need. For these items, I'll either bring someone in, or refer you to an appropriate company:

    • branding
    • email hosting
    • custom photography
    • video production
    • social media management
    • digital, television, radio, or print advertisements
    • print design (brochures, letterhead, etc.)
    • hardware support (e.g. printers, scanners, etc.)
    • software support (cloud services, office apps, etc.)
    • IT, networking, computer security, backups

    What I need from you

    Did you think you wouldn't have your own to-do list? 🙂  While it's true that I do the heavy lifting, you'll also have an important role to play.

    Initially, you'll have to be available for digital roadmapping session(s). That's where you'll tell me about your business, customers, goals, and competitors. We'll talk about your brand and design preferences. And we'll finalize the list of features for your website.

    During the project, there are several times where I'll ask for feedback on content, a design, or the website. I'll need you to provide timely and specific feedback. This is important, because work may pause until you've agreed that we're on the right track.

    Process and timeline

    While the websites I build are custom, the process I follow to build them is the same. This ensures that everything is done efficiently and nothing is forgotten.

    The timeframes included below are approximate, and assume that you provide feedback within 3 days, when needed. Most projects begin within 2 weeks of the signed contract and deposit.

    • 1 Digital roadmap - 1 to 2+ weeks
    • 2 Content and design - 2 to 4+ weeks
    • 3 Custom development - 2 to 4+ weeks
    • 4 Deployment - 1 to 2 weeks

    Costs

    For each project, I typically propose several options that each deliver a different value. We'll discuss each option, including pros and cons. Each option will have a fixed price.

    I don't work hourly (also known as "time & materials"), as such relationships create a conflict of interest. In addition, I don't have an hourly rate, nor can I provide the total number of hours a particular task will take. If you require a developer who'll bill you hourly, and you're confident you can manage the inherent risk, then I recommend searching on Fiverr or Upwork.

    For ongoing monthly services, the monthly fee will be detailed in a proposal.

    Contract and payments

    A contract outlines our obligations to each other. It is a reference for questions about either of our responsibilities. Among other things, it specifies what services will be provided, the cost, and when payments are due.

    Because it's so important, no project begins without a signed contract.

    Payments are typically spread out over the life of the project and are paid in advance of work progressing. Most projects require payments at the following milestones:

    • 40% to schedule the digital roadmapping session
    • 40% on a set future date
    • 20% following acceptance of the development site

    After all costs are paid in full, I'll make the site live and provide you with all necessary logins. At this point, you will own your website - congratulations!

    For ongoing services, monthly fees are due before that month's service is provided. I don't lock clients into a long-term contract, so you can cancel anytime.

    A note about changes that arise...
    Having a contract in place doesn't mean that the scope is forever set in stone. It's very common during a project to have new ideas. But, even a really great idea can sidetrack a project, causing unexpected delays and budget overruns.

    To avoid these problems, we jointly evaluate each new idea and decide if it should be included in the current project.

    If we decide to include it, I'll prepare an addendum to the contract. This will document approval of the change, along with adjustments to the scope, cost, and/or timeframe. Alternatively, if we decide it should instead be a separate project, I'll prepare a new proposal and we'll start after the current project ends.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wrap-up

    Thanks for taking the time to read this! I hope it paints a picture about what it's like to work with me. Please shoot me an email at charles@moodesignsllc.com if you have any questions.

    If everything looks good and you think we'd be a good fit to work together, please schedule an introductory consultation.

    Following the consultation, I'll sent you a short proposal. Once signed, I'll send you a contract and invoice for the deposit.

    Once the contract is signed and the deposit is received, we'll schedule the digital roadmapping session.

    I look forward to chatting about your project with you!