This weekend I was excited to see my site was highlighted as an example of a portfolio site that clearly speaks of the benefits of a service rather than the technical processes that lie beneath it. Not only was I humbled to be recognized, but it told me that I am succeeding in fulfilling part of my promise to my clients.
Ever since starting my own company (I just had my 7 year work anniversary!), part of my promise was to always speak in an open, personal, and professional way whenever talking to my clients. You see, there have always been two subjects that I’ve held close to my heart: user experiences and freelancing/entrepreneurship/doing your own thing. The last seven years have taught me LOTS about the importance of actively learning while creating and keeping my eye on the client’s user experience. I constantly ask myself “what service do I want my clients to get?” and a big part of that is leaving them with a positive experience with me. After all, there is no better marketing tool than positive word of mouth.
A couple of years ago I saw a video that I keep coming back to when I need to reflect if I am on the right path. It’s 15 minutes long, but I promise it is time well spent.
Like any other brand (Nike, Apple, Mercedes) or celebrity – I need to think about what I want YOU to feel while visiting my site. Do I want you to feel that I’ve worked with all the top brands? Do I want you to think I’m an A-level player that you need to beg and stand in line to work with? The answer to both is no.
“If you are a story to be told, do not wait for us to figure it out. Don’t hope that we’ll see your name and figure it out. Decide in advance, so that when I look your name up or ask someone, they tell me exactly what you want me to know.”
I occasionally ask previous clients for a short testimonial to use on my website. A couple of months ago when I asked my friend Christian Wilsson, who’s the head of design at Spotify – I got this in return:
“Whenever someone asks me if I know any good freelance UX designers I always answer with Anton. He’s a great designer with superior business understanding who always put the user in the front seat and delivers bloody good work. If you get a chance to work with Anton, don’t miss it.”
Not only was I thrilled to get such a great testimonial, but was happy that Christian had clearly understood what my promise to my clients are. Here’s another from Tom Harrow, the founder of several UK startups:
“Anton is clearly ahead of the game when it comes to UX, Interface design and being a total professional. Beware of friendly Swedish User Interface Designers who come equipped with positive open attitudes and sharp clean design principles. They are usually right, just nod and agree.”
So, I think it’s important to take some time and really think about what your promise is to your clients. Mine is pretty simple, but it guides every business decision I make.
My Promise to My Clients: I promise that my clients will always get an agency-quality delivery while keeping communications positive and open-minded. I will work every day to be counted among the best freelance UX Designers and I will make sure my clients FEEL this.
I told you it was simple! FYI, this just doesn’t apply to brands and one-man companies. The concept of promise keeping can help guide everything from product development to relationships. What promise does your app want to make? What kind of friend do you want to be?
Decide who you want to be and execute it. Every time, every day. Flawlessly.