The Journey is as Important as the Website

I’ve had a few clients tell me – you should really start a blog about your take on design. And I would think to myself, “But I’m not unique. What do I have to say that others haven’t already said. I’m not the best designer in the world. I don’t do things in a brand new way, never done before. I don’t have any magic secrets.”

I think everyone can relate to this. We all have that self-doubt. We say we’re not unique, even though we know we are (in the sense that there has never been another you and there never will be).

But as I thought about it more, and remembered the things my clients have said to me over the years, a few things kept coming up.

The first thing is that I’ve been fortunate enough to have a bunch of clients thank me for being so easy to work with. Which at the time stuck me as odd.  I’m just doing my job – creating a website, logo or flyer for someone. But they assured me it was more than that. It’s how I communicated (regularly, kindly, with frequent updates).

I realized over time how personal these things can be to people. Most of the people who come to me have their own business. So what I am creating for them is a reflection of themselves or their business.

To have a business card or website that feels like you, or says what you want it to say is really powerful. And I now understand that the process is part of the finished product.

If a person has a terrible experience with a company who creates their website or branding, and it feels like pulling teeth, then no matter how great the final outcome, it just doesn’t feel great.

The process is just as important as the product. So be kind to your clients. Treat them like your friends and neighbors. Communicate with them often. Follow up with them and ask how everything is going. Ask about what’s happening in their lives even.

I am creating these personal reflections of their work and it’s a delicate process. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Or stuck. So I try to be there to hold their hand through the process. It’s not about me making something look how I want it to look. It’s about creating something my client is proud of, and enjoyed co-creating with me. Because that’s ultimately what’s happening.

I’m not creating a website or brand alone. I do it with my client’s feedback and opinions. Often with their photos and their text. And crafting that into something they love is a difficult process. I strive to make my clients happy with both the final product, and the journey to get there.

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