Joel is a good friend. A good friend with a really ugly website. Man, it’s horrible. He knows it too. But thankfully, he’s finally figured out why his site, (and his previous 2 sites) have all looked like crap.
There are 2 widely applicable, valuable lessons here. Lessons that I’m going to share with you, at Joel’s request.
Let’s get started.
Joel hired talented experts
Previously, he’s hired high-end website developers and graphic designers… only to stop them from designing the site he needs. He’d insist on changes and additions to their designs. He’d even take advice from friends with zero design experience and insist on the designer implementing those changes. The end result was always terrible.
But not this time.
This time he took the advice I gave him, before his new site was created.
This time he let the designer do the designing. He let the expert apply her expertise.
Over coffee yesterday, he showed me the final draft of his new website. And it’s stunning. Something to behold. A work of art. It’s a work of art because Joel got out the way and gave the designer the freedom required, to delight him.
Blocking experts happens more than you think
Joel’s former approach to hiring experts and then blocking their expertise, is pretty common. And it’s always been there. I first wrote about this exact problem, almost exactly 10 years ago!
Ask any service provider; from wedding planners, to nutritionists and accountants, from architects to photographers and investment consultants, and they’ll have examples they can share.
I think there are two lessons here.
One for you as a service provider. This is by far the most important.
One for when you’re hiring an expert.
When someone hires you, they do so because they need your expertise. They’re relying on you.
If you allow your expertise to be derailed, resulting in a low quality end product, or a lower quality end product than it should have been, you’ve let your client down.
Your client deserves (and pays you for) your very best work. Period. On every possible level, you can’t afford to deliver low quality work. No one needs that kind of reputation.
Whilst Joel admits he was wrong to ask for those design changes to the work of his previous 3 web designers, the designers were even more responsible.
As professionals, they should have educated their client and explained why his input was taking the design in the wrong direction. That’s exactly what I did, when Joel showed me his previous website. He then got out of the designer’s way with the development of his amazing new site.
Had the very first designer given Joel the same advice that I gave him, all the nonsense that followed could have been avoided.
When we’re hiring an expert
When we hire an expert, we need to remember that we do so because they have an expertise we need. An expertise we don’t possess. Once we hire them, our job is to get out of their way. For example, I let my web design guy know what I want, then give him the freedom to deliver it. And I get a great result every time.
Joel’s new site goes live on Friday and launches on Monday 22nd. And for the first time, he’s really excited about it. Also for the first time, the designer has asked him if she can include his new site in her portfolio. She loves it too.
That’s what happens when an expert is proud of their work, and their client is delighted with the end result.