This interview is the fourth in a series I started to share how web designers and developers got their first client.
Chris Frick is a native of Jasper, Indiana. I met Chris a few years ago while I lived in Jasper. He was attending the local community college at the time and interested in pursuing a career in web development. Chris worked hard at it and I watched him go quickly through multiple iterations on his own website and keep going. Just recently, he met one of his career goals and started a full-time position as a web developer for a local manufacturing company.
1. How did you get your first client?
My first client simply and conveniently fell into my lap. While still in college, my English professor, who is also a writer and public speaker, stopped me in the hallway one day and asked if I would be interested in building her a Web site. Sure enough, I jumped on the opportunity for some real experience outside of the classroom.
2. What did you learn from that first experience?
I learned so many things from my first client experience than any others, I think. At that point, I began to realize that most clients know exactly what they want, but they usually don’t know what they need. I also learned just how many hats a Web designer/developer wears on a daily basis. Although I’ve read it a hundred times in a multitude of design and development books, I just didn’t quite get it until that first client experience. The most important thing I learned from that experience is that I absolutely love Web design and the process of creating something from nothing. Loving the work you do is a big part of success.
3. What advice do you have for folks trying to get their first client?
Go into it like you’ve been doing for years. In a lot of cases, your first client won’t know that their’s is your first project, so be confident (but not too-confident). Also, treat your clients like kings. The most powerful advertisement is word of mouth, so the better you treat your clients you obtain, the more likely you will continue getting clients and grow your business.