PurchaseNah! Not now!

3.2 The Process - From Pitching to Delivering

In this episode, you'll understand the entire journey with any client: from pitching to delivering: there's planning, pitching, onboarding, building and delivering.

Additional Resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mv2zgRS1cx59_vtVCU7B8wDXaefkkDp_SYqDtVkkizw/edit?usp=sharing

Welcome back to Chapter 3. I hope you’re paying attention, because we’re now diving into the most critical part of your job --- nailing the brief.  Do this right and you will be a millionaire before you turn 40. Just like Drake said.

The secret to success in this business is creating the perfect scope of work, also known as “the brief”.

If you are new to the business, you might have a Utopian view of this world.  You might be picturing a slow-motion run through a meadow as you and your client rush into each others arms, elated to have found each other. 

But let’s get real. Mismatched expectations are the cause of nearly every failed business relationship. Your client and you need to be extremely clear about the WHAT, the WHEN, the HOW and the cost and timeline required in order to deliver an amazing product.

This is important because creating an ecommerce store is like playing Chinese whispers. It starts out as something, goes through a tonne of iterations, and then and ends up being something completely different...which is okay. Part of the process is discovering what you really need versus what you thought you wanted.

As long as you anticipate that process of change, you’re good.

Let's get into Planning and Pitching. Here’s a gist of what goes into this process.

  • First, Determining the scope. Try to figure out how to build the “MVP”. ..No not that one. The minimum viable product. This refers to the most basic version of the product that you can launch, in order to start collecting information about your customers. It’s important to remember one thing: you can always improve a product. The key is to launch the site first.

  • Second, understanding the business, the brand personality, the product mix - just about everything we spoke about earlier in our cheat sheet.

  • Third, Find out the target audience and what appeals to them - Remember to research and do your homework before you speak to the client.

  • Find the right solution - this is where you can wow the client. They have a sticky business problem. It's up to you to give them the solution they haven't heard before.

  • Allocate the right resources - if you happen to be a jack of all trades, that’s awesome. But not all of us are, so it’s important to find the right people to collaborate with. Whether it’s a designer or a content writer, getting helpful people involved and engaged with the brand right from the get-go, will make things a lot easier for you.

  • Allow for change requests. Like the wise Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “Change is the only constant”. Crazy how some dude in 535BC predicted software development, huh?

  • Plan your timeline and budget. Like we mentioned before, it’s best to keep in mind that you’re going to need a whole chunk of time to deal with iterations and feedback. This is unavoidable when creating a product, especially one you want to be proud of!

We’re just skimming over some of this stuff, but we literally have a 130 page document that talks about all of this in great detail. You’ll find the link pop up now. You’re welcome.

OKAY! Now that you’re done with all that, and your customer has signed on the dotted line, it’s time to pardyyyyy!

Just kidding. Here’s where we onboard.
Onboarding is nothing but getting familiar with your client, their needs, and getting to know each other’s processes. Here’s a brief idea of how this will pan out for you:

  • First, you’ll need to collate content -  the more information you have at your fingertips, the better the end result will be.
  • Next, get a hold of the design files -- that is, if you’re client is providing it themselves.

If you’re the one creating the design.. congrats on having one of the most important skills of the century. Make sure you have the branding guidelines, logo files, and all the information you need from the client before you begin.

  • Then comes the important part -- the sitemap - this is the starting point, and creating this helps chalk out and structure the information that goes onto the site.
  • After this, you’ll finalize the theme and plugins to add, close on the special features to be implemented and get a sign off. 
  • And finally, you’ll discuss the special features to be implemented and get a signoff.

    Now some of this might sound a bit alien to you, and that’s okay. Don’t worry about it, because we’re going to get into all of this in detail in the following chapters. Just be patient. 

So, what you’ve accomplished so far is pretty much like completing a blueprint of a house. Now comes the real deal. Actually building it!

  • If you’ve done everything right till now - this should be a breeze. But we all know we live in a world that’s far from perfect, so be prepared to adapt to change. Here’s that Heracltus quote again. 
  • That said, keep a check on the scope that was agreed upon.  Don’t let your client walk all over you and get 3 times as much work out of you! Whispers: *Scope creep*
  • Next, build your kickass eCommerce store while keeping the door open for feedback and iterations. Remember: design is subjective.
  • Use a simple project management tool or communicate using a messaging platform, but whatever you do - OVERCOMMUNICATE. 

This is my favourite part….  Delivering.
If you have kept the client involved and engaged, this should be a cakewalk.

Don’t forget to mention that you offer annual maintenance services or other value-added services like Instagram marketing (head over to Lancify’s kickass course to learn more), and be sure to keep the relationship alive.

The first engagement should be the starting point for a long and rewarding relationship with the customer. After all, customer retention is one of the biggest challenges in the IT industry.

Okay! You’re done with the project! Now it’s time to party!  

I’ll see you in the next chapter.

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Series episodes

I. Understanding E-Commerce
I. Understanding E-Commerce
1.1 Introduction to E-Commerce
1.1 Introduction to E-Commerce
1.2 Forms of E-Commerce
1.2 Forms of E-Commerce
II. Shopify Partner Program
II. Shopify Partner Program
2.1 Getting Started
2.1 Getting Started
III. Understanding your Client’s Needs
III. Understanding your Client’s Needs
3.1 Setting Foundations
3.1 Setting Foundations
3.2 The Process - From Pitching to Delivering
3.2 The Process - From Pitching to Delivering
IV. Getting to Building
IV. Getting to Building
4.1 Storefront Setup
4.1 Storefront Setup
4.2 Products and Collections
4.2 Products and Collections
4.3 Picking the Right Theme
4.3 Picking the Right Theme
4.4 Creating Essential Pages
4.4 Creating Essential Pages
4.5 Setting Up Payment Gateways
4.5 Setting Up Payment Gateways
4.6 Shipping and Fulfillment
4.6 Shipping and Fulfillment
4.7 Domains and Plans
4.7 Domains and Plans
V. Jazzing up your Store
V. Jazzing up your Store
5.1 App Integrations
5.1 App Integrations
5.2 Marketing and Analytics
5.2 Marketing and Analytics
5.3 What Makes a Great Store?
5.3 What Makes a Great Store?
VI. Maximise Shopify’s Partner Program
VI. Maximise Shopify’s Partner Program
6.1 Pitching Shopify to Your Clients
6.1 Pitching Shopify to Your Clients
6.2 Quick Pep Talk!
6.2 Quick Pep Talk!