Do you encourage your clients to edit their own website?
Do you just hand them the keys when they ask?
Do you say “Good luck!” after you deliver a site?
When you let clients edit their own website (beyond the most ultra-basic things), you’re doing them AND you a HUGE disservice.
Watch this video to find out why.
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0:00 Intro & Context
3:00 Photographers, Architects, & Lawyers
6:58 Why Do Clients Hire YOU?
13:21 You Really Want THESE Clients Making Changes?
16:59 Are You For Real?
23:53 Tell Me I’m Wrong
What’s up everybody welcome back to the channel as you probably already know this is one of the top places for learning custom design and development of websites in WordPress especially if you are using professional page builders like oxygen and bricks and even more so if you are interested in scalability and maintainability accessibility and best practices that’s what this channel is known for but this channel is also a powerhouse of content for leveling up your digital agency and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today specifically with regard to website management and whether or not this is an important question whether or not you feel like it’s a good idea to turn the keys of the website over to the client. I will tell you right off the bat before we get deep into this discussion that this is not how I run my agency my agency when we design and build a website for a client we are then going to manage that website on an ongoing basis we are going to be making all of the content changes to that website if any new pages need to be developed we are going to be developing those pages we are going to be hosting the website we are going to be doing the maintenance on the website if colors need to change if any of the content is going to be going to be done with anything needs to change related to this website our team is going to do it that’s how we have set up everything that’s we have how we have set up our client relationships and this is how I recommend everybody set up the relationship with their clients and this is exactly what we need to dive into today because I get a lot of people coming to me saying Kevin how do I make my website that I’m handing off to the client more client friendly how do I make it easier for them to edit their website to do that. I want to get their website to change their colors to move things around we are talking about custom fields we are talking about maybe developing certain pages in Gutenberg maybe even we are choosing a specific page builder because we feel that it’s easier for the client to learn and use think divvy think element or right and if you haven’t watched my video on the 20 features a page builder must have in order for it to be legit then I would highly recommend you go watch that because I am firmly against letting the client do a lot of management on their website but number two to choose a an inferior builder to build the entire website just so it’s easier for the client to manage this is a this is a double whammy my friends this is this is not making sense to my brain and I think after I lead you through this conversation hopefully maybe you’ll see some of the really big problems with the client. So the topic today is should we be letting clients edit their own website should we be turning the keys over to them so to speak when we are done with a project so the first question I want to propose to you is this are there any other industries full of professionals that do this similar thing that hand over the keys to the client and encourage the client to make sure that you are not going to get a job. So the client to make changes and edits for example if you hire a photographer does that photographer encourage you to take the digital files from their camera and edit them yourself and apply presets yourself and just come up with whatever they want to come up with using the photos that they produced or does that photographer tend to say no I’m going to I’m going to handle the editing process I have my own presets that I’ve custom developed I have my own style I know what I’m going to do is I’m going to do that. I know what looks good in a photo and so I’m going to do all of the post processing and then what I’m going to do is I’m going to give you the final files and then it is actually we can ask a question beyond that does the photographer and I know professional photographers like really good professional photographers they don’t just give you those final files and say hey go print these somewhere they’re not saying hey take these to Walgreens and get them printed out because they want full control over the final product because they do all of this stuff for a reason they’re professional they know what’s best and so what they say is which sizes would you like would you like Candice would you like Prince would you like Frames what would you like and then they order that stuff from a trusted print house and so when you get the final product it’s exactly how they wanted it and it’s exactly hopefully what you wanted because you chose this photographer for a reason they are a professional they have all the experience they know they know what looks great and they got you a fantastic final product when you hire a lawyer let’s say you’re in a lawsuit okay or maybe you’re not even in a lawsuit you’re trying to prevent lawsuits maybe for your agency you’re trying to get all of your contracts in order this this should be something you you can understand so you go to a lawyer and do you think that lawyer is going to say well you know here’s the here’s here’s what I give most of my clients but I encourage you to just go make whatever changes you feel like you need to make just go you know write some things in and you can actually save money because I mean you don’t want to pay me for doing that you know my fees are a little expensive so you just take this contract template and you do what you feel like you need to do with it I don’t think that’s the case if you hire an architect to design a building maybe it’s your home you really want that architecture to be done right you know you want the walls to be in the right place you want the measurements to all be perfect you don’t want a door that can’t open because yet you didn’t account for the closet is it the case when you hire this architect they say to you well you know here’s what I think here’s here’s the blueprints I came up with but I’m going to give you these files and if you decide that you need a bathroom over there instead of over here if you decide that you want a little addition to this house if you decide that you know you don’t necessarily like the order I put the rooms in maybe a little garage should go back there and sit up here or whatever you feel like just go ahead and make the edits you know what I’ve done as I’ve actually loaded this blueprint into this special software and it makes it very beginner friendly you can just move things around right you see how you’re treating the profession of web design and development very differently from how other professionals treat their profession I’m going to I’m going to lead you through another series of questions this doesn’t just have to do with the comparison to other industries where professionals are doing work there’s a lot of other questions that we need to ask a lot of other questions that I need answers to from those of you who are not just comfortable handing off sites to clients but encouraging your clients to actually make changes themselves so the next series of questions is this why did the client hire you do they hire you because they see you as an expert in web design and development and UX and SEO and whatever else you happen to do or do they hire you because they saw you as a capable pixel pusher you just push pixels around a screen and by the way if you don’t know if you don’t know the answer to well they saw me as an expert or they saw me as a pixel pusher here’s how you can find out in your interactions and communications with your clients how do they talk to you do they ask you what should be done or do they tell you what should be done do they tell you this needs to go there that needs to go here and then you move that stuff if that’s the case you’re a pixel pusher or do they come to you and they say I mean you’re the expert where does this need to go how does this layout need to be what exactly does this need to say right here if they’re asking you questions related to the outcomes of the website they probably see you as an expert or at least a lot more experience than they are if on the other hand they’re always telling you here’s what needs to happen next here’s what needs to happen next here’s where this thing needs to go they see you as a pixel pusher do you think somebody comes in a per if there’s a professional photographer a true professional do you think their clients come in and say this is how we should pose this is how the lighting should be this is what your camera setting should be they’re trying to tell the photographer what kind of picture to take and how to take it do you feel like a professional architect has clients that come in and tell them how to make the blueprints nobody’s coming into a professional lawyer saying this is what my contract needs to say this is how it needs to be said this is the order we need to say it in we have to start respecting ourselves as web designers and developers in the same fashion if we’re thinking about handing this off to the client to let them edit themselves the question is why would you ever do that didn’t you design the website the way it is for a specific purpose based on your experience and expertise doesn’t the different headlines and blurbs don’t they say what they say for a specific reason and a specific outcome based on your expertise and experience oh oh you got the copy from the client you never even engage them and told them and educated them on the fact that they’re not actually good at writing copy see that’s another whole little tangent that we can go on why are we getting sales copy from clients who have never written sales copy before can hardly even sell their own service and by the way they may be very good at doing this in a sales conversation but having a sales conversation is a very dynamic situation it’s much easier to have a sales conversation with somebody that it is to put together winning sales copy on a static web page those are two very very very very very different things and to think that we can just ask clients hey you provide the copy we’ll make the website reach your goals what come again you’re good this the most important part of the website having a beautiful website does not sell you can take the ugliest website on the web and sell seven figures if it has really really good copy you can take the prettiest website on the web put shitty copy on it and sell f***ing zero so we’re going to ask the client to provide the most important aspect to the website and then promise them that we can help that website that that website is going to help them reach their goals are we serious right now stop asking clients to provide things from an area of expertise they do not have they don’t have any expertise in copy they don’t have any expertise in web development that not to any relevant degree they don’t have any expertise in web design in user experience in conversion optimization in analytics they have none of these things you are supposed to have these things and then you are supposed to set up a relationship with the client to where they respect you for having those things so again I ask what are your clients hiring you for if they’re hiring you to push pixels around the page you have a major major problem on your hands you are making one tenth of the money that you should be making now that may be the case because you don’t have these other skills and if you don’t have these other skills you don’t have these other skills you need to work on acquiring these other skills and your circles are really good place to do that I got a link below acquire those skills in the inner circle but for sure you’ve got to get out of pixel push your mode but my point is this if you are suggesting that you have done all of these things for a reason the UX is for a reason the design is for a reason the colors for a reason the layout for a reason the copy for a reason the call to action for a very specific reason working towards a very specific outcome if you then say now I’m going to hand you the keys you change whatever you feel like you need to change in fact we made it easy for you in fact if you decide you want to make changes don’t call me I made this easy for you to do don’t bother me with this stuff what you’re communicating for real is that none of this actually matters either that none of it actually matters I was lying when I said I did all this stuff for a specific reason or two I was lying when I said I cared about you getting the best outcomes for your business and then I was actually going to help you reach or goals which one were you lying about were you lying about the fact that all that stuff was put where it is because it really matters or you lying about the fact that you actually care about growing this clients business it’s got to be one of the other because if it matters if all that stuff matters they shouldn’t be getting the keys to the car and if you want the best outcomes for them you shouldn’t be handing a non expert amateur the keys to the car now here’s my next set of questions are these the people that you really want making changes to your website I’ve been in many many discussion forums I’ve been in a lot of Facebook groups I’ve seen the complaints about clients and I just want to make sure I just want to ask you for a second are these the people that you’re talking about the people who always want to make the logo bigger you got a logo that looks just fine the design person maybe that’s you maybe that’s a designer on your team they know that logo looks fine they know it’s the size that it is because it looks balanced on the page your client though cannot help themselves they want that logo to be bigger can you make the logo bigger are you talking about the client who says make it pop it doesn’t pop enough they use this word pop they don’t even know how to describe what they need to have happen with the design for them to like it they just think hey I just don’t make it pop and maybe they’ll work some magic and you’re in here in these Facebook groups in these discussion forums going I can’t believe my clients telling me to make it pop I don’t know what they mean I don’t know what they’re talking about I don’t know what I need to do but you want to turn the keys of the car of the website over to that client are these the same people who in your initial design to sign up for the client they were designed discussions they were chaotic they were haywire they were giving out idea after idea from left field and you were just you were just like I can’t take this this guy has no idea what he’s they got a mood board was shit everywhere you don’t know what they’re talking about or where these ideas are coming from or how they’re getting these ideas and every idea they have none of them go together that didn’t go with that these colors don’t go together we can’t use the nine fonts you selected that ask the question are these the clients that you want to turn the website over to are these the clients that the oatmeal had to make a whole graphic cartoon about on how a design goes to hell specifically a web design the clients he’s talking about is that the clients you have the clients you’re trying to hand the keys over to is this the same client who two weeks ago his uncle Frank who’s ninety seven and back in nineteen forty two have some graphic design internship for a year and he showed the design to Frank and Frank thinks that these things need to change and it doesn’t pop enough oh I know I got it I got it it’s it’s the client that every time you ask for content and copy one they’re late but two they provide the absolute minimum and it’s absolute dogs and it doesn’t even match the areas that you ask them for content for we all know how this goes so you got some feature blurbs and these feature blurbs are supposed to be like two sentences max and every feature blurb you ask for content for they sent back a paragraph on so now you got to go and figure out which part of this paragraph can fit into this little tiny blurb area meanwhile all the areas that need some paragraphs of copy you got a few sentences for here and there and now you’re figuring out hey how do I expand on this for them and by the way because you don’t listen to me and you are in the inner circle you’re doing all this shit for free this give me whatever you have do the best you can and I’m going to try to make some adjustments and I’ll fix it up and I’ll make it nice and I’ll make it that person that’s doing that to you this is who you’re going to hand over the keys to but let’s talk about the final set of questions and insights is this a situation where you truly deep down have a passion for great work for professional work and you have a passion for growing businesses and helping clients reach their goals or is this a situation where you will just love cash and checks and because you cash this check and you’re able to turn the keys over and get this client out of your hair and move on to the next check cashing opportunity you’re going to try to do that as fast as possible and at the end of the day you don’t really care what happens to these clients you don’t really care about putting a feather in your cap saying I hope grow that business I took that business from 500 grand a year to 2.5 million a year I took that client from 2.5 million a year to 10 million a year I hope that client gets to 150 million a year you don’t want those feathers in your cap I want those feathers in my cap so when clients come to me in hell baby I’m letting them do whatever they want to this website because I’m putting everything there for a reason we’re trying to reach a goal and we’re treating this thing like a well oiled machine I am not a pixel pusher I am an industry expert this is how you have to sell yourself this is how you have to position yourself and let me tell you something if you if you turn the keys over to them and let them do all these changes all this stuff and it blows up on them number one they’re still going to blame you who did your website ah Jim did my website but I wouldn’t recommend it man Jim charged me $5,000 and this website is done nothing from my business now he’s not going to tell that guy that he actually went and changed the copy changed the layout Mason color arrangements that’s not going to be part of the story the part of the story is Jim this up Jim took my check and I didn’t get anything in return that’s what the story is going to be don’t let them tell that story now this also goes into the future with regard to referrals and testimonials that conversation is actually kind of rare and you might say well I know it’s kind of rare and that’s good that it’s kind of rare I don’t want people talking bad about my business but what you’re not getting is the other side of the equation that when you take the reins when you build a website that actually produces results you can’t stop the clients from talking about you they’re not waiting on somebody to come to them going hey who built your website they’re actually going out to every business owner they know business owner is no business owners they’re playing golf they’re going to their kids birthday parties they’re yada yada yada it all happens they mingle and so anytime they come across another behavior what do you do what do you do for work oh you got your own business I got my own business and if that person you built the website for that person you’ve really help grow their company you’ve really help this company be something online they’re going to be telling every entrepreneur they know about you hey are you doing anything online let me tell you about the results I’ve been getting hey is Jim over here Jim is the one that got me these results man he is an expert he knows exactly what he’s talking about he took my my project he handled every part of my project those are the kind of conversations you want people to have they aren’t going to be having those conversations when you turn the reins over to them and they start doing all this stuff to their website when they have no idea what they’re doing or what they’re supposed to be doing or why all that stuff was the way it was in the first place all right I think I have made my point I think we should sign off let me just do a little bit of a recap you need to be seen as the expert you need to be hired as the expert you need to be treated as an expert and then here’s the key you need to act like an expert and an expert does not hand the keys over to the client to do whatever they want willy nilly it just does not happen and it needs to stop happening I am firmly in the camp of do not let clients edit their own website you need to become the website manager you need to drive where that ship is going you need to tell the client hey here’s the website that we built but this is not finished this is a living breathing thing and I’m going to help you guide this to where you need it to go because it cannot just sit here if it just sits here then you’re not going to get the results you told me you wanted to get and I’m not going to be happy and you’re not going to be happy so I’m going to drive this thing we can work with whatever budget you have we can drive slow or we can drive fast but we got to drive somewhere and what you ultimately need to have is dozens and dozens of clients who you are actively managing websites for and I’m not I’m not just talking about maintenance plans you’re actually driving strategy for these companies you’re really bolting on other things that they need hey Google ads would fit really well for this client need to be having a conversation about Google ads need to be managing the Google ads hey SEO would be great for this client you need to be adding on the SEO you need to be driving the SEO results if you’re on the freelancer side of things if you’re a one man band you’re probably going to have to start building a team if you don’t want to build a team perfectly fine I get it OK maybe you just you’re happy being a one man bands or a one woman shop all good OK but here’s what you need to do connect with experts you trust in these areas you still need to be the expert you still need to be driving the ship for your clients so you got an S S E O expert that you trust you got a Google ads expert that you trust you got a Facebook ads expert that you trust and you should be getting a little bit of a kick back for these right you hook somebody up with a with the Google ads expert that Google ads expert needs to feed you a little bit of something OK it could be a little commission it could be like a little referral fee it could be his clients to so when his clients need web design so he’s sending to you you got to build this little network because that makes you insanely valuable to your clients these other add on services very easy to sell when you have positioned yourself as the expert when you have properly educated the client on where this business needs to go online these are opportunities that open up to you I’ve done videos in the past on how to 2x 3x 4x 5x your website revenue how do you think it’s done it’s not done by building more websites and taking on more projects it’s done by raising your rates providing actual expertise and then bringing in these add on services I think my argument is clear I want to invite you to drop comments below tell me I’m wrong if you think I’m wrong tell me why give me examples why I’m wrong if you think I’m right I want you to drop comments with examples from maybe some horror stories in the past where you turn keys over to the client because we can’t just say hey Kevin you’re right I agree with you I want to know why you know I’m right listen I want every single one of you to be more successful than you’ve ever been every single one of you that’s doing 25,000 a year I want you doing 75,000 a year every one of you this doing 75,000 a year I want you doing 250,000 a year every one of you this doing 250 I want you doing a millie I want you doing 10 millie I want you to get as high as you can possibly get because I know you’re going to get there not by pixel pushing not by handing keys over to clients you’re going to get there by refining and honing and delivering your expertise and that’s what we need everybody doing we don’t need to be in a race to the bottom as web designers and developers and digital marketers we need to be establishing an industry of expertise and professionalism so that when somebody comes in like when they walk in to a lawyer’s office they know they’re going to pay when they walk into a dentist an orthodontist right for their braces they know they’re going to pay when they walk into a surgery center to get some heart work brain work whatever done I know we’re not saving lives here but we are saving businesses and these businesses can make a lot a lot a lot of money we need people to know when they walk in some way or they start a conversation that there is some financial investment behind this this ain’t going to be a $500 discussion this ain’t going to be a $1,500 discussion there is money involved because we provide tremendous value and we have studied and we have practice and we do this stuff for a reason and you don’t get to touch it because you don’t know what you’re doing with all due respect that’s it that’s it for me today drop your comments below I want to hear from you I want to hear your examples I’m out peace