If you ask any web agency or freelancer: “have you ever found gathering content from your clients easy?”.
How many do you think say yes…?
We asked just this to 100 agencies and freelancers for our recent coaching session around gathering content and the results were interesting (which we will go into later).
It confirmed even further for us that gathering content is THE biggest bottleneck in your project delivery.
In this post we are going to show you how this bottleneck impacts your business as a whole, why it exists and how to completely eliminate it using Atarim.
It might seem like an exaggeration when we say that is is THE biggest bottleneck in your business, but it really is.
If you only had yourself to rely on when building a new website, from start to finish, I guarantee you it would take you a few days (or even a day if you are super speedy).
This is obviously the best case scenario when working with clients, and ones that can achieve this with you are basically unicorns ?.
The image above demonstrates what we are trying to say here…The gathering content part of a website project usually happens throughout the entire project (see the red line ? )
Meaning that whenever you are waiting on your client for that next bit of the content, the other process in your project delivery suffer tremendously. What does this mean for your business:
- Your profitability suffers because your project delivery time is WAY higher than it should be.
- You become angry or discontent with your clients, when in reality it isn’t their fault (curating content is hard).
- Projects get backed up and you are stuck waiting for revenue to come in for months or even sometimes years.
- Your relationships with your clients are soured, not only effecting your current project but potentially stopping you from being recommended to new clients.
The main takeaway from the impact bottlenecks cause is that in reality, it’s not your client’s fault. We know some clients can be difficult but in reality, the responsibility is with your agency, to make the job of sending the content easy and as painless as possible for your clients.
Why This Bottleneck Exists
We’ve found that 9 times out of 10, as soon as a project starts (including the discovery phase), designers will request content from their client. This is already a mistake as you are at the absolute mercy of your client.
Even if you introduce your client to a platform or Google Doc; whatever you might be using, receiving the content takes a lifetime. Why does this happen?
Curating content is hard…
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. They’ve found an agency or freelancer to design and develop their new website for their business, and after paying their deposit they receive a template like the above.
We aren’t blaming you by any means, we’ve been in this situation many times ourselves designing websites for over two decades.
Your client is lost and confused about how to send you the content you need to carry on with the project, hence the 50+ email chain you’ve managed to build up over a few weeks trying to squeeze it out of them like blood from a stone.
While we can easily see how the content is going to fit with your client’s website, they aren’t a web designer. They struggle to see that the main title of the page needs to be 5-6 words while the opening about section needs a lengthy paragraph.
This is why the content you’re receiving is never what you need the first go around, wasting everyone’s time.
So how do we avoid this from happening?
Wirefaming & Prototyping Correctly
We’ve tried and tested this, and so have our users on over 15,000 websites that have used Atarim: request content AFTER you’ve built your wireframes and prototypes!
How you should gather this content we will go into in a minute.
Let’s start with prototyping: we strongly recommend a plugin called Slick Sitemap. It is no longer support but it’s a tiny plugin that just works.
This allows you to create a sitemap using the WordPress menu. Simply make the menu and then add a simple shortcode to the page.
The shortcode you need to add is: [slick-sitemap]
I guarantee you sending this to your client will make deciding the layout of the website super easy and efficient. They can visually see all of the pages their website is going to contain and once this is agreed, you’ve successfully set your client’s expectations for how their website is going to structured.
Now it’s time to introduce Atarim onto the website and get your client involved. Here is a handy swipe file that we’ve written for you to send to your client to get them to look at the wireframe and leave you feedback using the platform (download swipe file).
Your client can tell you exactly what they want on specific points on the wireframe like in the image above, making it easy and efficient for you both to get to the finalized wireframe.
The Prototyping Stage
Once you’ve the wireframe/sitemap and your client has agreed, you’re ready to start create prototype pages; this is where the magic happens when gathering content.
With Atarim we provide prototyping templates for all of the most popular page builders including: Elementor, Beaver Builder, DIVI and Gutenberg.
These templates have 3 different options for each section of a standard homepage (and the entire website really), all you need to do is delete the sections you don’t want and keep the one that want.
These all have placeholder content so you don’t need to do anything else. Once you have created all of the prototype pages, it’s time to use Atarim to gather the content from your client.
First, send your client this video:
We made this video to introduce your client on how to use Atarim in the best way possible. In this example, we are talking about approving designs (which is the next step), but it’s exactly the same process as gathering the content.
And this is the beauty of our platform, once your client learns how to use Atarim, they are ready to collaborate with you at every stage of the project.
If you prefer, inside the swipe file in the second section we have another email you can send to request your client to begin giving you the content through Atarim.
Gathering The Content
In the gif above is a small example of how your client can give you content on the hero section, it’s so easy. Not only that, instead of your client looking at a spreadsheet or Word document, they can visually see how the content is going to be laid out.
This will show your client the length of text you need for each section, hopefully resulting in you receiving the content in the correct format the first time; saving you and them a huge chunk of time.
Stop using massive email chains where content and context gets lost. Atarim keeps everything organized for you, where you will always have the tasks to refer back to find the content and insert it into the website.
At the same time, your client will more than likely give you feedback about the layout, hitting two birds with one stone. Once your client is done going through the website, hopefully you have all of the content you need.
Our Gathering Content Coaching Session
On the 13th of January, we had our first coaching session which was around gathering content! It was awesome and our users who joined learned a bunch.
To sign up, users had to answer a couple of questions about how they are gathering content and the results were interesting:
- 74% said it’s hard to gather content
- 86% use more than 1 tool to gather content
- 75% that use ONLY Atarim to gather content said it’s easy
Can you see the correlation here? ?
When using only one platform to gather content, it becomes so much easier especially when that one platform is Atarim ?
To Wrap Up
We have developed and designed Atarim to be THE way to gather content when delivering website projects. Not only that, it’s designed in a way that can be used at every stage of a project from start to finish.
Not ONLY that, the app dashboard also has the functionality so you can handle 100+ projects at the same time no matter which stage they are currently at.
This results in:
- You getting paid sooner as your projects move along smoothly
- You build a great relationship with your clients because it’s easy to train them to use and they can use it throughout the entire project.
- You can do this at scale with every single project and grow your agency at a rapid rate, the only thing that’s stopping you is you.
Coaching sessions will be happening weekly, for us to help you grow your agency using Atarim.