When most customers pay more attention to design and overlook functionality and when so much web functionality is now standard, how do web developers (those who work the server side) or companies that offer these services ensure they stand out from the crowd?
- Client List
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Associations / Affiliations
- Specialisms (expert status, vertical markets)
You client list is one of your most important assets. It one way, perhaps the most important way that potential new clients will assess you. By browing your client list, the potential client will be attracted by the names that they know, (so make sure household names or industry leaders head up your list) or the names of clients that to whom they can relate, in terms or size, turnover or industry sector. I am currently working for a large broadcaster, that has a number of household global brands in it’s stable. This will help me with future projects because potential new clients will understand that I have work on large scale , multi-lingual, high traffic sites in a structured environment. They will know that I can handle the pressure of these types of sites, and they will feel comfortable in the knowledge that having worked on several projects for this client, I can be trusted to deliver the same if not better level of service for them. If your client list is small or non-existent, there are ways to mitigate this and I will go into this later in this article.
Case studies are descriptions of projects or pieces of functionality that you have been instrumental in delivering, described in detail outlining the problem, the solution design and how you implemented the functionality/project and what result the project had on improving the problem situation that was identified. In a case study, you should try to describe not only the problem, but the solution you designed. The purpose of a case study is to show an indepth investigation of a situation, and in the case of tech problems how a solution was devised and implemented to solve the problem. For potential clients, a case study can show how well your company can deal with problems that arise out of a given situation. Perhaps if you work within a verticle market the case study may touch on a similar problem that the potential client is having. If they see you have already tackled the same or a similar problem, they would be more inclined to use your services than that of a rival company. Take care when writing a case study that you do not name the client from which the study is drawn. It is preferable, especially in commercial situations where sensitivity is required to anonomise any information that may indentify the client organisation.