Topher DeRosia is an experienced WordPress Web Developer, husband and father from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He’s someone who understands the art of growing a network through real-life interactions, telling stories, and making genuine connections.
Essential Communication Points from this episode:
Communicating with peers:
- Make friends with as many people as you can. They will help promote you through word of mouth.
- Work on the soft skill of direct one-on-one communication. You can practice this skill by finding somebody you don’t know and explain to them what you do. You can also ask a person how do you use WordPress?
- Connect with people by introducing yourself to as many people at WordCamps and Meetups.
- Use Slack as an on-line communication to reach out to like minded people and develop friendships.
- Attend meetings and forums where you can meet potential clients in person and shake their hands.
- Introverted? Topher offers some great tips for those of us who aren’t naturally inclined to just go up and meet strangers.
Communicating with clients:
- Be up front and honest with your clients.
- Leave lines of communication open with the client as you are working on their project. Leave a chat window open to let them know of your availability.
- Communication tools – 99% of Topher’s communication occurs in text or e-mail. This allows an instant exchange of code and links with the client. He doe not work from contracts. His business is dependent on a hand shake with the client.
- When discussing out of scope requests to clients, it is important to explain the cost and schedule with them (address the original plan and why these requests impact those items on the project).
- Reviewing contracts. Topher uses a hybrid cost model of hourly and project pricing.
- Get everyone involved in a single form of communication (HangOut, Skype) to reduce any problems or concerns to the simplest form possible. Once problem is defined then assign roles, deliverables and dates to discuss.
Links from this episode:
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