Monday, March 9, 2009

Beware of Credentials

A client recently asked me to collaborate with an associate of his on the design of a website for his company. The associate was a web site programmer and Search Engine Optimization expert. As the designer for the project, the partnership seemed like it would be a good fit.

Upon introducing myself and how I would be involved in the project, I received the following response:
I have built thousands of websites and have a degree in MIS from USF and am certified by Microsoft in Analyzing Requirements and Definiting Solutions Architecture. With over 13 years of professional experience I don't need any help.

This was enough to allow me to step away from the project. Why?

First, I have a design process that works and it requires me to be involved at all stages of development.

Second, her claim of credentials was an attempt to possibly scare me off because she felt I might be taking over the project or something like that. I wasn't scared by her training. Instead, I became concerned for the client. Personally, I could care less how much training you have. Show me your commitment to the client and I'll want to work with you.

When someone blasts their credentials at you, it should send signals. BIG ONES. Dig a little deeper and you might discover they are hiding something from you. No matter how impressive their credentials are, it could be a way to distract you from something they are not telling you.

When your design and marketing partnerships are based on commitment and promises, that is when the magic happens.

By the way, if you are someone who is a website programmer and is committed to your clients, I want to talk to you. Contact me through my website (

©2009 David Scott | Cosmic: Advertising & Design

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