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Any freelancers/consultants out there using "Client Portals"


#1

To those of you who do consulting work or freelance to bootstrap your products:
How do you involve your clients in the development process? Back and forth through email? Some project management tool?

I ask because we’ve added a feature to Notedock (one of the things I’m working on), where you can easily create a sort of “client portal”.
We already keep client notes, files, issues, etc. in there for each project (we also do software consulting), so we added in a way for the client to log in and see everything that pertains to them. This way they can add in their own comments, upload error screenshots and what not.

I’m posing this question, not to convince you to adopt Notedock, but to get a sense of how others do things. My guess would be that most people use email since it’s easiest. This certainly works for us, just wanted to get some opinions to see if this is a worthwhile feature, to well…“feature”.

Thanks!


#2

Most of the firms I know do some version of this, either with a home-built tool of their own, or through Basecamp. And the ones that don’t do it – still need it.


#3

Thanks Corey!

What would you say is the reason that they have some “system” instead of just using email?
I can see how/why bigger operations would have something, but for the solo guys or smaller teams, is there any advantage you think?


#4

For archival of discussions, so you can go back and find old conversations & decisions if you need them. It also gives everyone a place to reference master/latest documentation, designs, etc. It’s all the same reasons larger companies & teams use them, I think. It helps eliminate confusion, even for small teams & projects.


#5

Thanks Corey, exactly the reasons we use one too :slight_smile:

So I think I’m gonna try “featuring” this functionality, but be a little more passive in my marketing. Just work more on getting it in front of the right people instead of trying to convince everyone.

I’m finding that unless they’ve already realized the benefits themselves, it’s hard getting people to switch behaviour. It’s much easier selling to people who’ve already “self-selected” themselves and understand how the product can help them.