This post is part of the series The Disney Basics of Web Development
Other posts in this series:
- The Disney Basics of Web Development
- The Disney Basics of Web Development: A Positive Image and Energy (Current)
- The Disney Basics of Web Development: I am courteous and respectful to all guests, including children
The first of the four Disney Basics is something Disney is famous for: projecting a positive image and energy. What does that mean, though? Can you really be positive and energetic all the time? Yes and no.
Projecting a positive image
When I first started at Disney, this was difficult. I suffer from clinical depression, so it was especially challenging. As it turns out, projecting a positive image isn’t as hard as it seems. A smile goes a long way. Online, this translates well to your social media presence. Your company’s Twitter account shouldn’t be filled with rants and raves. Save those for your private account.
This was important at Disney because as a cast member you largely get ignored unless someone is having a problem. The same goes for web development. Clients don’t contact you because they’re having a great day and just want to share. If a client is having a problem, answering them tersely is only going to make them feel worse and like you don’t have time to deal with them. That kind of feeling erodes the client/freelancer relationship quickly. Too many negative interactions, even if you solve the problem every time, and the client will be looking to go elsewhere with their business.
The little things matter
Projecting positive energy is about more than just a smile. It’s about the little things you do as a freelancer that improve your relationship with clients. When I write emails to clients, I have two rules: start with a casual “Hey [Client Name]” and end it with “Have a great day!” I keep things casual because I treat my clients like partners, not cold monetary transactions. And I tell them to have a great day because I want them to know I care.
What’s the payoff?
I want to close with a short story that’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me in a professional setting. A little over a year into my time at Thunder Mountain, I was approached by a woman and her son. They wanted to thank me, specifically me, for making their previous vacation memorable. It turns out I had taken a picture with them the year before when the boy was just tall enough to ride the roller coaster. That picture sat on the mantle of their home and they looked at it fondly with great memories of us celebrating riding the ride of the first time. To this day I’m still taken aback by the fact that they made a point to find me and tell me about this.
Don’t discount the little things you do to make someone’s, especially a client’s, day better. They make a world of difference.
Image Credit: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Continue reading this series:
The Disney Basics of Web Development: I am courteous and respectful to all guests, including children