As an online service professional, I’m sure you’re well aware of how important first impressions are. Most of us are overachievers so wow-ing our clients are probably on top of our list of priorities, especially when it’s with someone we just started working with. But what happens when you make a huge mistake at the very beginning of your work relationship? Is it possible to recover from a terrible first impression? 

When I was just starting out, I experienced one of my biggest nightmares as a new, bright-eyed OBM… I deleted my new client’s entire cPanel. The entire website was gone with no backups. BIG YIKES! What did I do? Did I redeem myself in the eyes of my client? Read on to find out!

One important thing you need to know when dealing with problems in your business (or even in your personal life) is that mistakes happen. It’s natural to feel disappointment in yourself for what you’ve done. And it’s terrifying to wonder what will happen if you can’t fix the problem you created or are scrambling to make things right… 

But when things like this happen take a deep breath and just remember #nosmallbabieswereharmed. 

What the what now? You’re probably wondering… Well, that’s the motto that I always make sure to bring with me, that my own internal team uses, and something that I teach to other teams that I work with. Yes, I deleted my client’s cPanel by accident. Yes, it was a pretty big mistake on my part, one of the worst things I probably could have done on my first day. But are there worse things that could happen in life? Yes. In the end, no small babies were harmed. I still had the opportunity to fix my mistake. 

So, what happened with my client and her website? Well, it was my mistake so I worked my butt off to fix it, which is why it’s also important to remember to stay cool. Thankfully, I remembered a tool called the Wayback Playback machine that let me recover some parts of the site and I was able to get my web designer to recreate it (on my dime!) after I explained to my client what happened… 

But that was only step 1 of my quest to redeem myself in her eyes. The next thing I needed to do was to make sure that this wouldn’t happen again. Watch my video below to find out how I did that and you’ll also discover: 

  • How I pivoted from my mistake to create a more trusting bond with my client
  • How to have a conversation with your client about your mistake while still being able to demonstrate your commitment and trustworthiness
  • The importance of using SOPs to prevent the same mistakes from happening again
  • The best way to change a negative first impression a client has of you
  • How to use your mistake to make the business process more sustainable in the future

Click on the preview below to watch now:

Here’s a rundown of what I cover in this video:

00:00 – BAD FIRST IMPRESSION with a freelance client? And how to make it right
2:14 – Tip #1
3:54 – Tip #2
6:28 – Tip #3
7:41 – Tip #4
8:36 – More resources

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