4 things to do when your web developer holds you hostage

4 things to do when your web developer holds you hostage

A friend of mine recently came to me for help.

He entered into a contract with an acquantance for roughly the following:

producing videos on a monthly basis of him explaining what he does and how he helps people
– building, hosting, and maintaining a new (second) website for me (he owns the URL)
– onsite and offsite SEO for this new website
– posting content to his Facebook page
– hosting his emails
– creating a new YouTube channel specific for his new website
– publishing his videos to his two YouTube channels (and evidently to other video networks that he have never seen)

He continued past his 1 year agreement because some of the videos had gotten really good engagement on YouTube and Facebook. But after he recalculated his growth in the 2nd year, he found that the return on investment was not enough to continue with their service package, so he requested a cancellation.

The response he got was that the company owns all of the “creative works” of his brand and his “brand profile” including:
– all the videos that were created for him
– his new website (though he owns the domain)
– the new YouTube channel that was created
– and any other created content

Here’s my advice:

You have a hostage situation, which is a common ploy by unscrupulous web developers.  The other ploy is to lock you out of access, too.

I’m not a lawyer, but we have seen this happen a lot.  

  • First, make sure you have all the assets downloaded in a folder you control.  We can help you do that if necessary.
  • Second, ask him how much he wants for the rights to use your assets. If it’s under $1,000, then just pay it, even though you may be right– just to be done. People who do trades (services for services) are either close friends or broke.
  • Third, since you’ve already paid him, please share the contract with us to review. We can determine scope of work and fair market value. It may be that we can just re-create the videos and even do better. Then no hassle and we’re done.
  • Fourth, have a lawyer write a demand letter– they will say tortious interference or something– and that usually works, scaring them. It would cost $100 to $150.
People make all the difference

People make all the difference

The most powerful thing you can do is NOT generate sales.

It’s hiring the right people.

Hire people you believe in, not necessarily the most skilled.

Because they will be there for you in the long-run, helping you solve problems that you never would have anticipated.

And the best way to attract the right people is to be impeccable with your word.

Keep your promises, even when it’s costly– since the right people will notice.

If you’re broke right now, but rich in ethics, your time to shine is coming soon.

The cheaters have momentary success, but the good guys are the ones still standing in the end.

Your time is valuable.

Your time is valuable.

A friend of mine who just started his agency asked me if he should be giving his time away for free for a Power Hour audit.

And I told him HECK NO.

Because he’s got dozens of other clients that would love to hire him and buy his implementation packages.

Because this prospect insisted on free, instead of paying the $500 for him time and team, and that maybe he could use him as a reference client later.

Value your time.

Sure, talk to them for 15 minutes for free if you need the business, aren’t already well-known, don’t have a process yet, or know this lead is very likely to be a good client.

But if they act like a nightmare client now, imagine what happens when they have paid you even a dollar and feel like they own you?

Most people would say that you should try to talk to every lead– because who knows?

I say, respect yourself like an emergency room physician who is focused on seeing patients who have urgent needs– not those who want to generally talk about medicine in general or have you explain to them each of the possible surgeries you could do.

Do you agree with my advice?

Work, then play.

Work, then play.

I’ve seen so many young adults, so bright and well-meaning, crash and burn their careers.

One simple reason and one simple fix….

The fix—put in a solid day of work, then play.

When you face got to-do list head on, instead of procrastinating, you’ll be surprised how fast you get work done.

But if you live in excuse land— waste time complaining, blaming, and otherwise not working— your clients, teammates, and boss will notice you create problems instead of solve them.

Wouldn’t you rather be celebrating success instead of trying to put up flimsy defenses.

I’m proud of the folks on our team who are clearly kicking butt. Such a good feeling to be there!

Help others who are struggling to see this— they simply working before playing will solve their issue.

Work, then play.

95% of the time I want to post something, but don’t.

Want to know why?

* I think it’s not good enough.
* I’ll do it tomorrow, since I’m busy right now.
* I’m not qualified to say something, since others know more.
* People will mock or judge me.
* I’ll offend someone.

And while there is some truth to each of these fears, the reality is that when you share what you think unfiltered, you attract more of the same.

It’s like a LIGHTHOUSE shining in the dark, revealing both their position and your position.

With the right message, you will magnetize allies that you never knew existed.

You will find that many people are thinking the same thing, but didn’t say it.

But be sure to broadcast messages that attract the people you want.