In our second B-Side course, Managing Client Relationships: You Want it When?!, Clay Schossow from New Media Campaigns shared insights from his experiences working with clients throughout his career. His presentation followed the process from knowing when a client is right for you to getting a referral after the project is completed.
- Trust your gut. First impressions can be very insightful for a client relationship.
- Also, look for the client to be realistic about their wants and timeline for the project.
- Make sure to ask for budget upfront. If they are not sure what their budget it, ask for samples of what they’re looking for.
- Evaluate this process after every project. Is the client satisfied? Am I satisfied? What can be improved?
- Every project requires upfront work to help educate you about the client and the problem they are trying to solve.
- First is the proposal, a multi-page document tailored to each client about your proposed direction for the project.
- Be able to communicate your process to the client. Having a nailed-down process will help the project run more smoothly.
- Next is the discovery process. Spend time diving deep into your client’s business and their goals.
- Gather the third-party resources you will need to complete the project (e.g. developers, writers, etc.).
- All of this research and planning will set the stage for the design work.
Building a Partnership
- Communicate as much as possible, especially when things aren’t going to plan.
- Communicate with clarity. Make sure your points are clear, simple and important.
- Collaboration helps the project run more smoothly.
- Make your time with the clients cheerful.
- Be consistent. People remember the bad more than they remember the good.
Growing the Relationship
- Earning a referral from the client is the ultimate goal.
- Prove yourself first. Throw in small things (keyword: small) for free to generate more revenue streams in the future.
- Have a process that is scalable for any number of clients.
- Clients will often use terms like “modern, clean, flat” to communicate their goal for the project. Be able to determine what they really want out of such broad terms.
- If a client has a bad attitude towards your team, unrealistic demands, or consistently asks for free work, it may be time to “fire” your client.
Join us for our third B-Side course, The Money Game: Financing, Accounting and Taxes, on May 18th! Register now.