RECAP | B-Side: Managing Client Relationships

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.

Qualifying Clients

  • 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?

Getting Started

  • 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.

Practical Tips

  • 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.
“It’s your job to be an advocate for the project. If the project is successful, the client will be successful”
  • 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.




By Chelsea Brown
Published May 13, 2016