01. Deliver on your promises
If you commit to completing a project or delivering elements within a particular time frame then ensure you do. Missing deadlines is unprofessional. It's far better to under promise and over deliver than vice-versa.
02. Take responsibility
You need to encourage open dialogue with your clients. If you encounter problems then let our client know and take responsibility for it - never hide hitches or bury inadequacies. They will be discovered!
03. Communication is key
Be polite and prompt when dealing with client enquiries. Respond to emails and phone calls quickly, even if you don’t have all the answers. Never allow your client to think they’re less than your number one priority.
04. Report in
Update your clients regularly when working on a live project. Plan time in to your diary to send project reports and respond to input. It shows you care what they think and value their oversight.
05. Be diplomatic
Some clients can be difficult, and some take time to trust you and value your work. Always acknowledge client input and feedback - remember it's your job to satisfy their business needs, not your creative ambitions.
06. But be in control
That means being confident in your creative skills. Your clients should feel comfortable deferring to your expertise and feel you're delivering capabilities they lack - after all, it's what they're paying you for.
07. Get under their skin
You need to know their business, the market, the competition and the very thumping heart of your client's business. Not only will this help you creatively, but it will also earn your client's trust quickly.
08. Dig the KPIs
Clients have bosses just like everyone else… So ensure you project goals include hard measurables they can bray about - be that downloads figures, views, Likes, shares or whatever else floats their boat.
09. Freebies and favours
Throw in a new logo idea or web redesign as part of a project, or offer input in other areas of their creative. It won't devalue your work if you make it clear you usually charge for such services.
Remembering birthdays and anniversaries, congratulating a client on a recent success - it might sound cheesy, but when made sincerely, such gestures go a long way. And being nice is free and easy.
Words: Tom Dennis
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How do you keep your clients sweet? Tell us in the comments!