Working With Clients

There are a few things I wish people would have shared with me before I got into production. Actually there's a pretty long list, but one of the biggest things I've learned over the last few years is working directly with clients.

Client interaction is tricky. It's a delicate balance of making sure the client is overly satisfied and guarding your time and your resources. You need to make sure you follow a set of guidelines that help protect yourself and your client.

Of these things, just a few are:

1) Be Confident. When you make a pitch show up ready to make the deal. A lot is said in how you carry and present yourself. If you walk in thinking you don't deserve the job, most likely you won't get it.

2) Don't Assume. Clear communication is crucial. Make sure you know exactly what the client wants. Get examples from them, get sketches if they have them, make sure the client communicates what they want, don't assume.

3) Deliver. If you say you're going to do something, deliver on it. If it's due Monday morning, deliver it Monday morning. That said, don't say you can do something when you can't... know what you can and can't deliver and communicate that to the client.

4) Protect Yourself & The Client. Get it in writing. Draw up a contract both parties agree on and sign it, date it and each keep a copy.

5) Secure a Deposit. There is nothing worse then starting a job and never seeing the money come in for the hard work you've already done. Secure 50%, make it part of the contract and don't begin work until you've got all your ducks in a row.

6) Communication. From start to finish this is so important. Always be communicating with your client. If you're behind on something let them know. If you need something let them know. Always be emailing, calling, text messaging, whatever you need to do in order that your client knows they are number one and the work they hired you to do is getting done.

What else? Anything else you can add to the list of working with clients? Post it now!


Matthew A. Hawkins