The Ultimate Guide to Client Relationships …
You absolutely love being an entrepreneur. You can work from anywhere and have the pleasure of making your own schedule. You are finally boss-less! But, once you move past the honeymoon phase, you come across some levels of uncertainty because those bills certainly do not pay themselves.
So, whether it’s a loyal customer who has supported your business for a long period of time or a new client who has just discovered your business and is already telling their friends, family and even their dog about you – the relationships you build are essential to your long-term success. Living in a modern day-in-age with such powerful online channels, if done effectively – you can communicate with your clients and audience in more ways then ever before! Here are a few simple tips for “keeping things real” with your dream clients …
- Keep doing more of what’s working.
Think to yourself … How did you get your last great client? Was it a referral? Who made the referral? Did you ask for it or did he/she recommend your awesomeness? Now, take it even one step further … How did you get your last five good projects? What are five ways that these new clients found you? Your chances are high that you can dig up repeatable process from all of this.
- Start email relationships on the right foot.
Email will always play a crucial role in building good, long-lasting relationships for your business online but before hopping on board with this you must first determine whether your client like email in the first place. It’s easy to assume it is everyone’s default but this is not always the case. If email is the chosen way of communication, then make sure to be responsive. Now, I am not saying you must be glued to your inbox 24/7 – 365 days a year but your client should never have to wonder if you are going to get back to them. By the time they’re asking that question, their trust has already started to erode. Lastly, keep it brief, be organized and stay friendly. If you are consistently sending them long, rambling emails or “forget” the important details (read and re-read before you hit “send”) or do not bother to make things a bit personal by acknowledging a few personal details of their life you are just going to wade yourself into a brick wall and perhaps even lose them as a client. Trust me, the extra though and effort will pay off in the form of client trust.
- Treat your clients like partners.
Your clients are the lifeline of your business. They are not your enemy nor your boss. You want to treat one another as an extension of the team, not as an outsider. Try to get not only them but their whole team involved. It will help when it comes time for project work plus they may just have truly great creative ideas to help you land your clients needs.
- Set clear roles and responsibilities.
Just because your new client may have worked with an agency or freelancer before it doesn’t mean they know how to work with YOUR agency. You may do things differently than what they’re used to and vice versa. When onboarding, explain to them how to best work with you and what they can expect from that process. Let them know who the main point of contact is, what they can expect from deliverables, what will be presented in person, online or via email and the process for providing revisions. Timelines are extremely important. If you think about it … the clearer the ground rules, the smoother the process.
No matter how well your relationships is, it will not last if you do not continue to deliver outstanding service and results on an ongoing basis. Being consistently excellent is honestly the smartest marketing strategy of all.
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