Every creative professional should follow these 5 tips for client success. More client love equals more business – and more money in your pocket!
For creative professionals, the focus should not only be on finding new clients but retaining the ones you have! In this post, we suggest 5 ways to keep your clients happy and coming to you for future business. Applicable for any creative professional – photographer, designer, video editor – follow these tips to forge a positive and happy client relationship.
1. Offer Free Phone Support
This is probably the most time consuming of these tips, but instantly makes you seem invaluable to your clients. Typically they’ll call you wanting to know how to do something which is actually incredibly simple…but makes you look like a hero. Letting your clients know they can call you whenever they need builds the relationship. More importantly however, it means they’ll start to think of you as their go-to-guy/gal not only for technical help but also for more work. People hire people they trust.
And how do you stop them ruining your life, calling 24 hours a day? Save their numbers to your phone and just let it go to voicemail if you’re in the middle of something. Most of the time a two minute phone calls sorts it out. If you really want to go above and beyond, offer to Skype screen share with them and walk them through step-by-step. Photo by Dave Catchpole
2. Offer Extra Deliverables For Free
Often a client will forget that in the future they might want to upload their finished film to the Internet, send it on an email or generally do more with it than they were planning to. By offering them some extra deliverables for free you can give them something more valuable, but that only involves a little extra effort on your part. As a film editor I have several Compressor presets that I’ve created because I use them all the time. The three I use most often are a compressor setting for Vimeo, emailing and client viewings. Its about 3 seconds more work from me to add these in and a little bit extra rendering time, but it makes for happy clients everytime.
3. Share a Google Calendar
This is really a no-brainer as it will definitely help you get more work if you are a freelancer. Set up a free Google calendar and then keep it up to date with your available work dates. If you don’t want to reveal who you are working for you can just apply a simple ‘Busy’ filler on the dates you’re working. After every successful job, email your client a subscription link so they can easily see when you’re free. A great way to keep yourself more organized and your clients more informed.
4. Recommend a friend
Hopefully you’re so busy that you occasionally have to pass on work because you’re already booked. In these cases it pays to actually pass it on to a trusted, professional, freelancer friend. Knowing others who do exactly what you do, and do it well, is a simple way to add value for your clients. They’ll know that whether you complete the work, or you provide a good recommendation, they can always come to you to get their job done. I’ve gotten a lot of work from other film and video editors I know who recommend me when they’re busy and vise-versa. They’re not the competition, they’re your community. Photo by Newtown Graffiti
5. Listen to their ideas
If you can do this, and do this all the time, then your clients will certainly love you. Even though your client has hired you for your creative expertise, they will very likely have some ideas of their own. Even if you think their idea will sadly never work, let them express it fully and if its appropriate give it a try. That way everyone can see what is working and what isn’t. In this way, every idea that ‘might work’ gets a fair shot and the client feels valued and involved. This might seem like an obvious tip, but just think back to the last time a client told you their idea and half way through you interrupted to tell them ”that will never work and here’s why…” You might well have been correct, but it pays to listen anyway.
Got tips for working with clients in a creative environment?
We want to hear your thoughts and advice in the comments below!