Photo by Torsten Dettlaff
by Kevin Elliott
Most creatives suuuck at client communication.
Yes, answering emails, texts, and phone calls can be tedious, and it takes away from your precious time to create. However, if you want to work with real clients with real money, you must speak their language and maintain regular communication.
I worked a long time in corporate world. So let me be your translator between the suits (who have so much money!) and your creative mind.
Why Effective Client Communication Matters
At Wewa Films, we’ve had the privilege of working with prominent organizations like McDonald’s, Tyndall Federal Credit Union, and various tourist development councils. These clients have substantial budgets, which enables them to pay well for quality work. However, they often lack the same creative understanding that you and I share.
Failing to maintain good communication can lead to mistrust (When will I see a draft?) and a negative impact on your reputation. They already think creatives are flakes. Don’t prove them right.
Client Communication Tips for Success
Now let’s dive into some actionable tips that work for me and will certainly work for you.
1. Respond Promptly, Never Exceed 24 Hours
Always aim to respond to client messages within 24 hours. Ideally, reply as soon as possible, whether it’s through texts, emails, DMs, or voicemails. Corporate clients often have tight schedules and require information promptly to make crucial decisions. By being responsive, you demonstrate your professionalism and respect for their time. Remember, consistency and credibility go hand in hand.
2. Provide Regular Updates
Keep your clients informed with regular updates. Set aside a specific time, such as Friday afternoons, to send brief emails or messages. These updates don’t have to signify project completion; they simply serve as progress reports. Even if you’re behind schedule, be transparent and communicate your plan to get back on track. Clients appreciate professional communication and will value your reliability.
3. Educate Yourself with “Good in a Room”
If you’re serious about improving your communication skills, I highly recommend reading “Good in a Room” by Stephanie Palmer. This invaluable book, specifically tailored for creatives, provides practical guidance on effective communication with corporate clients. Palmer teaches how to write compelling emails that resonate with people who may not fully comprehend the creative mindset. Read this book and you’ll become a better communicator, ultimately increasing your chances of success.
Embrace Professional Communication and Thrive
I know adopting professional communication practices may not come naturally to all creatives. However, I assure you that by making even slight improvements in this area, you’ll witness remarkable results.
Clients will appreciate your reliability and professionalism, leave you positive reviews, give you referrals, and a stronger reputation within the industry. Remember, I’m here to help you navigate the corporate world.
If you have any questions or need guidance, reach out anytime.