We all have a favorite place to go shopping. We all have our favorite brand we trust. When you’re treated well and given an amazing customer experience, whether it’s in a store or through a package you receive in the mail, you’re going to rave about it. The same applies to how you treat your clients.
It’s obvious that you should treat your clients like gold, but what I want to share with you are some important tips to go the extra mile. If you can apply what I share here in the work you do, then you’ll only enhance your client’s experience in working with you – bettering your relationship and landing you more work. With that said, let’s jump into it.
The importance of sharing your process
Sharing my process is something I recently started doing early this year. Before I mention any prices or do any work whatsoever, I lay out my work process to make sure my client’s are on the same page. Most of the time, my clients have no experience in working with a designer, so seeing my process puts them at ease and also becomes a learning experience for them. Think about when you’re being serviced – you could be getting a tattoo, having your car repaired, or renovating your house. Doesn’t it make you feel better when there’s a plan laid out for you? You’re able to see the steps that will be taken, when they’ll be taken, and how the professional you’re working with will do their job. The same applies for the work you do for your clients.
But this doesn’t stop in the briefing process. After you’ve started the work, continue to share your process and thoughts in detail throughout the project. When I’m designing a logo for example, I like to take photos as I work. Then when I deliver a concept, I share the rough sketches I worked through, the variations I distilled, and how I came to the best possible logo for them and ultimately their customers/audience.
It’s better to be as transparent as you can and to give more than what’s expected. Your clients will appreciate this, and this will be what leads to them spreading your name around to their friends and colleagues.
Don’t be a commodity, rather, focus on value
Too many freelancers out there set up a “price sheet” for their services. I personally think they’re going about it the wrong way. If you’re looking to make real money as a freelancer and to work with awesome clients, then you must position yourself differently than a commodity. Your focus should be communicating and providing value.
When you’re making your first impression with a client or negotiating the project proposal, it’s important for you to convey the unique value you provide. There should be a reason your clients are coming to you in the first place. My clients come to me because they’re able to see me – the person behind the work through my personable brand, and can recognize the quality I provide from my past projects. At least that’s what I’m told when I ask my clients how they found me and why they ultimately reached out to me specifically.
When a client comes my way, no matter their reason or budget, I’m always there to help. Again, my main objective is to provide value. Not just as a designer, but as a person. I answer their questions and concerns, even if I know they aren’t a paying customer. Being a genuinely kind and helpful person can go a long way.
The follow-up is just as important as the brief
I actually find the end of a project to be the most important step in the process. Not because you’re getting paid, but because this is your chance to grow your client relationship, learn, and get referrals.
I’ve shared before in my process that I like to have my client’s take a simple feedback survey, but I also like to go the extra mile and help the client with where to go next. For example, after I complete a logo I usually ask if there’s anything I can do to help them put it to use. I may end up designing new business cards, updating their website header, etc. (at an additional cost.) At the very least I point them in the right direction.
So next time you’re wrapping-up a project, make sure to ask for honest feedback, see where else you can help, bring up questions if needed, and always mention that your business thrives on referrals and to keep your name in mind.
Although some of this can seem like common sense, there’s so much you can do to go the extra mile for your clients, and it’s the little things that can make their day, so always strive to deliver more than expected.
Can you share an example of where you go the extra mile for your clients? I and many others would be interested in hearing, so add to this post and leave a comment!