You can’t be a successful creative entrepreneur without clients! You want your clients to know that you are INCREDIBLE to work with so they tell all their friends or peers. But how do you serve your clients better and build a portfolio filled with work you want to be doing?
We are sharing our top tips to help you serve your clients better as we dive into 2022. Let’s get right to it!
Communicate, communicate, communicate
We’ve learned from experience that miscommunication with clients will happen, but you can take those mishaps and use them to fine-tune your process for the next time.
Take our photoshoots, for example. Being very specific about shot lists ensures that our team and the client’s team are all on the same page. Everyone knows exactly what we’ll be doing so we can take that shot list and actually get those photos in one shoot – without having to go back and reshoot things multiple times!
One thing we’ve learned after creating shot lists for a while? “Blue” as the background color is not specific enough – we now ask the client for a color swatch or exact match to avoid miscommunication! You can use this for any type of creative work, whether it’s providing an example blog or video, or even creating a quick mockup of a design!
As your business grows and maybe you even hire some help or expand your team, always remember that communication is key. The more people involved will require even greater levels of communication and detail!
Check out one of our favorite tools to help us keep track of backgrounds, props, concepts, and client feedback and approvals: Airtable. It’s kind of like a regular spreadsheet, but it’s so easy to customize and visualize in different ways based on your own business’s needs!
Be flexible & easy to work with
People want to work with people who make it easy for them to get things done. Make it simple for your clients to pay you, sign contracts, schedule meetings, review deliverables, and so on.
Paper contracts can be a pain – especially with clients who are all over the globe! HelloSign makes it easy for your clients to sign contracts digitally so you can upload documents and get the deal closed seamlessly.
Going back and forth via email or text about scheduling meetings can be a real time-sucker, too. We started using Calendly and haven’t looked back! Set your schedule, give people your link, and they can schedule time with you without the back and forth.
All of these tools make it easy for you to do your work and create healthy boundaries with clients. You want to make their life and work easier, but you also don’t want to be at their beck and call, so definitely find the tools that work for you.
Listen & adapt
Take a step back and listen to what your clients are asking for! When Alisha first started LISH Creative, the list of service offerings was extensive. As time has gone on, though, we’ve adapted those services to better fit the needs of our clients.
Here’s an example: In previous years, 80% of the work we did was still photos and 20% was videos. In 2021, it was the complete opposite!
Now that Instagram proritizes video and TikTok has taken off, it couldn’t have been more clear that we needed to help our clients with video content. So we invested in better camera equipment and lighting, and also hired video experts to help us better serve clients and adapt to their needs.
We’re not saying that you need to bend to every whim of your client, but being a creative business owner means you’re often providing a service to clients. Getting feedback from clients can sometimes be tough, but it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and then make the necessary changes.
Reward clients for referrals
One of the most powerful tools to grow your business is word of mouth referrals from your very own clients! Word of mouth marketing has brought us some of our most favorite clients over the last several years. And best of all – it’s free marketing for you!
Reward good word of mouth and bring in new clients by setting up a referral program.
● Give people a reason to share your work by offering discount codes, free products or deliverables, additional services, or bonuses/commissions.
● Referral links make it simple for your clients to share!
● Allow clients to share in a variety of ways, whether it’s through their social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, or even through text!
Need 1:1 support as you build your client-based biz?
Alisha here! I’ve been working with some of your favorite brands for the last 6 years, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I didn’t start here. I also hit some bumps along the way! I know what a client-based biz is like, and I know how to help you scale one that feels more streamlined and less stressful.
If you want 1:1 support from me to help you build your business, schedule a 1-hour consulting call with me and ask me anything! I would love to help you work through things you may be struggling with – from systems, to communication, to team-building, equipment, and more.