As a writing company, managing client expectations is something that can sometimes slip by with many clients, both parties can be guilty, saying “yes” we can do that, or clients agreeing to your creative services. This can sometimes skip the process of actually agreeing to the work, setting out payment details and managing clients expectations.
It is a great practice to get into as a business, and will prevent you and the client from feeling awkward if anything goes wrong. Here are some great tips and things to remember when managing a clients expectations, when starting a new project.
Talk through creative ideas with the client and take a brief. We’ve mentioned how to take a good brief in a previous post. This should set out exactly what the client whats in terms of style, tone of voice, target audience.
Set out time limits. When does the client need the work? Is it a realistic time scale? If not, come to a happy medium, you can produce the most important pieces by a particular date.
Talk about money, it can be a difficult subject but propose your rates right at the start. It would be horrible to come to an end of a project and invoice the client, who could turn around and say “I’m not paying that”. There is a great quote from a client who hired a Freelance writer, then at the end of a project told the writer he would not pay for their services, because he thought Freelance meant FREE.
In the creative industry it is always good, when a price has been agreed, to get 50% of that price up front, then the remainder can be paid upon completion of the project.
During the period that you are creating the products for the client, keep in contact on a regular basis and be totally honest. If you come across any problems, tell the client and don’t be afraid to ask more questions. Also, tell the client what you think would be best for them and why, after all, you are the expert in your field.
These tips should enable you to manage client expectations successfully and reduce any worry or problems when working on a project.