Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Importance of Communicating with Your Clients

There's nothing like having one agreement with a client and then realizing they had something completely different in mind.

Often a quick email or phone call is all it takes to ensure that you'll deliver the product the client expects. Other times it may take a sit down meeting and submitting a rough draft.

Many writers cringe at the thought of submitting a rough copy to a client for fear that the client will then begin their critique of the work. This definitely happens and if you know your client, you may just want to submit an outline and avoid detail that'll have them taking out their editor's pen.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I know I sometimes hesitate with a new client because I'm afraid they'll think I don't know what I'm doing. Well, if I turn in something completely different than what they were expecting, they'll think I'm clueless for sure.

When approaching a project, put your interviewer's hat on with the client. What are all the things you'd want to know about the project if you weren't involved? What are the things the client's  audience would want to know?

For some of my more frequent work I have a base list of questions I ask before getting into the detail of the particular project. Nothing like writing a press release and having to call the client up and ask - "When is the event?"

When working with your clients, what steps do you take to make sure you both are on the same page?


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