How To Get Clients To Trust The Process

I’ve written about the process I take my freelance clients through. In this post, I want to discuss my thoughts on how to get those clients to trust the process. The first step in doing this may surprise you.

Choose The Right Clients

“Serious Inquiries Only”

There is a reason you see this when people post their business contact information.

Be selective about who you work with. Once you accept the opportunity to work with someone, that client and that project is your responsibility. In my field, I like to only work with people who understand the value and importance of design. I also love working with people whose projects will bring some positivity into the world, whether through a service or product. Take the time prior to accepting a job to evaluate how well you and the potential client fit with one another. Evaluate how well you can accomplish what is necessary for the project. Be thorough in determining what they need and establish yourself as a teammate and not a tool. Some people are simply looking for technicians while others want to invest in a specialist to join their team for a time.

Keep The Focus On Their Goals

Never take for granted their decision to reach out to you for help. Appreciate every opportunity you have to serve someone else. While appreciating, make sure you are digging. You build trust by digging deeper into their backstory and the backstory of the project. The more they can tell you are personally invested in their success, the more they trust in you as a teammate. You must be invested in their vision beyond the mere monetary transaction. As a graphic designer, I’m not chasing money. I’m chasing purpose. I feel these skills I’ve been blessed with have a purpose attached. My purpose is tied to helping others more efficiently fulfill their purpose through the visual medium. The overall goal and purpose of the project should inform every decision.

Explain The Process & Reasoning

Do your due diligence in “on-boarding” your client. Take the time to explain the process and make them feel welcomed. Just as you need to feel like a teammate so do they. Throughout the process, explain your design decisions with clarity. Also, be open to critique. Try what they may want to see before rejecting their input. Showing is always better than telling. Give options and explain why, in your professional opinion, you would go with one over another.   Be the professional and take responsibility for your part in getting the project from idea to tangible reality.

Deliver

At the end of the day, you need to deliver. A satisfied client will become an ambassador for you. They will go forth and tell the world of how great you are. Others will be listening and come to you with confidence and excitement. Word-of-mouth references are the best. Potential clients will come ready to trust your process after seeing how well it worked out for their friend or colleague. The equity you have built with your client will go a long way in bringing in new ones. Your positive reputation grows with each successful project – putting you in a better position to serve in the future.

~b.

The Power of the Niche Down

When I first started trying to be a freelance graphic designer in 2009, I tried to claim to be a graphic & web designer. I had yet to discover the wide range of different (and specific) applications for graphic design. I also had yet to discover that I much rather spend time working on someone’s logo or brand identity than wrestling with HTML and CSS for extended periods of time. (Salute to all those superstars who specialize in web development.)

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The Emotion In Marketing

Mastering the expression of emotions is very valuable, when trying to communicate to an audience. When I produce content for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, I try to include as many smiling faces as possible. On social media, promotional material, and in our national publication The Podium, we want to speak to the value we bring college & university band programs. We also want to showcase the value the brotherhood and sisterhood has on active and alumni members of the organizations. Showing the effects of our service is best done through showcasing our members and their joy.

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Your Brand Is Your Gold

As an individual, company, group, or organization, your brand is everything.

Literally.

A brand is everything that makes you…you — the images you showcase, the promises you give, and the actions you take (or don’t take).

Whether you are an employee of a company, an entrepreneur, or a member of an organization, you need to know the brand you are representing. As a human being, everything you put out into the world is under the umbrella of your personal brand. It is important to be cognizant of the image you are projecting and make sure it is true to who you really are.

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3 Questions To Answer When Building A Brand

Know what and who you are

Your brand is your gold, as I have mentioned before. You have to mine and refine that gold to establish yourself, your organization, your company, etc. Before you can truly build and tell the story of your brand, there are some questions that you must answer. Here’s a sample of three inspired by the SHYPSI client questionnaire, used to educate the designer on the potential client and what they need.

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Invest In Your Brand (Or Else)

Invest In Your Brand (Or Else)

“That much for a logo?”

in·vest·ment
inˈves(t)mənt/ (noun)
noun: investment; plural noun: investments

the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.
a thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future. “a used car is rarely a good investment”

act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. “the time spent in attending a one-day seminar is an investment in our professional futures”

synonyms: contribution, sacrifice
“a substantial investment of time”


Whether you want to build a personal brand or a company/organization brand, you need to invest time, energy, and money into that edification. While on break, back home in North Carolina, some friends of mine talked with me about some projects they wanted to get off the ground. I threw out a possible ballpark estimate for a logo and they were shocked by the price range.

“That much?”

“…for a logo?”

Yes.

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