In the almost two years since we have established ourselves as an agency, B. Co has met with many types of clients (potential and otherwise). At first, we were dedicated to expanding our portfolio, which led to us taking on clients we otherwise might not have. Although, we are thankful for every type of client that we have worked with, because it has increased our knowledge and experience with business relations.
As content creators, we are often so focused on why the prospect should hire us that we don’t pay enough attention to what it is that we are looking for in a client. Is there a perfect client out there? No. Is there an ideal client? Yes. So, what is it that we look for on the client side that helps us do our job better?
1. A Professional Understanding
Once the contract is signed and we are ready to work, there has to be a level of professional understanding. The work is the heart of the process and is where we thrive. We want the client to let us do the work. If there is no understanding of the process, then it is hard for the client to understand what is going on.
Clients need to be willing to take advice. This is something they have hired us for as experts. This is what we do day-in and day-out, so it is important that they have some faith in us (after all, they made the decision to hire us for a reason).
2. Having a Realistic Budget
When working with an agency, pricing can go up for various reasons (as stated in our Freelance vs Agency blog). That does not mean, however, that we as an agency cannot be competitive. It is in every right of the client to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck, but taking into account the quality of the final product, an ideal client will understand that good work costs money. Marketing items are an investment, not an expense.
Having a client that is looking to cut corners on cost may also look to cut corners in other parts of the process. Let’s face it, that never ends well.
3. Having a Single Point of Contact
Having multiple people involved on the creative side is usually a good thing, but when you open the door to have everything decided by committee on the client side, things can get messy fast. You want the opinions of people whose opinions matter and are constructive. We have found that this can be remedied by working with a single representative who can synthesize the necessary information into a singular and efficient communique.
4. Participation in the Process
We, as an agency, want participation on the client side. However, that participation has to be relevant (as stated above on the previous point). The final product is for the client, but not the process of how we get there. You wouldn’t challenge a chef’s ingredients if the food tastes good. We all have our boundaries, and boundaries need to be established from the very beginning of the process. It is the agency’s role to communicate this to the client, and the client’s role to understand and adhere to those boundaries.
5. Sticking to the Schedule
A good client adheres to the timeline that is mutually agreed upon (usually before pre-production even truly begins). One might think this goes without saying, but it can be an issue from time to time, so it is paramount to identify it before it becomes a problem. Good clients understand the importance of a finely-tuned timetable, especially if they want to continue the relationship, as well as not delay on any deliverables.