For the Bookworms, here's the gist!
Here's a little something I picked up recently. It's something I've always known, but never applied. And I swear, this little tidbit has solved SO many problems for me.
Recently, a fellow designer asked me about my last nightmare clients and so far this year, I haven't had a single one! You already know that I don't do one-night stands with clients, I focus on building long-lasting relationships and I can do this because my clients are THE BOMB.COM!
I create real bonds and relationships with them - they're not just people I work with. We have a connection, have inside jokes, etc. As I was really thinking about these relationships, I realized there's one main thing that fosters these connections: ask the hard questions.
It's Simple, but Not Easy
When you're talking to people. you have specific questions to ask, but you're afraid of making the situation awkward, or losing them as a client. You're afraid of something bad happening.
So you don't approach people you want to work with, or ask the hard questions, because you're afraid of making others feel awkward and you don't want to feel rejected
But what I've recently been doing is intentionally asking those hard questions - regardless of the fear. By doing that, I've had clients who are perfect for me and I've been able to repel those who aren't!
When you're open and candid with people, they're more driven to do the same and you can serve them a lot better. or example, I know a lot of my clients have worked with a designer before and had issues with them.
I know this can affect their willingness to invest in another designer - despite my clean record. Instead of skirting past that, I directly ask them to share their experience.
I address the Elephant in the Room so we can get over it together.
That both strengthens our budding relationship AND sets it up for success! If you want to have amazing client relationships, ask the hard questions!
Do it on your website, in your marketing posts and e-mails, and in your conversations.
In the past, I'd assume things about people because I was unwilling to ask these questions and that brought my confidence down. Now, instead of assuming ('Cause it makes and ASS out of U + ME), I just ask and I learn and become better for it.
When you approach relationships that way, you have a lot more clarity and build trust with your clients! I'm not gonna lie, sometimes, the conversation is awkward, but the right results are always there and I'm able to create an amazing experience for them.
You want to be open so people feel like they know exactly what they're walking into so you have super aligned, super badass relationships with your audience AND your clients!
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