This is the most important question for us to answer as we work together. Our goal before profit is to do good work, to do our best work. Our fellow freelancers feel the same way, especially because we are all in the second half of our career. We are all experienced professionals.
Here are a few qualities we look for in a great client:
- Authority: Our liaison at your organization has the final say on spending and creative. You must be able to sign off on everything. If approvals from someone else are required, those people must be present in our meetings.
- Creative leeway or clear boundaries: The very best clients are the ones who completely trust us to do what we do and are pretty hands-off on creative decisions. If that makes you nervous, that’s OK. Just be very clear about boundaries in terms of writing style or design elements. The scenario we want to avoid is guessing and hoping to appease someone’s taste. Guessing means rework and a rework means unnecessary expense on your part.
- Time: We understand that last-minute work can happen on occasion. That’s OK. What we want to ensure is that last-minute work is not a pattern. When we rush, we make mistakes (still only human!), and we lose the opportunity to do our best work. Allow time for the creative process to unfold. Allow us time to allocate and set aside the time to do the job. Also remember, you pay a higher hourly rate when you are assigning us last-minute work.
- Budget: Marketing costs money. Social media is not free. Be really clear about the range within which you are willing to spend and base it on your overall financials. If you don’t know where to start, you can do a bit of research and find some good rules of thumb in your industry. Ask others what they spend. Generally, an annual marketing budget should be 3-5% of your gross yearly revenue.
It takes some time to make sure that you are getting a return on your marketing dollars. Together, we will work towards that objective. If marketing is new for your business, be ready to spend marketing dollars to establish a baseline to help you understand what and how marketing contributes to your business.
Uneasiness about budget chokes your program out faster than nearly anything else. Make sure you are comfortable with the expense and the parameters before moving forward.
Passion and Enthusiasm
You have to be excited about what you do. You need to provide leadership that is inspirational and forward-looking. You need to have vision. Together these provide the fertile ground for us to do our best work for you. If you’re not excited about your business or your job, it’ll be hard for us to be too.
If we have a regular standing meeting, be on time. If you can’t make it, give us a heads-up. If you take on action items, do them when you say you will do them. If you get too busy to work with us, tell us you need a break. So much of what we do relies on us all walking in step.