How to be a good client

Yes, you did read that correctly.  There are good and bad ways of dealing with creative agencies and the creative process in general. The former will bring meaningful results and (hopefully) return on investment, the latter route is often one of compromise.

You may, quite rightly, be considering several creative suppliers before making a decision as to who fits you best. With that in mind, I thought it would be worthwhile to compile a list of hints and tips to maximise the potential of every project.

How to be a good client

How to be a good client

First up, budgets.
I’d say it’s essential to have a realistic budget – whether it’s a logo, website or brochure it is important to recognise the process is an investment which will give a good return over time.  From a Plain Creative perspective, we will never aim to be the cheapest supplier, but we will strive to deliver a project of real value, with solutions we believe will work for your business.  By having a tartget to aim for we can cut our cloth accordingly.

It’s all about trust.
For a project to work well there has to be an understanding on both sides, that what has been agreed will be followed through and delivered.  With a robust product offering and enhanced customer experience, results are sure to follow.

Build on solid foundations – I’d say this is one of the most common oversights.
Are your goals realistic?  Is your business proposition robust? Do you have appropriate resources to deliver the project successfully. If in doubt ask your friends to act as sounding boards for offers / promotions / business ideas. Would I choose to buy from your company? or take up a particular offer?  If not, why not? For us this is an essential part of any project. We will always take time at the beginning of a project to establish goals – how else can you be sure of building the right solution?

Be clear on your objectives before committing to budget spend with an agency
We don’t need you to visit us with handfuls of thoughts and scribbles – just a realistic breakdown of your needs and expectations. Be specific on must-haves and open to suggestions in other areas.  If the project goals change part way through, budgets may need adjusting for the new work required to get the project back on track.

Be open to listening to advice
Any good agency will appreciate that everyone has thought’s and opinions, but there are times when trusting (see above) in the people who do this, day in day out, is the best course of action.

Manage the project well
Have a single point of contact with a central ‘shared area’ for project updates and delegation of tasks to colleagues. Design by committee seldom works, with only the lowest common denominator winning through. The trick to staying on top of everything is to focus on the most important goals associated with your project. The following often bring the best results:

  1. Finish on Time
  2. Be under budget
  3. Meet requirements
  4. Keep customers happy
  5. Keep team members happy
  6. Be agile – we know projects scope can change and are always happy to help manage that change.
  7. Understand your role in the process.

As I said at the start, there are lots of interdependencies when undertaking a creative project. One of the best ways to help an agency is to deliver content in a timely fashion and ensure the project does not shift focus – this will enable the project to be completed on schedule and budget. We are more than happy to talk this through at the start and help where possible along the way.

Finally. give constructive, timely feedback.
When commenting on proposals put forwards it’s often useful to comment as to where the design doesn’t work for the objectives, or perhaps the target audience… please remember that audience isn’t necessarily you.

There may be more to add to this list and we’d be more than happy to hear your suggestions – please email through to craig@plain-creative.co.uk