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how to be a good CLIENT

By July 7, 2008July 11th, 2008Critical Copywriting, The Business


I was about to publish today’s post when one of my marketing/designer colleagues just told me this story. After she hired me to write some taglines for a client (of her own accord because she wanted to add even greater value to the project), her client said she didn’t like them and from this point forward to only do exactly what she tells her to do. Well!

The client also rejected all five logos that had been presented to her, and the photo images that had been selected for her brochure. Her response to the taglines, logos and photos was, “I’ll just do it myself.” My colleague is left wondering why she was hired.

Now, there are a few things at play here. I haven’t seen the images or the logos, so I can’t attest to their quality…but I wrote the taglines, and I (and my colleague) thought they were very good (still that’s just a bit subjective). And, the client has every right not to like the work – it may just be missing the mark and/or she and my colleague may not be a good match. This happens and it’s totally legitimate…but, still, there are some bigger issues at hand. This client is making quite a leap over to “I’ll do it all myself.” What happened to, “…that doesn’t work for me, can you do this?”

Made me think about (and want to honor) those good clients…what is it they do that makes them so good…even special? Almost across the board, they:

1. Understand that writing, design and marketing in general are processes. That we work on things together, that there is a reason for drafts and revisions, that if it isn’t right the first time – we will get there. Sometimes, even they are just discovering how they really want to present themselves.

2. Communicate their wishes, needs, edits and time requirements, clearly and consistently.

3. Enjoy their work and take great pride in themselves, their companies and their images.

4. Place great value on the importance of marketing; they realize that marketing is a critical tool for the success of their business and that it is an investment.

5. Pay on time and make quality referrals – showing that they truly value me and my hard work.

6. Integrate flexibility for themselves and for me when necessary which goes under the category of just being human.

7. Act nice, kind, considerate, caring, real and professional roughly 97% of the time.

Anything to add? Tell us about your good clients…(please note: I’m encouraging positivity here!)…or if you are one of the good clients (aren’t we all as consumers?), how are you good…and why?

Join the discussion One Comment

  • tyr says:

    Dear Ms. Writing-Roads,
    The logos were in rough form. I created several rough versions on a logo created two or three years ago. When I could not get what she was looking for, I hired an Illustrator for the creation of four more logo-roughs that we could build upon…. You are sooo correct, the “let’s work on this together” idea + lack of, “I am not into this one. How about that one tweaked this-a-which way….” were completely non-existent.
    Augh. Looking for a smoother system for next time. Thanks for all your excellent fast help! Not to mention support Julie.

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