Marketing is all fun and games until someone gets mad at you. Like any business, the ping of disappointment from a client hits deep. It can send you into an existential crisis that makes you question your expertise and ability.
We’re here to nip that right in the bud. We’ll show you how to avoid disappointing clients by maintaining healthy marketing relationships. These relationships are key to retaining clients and growing your marketing business.
→ Your clients won’t stick around if they have a bad relationship with you.
→ And they certainly won’t refer their friends if they don’t feel confident in your business.
Let’s break down how you can maintain healthy marketing client relationships, so you can avoid the dreaded ping of disappointment.
#1: Take Your Communication Skills Seriously
Communication is key in every relationship in your life. When it comes to your client relationships, it’s crucial because people are trusting you with their time and money. Those are two valuable resources that they can’t get back if you mess up. You wouldn’t want to spend 6 months on a subpar strategy just to realize you set the money on fire and have to start with a brand new strategy. Neither do your clients.
That’s where communication comes in. Each client wants to feel like they fully understand what’s going on with their campaigns—even if they don’t know every tiny detail. Communication is the difference between clients feeling frustrated with you and clients tweeting about how much they love working with you as a freelancer or agency.
Communicate regularly with your clients so they feel confident that they’re spending their time and money wisely.
#2: Set Expectations Ahead of Time
This is where things can get awkward, fast. If you don’t set expectations at the start of your relationship, your clients will be wondering where their traffic is and questioning if they made a good choice by hiring you. This is the type of mess-up that leads to emails like, “What’s going on with this strategy, it’s not working,” and “We need to talk before I pay my next invoice.”
Neither of these are emails you should ever receive. That’s where expectations come into play. Be overly clear about what clients can expect from working with you and write it down in your contract and send them an email reminding them of how long to expect to see results, what you require from them, and what your relationship will look like. This is a great time to add in your working hours and any retainer terms like a 30-day notice before leaving their contract.
Setting expectations ahead of time saves you awkward conversations down the line.
#3: Keep Them Updated on Any/All Progress
People want to know what’s going on with their business—and they deserve to know. If your agency takes a week to respond to client messages, expect to create an unhealthy client relationship. That client will lose their trust in working with you, realizing that you don’t prioritize responding to them (even if it’s just to let them know you’ll need a few days to put together a response).
Instead of keeping them on read or in the dark about what’s going on, send them weekly updates about their strategy. Tell them what work your team did on their content, Facebook Ad Manager, or customer avatar research if you don’t have statistics to show them. It’s the small things that can add up to a healthy client relationship, and keeping clients updated is one of them.
Keep your clients updated with their onboarding progress, what your team is working on, and what results you’ve gotten weekly.
#4: Create a Monthly Check-In to Meet Over Video Chat
Touching base with your clients can change the game. Sending emails or Slack messages back-and-forth works for the day-to-day operations, but every month you need to meet with them face-to-face (or Zoom-to-Zoom). These calls will run on a schedule like: Update on what your agency has been working on, answering questions from the client, action items from each party of what’s needed to move forward.
Monthly check-ins will take time, but they’ll be worth it. Meeting your clients face-to-face reassures them that you’re more than just minions getting them views and conversions. You’re real people working hard on their business. They’ll appreciate you more for what you do and you’ll build a better relationship with them (leading to long-term contracts and referrals!).
Every client wants a monthly check-in to know that their time and money was spent wisely.
#5: Celebrate Their Wins with Them
Clients hired you to get them results. As marketers, it’s our job to drive traffic and conversions. We’re lucky to have a tangible result to point our efforts towards…and an exciting one! When the traffic roles in and the conversions start to add up, send an exciting email to your client. Celebrate with them!
This is your chance to show them that you’re just as excited about their sales as they are. With this excitement, you prove that this is more than a monetary relationship. It’s a relationship based on wanting the best for them, which we can confidently say leads to loyalty and LTV. Your clients are people who want to feel supported and excited when they win. Be the people they get to celebrate those exciting moments with.
Celebrate your client wins to show them it’s not just about the money. You genuinely care about their long-term business success.
Clients Are Just People Looking to Fulfill Their Aspirations
It’s easy to get caught up in the business side of marketing. They give you money. You make them more money. The reality is that your clients are people who have a dream. They dream of being their own boss, building a successful business, and having something to pass down to their kids one day.
And with these aspirations come basic human needs that you can fulfill as a freelancer or agency. Maintain healthy client relationships by being aware of:
#1: The client’s need to regularly hear from you or your team
#2: The client knowing what to expect from their investment in you and your team
#3: The client finding comfort in staying up-to-date with their investment
#4: The client wanting to see the people behind the Slack messages
#5: The client’s desire to celebrate the wins they once dreamt of
Maintaining healthy client relationships has been templated by the many marketers who have made the mistakes you get to avoid. Inside of DigitalMarketer Lab, you’ll get access to The Perfect Client Proposal Template, Client Intake Form, and Fulfilling Your Client’s Needs from your Agency Insider Training that will help you seamlessly build great relationships with your clients.