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Be Prompt, Clear and Succinct

Lesson 2 from: FAST CLASS: Working Successfully with Clients: A Class for Illustrators and Designers

Lisa Congdon

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Lesson Info

2. Be Prompt, Clear and Succinct

Lesson Info

Be Prompt, Clear and Succinct

first of all you are prompt and I think this is especially important in the first initial contact you have with somebody who wants to work with you. Um, You want to get back to folks within 24 hours if possible. That's my rule. Um, and like let's say you're on vacation or it's the weekend weekends, I would say during the week is especially important. Um, but and most of the time people won't reach out to you on the weekend, But you always want to get back to folks within hours and that might look something like this. Hello. Thanks for your interest in working with me. I'm very excited about the potential collaboration and then you'll go on to ask some questions which will get too soon. But if you can't Write a response that asks the right questions of the person who is interested in working with you immediately, you always still want to write back within 24 hours and that might look like something like this. Hello. Thanks. Very interested in working with me. I'm traveling and I'll get...

back to you by tomorrow with my questions about the project Pro tip. I'm going to be giving you lots of pro tips in this class out of town and off email for a few days. Put an auto response in your email with the details of your absence in return. And that way if you're off the grid or you can't get back to somebody, you're gonna be on an airplane. They know because there's nothing like reaching out to somebody with an exciting opportunity and then not hearing anything back. We've all been there. We don't want to put our clients through that or potential clients. So next you communicate clearly and succinctly. So we're gonna be covering this a lot in this class. This idea of um when you write an email to a client, you want to make sure that you've got all the right information in there, Your listing your questions in an organized way. You're always proofing for redundancy and typos and run on sentences because some people are sticklers for those things. Keep your communication to the point okay, your friendly positive, enthusiastic and illegal, but and this is a big but you also want to respect the boundaries of formality. Okay, so we're gonna be looking at some really great examples of what to do and not to do in in email communication. Here's here's a big no. And this would especially be true if you didn't know the person if if if this is an old college buddy of yours who writes to you and wants to collaborate with you on a project, this might work. But if it's somebody you don't know, you would never say, hey dude, what's up so cool to hear from you, but you'd be surprised how many people will respond to an email in that way. What you do want to say is hello Dave, thanks so much for reaching out to me. I'm excited to learn more about this potential collaboration because we don't always know what generation or culture and culture is also really important. Some cultures are very formal because we don't always know who the, how old the person is or what culture they're from if they're writing to us. Uh we always want to air on the side of formality just to be safe and then you follow the clients lead from there. You're also consistent. So that means you respond in a timely manner. Each time the client reaches out to you, not just the first time they reach out, but every time you want to use the 24 hour rule and of course respond more quickly if you if you're in the middle of a working relationship, especially if they have an urgent question, you're consistently polite and professional and you ask thoughtful questions as they arrive arise in the creative process. Okay, here's a big one. You are patient, being patient. Also means taking a breath. Any time in the course of your working relationship, the client or a customer, anyone you're working with um says something that is maybe a stupid question or gives you feedback that you don't think is helpful or says something in a way that doesn't feel productive. Oftentimes our responses to want to email back right away right and say something out of anger or sarcasm, but 99% of the time the people you work with are going to be excellent communicators. Um they're going to give you feedback in a really thoughtful way and you won't have to deal with this. But in the few situations where you have stickiness with a client or a customer or somebody's rude to you, you always want to rise above the fray, take a breath. And if that means you have to wait to respond until you've calmed down or you can figure out a professional way to respond, you always want to do that. Okay? You express gratitude. Has the client offered you a compliment on your work? Given you extension on the assignment or introduce you to somebody important at the company. Um expressing appreciation may not seem like that big of a deal, but for many people it is a really big deal. So you want to show always that you're paying attention to their generosity. I'm gonna talk about saying thank you a lot in this class. So, and you'll see examples of it. For sure.

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