In the creative industry, one of the most prominent challenges designers and content creators face is receiving content from their clients. Have you ever wondered how you end this vicious cycle of begging your clients to send you material to produce and publish their content? There is no perfect solution, but hopefully, with these three fundamental principles, we could help you and your business.
Here at Highstreet Marketing, our agency focuses on providing solutions and how to implement these practices effectively between businesses. First, identify your pain points and needs to make these practices more applicable to your company and its goals.
1- Sharing and following up
This might sound like a redundant suggestion at this point. But how you communicate and convey a follow-up to a client can make all the difference in the outcome of that conversation. Outlining the specific content you need with particular tasks and instructions can help with avoiding them to revise and resend. In this message or call, you can also emphasize why a website or blog hasn’t been published due to them not sending the needed materials.
With clearly outlined instructions and details for what is needed from your client, you could save time and resources on having to further follow up on a mistake on their end. I.e., sending a URL in the wrong format, stock photos with watermarks, etc. If you take the time to include outlined instructions on a follow-up note for each project, you can make templates to repurpose for different client follow-ups, saving you time and reducing task-related stress.
To make this process easier on you and your team creating content for the client, complete the following contingencies clearly in your contract:
- Production and publishing of the projects will not begin until all, 100%, of the content, is received.
- Statements addressing delayed work are caused by the client and not you or your team.
- The price of your contract does not cover the responsibility of having you follow up with them more than twice. If they would like to be reminded more than twice throughout a project timeline, make it clear your pricing then increases due to spending more time following up with them.
As with any solution, this option isn’t perfect, especially for companies with a more significant clientele load. When considering this simple yet effective solution, assess how it can best benefit the productivity of your company’s projects.
2- Automated forms
Like asking clients for documents of content, online forms can help you have more control over a seemingly repetitive task. The main advantage of sending your clients an online form to fill out for content is that you can be as precise and descriptive as possible. For their contact information, you can request a company URL link, social media pages, company email, etc. While this solution does remove the need to flag down clients and send them reminders to send you content, it does, however, help specify the content you need and in the format you need it in.
A downside to this structure is that it doesn’t leave much room for leeway. If a client needs to upload different content for a similar page, they would need to have you create a new page or separate form for a single page to send the appropriate content. Another negative to this solution is that some online form hosts don’t have the option to “save for later” feature. While searching for a site that works best for you, make sure that it has this feature making it easier for you and your client.
Fortunately for you, there are self-hosted sites you can use to make any specific changes for particular clients and their needs.
The best way to utilize this method in your project process is to:
- Ensure that you have forms made for specific clients.
- Use self-hosted online software.
- Automate follow-ups to save time.
3- Hire a Copywriter
As an agency owner or manager, you may hear of the option of hiring a copywriter all the time but may need to catch up on it being a solution due to the added expense. But, in all reality, it will only add to your efficiency. At first, it may be an added cost, but if you are producing and publishing content faster for your clients, the more clients you will be able to take on.
Whether hiring a copywriter is suitable for your company’s workflow depends on your goals and how involved you want to be in each process. Some factors you can take into consideration while determining this are:
- Your client involvement.
- Goals for monthly growth in clientele and revenue.
- Budget and content need relation.
Again, hiring a copywriter can make your job and productivity between clients more efficient to avoid the bottleneck of receiving content, but only do it if it’s right for you and your company’s needs.
Decide what works for you
After reading through these three beneficial and customizable options, you now have a lot to reflect on. You may have questions you’ve never thought about before or needs you’ve never considered to address. Gathering information from clients may seem like a challenge, but not one you can’t overcome.
At Highstreet Marketing, we focus on having clients send us what they have to refine it internally and sometimes create certain written content internally. Doing this, we have more control over the quality of our client’s content, better reaching their goals and achieving the growth they’re looking for. If you have questions about our process or how you should implement certain practices into your projects, feel free to contact our office!