7 Tips for Choosing the Right Clients for your Creative Agency
Read time: 4 minutes
Choosing your clients is like choosing your friends or business partners. You have to assure that the relationship is positive for both sides and balance is achieved. It is therefore important for you, at least indirectly, to use some criteria to select them.
“Filtering” potential clients that contact your creative agency for professional services is important for you to avoid “difficult clients” that can bring headaches to your agency and even damage your image and reputation with other potential (and good) clients.
Here we will present some criteria that you can use to select your clients. It is important however to emphasize that when your services are in high demand, your selection criteria will be even more strict, and at slower times your filter will be less rigid and can end up being more permissive.
The 7 Tips:
1. Select clients that value your expertise and truly believe that you can do the best for them. If you feel that a client contacts you for other reasons, think hard to determine whether it is worthwhile pursuing the relationship.
2. Make sure you have the expertise to meet the needs of your client. Some companies are looking for generalists, other for specialists (e.g. digital media). If you don’t think you are a suitable match for the prospect, be up front, inform them and suggest other agencies. Moreover, make sure that the client really needs your services or if there are any ways that they can get the same outcome at lower or zero cost. The relationship should be profitable for both sides. (And believe me, they will appreciate your honesty).
3. Find clients that know what they want or at least have their needs very clearly identified so you can understand how to solve their problems. Clients that change their expectations or requests all the time can delay the project and demotivate your team.
4. Look for clients that have experience contracting professional services. Past experiences tell a lot about the client. First, it is important that they know how to work with other firms and secondly it is a way to figure out if they pay their invoices on time or not.
5. Determine an appropriate size and budget: clients that are small or those with no experience probably won’t have a well defined process in place for working with you, so you will need to be prepared. Larger clients represent greater responsibility and commitment that you will need to be ready for if you decide to service that market.
6. Make sure that your client is consistent when communicating with you and gives timely feedback. Request that clients have only one spokesperson (or key contact), instead of a group of people responsible for communicating with the account executive, making requests and approving samples/templates. This will help you avoid delays and miscommunication, and will ultimately help you with consistency.
7. Have a goal to work with clients that are fun! If a company is not flexible and not very open-minded, you may encounter problems when presenting your creative ideas.
I know that this may sometimes be difficult to determine up front, but remember, often times intuition will provide you with the best answer. Don’t hold on to a client just for the money, ensure that your staff enjoys working with them as this will almost always help you in the long run.
Finally, you need to “filter” your clients to guarantee that the relationship will be valuable and that both parties can be satisfied with the successful business outcomes. For this reason, carefully selecting your clients is an important step in building your agency reputation and growing the profitability of your business.
Hopefully these tips will help you make better decisions when choosing your clients.
Please, comment if you have any other tip or experience to share!