Yes! A potential client has emailed you saying they love your work and need help with a design project. (Insert happy dance here). Now it's time to freak out. Do you have the documents you need? Does your skill set match what they are looking for? omg omg omg. The last post of TFL, I talked about how to find the right clients for you and today we'll move onto that initial meeting.
BEFORE THE MEETING
Get yourself organized and send out proper documents to this potential client like your process page and pricing packages. Having a basic pricing document will instantly determine if your client really wants to spend the amount that you are worth.
Do some research about the person or business. Understand the basics of what services they provide and what help you could offer. If needed, do some research on their competitors.
Elevate how they communicate. Does the tone of their email match that ideal client of yours?
MEETING YOUR CLIENT
I prefer to do face-to-face meetings whenever possible - that could be at a coffee shop or through Skype. There is something about understanding a person's vibe that instantly speaks about their business more than a questionnaire could tell you. It also helps you AND the client realize you're a real person and not just an email address.
Determine how you want to be viewed by your client. This can be anything from knowledgeable and organized to flighty and messy. First impressions are everything, not just for you but for your client too! Most of my client relationships have turned into great friendships after I stopped worrying about being all buttoned up and professional and started being myself. I am still very organized, put strategies into place and gain full trust but I do so now in a more casual and personable way. I've decided to be a designer who is invested not only in my client's business but also their family and personal life.
DURING YOUR MEETING
Understand what the client's goals are for this project and what is specifically needed. Look at the big picture - they need a rebrand because their target market changed, they need a new website because they started selling product... Always keep in mind that you are helping another business and your goal is to help them succeed.
Determine a general timeline and explain your process. Bring a contract with you for them to take home or sign on the spot.
If you started a Pinterest board together or if they had any inspiration to share, print it out so you can talk about what they are attracted to. It's important that a client can tell you what they are drawn to. If they don't know, how are you suppose to?
Show off your knowledge and how it can benefit their business. Just because someone comes to you for a new logo doesn't mean that you can't take that to the next level and offer them a social strategy and graphics that go with it.
AFTER THE MEETING
Follow up with any existing questions, questionnaires, contracts and final pricing.
If they are on social media make sure to follow them and start engaging. Again this helps both of you relate to one-another. Ask your client if they want their rebranding process public. This is a great way to engage not only your fans but also attract new interested towards your clients business.
See the rest of a Freelance Life: 01 How to Begin, 02 Important Documents, 03 Finding the right Clients