communication tips

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Communication Tips for the Content Creation Process with Kristen Lo

If you work with clients as part of your job, you probably know how important communication is. You have to get to know your clients, understand their needs, and will need to keep in touch with them throughout the process. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming! If you’re looking for some communication tips to make your relationships with clients go smoothly, there was some great advice shared in this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Communication Tips for the Content Creation Process with Kristen Lo

Our guest host this week was Kristen Lo, the Community Manager for HeyOrca. Kristen is a regular participant at #ContentWritingChat and it was great having her step into the guest hosting role. She also had some amazing communication tips we can all use when working with our clients. Keep reading to find out what they are!

Q1: What are the top qualities of an effective communication process with clients?

When working with clients is a huge part of your business, it’s essential that you make sure the communication process is effective. To help you out, here’s what some of our chat participants feel are a must:

As Kristen said, it’s important to keep your clients satisfied and content. That should always be one of your top priorities when you run or work in a service-based business.

Sarah feels it’s important to set expectations with your clients. She also recommends responding in a timely manner with clear communication. Being polite and proper is always a must!

Shelly said effective client communication is responsive, proactive, clear, collaborative, and provides context. That’s a great answer!

Zala recommends having a strategy in place. You want to plan and have clear steps for your communication process, as well as a division of responsibilities.

Dan said you need to find the most efficient communication channel for connecting with clients. You want to use something that suits both of your needs.

Javier also knows it’s important to have an easy channel of communication. Determine early on if you’ll communicate via telephone, email, or something else.

One of the best communication tips to implement is to have a schedule. Make it clear when you’ll be in touch with your clients. Dan said conversations should be open and honest on both sides as well.

When you set clear expectations from the very beginning, you’re going to get a project started off on the right foot. You also want to make sure you’re always on time for meetings. When you value a client’s time, they’ll value yours.

Lexie knows the importance of open and honest communication. At Netvantage, they’re always upfront with clients early on.

Q2: How can you best establish how many touch points you should have with your clients throughout the creation process?

It’s important to make expectations clear from the very start of a brand new client project. So, how can you establish how many touch points you’ll actually have with each client? Here’s some helpful advice:

Kristen said you need to be consistent when it comes to the updates you have with your clients. Consistency helps a project go smoothly and keeps clients at ease.

A solid, clear workflow is a must! Julia shared our own process for the team here at Express Writers. Check out the link she included to learn more about what it’s like when you hire us!

Sarah recommends setting expectations. When will you be in touch with a client? Make sure you follow through on the plans you make.

Javier encourages you to establish a flexible schedule in the beginning and make it more concrete as you reach milestones throughout the project.

Q3: How can you get your clients excited for your content and keep them happy throughout the process?

When you work with clients, it’s important that you keep them happy throughout the process. To ensure their excitement remains high, keep these tips in mind:

Kristen knows that talking about potential results is one way to get clients excited. Let them know what you can really do for them! It also helps to share updates along the way so they see you’re making progress. It keeps them involved throughout.

Julia suggests sharing examples of finished pieces. It gives clients a look into what you can really do for them. They’re sure to see the value of your work and what you’re capable of.

Be transparent when communicating ideas. This helps to build a collaborative environment, which ensures you both stay excited during a project.

Make sure you’re also checking in with clients regularly. As Danielle said, you don’t want to leave them hanging and searching for updates.

Dan agrees that it’s important to keep clients updated. Share the progress you’re making so they can be involved.

Remember, if you want clients to be happy and excited about a project, you should feel that way too. Clients will pick up on your vibes so make sure you’re truly invested!

Lexie’s advice is to be confident about the content you’re working on. Your confidence is contagious!

Q4: What do you do with clients that want no part in content creation? How can you deliver a product that meets their needs?

What happens when your client doesn’t want to get involved in the content creation process? How do you manage it and still deliver a stellar product in the end? Here’s some advice:

Kristen suggests having a rigorous first call, plus data to back up any decisions you make. You always need to know what your client’s needs are.

Make sure you ask plenty of questions at the beginning of the project. You want to learn as much as possible about the client you’re working with. Sarah said to also research their website for more information.

An honest conversation with a client is the best way to get started. Find out what they want and what their goals are.

As Lex said, you should always cherish and appreciate your clients. She suggests having a thorough first meeting, research, and then A/B test.

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Lexie recommends researching your client’s competitors. You can learn a lot about their field and come up with content ideas their audience would be interested in.

Shelly’s advice is to make out everything for your project. You can then send it over to the client for approval, then you’ll be able to get started.

Q5: What are your go-to tools for keeping in touch with your clients?

Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools out there that can make communicating with clients even easier. Check out some of these for your next client chat:

A simple phone call goes a long way when it comes to communicating with clients.

Zala knows that sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. She relies on Google Docs, Trello, Evernote, and Slack.

For Lex, her go-to tool is Teamwork.

Over at ThinkSEM, they’re fans of keeping it simple too. They rely a lot on email and telephone calls.

Debi’s favorite tools include Basecamp and Skype. She also relies on regular phone calls too.

Email is certainly a must, but if you can, meeting a client in person is always a great idea.

One great tip to walk away with is that you don’t want to let clients see you sending emails late at night. They’ll start thinking you’re available that late and begin reaching out, thus expecting a fast response. Instead, use a tool like Boomerang to schedule your emails to go out in the morning.

Q6: How do you set communication boundaries in terms of how and when you communicate?

One of our top communication tips is to set boundaries with your clients. You need to have a clear expectation of how often you’ll check-in with clients and how you’ll conduct these chats. Here’s some advice to help you set boundaries:

Kristen knows that you are in the charge of your own boundaries. You need to set boundaries from the beginning and stick to them in order to honor your time.

Carla always sets expectations from the very first meeting with her clients.

Lexie recommends determining the communication schedule from the very start. If you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to ask and make sure your clients feel the same.

Natasha feels everything should be stated in writing, including your expectations when it comes to communication.

It helps to start your communication boundaries in your contract. This lets clients know what to expect from the get-go.

It’s also wise to let clients know how soon they can expect to receive a response from you. Make sure it’s in a timely manner, but give a time frame so they know your availability.

Consistency is always key when it comes to working with your clients!

As Julia mentioned, our team here uses Nextiva to route calls. This prevents the phone from ringing outside business hours. Clients are then able to leave a message instead. She knows that it’s important to protect your time off, so our team doesn’t work outside business hours.

Give people office hours so they know when you’re going to be available to them.

Shannon prefers monthly face-to-face meetings when making major decisions with clients. She relies on weekly calls for updates and check-ins and email for approvals.

Q7: What’s your strategy for stellar communication with clients who may be on the other side of the world?

Sometimes we land clients who are on the other side of the world, thus making communication difficult due to timezone differences. How do you manage this without losing your cool? Check out this advice from the chat:

When working with clients around the world, set incremental touch points. Let them know when they can expect to hear from you and how often.

Make sure you dedicate time specifically for that client so you can meet their needs despite timezone differences.

Sarah’s advice is to set up a schedule with the client’s preferred mode of communication during your first meeting. Compromise will be necessary to make this partnership work.

Sometimes you’re going to have to change your schedule to accommodate overseas clients. It shows you value their time and business, which they’ll appreciate.

After all, if you don’t accommodate this client, someone else will. You certainly don’t want to lose great business!

Let your client know that delays in communication will probably happen. Inform them that at least 24 hours for a response will probably be typical.

Q8: What tips in today’s chat will you incorporate into your client-communication game plan?

So, which tips from today’s chat were most valuable to you? Here’s what some of our chat participants said they’ll be implementing:

Clients love open communication!

Have a schedule, consistency, and easy-to-use platforms. These are great communication tips!

Don’t forget to work on your listening skills! This is something Jade will certainly be working on after this week’s chat.

Communicate expectations early on with your clients.

Cheval will be making adjustments in how he works with overseas clients.

As Shannon said, it’s not all about you. It’s about the client and their needs.

Join the next #ContentWritingChat! It takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!

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