Did you ever play the Sims? You know, the game with an herd of digital people that you micromanage to the umpteenth degree, meeting their needs and ensuring that at every step of the project, they’re happy with what’s going on? If you don’t remember the classic game, then we’ll go ahead and get straight to the point: Keeping clients happy is a lot like playing the Sims. Obviously, your clients are real people (and should be respected much more than digital characters) but the point remains the same. If you sometimes feel clueless as to keeping your clients happy—and the work flowing—then don’t despair just yet. We’ve got a few choice pointers that will get you going along the right track with your design projects in no time!

  1. Use a Schedule: First and foremost, people generally like to know what’s going on with the projects they’ve paid for. Does this mean you should send daily reminders to your client informing them about your tough decision between rouge and burnt amber inside the logo? No. Does it mean you should use a popular scheduling tool like Google Calendar to create an easy-to-read and intuitive location where the client can ascertain in an instant where the project aught to be? Yes, and enough said.
  2. Be Friendly, Obviously: We feel like this is a bit of a no-brainer, but to be honest, we’ve seen more designers fudge this step up than we’d be willing to admit. When you can, be genuinely friendly with your clients. Ask them how the day has been, or if you know anything about their personal lives and feel comfortable, how their families are. What you’re establishing with your clients goes beyond a design-payment framework. These are people, and you’re creating a relationship at every step of the way. Treat designing as such, and we promise your clients will be much happier.
  3. Be On-Time: Trust us, we’ve struggled with this much more than anyone ever should. Still, the best way you can make your clients happy is to simply produce the designs on schedule, and on time. Try to avoid delays, and if you absolutely have to push a project back, at least send the client your (good) reasons why. In other words, show up to work on time, and you’ll be golden.