With so many people grappling with their new year’s resolutions on this last day of January, I started to think, “Instead of focusing on what I wanted to achieve personally this year, what if I resolved to give clients what they wanted (and needed) from a communications consultant?”
Good client service. Results that matter. Fresh approaches to content development and social media.
So I came up with this plan on how to turn clients’ wishes into service resolutions:
Want No. 1: Resource Extensions
The economy may be picking up, but I have yet to see one client who has too many staffers or too much money sitting in their budgets. (If you know of any, I’d appreciate a referral!) Resources are tight, and you need a partner who not only provides expert consultation but also produces deliverables on time and under budget.
My resolution: Get in-the-trenches with clients. One of the best compliments I received last year was from a long-time client who said, “Cara is an extension of our team.”
Want No. 2: Make Me Look Good (to the Boss, to the Board, to my Customers)
All eyes are on you when you hire a new copywriter or communications consultant. Did you make the right decision? Will the CFO pummel your social media efforts as a frivolous marketing expense? Will the new demand-generation campaign produce sales? Will we win during the product reviews process?
My resolution: Never become a consultant more concerned about winning industry awards than about delivering what matters most to my clients. I know that if your content, social media and marketing communications efforts don’t produce a return — on investment, objectives or reputation — they’re not working, and no award for creative copywriting or hashtag coinage will fix them!
Want No. 3: Communication
In real estate investment, the three most important words are, “location, location, location.” In the business of client relationships, the three most important words are “communication, communication, communication.” You may hire consultants because they are creative, but if their business protocols aren’t methodical and their communication skills aren’t proactive, you won’t keep them.
My resolution: Never keep you in the dark. I believe in Jack Welch-style candor. If a campaign isn’t working, I’ll let you know and help you find a solution. If I can’t deliver what you’re asking for, I’ll let you know before taking on the assignment. I have client communications protocols in place, such as weekly status reports, regular face-to-face meetings or quarterly assessments.
Want No. 4: To Have It My Way
Clients only know one way of doing things: their way. Of course, my objective is to bring crisp approaches to your account and tantalize you with new ways of doing communications that produce results. But if it’s not what you want or it exceeds your budget, you won’t care.
My resolution: To be easy to work with so you don’t have another headache. I know formulaic approaches don’t work. I’ll listen to your business problems, create a communications solution together and then deliver on the agreed-upon results. It really can be that simple.
Now, it’s your turn: What do you want and how can I help?