Like any good relationship, the one between a creative agency and its client can be a match made in heaven.
And like any good relationship, there are some steps (and effort) both of you have to put in. Once it's been built right, it can flourish. If it hasn't, chances are you'll probably be waving that client goodbye at the end of the project (or halfway through if it's been that bad).
We've had lots of experience in maintaining great relationships with our clients, and are more than happy to pass down our wisdom to you - whether you like it or not.
Communication is key
The key to any good relationship is communication. Knowing and understanding how your client / agency feels towards a certain aspect of the design is fundamental to keeping the partnership a two-way street.
Talk to each other beyond a screen - face-to-face if possible (either through Skype or a meeting), but a phone call will do. Don't rely on emails or messages, since they can be easily missed or misinterpreted and can cause more bother than success.
And honesty is always the best policy - there's no good in lying and ending up missing the mark on an important project.
Give just as much as you take
Teamwork is important. You need to understand each other explicitly and working together (in harmony if possible) is the only way to do it. There's no good in abandoning your client / agency once the brief has been settled, as bouncing off one another's ideas can make the piece of work better than what the brief initially outlined.
And anyway, you've both got to work together pretty closely for however long the project lasts, so make sure the relationship is productive rather than detrimental (because where's the fun in that?).
Take time out for each other
Similar to communication - you can't have a good relationship digitally. Go and see each other in person as much as possible. It will also demonstrate your appreciation for each other - make sure neither one of you feels neglected.
Also makes the relationship a little more personal, and less corporate - let's be honest, it's a lot nicer to put a face to a name.
Be patient with one another
Unfortunately, things take time. It's not always straightforward, and it's definitely not always a quick process. The idea you have in your head may take a while to execute. Be patient with your agency - they're (probably) not slacking, it's just that your requests may take a little more time to complete. And if you're following our communication tips, then the regular updates will let you know about their progress.
Now, for the agency - your client is most likely doing a million other things at once, and while asking if the design of their brochure is the right shade of magnolia is important, they will get back to you with their answer. Eventually.
Maintain the passion
The client and the agency both want the same thing - to make an attention-grabbing bit of work that puts the client in the best possible light. So of course there's bound to be some conflict over what is 'right'.
If you see something in the design that you don't like or just doesn't fit anymore, tell your agency. It's better to get rid of it now before it's too late. Your agency wants to know what you want and what you don't, so what's the harm in telling them?
Don't panic about challenging your client on what they are asking you to do - asking the right questions might make it clearer in their head too. And remember, they're not insulting you personally - they want to get it right just as much as you do.
And if you fancy being our partner, why not swipe right on us?
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