As creative professionals, we all know it can be difficult to communicate the thought behind design or marketing initiatives to a client. There will always be times when you need to clearly communicate exactly why your design concept is so amazing to a client. If the client is reluctant of your concept because you are unable to clearly communicate it to them they are potentially missing out on a great marketing initiative. Try to minimize the margin of error by creating a strong, concise dialogue with your client that not only verbally illustrates your ideas, but also visually communicates exactly how you want to implement them. Below are some helpful tips.
1. Remember the basics.
Think back to the initial meeting. Understanding the goals that the client had in mind is crucial to achieving an effective design solution. Reiterate what was first given as the creative direction and tie it into the creative solution you are presenting. Then, explain the thought process that brought you to your solution.
2. Show it.
Present clear, polished and creative options to your client — but don’t just present one solution. Giving the client a professional and effective presentation means providing them with multiple options. As creative professionals, we all know there is always more than one way to achieve a design or marketing solution.
3. Client Education.
Many clients don’t have a background in marketing or design, so it’s best to refrain from throwing out too many industry terms that the client may not be familiar with, as it can lead to confusion and frustration. Although you do want your client to get a peek into the method behind the madness so they understand the reasoning for your specific design and marketing choices.
That means educating them about some basic principles of design and the strategy behind effective marketing. If your client doesn’t understand these strategies or principles, try explaining it to them in easy to understand terms. For example, instead of just talking about hierarchy, typography and negative space, use more universal terms like “focus,” “eye path” and “emphasis.”
4. Listen and address concerns.
Sometimes your presentation may not be what the client is looking for. In that case, ask questions. What’s not working for them? How is your presentation different from what they expected? Find out where you and your client’s thinking differ. This task may require taking a step back to reevaluate the goals of the project or reworking the creative. It is important to realize and respond to the client’s concerns so you have more effective communication moving forward.