If you work in a creative field, you likely know how difficult it can be to communicate your creative ideas to your clients. However, if you want to have a successful career, you’ve got to be able to bridge this gap and find a way to understand your clients enough to give them what they want.
To help you in doing this, whether you’re an interior designer or a graphic designer, here are three communication tips for designers and their clients.
Get Your Definitions On The Same Page
One of the best places to start when speaking with your clients about the type of design they’re looking for is to get on the same page with your definitions.
To do this, Elizabeth Brownfield, a contributor to Houzz.com, recommends that you try not to use technical terms that your client may not have a firm grasp on. For example, you may not want to use the term homogeneous tiles when you could say porcelain tiles. So when you are speaking with your client, try not to assume that they know what you’re talking about until you’ve explained something to them. Then, if they don’t need more details, allow them to stop you so that you can move on together.
Welcome All Questions
In many situations, the reason why a designer has failed to give the client what they wanted could be boiled down to not asking enough or the right questions as the beginning of the design process.
To avoid this problem, 99Designs.com advises that designers ask a lot more questions to their clients. While many designers feel like asking too many questions makes them seem like they don’t know what they’re doing, the opposite tends to be true. The more questions you ask to try to better understand your client and what they want, the more engaged your client will feel. And along with this, the fewer guesses you’ll have to make about what they like or want.
Lay Out Your Expectations
While most clients share with their designers what their expectations are for their professional work and relationship, many designers fail to lay out their own expectations for their client. But if you fail to do this, you could make it so much harder on yourself to get your client what they want.
When speaking with your client about your expectations, Patrick Faller, a contributor to Adobe, recommends that you share how you envision the process going at each stage and what you’ll need from the client in order to move forward. This could include things like revisions, feedback, or other input.
If you’re a designer that’s had a hard time communicating with clients in the past, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you change this in the future.