Isn’t it awful when you’re creating work for a client and you think that all is going well until they message you at the 11th hour only to tell you that they’re unhappy? Receiving the “we need to talk” message or email at this hour can induce so much anxiety and self doubt.
The way to solve this? Prove your value the whole time. In order to do so we need to ask ourselves a series of questions throughout the project process.
“What value did I create this week?”
First things first, log each week’s activities. Once you have determined what needs to be completed for the project to be successful and the right amount of business value to be delivered, it should become fairly straightforward to judge how the work you’re doing each week is getting them closer to their target.
“How is this creating the value this business needs?”
Once you have logged your activities, ask whether they are creating business value. For example, how will this new logo get the client the traction they’re looking for? How does your styling best reflect the brand’s lookbook – will it make clients want to buy the clothes asap? Now that you’ve created a short, bulleted list of the value you created this week, you now need to distill it into something cohesive…
Provide a high-level summary
This point brings the first two questions together and essentially means reporting back to the client what has been completed. But rather than just send them a list of activities, introduce each weekly report with a paragraph or two that sums up the value that was created, how that fits into the big picture, anything you did that created an unexpected surplus of value, and what you’re planning on doing next.
This model of forced communication and transparency requires the client to stay engaged with the project and leaves no room for doubt.