To have important emails quickly at hand later, we can include keywords that we can then enter into the search. For example, in price negotiations, we often send several versions of the offer until we have agreed on a fee and the rights of use with the customer. Keywords such as “clientname-finalestimate” help here. Other possibilities are “projectname–hiresfiles” if the print data has been sent or “database” if the contact is to be entered in the database later.
These keywords can stand below the signature in light gray or in white font if they should not be visible to the contact.
From my experience as an illustrator, most communication with clients is via email. And that’s a good thing. The written record, starting with the inquiry, the individual process steps, and the data transfer, gives both sides the necessary security for smooth cooperation.
It forces us to think in a structured way and quickly shows which points are still open or incorrect. Especially at the beginning, all basic conditions must be clearly formulated, such as illustration style, scope, rights of use, and deadline. Even before it goes into pricing, establishing these points is crucial for the client and us. They are our location coordinates to keep track of where we are and where we are going during our journey together.
Emails are our joint diary on this trip. A documentation of our collaboration. The client and the freelancer keep each other updated and agree on our next steps.
Phone calls and Zoom meetings are great for quickly exchanging information or discussing more complex issues. However, most misunderstandings and mistakes hide here. Discussed points are forgotten, and things are understood differently. That is simply human. Therefore, we take notes during every call and announce that we will send the customer a short email with the discussed points after the conversation. In it, we ask for a quick confirmation that everything has been recorded correctly.
We secure ourselves and our work steps. At the same time, we also give the customer security. This is so important for cooperation. He feels transparently kept up to date and can devote himself to other tasks with complete peace of mind.