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Awkward Conversations: A Guide to Managing Client Expectations

A Guide to Managing Client Expectations

Not every project is going to be stuffed full of rainbows and unicorns. Even with the best of intentions on both sides – agency and client – sometimes things just go awry. Usually it’s due to miscommunication, or not managing client expectations properly. You, the agency, think your scope of work is super clear, but a client sees a different thing, you don’t communicate about it, and you’re unaware their expectations are too high until it becomes an issue and they’re unhappy. Not a good situation.

Awkward Tina Fey GIF

It’s hard to predict these things a lot of the time. Communication is hard. Agencies think they’re being straightforward, because they say the same terms all the time, but clients may not be familiar with those terms, or with digital processes. They may be afraid to ask questions, or to look unknowledgeable. Of course there’s no shame in asking questions, but who really likes admitting they’re not totally on the ball with what’s going on? Nobody. So things don’t get talked about, time goes by, expectations on both sides slip and then you find yourself where you didn’t want to be: client hell.

I don’t mean this to sound rude, or to snub clients. I love clients! They’re literally the reason I get to do what I love all day, and not have to live in a cardboard box. They make everything possible. And at the end of the day, they pay the bills. I work for each of them, and I keep that in mind constantly. Clients are not the enemy, clients are part of your team. And you can’t blame your client for having the wrong expectations unless you work hard to set realistic ones.

The problem with mismanaged expectations is that they can strike at any time. Even if your project is 90% done and you’re in the home stretch and so far all along everything has been great. Don’t stop communicating, or you might find yourself in hot water.

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Speaking in Front of Lots of People is Batshit Crazy

Today I got up on stage in front of a bunch of people, like a few hundred, and spoke for a bit. It was super nerve-wracking and at first, terrible. I was up there and talking and then thought, “Oh this isn’t so bad,” and looked around. Big mistake. It instantly got a million times worse and I decided not to do that again.

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There was a stage thing, and a real podium and microphone and all sorts of shiz like that. And hundreds of pairs of tiny beady little eyes burning holes into my soul. At least I think that’s what they were doing.

I was only speaking for a minute or so, to do a quick promo and introduce the next speaker, but it was the first time I ever got in front of that many people and said anything, so that was pretty cool. I’m proud of myself for doing that and hope that one day I get enough nerve to actually speak at some thing, sometime, for some reason. I have no idea what that would ever be, but who knows where life takes you sometimes.

But for today… yay. Small victories.

PowerPoint LOL

5 Apps I Can’t Live Without at Work

These days, if you want to check your postal mail but don’t want to get off the couch, there’s probably an app for that. Seems like there’s some easy, quick fix for everything out there, all available for free to 99 cents in the App Store.

Well, these are a few of my favourite apps for getting shit done at work. And when I’m not at work, to record brilliant ideas and things to do when I remember them. Why is it that the best ideas always hit you right before you fall asleep? I used to be like, “Oh yeah I’ll totally remember that one zzzzzzzz” but now I know better, and use these apps to assist my brain… (Actually not really but I am attempting to salvage the lost fragments of my pre-sleeping genius more often.)

 
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Evernote

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LOVE this app. I create notebooks for different clients and add ideas, notes, to-dos and interesting things to send to that client into that notebook.

Evernote is great for keeping stuff because it syncs everywhere, but is a lot quicker to use than Google Drive. You can just open the app, write a note and close it. Done. I also use Evernote as a kind of scrapbook — a place to keep interesting articles or bookmarks for work-related things, for future reading or reference. I use the free version and it seems adequate for me, but their paid plans have more features like offline access and searching within documents.

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5 Thoughts That Enter Your Mind When Your Boss Reads Your Blog

Quelle nightmare! Right?

So I started this blog for unclear purposes really. To explore industry topics, to learn some stuff, to connect with others, to pass the time, who knows. All of the above. I just like to write stuff sometimes, so I’m going with that. But what happens when your boss/bosses find your blog? I think for many people that might be an awkward encounter. Personally I don’t really care. I’m pretty straightforward. I haven’t told anyone about this blog yet, not really sure why. Just testing the waters I suppose. But, if people from my life find it, I don’t care. Other people with weirder blogs than mine might disagree (but if you’re that weird, then you are probably hiding from people in real life too, because you’re a serial killer).

But regardless, there is usually some desire to not look like a total turd in front of one’s manager. So these are the five things that cross your mind when your boss reads your blog.

 

1. “Oh, you found my blog?”

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2. “Did you like it?”

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3. “We should never speak of this again.”

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4. “Oh, you did like it?”

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5. “OK, time to get serious then. So many topics to cover.”

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Best Spotify Playlists for Productive Writing Days

The Best Spotify Playlists for Productive Writing Days

 

In my work and my personal life, I do a lot of writing. For clients, for this blog, for everything from birthday cards to detailed product reviews on Sephora.com (that shit gets serious, mmkay). Sometimes it can be hard to focus which I’m sure you already know… Phones ringin’, people talkin’, life goin’ on all around you. I have never been someone who enjoyed working with music. I prefer bone-crushing silence. But, finding some great playlists has changed my mind and actually made me more productive I think. Now I see why so many people like working with music (guess I’m late to the Captain Obvious party).

When it comes to music, I love Spotify. I love that it syncs between my iPod, iPhone, car, laptop, work computer… all my playlists and favourite songs, everywhere I go. So I use it almost exclusively now. Here are a few of my favourite zone-out-and-write playlists!

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How to Write The Perfect Press Release

How to Write a Press Release

 

There’s plenty of articles out there describing how to write the perfect press release. Here’s one, two, three, four of them. In this post, I’ve compiled tips I’ve read along with my own workflow to present a really simple way to write an effective and engaging press release. Here goes.

Start with Why

As with anything content related, identify the point. Why should your audience care about this? Is it truly newsworthy? Who do you want to know about this? Which of your personas are you targeting? Once you know that stuff, the rest is pretty easy.

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Happy Anniversary to Me: Thoughts on Finding Your Dream Job

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I’m super lucky. Like, a bit more than averagely lucky, I think. While I haven’t always thought I was lucky, I definitely know it now. Early struggles have given way to an authentically awesome life, and I am grateful for that every day.

I feel like a really un-Disney version of Cinderella. Things were shit, and I had bad fashion sense, and then one day I wasn’t saved by some dumb prince, but I actually just worked really hard and endured a lot of shit jobs and shit people and just generally focused my attention on getting shit done, and now here I am. And I dress better now. See, it’s totally Cinderella.

Today marks one year since I started working at Studiothink. It feels both very short because so much has happened in just one year. It also feels very long as it’s like I’ve been there forever sometimes, because it’s so ME.

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