Having tons of projects to work on is awesome. After all, the more campaigns you have, the more profit you generate.
However, if you have far too many engagements or your management system isn’t streamlined, running multitudes of projects will lead to a total nightmare.
It backfires as your team fails to meet deadlines and your clients get disappointed. This consequently wrecks your marketing agency’s brand image and bottomline.
Learn to handle client projects efficiently (and prevent your business from suffering terrible repercussions) with these six actionable tips.
1. Centralize your task management.
Have one place for managing all your marketing projects and associated tasks. Doing so lets you streamline your assignment delegation, calendars, and collaboration.
It also allows you to share files in one repository. This way, you avoid losing those digital assets, storing them in scattered locations, or transferring them through inefficient methods.
You should also have one place to track your finished marketing projects and bill your clients immediately.
Instead of using different tools to fulfill various tasks, centralize your monitoring and implementation using project management tools with invoicing.
These platforms have robust features for task management. You can oversee and organize your to-do’s, milestones, payment periods, and other aspects from a single dashboard.
You can also delegate marketing assignments, track your team’s productivity, and connect it to the tool’s invoicing functions.
The platform automatically computes the equivalent billing amounts and creates branded, customizable invoices you can send directly to your clients.
The software even has reporting and analytics features to show you your project’s overall progress, paid and unpaid invoices, etc.
By centralizing your task management with integrated tools, you can execute your marketing agency’s projects more smoothly.
2. Use self-service client portals.
Streamline your project management further by empowering clients to do specific to-do’s themselves.
For instance, they can check your output’s progress without calling you. Instead, clients can pay their bills immediately once they receive the invoice. They can even schedule appointments straight on your integrated calendar.
Clients can do all these things through self-service portals. Fortunately, these features are native to the project management and invoicing software I mentioned earlier.
Customize the client portals to fit your branding identity and desired functions. You can also choose where it appears on your website.
Self-service portals relieve you of the administrative burden of completing simple tasks that clients can do themselves.
It also saves you and your team the time and effort to attend to every little inquiry or to-do. Plus, you can boost your productivity because you get fewer work disruptions.
3. Establish preferred communication channels.
Agree from the start where you and your clients should communicate. Opt to use one efficient platform only to streamline your coordination.
Email is a frequent medium, but it tends to make finding information more difficult. You can quickly lose crucial details and files in threads and multiple messages. However, it can be helpful for initial discussions about your engagement.
Use more efficient channels for future interactions once your project is good to go.
An excellent option is an internal collaboration platform with client communication features. Examples include Slack Connect and Workable. You can create specialized rooms for you and your clients to consolidate all discussions there.
Project management software also usually has built-in chat rooms and messaging systems. You can use that to centralize client discussions and quickly check on project updates seen on the platform.
Whatever tool you choose, relay these to your client. Share any access credentials they should get or set up to enter your communication room. Make sure your selected platform is efficient and helps streamline your engagement’s dynamics.
4. Streamline query-answering tasks.
Potential clients are likely to throw in some initial questions. But if they are too frequent, they can bog down your productivity.
Streamline answering inquiries by building FAQ pages on your website. Include questions such as your rates, how much additional hours and revisions cost, niches covered, etc.
You can even use email platforms or customer service automation tools to address queries mechanically through canned replies.
With the latter software, though, you can leverage chatbots, social media integration, AI, shared inboxes, and several other useful features.
By streamlining your FAQ handling, you can focus more on your marketing projects and less on tedious query-answering tasks.
5. Set client expectations from the beginning.
Clarify with your clients what they want you to do in their engagements with your marketing agency. Agree on your scope, timetable, milestones, payment schemes, working and contact times, and deliverables.
Setting these expectations at the onset helps you complete the project more smoothly. You can eliminate major adjustments interrupting your work and altering your development plan and budget.
Let’s say one of your marketing strategies and assignments is to organize an online summit. If that’s the case, check your client’s definition of the event from the beginning.
A virtual summit differs from a conference, with the former gathering big-league executives and thought leaders for a problem-resolving agenda.
Summits require different planning dynamics because of the attendees’ higher-level positions, tighter schedules, and other factors. With a conference, you can convene generic industry players for idea-sharing discussions.
Another example is when implementing a social media strategy for your client. Discuss whether you will supervise every aspect of management and marketing, or if clients can step in anytime, e.g., posting and resharing content. This is crucial since it can impact content consistency, adherence to the content calendar, and performance monitoring, among others.
You and your client should be transparent about your expectations from the start. This enhances the quality of your engagement and your chances for a successful marketing project undertaking.
6. Say no when you need to.
It’s always tempting to take in all client engagement opportunities and skyrocket your income.
However, handling too many marketing projects at a time can compromise your productivity and other client engagements.
You need to balance those opportunities and potential profits with the possible negative consequences (e.g., loss of team’s work-life balance, low-quality outputs in other client projects, etc.).
If the latter outweighs the former, rethink your engagements. You want to help brands nail their marketing, but you also don’t want to ruin your agency’s profitability.
Say no to some client engagements when your schedule doesn’t allow you to. Or negotiate to do so later when you’ve accomplished other projects.
Choose only the most doable, relevant, profitable, and meaningful marketing projects — those that add value to your agency’s work.
Moreover, say no to clients who:
- Always insist on discounts and refuse to pay your usual rates
- Are unwilling to pay the premium for additional work and revisions
- Have unrealistic project demands and a highly restricted budget.
That way, you can gain substantial income without risking or sacrificing your marketing agency’s well-being and reputation.
Simplify your agency’s client project management.
Review these habits and improve your internal workflows accordingly whenever client engagements or projects become tough to manage.
Prioritize streamlining your agency’s project execution to enhance your productivity and profitability.
Doing this also helps you better amplify your client’s marketing efforts, demonstrate your expertise, and boost your team’s efficiency.