You failed if the client asks for an update

I’ve got a bold statement for you:

If you get an email from a client asking for a status update you already failed at the project.

Yes, you read that right: If your client asks for a status update you failed on the project. Asking for a status update means your client didn’t have any idea what was going on with the project.

You left them hanging.

My update schedule

Throughout a project I send an update to the client on Monday and Thursday/Friday of every week of the project, at a minimum. Some clients get more frequent updates.

On Monday I send:

Hey $client_name this is what’s on tap for the week.

If there is anything that you think I’ve missed please feel free to hop into Redbooth and let's make sure it’s dealt with.

If you haven’t already, please take the time to book our project status call this week here: $calendly_link.

Hope the weekend was awesome.

Then on Thursday/Friday I send them this:

Hey $client_name this is our end-of-week check-in email.

If there is anything that you think I’ve missed please feel free to hop into Redbooth and let's make sure it’s dealt with.

Please take the time to book our project status call next week here: $calendly_link.

Have a great weekend.

Notice I’ve also prompted them twice to book a call during the week? The call is on top of the minimum of 2 emails to bookend our week working together.

This communication is all in addition to the communication that occurs within our project management system throughout the week.

I don’t get clients asking for project updates, because that would mean the client is asking what I've done in the past 8 hours, and I don’t take clients that need updates every 2 hours or so.

Don’t let them ask

When you're working on a project, remember that in addition to being a designer/developer/yak shaver you’re a project manager and communicator. Having a good process for keeping clients up to date is just as important to project success and referrals as is writing good code or designing a kick ass website.

Step up and start communicating properly.

photo credit: 54459164@N00 cc