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7 ways to level-up client communication

We’re stoked to share some skills we’ve learned as entrepreneurs and creatives. Hopefully our authentic perspective about bringing companies real solutions through web design and digital strategy proves useful to our peers out there! Today: 7 Locomotive secrets to client communication.

1. Talk to the human.

Even before you sign. Don’t be scared to talk to the client, hop on a Zoom, show your face, have a conversation — even a virtual one. This year, our team has learned new ways to keep prioritizing human contact with clients in the digital realm. Start the e-meeting with a bit of small talk. Connect with the person, speak about your life and how it’s going. It gives this exercise a human feel.

2. Get the client involved in the process.

In a stellar collaboration, we often like to kick things off with online work sessions and learn about what they want. We have half the answers, the other half comes from the client. We don’t know what they need, they know their needs and pain points, our job is to listen, understand, respect, stay humble.

"Find out what the client is aiming for and identify where to hit hardest for maximum impact."

3. Nurture the relationship.

Pick up the phone, bond with the people, not just the business. It’s important to go beyond your single contact and build authentic relationships with different faces in the company; you never know where they’re going to end up working.

4. Always say “bravo.”

To clients (and while we’re at it, to colleagues, collaborators, yourself, your barista, everyone!) Especially during these uncertain global times, going out of your way to say “bravo” and commend someone for  a job well done is worth the extra effort. (In fact, we wrote this blog post about the joys of “bravo”).

5. Know your client and where to focus to stay on-budget (and on track).

Real talk: the client will want everything. Wouldn’t you? To stay within the budget envelope, find out what the client is aiming for and identify where to hit hardest for maximum impact.

"Pick up the phone, bond with the people, not just the business."

6. Think about solving the client’s problems, rather than amping up your portfolio.

When you design (or code), you have to think about the client’s needs and solve their problem in the best way possible. This might seem obvious, but back in our young and cocky days, it’s easy to do things for only yourself, your book, or awards. Cheers to time and experience for teaching us to grow out of that type of thing.

7. Keep partners involved.

At Locomotive, all three partners are in the mix of every single project. We’re there every day working with the team and communicating with clients, making sure every project is on track.


(A pre-pandemic version of this content was first shared on the stage of the Awwwards conference in 2020, part of a speech delivered by our co-founders. In this article, we’ve adapted some of those ideas —  inspired by experience, advice, and common sense — to today’s reality.)

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