Successful small businesses know the secret that larger corporations miss: building your business = building client relationships. Massive corporations miss out on the personal relationships we, as small business’, get to foster. We find joy in relationship building because we know that it is creating a rock-solid foundation for our company.

At #TeamBlue, we pride ourselves on the relationships we have built with our clients. We believe in supporting them beyond our social media and marketing efforts. Their issues are important to us. Their points of view are valid. We believe in building better businesses by cultivating client relationships inside our communities.

Relationships Matter More, Right Now, Than Ever Before

One of the most poignant things we are learning through the pandemic, is just how important relationships are. Human connection is the glue for our sometimes fraying humanity. Enjoying those relationships that we once took for granted, puts in perspective how important they are, both personally and professionally.

As a business, we felt the same sense of loss in our face-to-face relationships with our clients, as many are feeling in their personal lives. The challenge of not being physically be present for our clients gave way to our increased dedication to meeting their needs. We set a few goals and started planning. Connecting virtually. Learning their brand and company as a whole. Getting to know their people. Valuing the things that are important to their humanity.

The one thing we knew, is that we wanted to ensure that our client relationships did NOT suffer through the pandemic, no matter how crazy the world got.

So we set out, on a journey, to figure out a way to continue building client relationships despite new challenges.

Client Relationship Building Through Pandemic

It would be easy, and even understandable to say “we can’t” as times continue to be stressful. Even the most organized of us can fall behind on deadlines. Most of us are feeling the pressure of the new work- from-home environment. But we were unwilling to sacrifice our service-based mentality to circumstances. Being able to go the extra mile for our clients makes all the difference. And we were determined NOT to change that!

From checking in on social media, sending birthday wishes, celebrating company achievements, to sending them small token gifts, we made it standard practice to appreciate our clients as people first. And hold on to your socks when I tell you: we have even been known to RUSH a design, on a weekend, when our clients themselves had a last minute need. (shocked face!)

Yes it would be easy to stick to our guns but we decided to give ourselves AND our clients a little grace. We wanted to continue to prove that we are a company they can trust. Trust is a funny thing. It is earned, built, and rarely “given”. So when we earn the trust of our clients, we truly feel that we have accomplished a goal.

We like to think of ourselves as partners with our clients instead of “hired help” which is why we often find ourselves immersed in their company email chains and meetings. We are more than just graphic designers, website builders or social media content creators.

Client Relationships BEFORE “Clientships”

What we have found that our best clients have come from building a relationship before a clientship. We work with our clients every workday, but they are also our friends. We value them as such and as a part of our communities. Our clients have introduced their families and shared their hearts. We have even been known to help support causes that are close to our clients.

Without the corporate oversight and overhead, we are able to build client relationships that are truly next level. We do our best to have a mutual understanding of both their company, their vision and their goals. Building on the established trust, we often find ourselves immersed in many areas of their businesses that grow far beyond our initial “scope of work”.

Client Relationships Build Businesses

But by far, the single BEST thing about our client relationship strategy is the fact that our clients are building our reputation (& business) for us. In becoming a trustworthy agency, our clients frequently give us the honor of referring their friends, family and other business owners to us. Nothing warms our heart more than to hear that an incoming client is the friend of a current client and the single reason why they are at our door is because they “heard great things” about us. Wow. Testimonials build themselves around here.

As far as the marketing business goes, it is easy to just “do the job” and go home. But we NEVER want to become mystery persons behind a screen. We want our clients to know that we are real people, who REALLY care about them as humans AND as a business. We take pride in being a company who cares about our clients from working late nights and responding to 45 emails before 10 am.

The key here is to put in the WORK to back up platitudes.

Now, let’s jump into this video where I discuss more about the importance of client relationship building… and if you want to continue the conversation, find us on Facebook!

About the Author: Amber Rickerson

Amber Rickerson is Director of Marketing at Blue Cricket Media. Her passion for marketing and social media are second only to her love of Mt. Dew, University of Kentucky basketball, her children, husband and black lab, Reno. You can find her (and her family's) adventures on Instagram (@ozandamber) or email her at arickerson@bluecricketmedia.com.

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