One of the best things about being an ad designer is working on a wide range of projects and client accounts. But the downside is that you’ll sometimes encounter time-stretched clients who, understandably, are slow to give feedback. Unfortunately, these delays can make it tricky for you to meet project timelines—and to get paid on time.
So how can you help clients give you approval faster? Let’s look at a few simple strategies you can use to keep the work a-flowing.
1. Use a professional preview environment
Just like you, your clients are dealing with overflowing email inboxes and a flood of team chat messages. That means they sometimes lose track of links, emails, and folders where the latest ad designs are kept.
Make life easy for them by using a tool like Adpiler to show clients a preview of how the designs will look on real websites. When clients can easily find, preview, and approve all your designs in one place, they’ll be faster in giving you feedback or sign-off.
2. Set the right expectations
Clients sometimes don’t realize how important it is for you to get feedback quickly, or how long it can take you to make changes. With this in mind, it’s smart to introduce the idea of timely reviews early in the working relationship.
Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Mentioning review timelines in your initial proposal
- Giving your client a “How to collaborate with us” guide during onboarding
- Working review timings into your contract
While some of this might feel demanding at first, clients will usually find it reassuring that you’re being organized and proactive.
3. Start with a clear brief
Clients may tell you about their ad requirements informally in a conversation or email thread. Compiling these instructions into a formal brief that the client can review will
minimize complications further down the line. And when both you and the client are crystal clear on what you need to do, you’ll usually get faster sign-off later—win!
A proper brief should include:
- A description of the campaign goals
- Ad sizes and character limits
- Details of any ad copy that’s been signed off by the client
- Any brand guidelines you need to follow
4. Share your timelines
Clients don’t always understand (or remember) how your project or team timelines are laid out. As a result, they can sometimes de-prioritize reviewing your work under the assumption that delays won’t impact your workflow.
Meanwhile, you’re also dealing with numerous other deadlines and deliverables that need your attention!
For this reason, sharing project timeline charts or team calendars with the client is a great idea. It keeps everyone on the same page while making it clear to the client that delays can have a knock-on effect.
5. Help clients evaluate your work
Sometimes the reason clients are stalling isn’t that they’re too busy; it’s because they’re unsure how to evaluate your work. Either they’ve lost track of the changes you’ve made so far, or they’re just not sure what makes a good ad design.
That’s OK – as designers, it’s our job to guide clients in giving us feedback that we can action. To help them avoid confusion:
- Tell them explicitly what kind of feedback you need (you could even give the client a checklist or feedback form to fill out)
- Leave comments in your ad preview tool highlighting new changes to your designs that need approval
- If your preview tool has a file versioning feature, show the previous and current versions next to each other so clients can easily compare.
Bonus Tip: Get a project manager on the case
If you have direct contact with the clients you design for, chasing them for approval or feedback can feel….awkward. This is where having a project manager as a go-between can be helpful. Because their job is to help remove blockers in the workflow, your project manager will be comfortable in tactfully reminding the client to respond.
(As a bonus, having a project manager on the case means fewer interruptions for you, the designer!)
If you’re not already doing so, consider using project management software to handle your workflows. When your team tracks its progress in an app, both your project manager and the client will be able to easily see what tasks are outstanding.
Get your ad designs approved faster
You might have noticed a theme in these tips. Getting ad designs approved faster is almost always a result of creating a clear, efficient, professional working relationship with the client. To summarize, you can do that by creating a clear brief, setting expectations, managing projects effectively, sharing timelines, and of course, using a preview tool for Facebook Ad mockups and HTML 5 ad previews.
With all these pieces of the puzzle in place, you’ll get approval faster, have fewer interruptions to your workflow, and make clients happy. And what designer wouldn’t want that? 🙂
About the Author: Jorrit Baerends is the CEO of Adpiler, the leading platform for sharing HTML5 banner ads, image ads, and video ads. He uses his background in software development to collaborate with design professionals and help them serve clients in innovative ways. ■