Tips for New Clients

© Copyright Andrea Reynolds, 2011-2017


These are the requests I make of new clients. These are the kind of people who make me smile. My intention is to set an example that I hope you, as my client, will implement in your own professional practice.

1. Tell me what you want. Be direct. Many people will send me an introductory email telling me about themselves or their new book, but they don't say why they are contacting me. I assume it's because they want my assistance, but they don't say what exactly. Be specific. Make a wish list and show it to me. Then I can tell you how to best achieve what you want. Don't ask me for a proposal of services I can provide. If you don't know what you want, I can't tell you. All my services are/will be listed on this web site.

2. Don't ask me to bid on an assignment. After 40 years I've earned the right not to have to bid against people decades younger than I who have decades' less experience and know-how than I have.

3. Tell me what your budget is; don't ask me to guess what you can afford (your magic number). I'm not psychic. Let's collaborate on this factor.

4. Don't ask me to discount my fees. If I do, you won't get my best work. If you pay my fees, you will get my best work.

5. Don't ask me to work on speculation or on commission. I run a business, not a charity, or a hobby. Neither do you.

6. Don't ask me to consult with you for free
if you're not going to hire me. If you wouldn't expect your doctor, dentist or lawyer to work for free, and if you would not consult for free, why ask me?

Take notes. If you've hired me to answer your questions, please write down and keep my responses. Calling me or emailing me again with the same questions wastes time for both us. Time is Money. Read through my email replies before you ask me the same question again. If I have to remind you of my original reply, I probably will decide not to work with you. (That's a sign you're going to be a high-maintenance client... and high maintenance clients require more of my time and energy, which will result in you paying higher fees. If you don't want to pay me higher fees, it makes sense to keep track of our communication.)

8. Say thank you. I sometimes test prospective clients by giving them a small gift (sometimes a $10-$20 report). If you don't say thank you and show a little appreciation, I probably won't accept you as a client. I prefer not to work with clients who are impossible to please. I want to assist and represent clients who have good manners.

9. When I give you a price for a specific task you request, my quote is usually valid for 10 days. If you wait 11 days before deciding to go ahead or give me a deposit, the price I gave you may be null and void.

10. Have reasonable expectations. Don't expect miracles. If you haven't yet achieved celebrity status as an expert, you're not going to immediately receive invitations to speak that pay you handsomely.

11. Don't sabotage my efforts to help you build a platform. I've watched clients act against their (and my) best efforts often out of fear of success. No joke. If you undermine my efforts to position and promote you, you will only waste your time and your money. If you're not ready for success now, you should wait until you are ready.

12. Expect to do the work. It's called "paying your dues". There's no fairy godmother who is going to wave her magic wand and make you instantly famous and wealthy. You have to make an effort to learn, develop yourself, practice and perfect your skills. You can't go play golf while waiting for me to achieve success for you.

13. Expect to invest in yourself. Don't expect others - like me! - to take financial and career risks that you yourself should be taking.

14. I work with entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs take risks. If you're not willing to take career risks, you're not an entrepreneur. If you want to be an entrepreneur learn how to be one before you contact me. There are lots of books on the market that describe entrepreneurship.

15. Show up. If I book you to appear on a television program or radio show, be there, early, and ready to perform at your best. "No shows" cost you big in terms of reputation. They hurt me, too. That show you blew off may never book another client of mine.

16. Promote one thing at time. I've watched a few clients launch multiple campaigns at one time - against my advice - and inevitably they can't devote the necessary time to any one activity to avoid major crises. And they crash and burn.

17. Hire one marketing and promotion firm or professional at a time. Hiring multiple people often means they are working at cross-purposes to each other and to your strategic plan. I've watched clients hire multiple publicists and public relations professionals at one time, and in doing so created a false feeling of prestige for themselves, but at enormous cost... and no profit.

18. Heed my good advice. You are paying me to give you the best advice possible based on my 3.5 decades of experience. I'm here to act in your best interests. You're paying me to act in your best interests. While you certainly have free will to make your own choices, I don't want to be in the position in the future where I have to say, "I told you so."

19. Have a strategic plan. I'll work with you to build a detailed plan based on your wish list. Stick to it for 6 months. Refer to it often to keep you focused. When you start to deviate from your plan you dilute or waste your efforts and then wonder why you haven't met your goals by your target deadline. See #24 below.

20. Don't copy or distribute other people's creative work/intellectual property without permission. (That includes work I write and sell.) While making use of other people's work is lazy and makes you appear to be a copycat, it's also illegal and unethical. Copyright infringement is theft and a federal offense. Not only could you be sued for a pile of money, but if I find a client using someone else's work without permission - just giving credit is NOT enough - our working arrangement may be terminated quickly. I would expect you to contact the party whose work you took, apologize and make restitution.

21. Retain me before you retain someone else and before you sign a publishing or syndication contract. If you've already hired and terminated a relationship with another marketing/promotion professional, it may not be wise to retain me to "do a better job". Some of those people are my professional colleagues and handling their client may cause hurt feelings. Also, I can advise you of important facts before you sign a publishing or speaking contract that doesn't represent your best interests. If you've signed a contract there may be nothing I, or anyone else, can do for you.

22. Contact me directly, not by one of your employees or hired staff. Don't treat me as a subordinate or employee: I've already achieved the success in my life you want me to help you achieve. I don't treat my clients as subordinates; I treat my clients with the respect and appreciation they deserve. Treat me as a professional of equal status or I won't feel very interested in helping you boost your income, visibility and reputation.

Don't ask or insist that I use conventional marketing methods that are far less efficient and more costly to you. I hope you see yourself as a professional with a body of specialized knowledge, and not a retailer selling a product. When you retain me, it's my duty to work in your best interests, and I've discovered ways that work better, make more sense, and will, in the long run, bring you more prestige. Remember: I've been doing this work for more than 35 years, often 3 times longer than some of the "gurus" out there who haven't yet acquired all the experience I have.

Don't try to do everything at once. Develop one thing and when that succeeds add the next. If you try to launch 6 activities at once, you will dilute your efforts, get distracted, and perhaps miss important rules and regulations that could wipe you out financially. This is why a marketing plan is critical to your success, and not having a plan to keep you focused could be disastrous.

The more professional you choose to be, the better will be our working relationship. The better our working relationship, the quicker and easier (and more pleasant) it will be to help you reach your target objectives. And in the long run, that may very well be less expensive for you.