When you first started your genealogy business, you perhaps did a few projects for family members to get some experience and work out the details of your offerings and fees. At some point, you began actively marketing to obtain new clients. Depending on how long you have been in business, you probably now have had some experience with actual, paying clients.
Although researching, writing, editing can be done alone, much of the work a genealogist does involves communicating with clients on an ongoing basis. These communications include but are not limited to:
- making appointments
- discussing projects
- conducting interviews
- negotiating a change in the project scope
- asking for fee payments
- soliciting feedback
Every interaction with a client can affect the business relationship. A positive interaction can enhance the relationship and might even help to smooth over a difficulty or repair a problem. A negative interaction can do all sorts of damage.
Technology has brought us many new ways of communication. Email, texting, and social media have become the go-to forms of connecting and exchanging information. However, there are not without their drawbacks. First of all, not everyone uses all forms of communication equally well.
In a way, an invoice is also a form of client communication, by which I mean communication between you and the client. You are communicating with the client about what work has been completed and what fee is owed. Take advantage of the fact that there can also be room on the invoice for a comment, such as “Thank you for this opportunity to be of service” or “Enjoy your family tree!”
To succeed in business, part of your ongoing administration should focus on client management and client relations. With our “Business Skills: Business Administration” course you’ll find the tools needed to effectively work with clients.