How to Collaborate with Clients in the Instant Gratification Economy

This article is part 6 in our series from productivity psychologist Melissa Gratias. Follow her on Twitter @melissagratias.


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Rebecca is a graphic designer with a thriving business. She works virtually with most of her clients, and as the business owner, manages a slew of document-driven processes, from getting initial agreements signed to collecting and documenting client feedback on her designs.

As a solopreneur Rebecca must take any action she can to streamline the business’ administrative functions so she can spend more time on design projects. With client expectations higher than ever, Rebecca must be able to communicate in real time, share information anytime and anywhere, and provide a frictionless way to manage all client paperwork.

Here are three the ways a cloud collaboration platform like Nitro Cloud can help her streamline admin processes to keep up with the customer expectations that are driving this instant gratification economy:

  • Rebecca can request electronic signatures on contracts and statements of work without inconveniencing clients – all that’s needed to sign is a browser and internet access.
  • Because Rebecca uses the same agreement documents for multiple clients, she can create signing workflow templates to use over and over, so she can get contracts out for approval faster.
  • She can track the average time it takes for a signed contract to be returned, allowing her to understand whether or not her clients are having difficulty digesting the substance of the contract.

However, Rebecca is not just a business owner, she is a creative as well. Once a client is on board, she designs logos, builds presentations, and produces marketing materials. This creative process is iterative. Rebecca sends designs to clients for feedback, they respond, and she adjusts her designs accordingly.

Without a cloud-based collaboration platform, she must email PDFs, sometimes huge PDFs, back and forth to multiple individuals – opening herself up to the many possible errors and delays inherent with email attachments.

A cloud collaboration solution enables business owners like Rebecca to collaborate with clients using a much more modern approach than email attachments:

  • She can manage the iterative design process without emails by sharing a the document directly from the platform, along with a customized message to the client.
  • Clients can insert comments, edits, and annotations to the PDFs as needed and notify her that they are done.
  • She can request signoff on a document via eSignature to indicate that a design is finalized.

Solopreneurs like Rebecca may be working in their home offices wearing flannel pants and fuzzy socks, but their interactions with clients should not be as soft as their attire. Email attachments are not the most efficient way to collaborate on documents, and in today’s instant gratification economy, customers will choose partners who are working smarter.