7 Rules For Delighting Clients (This Is The Secret To Protecting Your Career For Decades)

Nicolas Cole
June 18, 2024

The secret to networking?

Become friends with your clients.

If I lost everything and needed a job tomorrow, I know I could make five phone calls and one of the founders or executives or investors on the other end of the line would hire me. Why? Because I have connected with, helped, and worked with so many decision-makers, so many higher-ups at global companies that any one of them would go out on a limb for me, as I would for them. Just like friends do.

Follow these 7 rules and you’ll build enough “relationship equity” to protect your career for decades.

Rule #1: Overcommunicate everything.

The Golden Rule: Tell the client EVERYTHING you’re going to do.


  • Do it by the time you said you were going to.
  • And communicate to them when they can expect it

No exceptions.

If you are going to be late to a call, let them know. If you said you would send them the outline on Wednesday, but it’s looking like you won’t be able to send it until Thursday, send them an email and let them know.

If you make a promise to the client, either keep it OR overcommunicate and readjust their expectations.

Rule #2: Ask as little of them as possible.

Show the client that you:

  • Respect their time
  • Understand how busy they are
  • Are HAPPY to take things on yourself

It’s always nice to send the signal that you're independent and highly capable.

Rule #3: Send an update at least once a week.

There's NOTHING a client loves more than knowing you're hard at work.

  • Tell them where you're at in the project.
  • Tell them what they can expect next, when.
  • Remind them if you're waiting on them for anything (approvals, etc.)

Make a habit of “keeping them in the loop.”

Rule #4: Keep your emails as short as possible.

NEVER expect a client to read multiple giant paragraphs of text.

Send a Loom video if necessary.


  • Keep it short.
  • Keep it skimmable
  • Keep it under 2-3 minutes.

Your job is to save your client time.

Rule #5: Never expect the client to "know."

Most freelancers make the mistake of thinking it’s the client's job to manage them.

In reality, it’s your responsibility to manage the client. If you were in a restaurant, you wouldn’t expectthem to let you know when they want YOU to come by the table.

If the client doesn’t get you their feedback on time, send them a reminder.

They’re busy and the will appreciate your diligence—because it helps them!

Rule #6: Make shared Google Docs accessible by anyone.

Don’t just hit “Share” and fire off a doc to the client.

Put yourself in their shoes (as the reader).

  • Make it accessible for “anyone with the link”
  • Change editing access from “Viewer” to “Commenter” or “Editor”
  • Hit “Copy Link” and send THAT to the client.

This will save a lot of back & forth.

Again, save the client time!

Rule #7: Don't reinvent the wheel.

Your client already has "pre-approved" content.

  • Blogs
  • Books
  • Emails
  • Podcasts
  • Speeches
  • Social Media

The topics they touch on are things you know they're comfortable with.

Don't get fancy.

Leverage what you already have, so they can work on their own higher leverage activities.

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