A New Way to Communicate Progress

Great news … Your company submitted a proposal for a high-profile, decorative glass installation. This job could move you up to the next level of income and you know that the job has to be successful in order for that to happen. Your proposal is selected and now it is time to celebrate!

Jump ahead three months and the client has just had the first review of your progress. The client tells you that they thought you’d be further along in the project and said that it appears you haven’t put much effort into the project the past three months. You try to explain, but they aren’t listening. Heated words are exchanged and now everyone is unhappy. How could something so good, go so bad, so quickly?

I don’t know about you, but when I signed up to be a designer, I wasn’t aware that the majority of my time would be spent communicating. I naively thought that I could spend my days tucked away in an office or workshop being creative. It can be a challenge figuring out how to communicate effectively with your clients and still get the creative work done.

This week, I met Louisville, Ky., glass artist, Johnny Gordon. Johnny told me that his company, Gordon Glass Studio, was excited to have secured a large commission with Marian University in Indiana. In our conversation, Johnny asked me to take a look at his blog for input on how he was doing. He said that he writes about the successes and the failures of the Marian University project on a regular basis on his blog. Yes, you heard me right, he doesn’t just write about how fantastic and perfect the workday is. If there is a design problem or delay, he blogs about it. At the start of the project, Johnny and his client made an agreement that he would use his blog as a way of keeping the client up-to-date on his project progress.

According to Johnny, “I always felt the blog was important as a tool to explain what we do (as our “work” is generally very different than most other people’s workday). Using the blog as a way to show updates on progress forces me to actually be more consistent with my writing, which is probably the most important thing if you want people to visit your site regularly.”

Writing about your work, good and bad, can save you time, keep everybody informed of your progress, and show future clients that you are able to solve problems. Johnny Gordon has found a new way of communicating progress and will reap the benefit of increased website traffic. How will I know if the progress report blogging will work for Johnny and his company? You guessed it: I’ll be reading his blog.