Just checking in...
Some date/Some time
Just wanted to drop a note to say everyone here really enjoyed meeting with you last week, and we're all super excited to see what you can bring to the project.
How's the work going, anyway?
Checking in again...
One week later
I hope everything's going well. Never did hear back from you when I last checked in.
Do you think I'll be able to see some work this week?
Talk soon, right?
Are you OK?
Still looking to hear from you and/or see some work.
Have yet to hear back from you. You're OK, right? You do know you can reach out if you've run into trouble, right?
Deadline's coming up...
Talk soon(er rather than later, please),
Week the Third
I need you to get in touch right away.
I still haven't heard anything from you and the work needs to be in tomorrow or the whole project will be held up.
Can you hop on a call? Or at least respond to an email?
Oh, come on...
Week the Third, plus a day
You were hired in good faith to produce work. That work is due now and I've yet to see anything. Or hear anything, for that matter.
I want you to know, this is highly unprofessional and entirely unacceptable.
Say something, damn it,
re: Just checking in...
Week the Third, plus a day (cont.)
Work's uploaded. See attached invoice.
There's probably never an excuse for ghosting your clients like a grade-school crush you went out for pizza with a couple of times, then decided you'd rather play video games instead.
We'll include the word "probably" because... I don't know, you could be dead, and that's a pretty good excuse for not doing most things, but if that's the case, this likely isn't the bit of writing you need to be reading right now, you know?
If you've been offered and have agreed to do a job, people are putting their trust in you to make some or all of their vision-- whatever that vision may be-- into reality. Folks generally don't dig having their hopes and dreams held up.
If you don't come through, you've cost your client time and money, and maybe laid the foundation for a future deep-seated trust issue. If you do, but coming through includes any combination of "sorry, forgot," "got busy," or "lost track," you're still falling a fair bit shy of being a fully functional adult.
And that will hurt you.
Communication isn't just a nice thing to do to keep needy clients from tearing their hair out and popping fistfuls of beta blockers-- it's also one of the bigger pieces to setting up and maintaining a solid reputation, which is a thing you want, right?
Make a point of clearing out your email, texts, voicemails, messages via carrier pigeon, and rocks with scraps of paper stuck to them at certain points every day. Don't dedicate so much time that it interferes with the work, because getting that done is still pretty important, but set aside a few blocks of time to touch base with whoever wants to touch base.
Try to respond in complete sentences, too, or at least something more thoughtful than one-word answers. Treat your clients as if their peace of mind is somewhat of a priority for you.
If you run into problems and find yourself getting slowed down, be the one who reaches out, rather than waiting and hoping everything just kind of, you know, works out. If you mention that the timeline might be an issue now, there could be time to get help or otherwise do something about it. If you bring this up the day before it's due, not so much.
And if you're falling behind because you took on two, three, or ten jobs too many that month, or some other reason that is absolutely, entirely your fault, maybe leave that part out.
Keep a calendar of your various deadlines. Or a sticky note with the dates scribbled in. Or a person to swing by occasionally and yell dates in your face. Something. Anything.
Whatever you do, don't leave deadline specifics to your memory and the mercy of a short attention span, the concussion you might get next week or the bender you will definitely go on as soon as Kyle gets back to you.
Feel free to mark off multiple dates you can pat yourself on the back for, for each project, as well-- roughs done, one week out, last looks, just because, etc.
Be good. Be cool.