What Do You Do Again? Getting Clear on Client Deliverables.

how do i avoid confusion with clients

When a project is coming together in your mind, all the moving parts are clear. You’re a pro at what you do...so this comes almost naturally to you. Your clients aren’t quite so well-versed though. They may have never worked with you - or anyone like you - before, so are coming to the project with their own idea about what will happen.

Making sure that you and your clients are on the same page when it comes to what working together entails is vital for ensuring that there aren’t any 11th hour snafus or disappointments.

It’s a pretty crappy feeling to send over a finished product you’re proud of, and have a client respond with ‘Oh...that’s not quite what I was expecting…’
Or, ‘Thanks, but I needed you to do these other 3 things as well…’

Ouf. At best, it’s an awkward conversation as you retrace your steps to figure out where messages got crossed. At worst it means that you’re stuck re-doing the work. Or doing a whole tonne of extra work.

Without pay.

See? It’s worth it to include the details of the work you’ll be doing in your contracts. Here are my recommendations on where to start.


These are the meat ‘n potatoes of what you’ll be doing for your client. For example:

Web Designer: Sales Page + Opt In Landing Page

Graphic Designer: Business card, logo and 2 Instagram templates

Business Coach: 4 x 1hr coaching sessions to improve social media

Calligrapher: Wedding Suite (Save The Date, Invite, RSVP + Envelopes), 400 ppl


For each of the main deliverables you’d identified above, what actually goes into each of them? This could be the number of initial options you’ll present them with, or the number of iterations they’re allowed.

Including this level of detail is important because if you start doing 3, 5, 7 iterations or ‘check-ins’ with clients, your profit will be gone. Fast.


The downside of making what you do look so easy to clients is that they probably don’t know how many hours of attention and care go into creating the magic.

No, you can’t create and deliver an entire website in 24 hours.

Or a whole suite of design elements.

Or impart your years of expertise and guidance in a blitz 4hr coaching session.

For longer projects, it can help to set timelines for the important milestones as well as the final delivery. This gives clients re-assurance that the work is progressing, and can be helpful for you when it comes to receiving instalment payments.


How will you be delivering the service or project? Sometimes this seems obvious (like getting on Skype for a coaching call) but listing it in your contract is still required. After all, a client may be thinking that you’re showing up at their door for an in-person session...even if you live hours away.

USB? CD? DropBox? Email attachment? Skype? Join.Me?

Your options are endless. So find what works for you, and include it in your contract.


A simple table can work well for this (too many words and things get confusing and open to interpretation) as can a bullet point list. Keep it easy to read for both you and your clients.