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Get Signed Approvals

Nothing makes a client more accountable than a signature on paper. Here's a good rule to live by: If it discusses scope, budget, or schedule, get it signed. If the client signed it, save it. Email approvals are a good start, but follow up with a hard copy to protect yourself — get a physical signature via fax whenever possible. Establish one contact from the client side who has final sign-off. You will not want to redesign for a committee.

For every project, create a project folder (or a physical binder) to house all signed documentation: contracts, briefs, the initial proposal and subsequent revisions, the approved sitemap, visual design directions, and so on. Clients sometimes suffer from short-term memory loss. Gently remind them of things they have approved and dates they have agreed to throughout the process.

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