Posted tagged ‘clients’

5 Client Types to Beware Of

May 2, 2009

I’m sure many of you who work freelance have had one or two clients who were less than desirable to work with. No offense to the clients. I bet they have had designers they were not happy with either. Here is my list of not so desirable clients.

1. Can you do my project for X amount? The answer to this could be yes. But when designers take on a project for less than normal fee things happen. Such as a lot more work being involved in the project. The designer has to do more research or the client changes their mind about a concept.

2. The client wants changes made to a project; unfortunately the source file has been lost. The first thing going through the designers mind is “How professional is this client to lose their source files?” You may or may not have back ups or archived files of the project. Perhaps you were not the original designer of the project. Do they expect you to recreate the original project for them?

3. The client that says “I love your work!”; “You’re a great designer!” Has this potential client actually seen any of your work? Are they just trying to butter you up? Maybe. Could be they are similar to client #1, trying to get a really good deal. Or worse, they don’t have the money at the moment. Could you wait until next week, next month, etc, for payment?

4. The client who doesn’t know what they want. This client says that they want something very special. Yet when you question them they are unable to explain the concept to you. You, the designer, try as you may, simply can not produce the desired results the client wants. There goes more of your precious time, wasted, for little pay.

5. The client who wants unlimited revisions for their project. There are clients who take advantage of this. Three to five revisions should be sufficient for most all projects. After five revisions the designer is being taken advantage of.

This concludes my list of client types to beware of. You may or may not choose to work with clients who exhibit behaviors such as this. I suppose it would depend on your finances and how bad you needed the work.

Till next time

Three Rules to Know: When to Fire a Client

August 16, 2008

Working as a freelancer can be very rewarding. For instance; no boss, work your own hours, and work from home. It all seems to be a great way to work until the client from hell comes along. Unless you are new to working as a freelancer you may not have met such a client as this one. Therefore here are three rules to follow so you know when to fire that particular client.

 

1. Create a contract with a written estimate. In the contract state specifically what you are doing for the client. What is expected of the client during the design process should also be stated. And include a written estimate of the design costs. Have the client sign and return the contract within a reasonable time frame. If the client is hesitant to sign the contract or refuses this should be a red flag. You may have trouble with this client if you proceed with the project.

 

2. Require at least 30% paid up front. A serious client should have no problem with paying an upfront fee. This also ensures the client has the funds to pay for the project. There is nothing more frustrating than working on a project for weeks at a time and then find out the client can’t pay for it.

 

3. Trust your instincts. Does a client act a little strange when meeting with them face to face for the first time? It doesn’t necessarily mean to fire them. Have another meeting with them to get to know them better first. Then take the appropriate action if needed.

 

There you have it, three rules you should follow when getting new clients. I hope they help so you don’t have to go through the some times painful experience of working with a problem client.

My Kind of Designer

July 18, 2008

 

I’ll admit it; I’m new to the design field. I have read articles to get an idea of what clients may want. And I have read other articles on what other designers say we should give clients. I agree with some of the things and the rest is just mind boggling. So in this article I will address the things I agree with so you have an idea of the kind of designer I want to be for my clients.

 

First of all, my main concern would be to know exactly what my client wants and any concerns they may have. To me that means listening to everything they have to say. If they have a better image or copy they would like to use I’ll try it. After all, my client knows themself better than I do. If for some reason I feel the clients’ idea may not suit the project I’ll discuss it with him. There is no point in either of us to “pull rank”. Teamwork is what gets the project finished.

 

Next, I would only take on projects I know how to do. For example there is no need for me to even accept a project to design an elaborate website. Yes I could do it but I wouldn’t want my client waiting forever on getting their website built. I’m a little better at print design so I will stick with that for now.

 

Finally, I would do as much as I could to help my client. Hey, I’m not wonder woman! I’ll go the extra mile to find a printer, choose papers, or what ever else my client may need help with. After all, if my client leaves happy then I’ve done my job. Hopefully, if they need another project done, they will call on me to do it.

 

In conclusion, these are some of the goals I have set for myself when working with clients. Know what the client wants and address their concerns. Accept the projects you know how to do. And go the extra mile for clients. You may or may not agree with my thinking. That’s O.K. There are a lot of other designers out there to choose from. We each have different ideas to offer for all the different clients we come across.