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Bad Habits of the Common Client

There’s a saying we’re fond of, and it goes something like this: “The day you start signing clients is the day you start gaining gray hairs.” Okay, so it might not be a common saying, but if it isn’t, we’re sure as heck going to coin it! But no matter how you slice it, working with clients can be an extremely stressful affair. Between navigating their unprofessional descriptions of what they want and actually producing quality work, working for a client can really wreck the experience of being your own boss. Thankfully, most complaints your clients will have with you or your work can be objectified and dealt with. Even better, we’ve listed a few of the most common client-based problems we’ve encountered below. This is by no means a Survival Guide to bank on, but if it helps you get through your day, then our job is done! Starting with:

Clients Want Cheap: It doesn’t matter who the client is, they likely want your services for a lot lower price than their actually worth. This is because everyone owns Photoshop, and most people seem to know a designer or two. These factors lead up to the bizarre notion that graphic design is somehow cheap and ineffective: A fact we all know to be completely untrue! The easiest way to combat this is to start effectively selling your content to the client. Mention that your media will likely increase sales, boost brand name presence, etc. You’re not just selling them a new logo or a web re-design, but an entire platform from which they’ll build. In fact, just steal that last sentence, and they’ll likely feel a lot more comfortable paying you what you’re worth.

Clients Want it all Now: Another common problem we deal with is a client wanting you to design on spec, or produce a finished work before they pay. Obviously, this isn’t how the industry happens, and is a terrible way to work. Try as much as possible to dissuade your clients from thinking like this. Let them see your portfolio, and then if they’re still concerned, charge only fifty percent—or even thirty—of the costs up front. You’re goal here is to assuage fears while still securing the pay you deserve. Remember that you do have power, and that when used correctly, you won’t be working for free or uncertain money.

Posted on December 12, 2011

Category: General

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