As a freelance designer for more than 10 years I have learned a lot about dealing with clients. Might as well share some of those tips here on my blog…if you are a client and want to share expectations or your tips for freelancers, by all means…leave a comment.
1. Don’t talk too much. You will learn a lot more by asking open-ended, short questions and letting the client do all the talking. You will get a better understanding of their style, what they are looking for, and whether or not you are going to have future opportunities for projects.
2. Focus on the client’s business as if it were your own. The best way to do this is by not focusing on the budget they have and focus on their goals. By showing your interest in the success of the company and how you can benefit them before harping on the money your client will be more willing to spend what they need to. They will see your benefit to them ahead of the dollars and it will make you more important to them.
3. Remember the project is for the client. As designers we all have our favorite designs. While you should advise your clients to pick the best designs, you have to understand that the artwork is not for you…it is for the client. Take critique for what it is…suggestions from the person paying you. I am not saying you should compromise the aesthetic but ultimately you HAVE to give them the design they want.
4. Focus on quality. In the past I would try to give clients so many choices it would get confusing. I have learned to focus on 2-3 top-notch designs and make your pitch. You will make revisions but my focusing on the quality of those initial designs you will make fewer revisions in the long run.
5. Don’t waste time. This goes both ways. You don’t want to waste your time or your clients. If there is a project that you can not efficiently complete…don’t take it! I know it is hard to turn down money but the more honest you are with your limitations the better off you will be. Don’t be afraid to pass work on to a colleague that is better suited for a project. It will make your client happier and who knows…that colleague may just pass some work your way in the future. Time is money…and that goes for the time you waste treading water on a project you don’t have the skills to complete efficiently.
Okay…so there are 5 tips to dealing with clients as a freelancer. Nothing groundbreaking but some things you might take for granted.