People are comparable to snowflakes, in that no two are alike. Therefore, since the clients you come into contact with are all unique, learning the nuances of each one will be a boon to your success. Doing so allows you to better fine-tune projects to best fit the client’s needs. At the same time, having a strong relationship with those who you work with will offer you invaluable clarity and peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your work to the fullest.
Only after you’ve taken the time to analyze your clients are you able to accurately decide which relationships you want to continue and which are better off ending. What we often come in contact with are two types of clients: Those who understand your expertise and are enjoyable to work with and those who see a designer’s skillset as strictly a means to an end.
Many times when you come into contact with clients it will be immediately apparent their intentions in regards to working with you. If the discussion sticks strictly to the results of the project and you can’t seem to get a word in, you are likely dealing with one of the clients we believe you should probably avoid. The idea of a client who seems passionate about results and getting work done may get you excited to work, but over time these clients become a looming presence that only brings stress and frustration to your work process. When clients pay little attention to your opinions, needs, and work process, the relationship tips to one side and is bound to fall.
At this point you may be thinking that clients who divert control entirely to the designer are flawless clients to pursue, to which we cautiously affirm. We use caution even with these easy-to-work-with clients because many times the design freedom causes designers to overlook other flaws. From our experience, these types of clients are typically non-profits or churches that won’t have the same budgeting options as other businesses. For this reason, it becomes a slippery slope for designers to exchange their services for less than fair pay or delayed payments.
Every designer deals with clients, so when the door opens for you to begin taking offers, be sure to take the time to pick ones who are willing to collaborate, appreciate your expertise, and ultimately are people who you enjoy working with.
Have questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comment section below or contact us. We’d love to hear from you!
Apprentice Studios is a graphic design studio focused on the training and education of the next generation of creatives.
Content By: Torrey Lubiens
Written By: Alex Reich
Photo Credit: Seemi Samuel