You can’t blame your clients for not knowing what is and isn’t good design – that’s your job to show them. You can’t, however, forgive them for assuming that your time is free.
Mart Virkus is a comic artist as well as marketing lead and author at time-tracker Toggl. He’s previously created comical infographics including the seven circles of developer hell and tips on how to leave work early. In his latest comic, Mart illustrates his metaphor for terrible clients as plundering pirates.
See how frustrating clients plague the seven seas of agencies in the amusing infographic below.
How do you protect yourself against these fiendish pirates?
Design Committee Pirates
‘Design by committee’ is one of the most frustrating and annoying aspects of being a designer. Opinions can very greatly and clients give way to personal preference over logical marketing, or design principles. The best way to deal with a design committee is to bring it up before you get too far into the project. Usually, clients will understand and appreciate your concern. Work with your client at the beginning of your project to appoint someone to filter committee feedback. And remember, not all feedback is good.
When a client challenges you, the key is to to identify what that reason is. Study the exact words, tone, and delay in their response. If a client is unsure about your price, the problem stems from not having a good comparison to work from.
Regardless of how fair your price is, some clients either have a super-tight budget, or are just hellbent on haggling. Sometimes it just takes a bit more justification. A clearer understanding of why your price is what it is. Start with why they were interested in you in the first place.
Tick-Tock: The Relentless Croc
I don’t know about you, but I see more and more clients portraying everything as urgent and requires immediate response; as though we’re living in a constant state of emergency. In reality, when everything is labeled urgent, nothing really is. Explore with your customer what they are really trying to accomplish and when it’s actually needed. Sometimes the sense of urgency is just a way of conveying a person’s importance and power, or even a reflection of personal anxiety.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.