Any experienced designer will admit that clients can sometimes cause a great deal of stress. Some clients are very hands on, wanting to play an active role in the creative process. Others will barely give you instructions at all, leaving you insecure about the possibility of taking the project in the wrong direction. Ensure that your client interactions stay positive by learning about some common issues and how to handle them.
1.Clueless About Technology
Clients usually hire freelance graphic designers, illustrators, writers and programmers for one reason: They don’t have the skills to handle the job themselves. There is a big difference, however, between not knowing about graphic design and not knowing about how business is done in the modern age. If you come across a client that requires an explanation for things that seem obvious to you, try to be patient. If you provide this client with information about the latest technology, your communications will likely flow more smoothly in the future.
2. Passive Over Payment
Payment conflicts can unfortunately arise when freelancing, and most of the time, they are based on misunderstandings and can easily be worked out. As any freelance designer will tell you, the vast majority of clients are honest. However, if you aren’t receiving payments at all, don’t just sit back and continue allowing the client to abuse you. Talk to a debt collector about how you can collect your payment.
3. Center of the Universe
A common problem for freelancers of all varieties is the client that assumes he or she is the only person you’re working with. It takes multiple projects a month for most designers to make ends meet, which means that you’ll need to learn balance. When one of your clients is particularly needy, try giving him or her a bit more attention. Chances are that your other clients won’t even notice, and your efforts might pay off in the long run. That said, it’s never wise to let one client completely dominate your world.
4. Always Expecting Work
Being a freelancer and working from home doesn’t mean that you’re not entitled to a private life. Some clients don’t have compassion for this and expect you to answer the phone or check your email at all hours of the day. Don’t feel pressured to put up with this. It’s perfectly reasonable to set regular work hours. If you want to make it easy for clients to know when you’re available, be sure to clearly post your work hours on your website.
5. Super Indecisive
When you quoted the client a price for this project, you had a specific project in mind. Be wary of clients who change their minds multiple times and expect you to roll with these chances indiscriminately. It’s reasonable to expect to make small tweaks and revisions, but you should draw the line at doing anything major that you didn’t previously agree to. You can avoid this awkward situation by providing a detailed proposal with a clear policy that shows the prices for additional work.
If you’re a new graphic designer, don’t get discouraged if things become overwhelming. Most freelancers started out as regular workers prior to becoming self-employed. This makes the transition to freelancing difficult. You’ll have to get used to setting regular hours, defining your own policies and being assertive about conflicts that come up. However, once you begin to learn the ropes, your business will run smoothly, and you’ll feel more confident than ever to be living the life of a freelancer.