5 Freelance Problems + How to Fix Them
This is a guest post by Lisa of THE LC STUDIO. She is an aspiring graphic designer that likes to spread the word about the creative industry and what it takes to succeed.
PROBLEM: THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT.
SOLUTION: GIVE THEM EXAMPLES.
Choices can overwhelm a client who’s new to graphic design. To guide them in the right direction, showcase some specific examples – preferably your own work. Arrange five to 10 contrasting options in different categories like typeface, shape and color. Your client may not be able to articulate the image they want, but looking at ideas will at least help them decide what they aren’t looking for. That’s a step in the right direction.
PROBLEM: THEY KEEP CHANGING WHAT THEY WANT.
SOLUTION: EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSISTENT BRANDING.
Branding is foreign territory to most people, which can cause your clients not to take their design decisions seriously. Give them a crash course in Branding 101. Reference big names that got it right, like Google, Amazon and Pepsi, which sported its red, white and blue wave logo for 75 years before changing it to a “globe” design in 2009.
PROBLEM: THEY HATE EVERYTHING YOU COME UP WITH.
SOLUTION: BUILD YOUR CREDIBILITY.
You might just be dealing with a negative Nancy who wants to nitpick at the minute details of your designs. Some clients may lash out just due to a bad mood, but many others do so because they think they know what’s best. Assert your know-how as a designer by explaining the why and how of your designs – why you chose cyan instead of navy, how a serif typeface will embody the personality of their brand, etc.
PROBLEM: THEY DON’T GET BACK TO YOU ON TIME.
SOLUTION: BE CORDIAL, YET ASSERTIVE.
The non-responder is like the brown recluse; it’s only dangerous if you approach it unprepared. Ask for a down payment before starting any project – usually 50% cash or credit – and keep your client updated throughout the design process via e-mail, which can also be used as written record of your correspondence. This way, you’ll have all your bases covered if they do decide to skip out.
PROBLEM: THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR RATES.
SOLUTION: DEFEND YOUR CONS WITH YOUR PROS.
Maybe your rates are slightly higher than those of your competitors, but maybe you offer unbeatable customer service or have a detailed knowledge of CSS. People will pay more if they feel the service if worth it, so make sure your clients feel special. Help them understand just how much you invest in them.