The most fragile part of freelancing graphic design has to be maintaining your business relationships. When work comes along you can’t waste opportunities to impress.
After moving to downtown Indianapolis, I sent out a few LinkedIn recommendation requests to current/past clients. Recommendations are always great resume builders, and LinkedIn asks the endorser to choose three top qualities.
Out of ten results, the most used words were: Great Results, Personable, Expert, On Time, Creative, Good Value, High Integrity. Three of them are highly notable, according to writer Neil Gaiman’s Speech at the University of the Arts.
Treat clients like people. Also, convey that you are also a hard-working person just like them with a life. A phone call will usually one-up an email. Let the client know that you appreciate the work they are giving you by thanking them.
Eventually, you will learn to joke with each other and share stories. That’s when you are building trust.
We all want to be paid on time, right? Well, return the favor by delivering projects on time.
If I’m ever going to be late, I always provide reasons that will benefit the project. A good example would be when I’m testing my front-end designs in multiple browsers. Being late is going to provide higher quality assurance for the client, which is usually OK if they aren’t pressed for time.
Tip: Overshoot your delivery date when possible. It’s better to over-deliver than be late.
Fantastic designs will always help your situation. The client came for good results, and there is nothing better than giving it to them better than they expected.
Your first project is the most important with a client, but don’t forget about the second one. If you knock out two projects in a row, you are sure to have built a solid business relationship.
As Neil states in his speech, you only need two factors out of three to please a client.
Holding a high standard of business is something I always strive for, but I personally agree this theory holds ground in the freelance design world in cases where I’ve slipped.
What do you think?
A business does not rest solely on it’s brand identity, but the affects can take a toll if done improperly. So many times I see branding being neglected, opportunities wasted, and poorly planned strategy. Here are some mistakes any business should avoid. Read more →
Click below to start the video:
I found this video on the GoDaddy website while researching my upcoming blog article, “How to Choose a Good Hosting Web Service.” Bob Parsons is the CEO and Founder of GoDaddy. Bob has been criticized greatly for the way GoDaddy promotes itself. I’m not saying that he is my role model, but someone who sponsors a Nascar ride is doing something right. This particular video is quite general and informative for entrepreneurs once you look past all of the home video clips. Enjoy!
“If you do not know what the problem is then you cannot provide a solution.”
These logo design questions will help you provide an accurate quote and get a better feel for your clients needs. I consider this my extended client questionnaire, which usually comes after they fill out my lead identity worksheet.
What is your company product or service?
What is the mission of your company/organization?
What is your target market and demographic?
Who are your competitors and how do you differ?
Ask them to provide links to competitor websites if possible.
What are your thoughts on your competitors logos?
This is where you figure out whether the client would like to go a different direction than the pack. Many clients like to try a design solution that is already proven. I’m a fan of trying to break away, but if you don’t have the green light for this then you might be prolonging the project.
What logo designs appeal to you and why?
Question 6 and 7 are essentially a break down of number 5. I find it important to make sure you know where the client stands.
What logos DO NOT appeal to you and why?
Do you have any specific imagery in mind for your logo?
What is your tagline and would you like it incorporated into the logo?
What do you want the logo to say about your company?
Here is a good way to make this answer short and sweet. “Say it in three words.”
Do you have any color preferences, or existing brand colors?
Where will you be using the logo?
Find out where the logo will be predominately displayed.
Ex. Website, print, merchandise, vehicle wraps
The way you approach a project determines how the client is going to value your expertise. If you go into a project without any direction you will probably end up wasting time during the development process. There is nothing worse than revising your designs more times than necessary. It’s best to know what your client is thinking before you start. It’s your job to gather your clients thoughts and goals then translate them into a design solution.
Feel free to add to the above questions in comments below.