Don’t ignore these warning signs of a bad design client

We have all heard horror stories about clients. Some take advantage of freelancers, some are unwilling to listen, and some are just outright disrespectful. No freelance designer should have to work with somebody like that. A bad client will only bring unnecessary stress and anxiety onto a freelance designer. However, it’s not hard to spot these bad clients. Look for these warning signs to figure out if your client is going to be troublesome. (And if you have some additional

How to convince your design clients to hire you again

Any good entrepreneur knows that it’s easier, cheaper, and more effective to sell to existing customers than it is to find and sell to new customers. A design business is no different. Many freelance designers waste a lot of time and opportunities in trying to find new clients instead of working on ways to convince their current and past clients to hire them again. Today, I’d like to recommend a few techniques on convincing your design clients to hire you

How to deal with the dreaded 'design by committee'

I cringe every time it happens: A client contacts you for work, you settle on payment, timing, and all the other important details, you work hard to get them a preliminary design and then it happens. Their response? “I have to show it to a group of people here and then I’ll get back to you.” Doh. ‘Design by committee’ is one of the most frustrating and annoying aspects of being a designer because opinions can range widely within even

Presenting design work to your clients

So you’ve landed that great client you’ve been talking to for weeks, and you want to make sure to keep them happy. Aside from giving them a stellar product, how do you do that? One way is by being ridiculously professional in how you present your work. The way proofs are presented to clients had never really occurred to me until I did some in-house work for a design agency awhile back. This particular agency was very particular about presentation,

How to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control

So newbie, you just landed your first big design gig huh? What are you designing? A company web site? a fancy business card? maybe some print marketing material? Congratulations on landing your first gig! Now, the key is to keep everything under-control and manageable. Getting your first gig can be exciting, but there might also be a lot of things you never thought about. Here’s how to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control: (PS. I’d love

How to ensure your design portfolio is attracting clients

When looking for work, the advantage we have as designers is the ability to actually show what kind of work we can do, rather than just trying to explain it on a resume. And just like presenting a resume, you want to make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to showing your portfolio. I thought I’d pass along a few tips that have helped me in developing mine. Make a web portfolio A website that showcases

Finding a balance between pleasing clients and keeping your sanity

Have you ever gone nearly insane trying to please a client? I have. In fact, I have probably done it more than I would like to admit. After all, the clients pay the bills (hopefully) and if the clients not happy, you’re not happy. So how can you please your clients without going crazy? It’s all about balance. If you’d like to know how to balance your attempt to please clients and your attempt to keep your sanity, read on,

How long should a designer fight a client about a poor design decision?

If you’ve been designing for long, you’ve experienced a scenario like I am going through right now: You’ve met with your client, discussed the details of the project, signed a contract, and made some major progress on your project. Now, significantly through your process, your client hits you with a request that just makes your teeth hurt. It’s one of those requests that goes against everything you’ve ever learned about good design. Whether it’s auto-starting music on their web site,