Hello, Freshmen. Welcome to the jungle. As part of your initiation, we thought we would tell you about what’s in store for you. It’s not too late to turn back.
1. The Can’t-Get-It Together
This client will not be able to send you all the materials you need to finish their project. You’ll ask for three lines of text and they’ll “work on it” for a few weeks. You’ll ask for images and they’ll disappear.
Our advice: At the end of the day, it’s their business. If you have done your part, they can procrastinate as much as they want.
2. The Would-Be Designer
This client thinks they can do your job. They expect you to execute a literal translation of their “vision” and you might have trouble convincing them them that their ideas are not going to work.
Our advice: Pick your battles. Stand your ground on big things but let them have what they want when it comes to small details.
3. The Poor Dreamer
This client has big plans but no money. Often, these are the fun projects, in areas like food or the arts. They’ll want everything but expect to get it for nothing, asking you to invest in their goals.
Our advice: Don’t get involved and don’t undervalue your services. You have your business and they have theirs.
4. The Quiet Crazy
This client appears normal in every respect. Your initial conversations are pleasant and you are on the same page. Then, as you begin working together, you realize that you are dealing with a basket case.
Our advice: Your ability to detect the crazies will become more refined over time, but even the most experienced of us fall for them sometimes.
5. The Logomaniac
This client will ask you to make their logo bigger. Or, they will insist that you use their horrible old logo even if you offer to design a new one. Or, they will ask you to use fonts that are completely inappropriate.
Our advice: Explain that a bigger logo will not make a bigger impact and why your font choices are a better fit for their brand.
6. The Senior Committee
This client lives in B.C. — before computers, that is. They are old fashioned and believe that every design decision needs a meeting. You will get stuck in a gridlock of bad taste and endless back-and-forth emails.
Our advice: Avoid committees at all costs. It will never end well and they will never listen to your advice.
7. The Flip Flopper
This client changes their mind all the time. You will ask them to approve a design only to get an email the next day asking to change it. They will not understand the concept that at a certain point, all design decisions are final.
Our advice: Don’t indulge their indicisiveness. Give a limited number of options and ask them to choose. Be firm with deadlines.
8. The Squirrel Monkey
Have you ever seen a monkey try to eat jello? Watch this, if you haven’t. This client is exactly like that — they start more projects than they can handle and have a hard time finishing any of them.
Our advice: Suggest that they can always add more later, as long as they cover the basics first.
9. The Google Challenged
This client will ask you stupid questions by email when they could have easily found the answer using Google. They will treat you as their one and only resource on all things web related.
Our advice: Tell them to Google before asking you. Don’t let them waste your time, or tell them that they have to pay for it.
10. The Crisis Seeker
This client will make the smallest problem seem like an emergency. They will expect you to drop everything and help them until everything is fixed. It doesn’t matter if the problem is out of your hands.
Our advice: Calmly explain the situation. Stay away from clients who are rude or demand too much of your time.