Client Relations

Working with clients is something that never gets easier, considering there are always tough people to work with. I haven’t worked with a ton of clients considering I’m still a student, but the few experiences I have had were definitely challenges. In our Business Practices in Design class, we had to work with clients in the real world who needed help with their businesses, and my group got paired with Kim Brannon’s Non-Profit Roots-n-Streams. We had to help with her organization, website, Etsy shop, design, and more. I had to make her entire Etsy shop and she kept contacting her with every question she had, no matter how simple, and since she was our client, I had to answer it quickly and explain every process I went through. As incredibly nice as Kim was and as much as I liked her in real life, she was a difficult client to work with. She had a lot of questions which is understandable, but having to do something and then explain every single step definitely isn’t easy.

The only other experience I’ve had with clients is when I did freelancing with Ibotta Inc. last semester. Working there as an intern the summer before was awesome, but trying to do the same things remotely came with its own set of new challenges. Having to try and communicate with people from 1000 miles away about the changes they wanted on something I designed was super hard. Going back and forth talking about tiny changes and doing about 15 different versions got to be fairly frustrating. I was only freelancing about 2 hours a day, and so trying to meet deadlines for these clients was sometimes challenging. No matter who your client is, chances are, they don’t know what they want even if they think they do. They can have these super specific pictures in their heads of what they think they want, and when you send them something that looks different they aren’t satisfied. As a freelance designer, I knew that some of the changes that a client was requesting would have looked bad, but sometimes you have to just try to appease the client and do what they want anyways. It’s a tough line when you are hired to make things look good, but clients can sometimes make it almost impossible for you to do so. Although freelancing comes with all those challenges, it is so worth it, especially if you can do it full-time and be able to focus on those certain clients. There are so many perks to freelancing, and even if you have hard clients, it’s a good gig.

I found an article about the 15 different types of difficult clients, and I couldn’t agree more with the types of people they chose.

  1. Mr. I’m not really sure what I want
  2. Mr. Hey what’s that over there, aka, Mr. I assumed this was included
  3. Mr. I needed this done yesterday
  4. Mr. Everything’s an emergency
  5. Mrs. We don’t have a deadline-oh wait yes we do and it’s tomorrow
  6. Mr. I don’t really care; just do whatever you want
  7. Mrs. I care so much that it hurts
  8. Ms. I don’t know what I want, but this isn’t it
  9. Mr. Will this cost extra
  10. Mr. What’s a weekend
  11. Ms. I hate that color for no reason
  12. Mrs. Won’t this take five minutes
  13. Mr Decision- by – committee
  14. Ms. Lurker
  15. Mrs. What you did was great but we want something completely different

I can only speak about clients as a designer, but no matter what field you work in, clients can be tough and you need to be patient and know that just because you know what you’re talking about, doesn’t mean they should because you are the expert, not them.