Being a client isn’t easy. If you’ve ever done it, you’ll know what I mean.
Obviously, you’re in the driver’s seat and the pressure is on. The project is costing you money, and you want the outcomes you were promised. But you’ve got to make sure you keep yourself nice, because you’re far more likely to get a better result than if you turn into a sourpuss at the first hurdle.
After all, a client who’s confident and clear in their communications can play a massive part in the creative process.
So here’s a few tips to be the best client possible and get the best results from your design team.
Come in with a plan
Before you even hire your designer, make sure you’ve got a clear vision about what you want them to achieve. It sounds simple, but often, a client only plans the first 20% of the job, then makes it up as they go along after that, which can be frustrating for the designer. Be sure about what you want from the outset.
The reason people employ designers is they have a creative mind, one that will think outside the box, that will look at you and your business and look into your soul to find the big idea, so don’t get bogged down in the detail at the beginning, keep an open mind and let your creative team do what they do best.
Be patient and trust in the process
Any designer worth their weight in gold will supply you with a work schedule or have a project manager who will manage the process. Again, this comes down to communication, when you know what’s happening you feel more confident, but creativity doesn’t always happen on schedule, so as a client be patient and trust that you have found the right designer and sometimes that creative spark takes longer than first thought, but the good ones are always worth the wait.
As with all relationships honesty and trust is the key. When you pay good money to build your brand and business, you have to speak your mind. Be polite and constructive but be honest so you can ensure you totally love the end result.
Don’t do the job for them
There’s nothing worse than a client who wants to design, I know because I have been that client. When you feedback on a concept or design, be clear, concise and constructive. Tell your designer what you like and don’t like and most importantly, tell them why.
Having a client who tells you they love your work is extremely motivating for a designer. I’m not suggesting you throw compliments if they are not warranted, and as a client if you are not happy at any stage you have to feel confident enough to speak up. But, when you do like something, let them know.
Speak up if there’s issues
If you’re having issues with the process, don’t sit back and say nothing. You are the client, and you’ve got every right to speak your mind. Perhaps your designer isn’t communicating regularly enough, not sticking to their schedule, or isn’t making the amendments you’ve requested quickly enough. Speak up, but be sure to keep it nice. Just ask gently when you can expect to see the work, and wait for a response.
Hire an expert
Good clients outsource what they can’t do themselves – for example,the content of your website can often be the stumbling block especially when you’re doing everything yourself, so you need to hire a wordsmith. If you’re not a natural writer or don’t have a bank of relevant photos and imagery for your blogs, find experts that can help you produce your content on schedule. If you don’t have time to manage a project and work with a designer, track down a project manager to keep the process on track for you. Often, redesigning your website or rebranding is a time consuming job, so if you don’t have time to manage the process, find someone who can help you and your design team to produce the brand of your dreams on schedule and budget.
Keep these points in mind when you’re the client, and I’m sure you’ll have a far more positive outcome.