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Here follows a guest post by Aditya Mahesh of AMBeat.com, a blog offering resources for entrepreneurs — advice, start-up profiles, interviews, news analysis, and more.
Now I’ve never been a graphic designer (my background’s in copywriting), but by hiring designers on numerous occasions I’ve gained insights from the customer-side that will help you satisfy your own clients. The following tips will help you keep your customers coming back.
I don’t know what I want
Chances are, unless I’m a designer, I don’t know what I want. All I know is I want something functional that looks good, is comparable with my competitors, and features constant colour schemes for branding. I’ll look at other designs that have already been created and ask for something similar. Hence, it is important that you can take the information I give and help me visualize what it is you think I want.
I need control
I mightn’t know anything about the design process, but as a customer — and especially as an entrepreneur and small business owner — I need control over every aspect of my business. Hence, to keep me happy, you need to give up control over the process. Show me samples and updates throughout to make sure you are creating exactly what I want. If I ask for a change you don’t agree with, do it the way I want and the way you think it should be done (provided it isn’t too much extra work) and let me decide what I think is best.
I’m unsure about pricing
Many businesses are willing to pay for quality but the fact is that no matter how much your time is worth, there are designers willing to put out decent quality for 1/10 of your costs. Hence, you need to ensure that your competitive advantage is significant and apparent. It might not be fair, but that’s what the web has done to the free market. Outsourcing affects everyone.
I appreciate honesty and quality
I cannot tell you how many designers have told me they’d complete a project to my specifications only to delay the delivery date and the finally deliver something completely different from what I requested. So whenever I hire a designer who is candidly honest, delivers what I want, and goes above and beyond, I go out of my way to help them in any way I can. I appreciate someone who goes out of their way to make sure I’m happy, and if you do so, most of the time it will lead to repeat and referral business.
I want you to stick around
Once you have delivered a final project, don’t simply disappear. Just because I have what I want, this doesn’t mean I know how to use it. Help me apply the designs you created. No matter how brilliant the outcome, I will look poorly upon your service if you disappear and I have to pay someone else to apply or edit the design. It also just makes good business sense to stick around after completing a job. I’m constantly looking to complete additional design projects.
Overall, I don’t want to keep hiring new designers. As long as you can provide what I want at a reasonable price, I’ll keep coming back.
Here are some related posts elsewhere
- Clients: The Problem Areas
- Who makes the best client?
- A Client’s Guide to Professional Conduct in the Design Industry
- Designers Working With Clients
- Client Week on FreelanceSwitch
- Key Thing to Ask When Hiring Designers
- The “dealing with designers” category on this website
No two clients are the same. For the designers amongst you, is Aditya a client you’d be happy to work with? Would you have any reservations? If you’ve previously hired graphic designers have you found yourself thinking along similar lines?