A valuable lesson on dealing with design clients, from Chermayeff & Geismar’s 2011 book Identify.
A chapter from Ted Leonhardt’s new book Nail It: Stories for Designers on Negotiating with Confidence — a collection of true stories about designers getting the salaries they deserve.
It’s easy to think anyone can come up with a good name, but it’s more complicated than that.
“An idea can come from anywhere, but getting buy in and seeing it through is tough. In fact, naming can be one of the hardest parts of a branding project.”
These naming specialists are listed at the end.
With a few relevant books.
Another that seems worth picking up.
Some online pieces.
And when you have your shortlist, check availability.
Designer and writer Paul Jarvis has a useful website. Here are some posts and resources of interest, and some thoughts I agreed with.
Paul talks about how to build an audience from scratch. Many of you are, or once were in this situation. If I found myself transported back to when I became self-employed eight years ago, this is close to the advice I'd give the younger me.
It's important to say no from time to time.
"Saying no sometimes means I get a feeling that the client could be tricky to work with, or not jive with how I work. It’s ok to turn down projects I have a feeling might not go well, because chances are they won’t. And if they don’t, it’ll end up costing more to do the work than if I had just said no first. Not everyone is a perfect fit, and I’m certainly not a perfect fit for everyone."
There's a page comparing ebook sales on Amazon versus other platforms. Mailchimp is listed as the favoured email list management tool. I recently signed up with preferred AWeber. More on that later. (Update: read how I increased subscribers by 1,000% using AWeber.)
Work better. Good productivity tips.
"Pay your dues and if you want something, earn it by doing everything you can while expecting nothing. Acting like you’ve put in your time and now deserve more than someone else will get you nowhere but thought of as an ass pretty fast."
A quick bio: He's a "practicing yogi, touring musician, has a tattoo (or two), and is a non-preachy vegan." He currently lives in the woods, on the coast of Vancouver Island, with his wife Lisa and pet rats Ohna’ and Awe:ri.
Catch him on Twitter.
People were offered 2 kinds of beer: premium beer for $2.50 and bargain beer for $1.80. Around 80% chose the more expensive beer.
Now a third beer was introduced, a super bargain beer for $1.60 in addition to the previous two. Now 80% bought the $1.80 beer and the rest $2.50 beer. Nobody bought the cheapest option.
Beer bottle photo by jovike
Third time around, they removed the $1.60 beer and replaced with a super premium $3.40 beer. Most people chose the $2.50 beer, a small number $1.80 beer and around 10% opted for the most expensive $3.40 beer. Some people will always buy the most expensive option, no matter the price.
You can influence people’s choice by offering different options. Old school sales people also say that offering different price point options will make people choose between your plans, instead of choosing whether to buy your product or not.
How to test it: Try offering 3 packages, and if there is something you really want to sell, make it the middle option.
Excerpted from pricing experiments you might not know, but can learn from.
The story is referenced in William Poundstone's 2011 book Priceless: the myth of fair value (and how to take advantage of it). Via the 11 ways that consumers are hopeless at math, on The Atlantic.
"If I go to see the doctor, I accept that the doctor has trained, has skill, has experience, is concentrating on one aspect of me. I've asked them to do that. What I don't do is what bad graphic design clients do. I don't lean over the doctor's shoulder and say, 'Could we make that pill a bit larger?'"
— Quentin Newark, Atelier Works
"A good client has the responsibility to carefully choose the designer that they're going to work on the project with, and when they get that job right it makes your job a lot easier."
— Luke Pearson, PearsonLloyd
"I'm not sure there is such a thing as a perfect client because people are messy, just like I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect agency or a perfect consultancy or a perfect advisor."
— Rita Clifton, Interbrand
"You make your client a good client or a bad client. After you've worked with clients over the years you know how to handle them, from a selfish point-of-view to get the best out of them, but also, to give them the best."
— Edward Barber, BarberOsgerby
"Most clients come to us with no real idea of what identity they're trying to achieve. They'll often come to us thinking that what they need is a new logo, that going forwards all their problems will be solved by this new logo, and our response to them would normally be, 'Who do you think you are? How does your audience see you? How would you like your audience to be seeing you?'"
— Neville Brody
Related, from the archives: Handling the client approach.