TFL No:58 | How to work with the best Clients

TFL No:58 | How to work with the best Clients

Today, was such an exiting morning! If you’re following on Twitter or we’re friends on Facebook, you’ll know the incredible package i received from my dearest Mianra. You remember the brand identity + packaging i worked with her right? Well, I really felt the love today, never before so cared for and loved. Honestly, i cried a little, as she not only sent me every little thing she has in her marvellous shop, but created with love special products just for me, as i have a special condition. Even printed custom labels, with cute instructions, named as “Corina’s 100% Pure Argan Oil”. How can you not feel special?

I’ve talked about creating beautiful relationships with your clients in the past, and how this is my very favourite part. Creating bonds, working with talented people, that in the end turn out to be lifelong friends. The kind of relationships, that you can chat about personal stuff, and be friends long after you stop working. I feel that, when you do what you love, you love the people you do it with, it’s unavoidable. Later today i chatted with Linda from Kinlake, on how precious this is, however not every client you will work with will feel the same. Sadly, i’ve had my share of bad experiences, and people i just can’t seem to have a good communication or click with. I’m big girl, i can work professionally, i don’t have to be best friends with everyone right? But in reality, these are the kind of projects that make me inspired, both when designing and in my daily life!

But is there really a way, that you can filter the people inquiring to work with you, and see if you’re going to be a good match? Well..here are a few thoughts. 

 

01. Test their humour levels

There was this design studio’s blog post i read a few years ago. Won’t name them, as i’m not 100% sure it was actually them, don’t want to falsely point out fingers. They did something rather brilliant. In their contact form, they included silly questions or complete the sentence like fields. Something like, “If i was a fruit, i would be…” or “If i find a coin i will…”

To me, this is an incredible way to analyse the person you’re talking to. Whether, they have imagination, sense of humour, if they’re stiff or tense. You will see who has the most difficult time expressing themselves, who is more analytical. Mind that it translates to how easily they will be able to express their feelings about your work as well as give you exact feedback.

What i’ve done so far, is to include a fan part in my questionnaire with questions like, “If i were an animal i would be..” etc. Gathered them carefully from character quizzes. That way, i’m able to see inside them, make them relax, get to know a few more personal things about them. It sparks everyone’s imagination.

 

o2. DO THEY TRUST YOU?

One question i’ve never thought asking my clients, is have you seen my portfolio? Most of the times, people who already know my work, have been following me on social media, read my blog or seen my work on Pinterest, are the kind of people who get in touch. However, some inquiry emails are a little less “personal”. They might have been referred to me by someone who knows me, or may simply bumped into my blog or something like that. My advice to you, is always ask them to take a look at your previous work, and inlcude your clients of note in your welcome kit.

They might just want a designer who will create what they have in mind, leaving you zero creativity, having zero trust in your skills – because they don’t know who you are and what you’re capable of. And of course, in the end they might not even like your style.

What you want, is to work with people, who know you, admire and respect your work, and have complete faith in you. That’s the kind of environment a designer does hers/his best work.

 

03. Are you Made for each other?

Aesthetics! Style! These are the kind of things you need to know beforehand, to see if they’re the perfect fit for you. Mind you, it could be the other way around, but you’re in the privilege position to choose your projects, and create the best of work that represents you. The work that is 100% you, will go in your portfolio and will attract a dozens more. So choose your projects wisely.

To that, all you can do is either create a small questionnaire for them to fill in once they send the enquiry, seen your rates and process and are interested in working with you. It could contain quick questions, as in adding 3-4 images and brands they find inspiring, favourite trends, and as well as the funny little questions i talked about on No.1.

Your clients will seek fast work, and most of the times have tight deadlines. If they’re not willing to spend 10 minutes to connect with you, and give you what you need, trust me, you’re better off without them. They won’t have time for the project in the future either, will delay feedbacks, won’t have time for proper feedbacks, and we all know what that means. A messy outcome.

 

———

 

So don’t be afraid to ask the right questions beforehand. You’ll save yourself tons of time, not to mention work on projects you really love, with amazing people that will end up giving you the best collaborations of your life.