Now that the lovey-dovey mood, which Valentine’s Day brings has come and went, I start wondering what can I do to catch the wanted client who is still passing me by. Do you ever wonder what makes a client choose one designer over another? There are some big lies out there on how to get a client, but there are some exciting facts that show what clients really want from a designer.
“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth”. FDR
Lies, myths and false statements
It’s important to understand a few myths we as designers have come to believe about being hired by a client.
Clients only want experience
Designers (especially recently graduated) think they don’t have a chance to be hired by a client because they have no real experience. Don’t let this lie stop you from finding great clients who are looking for a young, fresh approach to their design process.
A lot of clients would prefer to hire someone they feel has a lot to learn, rather than, someone who is set in their stubborn ways.
Clients hire designers who have a great portfolio
Similar to the first lie, a lot of naive designers think that unless they have a vast portfolio, no client is going to hire them.
In fact, it’s the opposite. Choose a few really strong projects, highlight them effectively in a portfolio, and show them off with pride. If you do this right, a smart client will hire you.
Clients only hire cheap designers
Most designers feel like they have to have the best bargain in order for clients to hire them. The truth is, most clients are willing to pay a little more for quality designs. Most clients are also willing to pay more money for a designer who is easy and enjoyable to work with.
Find ways to add quality to your client/designer relationship and you won’t have to lower your prices in order to get hired.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. Galileo Galilei
Facts, truths and real statements
Clients hire responsible and easy to work with designers
Clients are usually more interested in the working relationship they will have with you than almost anything else. If they can’t work with you, if you won’t listen to them, or if you’re rude, they won’t care how great your designs look; you’ll never get hired.
Make sure you present yourself as a responsible and agreeable person, that way you’ll be more likely to get hired.
Clients wants designers who are respectful
You can have your own opinion, but when you intentionally insult, degrade, or talk down to your clients, you’ll quickly have a one-way ticket to unemployment.
Clients look for designers who respect their opinions. Be respectful.
Clients look for designers with the skills needed to complete their project well
You may not be the best designer in the world, but your potential clients may not be looking for that. They are looking for someone who possesses the skills necessary to complete the job well and on time.
That doesn’t just include design skills or a fancy portfolio either. They are looking for someone with a good work ethic, a personable attitude, great project management skills, and superb people skills.
These are some lies and facts of what clients want from a designer. What are some other pointers that will guide us to reach more clients, effectively?
What other tips and pointers would you add to this list? If you were a client, what would you look for in a designer?
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Great article. As someone fairly new to the full-time freelance biz, I’ve definitely had moments where I’ve questioned myself on some of these items. Especially when I look at all of the other great designers online and their stellar and expansive portfolios. As someone who came from many years of fashion design, doing small freelance projects on the side before I went full-time into freelance, a lot of my past portfolio doesn’t fit for what I do now. This article will hopefully provide a little boost of confidence to other new designers or freelancers who hit those same mental roadblocks from time to time like it has for me.