Posted on 18 December 2012 by Christian Rivera
PBS Off Book series takes some time to talk about Graphic Design and it’s importance in every day life. I chose graphic design for my schooling for these very reasons. It’s a huge part of our lives. Our decision making is often skewed by the effectiveness of a design and that in itself is very powerful.
Posted on 26 September 2012 by Christian Rivera
I want to start out by giving a shoutout to Laura Spencer of FreelanceFolder.com. She writes a lot of strong advice to freelancers who are just starting out as well as to those who have been dealing with the frustrations that come along with the profession for quite some time. I came across her most recent posting about tire-kickers and bad clients, which became a must-share. I’ve not only dealt with these types of clients before, but see these types of posts on Craig’s list all the time just waiting to trick the unsuspecting new graduate into wasting their time. Clients are people and people have personalities, which are not always good ones. Steer clear of those who will drive you nuts and you will appreciate your job that much more.
An excerpt from Laura Spencer’s latest, About Tire Kickers and Other Bad Clients
Bad Client Tip-Offs
A bad client may try to get your services for a fraction of your going rate, or they may not pay you at all. Usually, they’re perennially unhappy regardless of what you do for them.
You can’t always tell a bad client from a good one. But there are some clues that you can look for early on in your communications with a prospect.
Here are ten clues that a client may be less than desirable:
- They ask you to blind-quote. A blind quote is when they ask you to provide a price without giving you the project details. For example, a client might say, “how much do you charge to build a web page?” Since all projects are different, it’s important to get the project details to provide a valid quote.
- They quote a ridiculously low “market” rate. The market rate for any given freelancing profession is open to some interpretation, of course. But just because some freelancers are willing to work for a low rate doesn’t mean that’s the market rate. Use a reputable source information to determine your rate.
- They always seem to be in a rush. I don’t know what it is, but the more a client rushes me the lower the amount they tend to want to pay. I think this is because legitimate clients realize that it takes time to produce good work and they’re willing to pay for that.
- They balk at paying part of your fee up front. As a freelancer, you should be asking new clients for an initial deposit equal to a percentage of what you quoted for the project. If a client balks at paying this deposit, what makes you think they’ll pay you the full amount later?
- They may even ask you to create a custom sample for them. If you have an adequate portfolio, that should be enough to demonstrate your abilities. Be very wary of clients who ask you to create a sample without pay.
- Their email to you is badly written. In general, if a client is serious they will take the time to proofread their email before sending it. Also, avoid prospects with emails that address you as “Dear Web Developer” or “Dear Freelance Photographer” instead of addressing you directly.
- They promise more work in the future. Future work is a carrot a lot of clients like to hang out in front of a freelancer in hopes of getting a better rate. In many cases, this future work never materializes. Base your quote only on the work that you are being offered.
- There is no information online about them. Nearly every legitimate business has some piece of information about them online–a website, a social media portfolio, or even just a listing on Google Places. If you can’t find anything out about a prospect, be careful.
- They use harsh language even before they hire you. If they treat you in an angry or disrespectful tone now, before they’ve hired you, imagine what it would be like to work for them. Run, don’t walk.
- They won’t sign your agreement. Most of the time bad clients don’t like to be pinned down or constrained by a contract or written agreement. If your “client” refuses to sign an agreement, refuse to work with them.
Of course, every situation is different. So, if you are talking with someone who has one or more of the traits above it doesn’t always mean that they will become a bad client. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feelings about a client.
Now that we’ve looked at bad clients, it’s time to take a look at a particular type of prospect that generally never becomes a client–the tire kicker.
The Truth about Tire-Kickers
Tire-kickers are perpetual “prospects.” In many cases, they don’t really intend to become a client and they don’t ever hire anyone.
A tire-kicker can eat up a lot of your time if you’re not careful. They may ask you to redo your price quote according to several different scenarios. They usually ask lots and lots of questions. They may even request a phone call.
The best way to identify a tire-kicker is to understand their motivation. I’ve noticed three main motivations for tire-kickers:
- The tire-kicker is your competitor trying to find out what you charge. This isn’t as common as it used to be, but it still happens. Some freelancers will pose as a potential client to discover your rates.
- The tire-kicker wants free consulting. I once spent an hour telling a prospect exactly how she should write her web copy. Did she hire me? Of course not, since I told her exactly what to do. Be wary of giving too many details.
- The tire-kicker wants affirmation or is lonely. The world is full of lonely people and some of them will pose as potential clients to get the attention they crave. If someone is demanding a lot of your time and not paying for it you need to be polite, but firm. Let them know your time is valuable.
Posted on 13 June 2012 by Christian Rivera
Not to be confused with print design such as posters and fliers, Information Design more specifically falls into the world of presentations, instructions manuals, brochures and other information giving materials that generally involve lots of copy. Copy can be very daunting when faced with a lot of it, but with the right design you can keep the reader engaged. There are even solutions that require very few words to accomplish the task.
Posted on 13 June 2012 by Christian Rivera
Logos are typically the first thing your client or customer sees when they are approached by your brand to buy your product. You want that logo to not only fit the image you’re trying to convey, but also convince your client that your style is their style. Not only that, you want your business card to make an impact whether it’s being handed to a potential client or being seen in a random coffee shop. We provide the design and you make them say “wow!”