Client: I want a social media campaign that helps bring people to our restaurant launch.
Me: Sure! When is the launch?
I was recently hired on contract to do blog content for a company. I'd met with a number of contacts at the company who were all lovely, had a sense of the work I was doing, and ready to help me do a great job for them.
Then I met with the department head. I was initially hired by the marketing manager, who was great, but she was the director of communications and had stepped in to demand that she be my contact.
The meeting was a lot.
Me: Nice to meet you!
Client: So what do you have planned?
Me: Oh, here's what I was thinking.
I described the content strategy I'd developed in conversation with my previous contact.
Client: We're not doing that. We're doing this.
She laid out an entirely different marketing campaign on social media, implying that I would be taking photos and editing image macros - things that I don't really do.
Client: I've had arguments about this with [marketing manager] and I expect you to do what I say. I'm his boss, so now I'm your boss. This is the plan.
1) You're not my boss - you're my client. There is a difference. 2) Not for long. Clearly this whole situation is toxic and I'm going to get myself out as soon as I can.
Client: You're the expert, but I want to run it by my friends.
Client: You're the expert, but my friends didn't like it and have some suggestions.
Client: You're the expert, but let's do something completely different from what you came up with.
Is "you're the expert" the new "no offense"? You can't just say it and assume it does the job.
It's been a while since I've met any clients in person, but I've been remembering when I would. This happened a few years ago now, but I still think about it. Not the worst client I've had - not by a long shot - but memorable.
The client was running late for a meeting:
Client: If it's okay, I'm going to stop for coffee.
Me: That's fine.
Client: Do you want me to pick you up anything?
Me: You know, I'll take a black coffee. Sure! Thanks, and see you soon.
She showed up in twenty minutes and gave me a coffee and a muffin the size of a boxing glove.
Client: This place has the best muffins, so I got you one.
Me: Oh, thanks!
How nice! How thoughtful! Until the end of the meeting when we talked budget:
Client: Okay, so figure out what you want to charge me and knock off $7.89.
Me: Oh, okay... why $7.89?
Client: That's what I paid for your coffee and muffin.
Ah yes, the muffin I didn't ask for.
This was indeed a red flag - the client would go on to do LOTS of things that SEEMED considerate but were not actually at all.
This week's deal is on a massive resource that will help you make smart decisions about Google font combinations.
An exhaustively researched and designed eBook, The Preposterously Huge Book of Google Font Combinations guides you through smart choices you can make in designing to Google's specifications. Make the most of widely available design tools by seeing them paired together in seconds - use the built-in search function to find multiple combinations using a specific font quickly and easily! Whether you need a reference, or just something to peruse to make you a better designer, this eBook is a must have.
Normally, this incredible resource costs $65, but if you this week you'll save $45 and pay only $24!
I was building a website with some payment options for a client who ran a cleaning service. She's invested in making her car look like a lady bug, with big floppy eyelashes that stuck out from the headlights. It was pretty striking and people recognized her car around town.
Me: I was thinking I could design the site to look like your car.
Client: That's a great idea! But how will you do the eyelashes?
Me: Well, I was thinking of just using the lady bug color scheme, but we can put eyes on it if you want?
Client: So can they stick out from the screen?
I was hired to write and design a business plan for a client who invited me their office. When I arrived, I was blown away: shelves and shelves of book. Self-help books.
Client: Thanks for coming in - I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I really believe in this project, and I'd like you to reflect that passion.
Me: Yes, I mean, absolutely. That's the job.
He stared at me for a moment, and then he said:
Client: I'd like you to read something.
He handed me a book. A book that he wrote. A book of business advice.
Me: Okay, you want me to use this as an example, or...?
Client: Just read that. Think on it.
I read the first chapter. His advice included "say yes to EVERYTHING." It was at this moment I realized I needed to draw some strong boundaries.
Sure enough, a week or so after he gave me the book he asked me to do him a side job "on the house." He was kind of intense when he asked it. I said no, and not long after he "went a different direction." He paid me for my time, so there's that.
Years later I met the woman who ghost-wrote that book. Apparently, at one point he asked her if she'd do it - ghost write - for "exposure."
I was working with an older client putting together a pamphlet. They gave me zero input on design other than giving me a number of photos that were 100 kb or less that I begrudgingly put into a gallery wall. Otherwise, I gathered a number of free stock photos that vaguely suited their business. They matched thematically and looked good in the design.
Turns out, stock photos are catnip for boomers. Every revision I've made since (we're now in round 4) has been moving these stock photos and replacing them with other sub-200 kb photos they discovered on an ancient hard drive.