We want this to look more fun. What if we make those boxes all different funky sizes? But of course still equally as wide and tall, so it’s tidy.We want this to look more fun. What if…
We had spent four months building a website for one of our clients. There were about two months development left. No deadlines had been set because the client kept adding requests for functions.
One day they phoned in and told us of an upcoming deadline. They needed the site complete by the deadline to show their investors who would only invest if the site was complete.
There was over 200k at stake. The meeting with the investors apparently couldn’t be re-scheduled under any circumstance.
This was the first we heard of a deadline. I tried to get more details.
Me: When is the deadline?
Client: We don’t know yet.
Me: Let us know as soon as you find out and we will do what we can.
A few weeks later, the client phones again.
Client: The deadline is today.
Me: Um, No, sorry that isn’t possible. To meet a deadline we need to know in advance when the deadline is.
There was still over a month of development work, so we wouldn’t have agreed to it anyway.
Client: I am telling you now, the deadline is today. We told you there would be a deadline!
Me: We need to know before the deadline, when the deadline is. We didn’t agree to meet any deadline. There is still over a month of development left.
Client: How can I tell you before the deadline?
Me: Plan better earlier?
I work in advertising. Here’s an excerpt from a brief we got recently. Maybe it will make more sense to you than it did to me.
Client: Volume gain and Sustenance of Aspirational value shall enhance the visibility and of the product with new features and colour addition.
I do freelance computer repair here and there. Most of my clients are very easy to work with but there are always those special ones. I get a call from a past client that was a quick repair job.
Client: Hey my computer won’t start up. It keeps going to a window and won’t let me open the Internet.
Me: What does the window say at the top?
Client: It says “Automatic Start Up Repair.” What happened? Did I lose all my pictures?!
Me: No, it seems that your computer might have been shut down incorrectly. Did you select the start button and choose the shutdown option?
Client: I unplug it when I’m done to save on energy you know. We all have to pitch in to save the environment. Can you just do that thing where you go on my computer from your house and fix it?
Me: The computer would need to be on the desktop screen. I cannot see anything because it is in repair mode.
Client: What can I do?
After explaining while it is okay for her to unplug the computer, she needs to properly shut it down. I quickly had her do a hard power off and made sure she selected the normal Windows startup.
Moral of the story: some people actually need guidance on how to “turn in off and on again.”
A client called yesterday and asked if I could do a “quick” logo for him. He said he just wanted something with a palm tree and a warm color palette to advertise his beachside restaurant. Normally, I would reject a job for a “quick” logo, because they take time and research to complete, but I’d worked for this client several times before so I gave him a quote and started to work.
After sending him three comps in oranges, reds and yellows featuring sunshine and palm trees, he texted me.
Client: I don’t like them. They look like Miami!
Me: (rolling my eyes) Sorry you are disappointed. That is your font I was working with. It is definitely an art deco font, and yes, Miami is very art deco.
Client: Is it going to cost more to get a couple more samples? The black letters are way overpowering too.
Me: Yes, it is going to cost more. If a customer in your restaurant was still hungry, he would have to pay for more food right?
Me: So, do we want to ditch the font, then? Maybe you could give me a call?
I haven’t heard back from him.
I was working with a major credit card company over an eight month period where I was making a series of marketing materials for their company. Early in the process I have a conversation with my direct contact that went something like this:
Me: In order for me follow your brand I will need a copy of your brand book. Can you send it to me?
Client: We don’t have a brand book, but here are some of our colors and you can look at our website for more inspiration.
The entire time working with them was a complete migraine. They would have a certain visual concept at the start of each project and then change their opinion multiple times through. It got to the point where I stopped following what I thought was appropriate for their brand and just tried to make the multiple voices happy. Sure enough, on the last project I made for them and several revisions in I get this email:
Client: The last revision you sent us was off our brand. Please refer to the brand book I have attached.
The brand book was dated before I had started working with them.
Needless to say they are no longer my client.
I do design work for a larger firm. I received an email on Monday morning from a client I’ve worked with in the past. It was a forwarded email of a conversation she’d been having with one of our on site photographers about a poster and getting photos done for it. The only problem was, this was the first I’ve heard of the job.
Client: There are two great pictures of her running. Can we use this for the running poster? Thanks.
Me: I’m sorry but I’ve no record of any formal request for this project.
Client: What are you talking about? It’s all in the email I sent you, I even attached the photographs.
There was no mention of a request, dimensions, paper type or anything in the actual email or any of the forwarded conversations.
Me: Yes, the photographs are there but in order for me to start on this you need to submit a formal design request with [my boss].
Client: Okay, but can’t you just do it instead? You have all the information.
Me: Unfortunately no, I don’t have all the information. Also, it’s against company policy to work on projects without a formal request. Please submit a request and one of our graphic designers will get it back to you within two weeks.
Client: That’s not good. I need that poster by the end of the week. Aren’t you guys supposed to be able to do this sort of thing?
Me: We are, when you actually ask for something formally and in time, yeah.
I’ve been working with this client for several months building a website for them, dealing with barely legible emails, attempts to change the hosting with a client who is Internet-illiterate, and requests to change things just after I’ve finished them exactly to previous specifications. Finally, I think I’ve found my out of this client relationship.
Me: Just so you are aware, I’m pretty close to my due date, so I will be taking a maternity leave for several months at least and I don’t know when I’ll be able to do any work on your site. You may want find a new designer to work with.
Client: I’ll wait.
I was creating an advertisement for an interior design company. During the early morning I get an e-mail from my client.
Client: Hello, I was looking at the ad you sent me and I was not very happy about it.
Me: Okay, what would you like me to change?
Client: I would like you to change how the ad looks.
Me: How would you like it to look like?
Client: Like a modern house.
I changed the way the whole ad looks like and sent it to my client.
Client: What is this?! I wanted it to look like a classic home, not a modern house!
I sent a refund and cut off contact from this client.
Until they used my designs.
Me: Hi, the designs you are using on your website are mine. Stop using them.
Client: They are mine since you sent them to me.
Me: Please stop using my designs or I will have to seek legal action.
Client: You can’t bully me! I’m going to talk to my lawyer!
Next day, I saw that the client took down my designs from his website. I can only guess that he DID talk to his lawyer.
Ryan Waggoner discusses what it took to make his first million as a freelancer, and how he currently makes $250k a year as a freelance mobile developer.
What we discuss on this episode:
- LetsMakeApps, a curated list of freelance gigs for developers, designers, and other freelancers.
- How to become a six-figure freelancer (sign up for the newsletter at the bottom to check out Ryan’s short ebook on the lessons he learned making his first million)
Questions? Episode ideas?
Self-employed? Want to make more money?
We have a new book out called Hell to Pay.
It’s everything a freelancer needs to know about money, like how to bill clients, negotiate rates, and make most the most money for the least amount of time.
(use coupon code CFHPodcast to save 40% on the non-discounted price!)