I have been in a branding project with a client for about four months now. I struggle to even write that. I generated dozens of concepts, made tons of revisions, often with two weeks of silence in between, and have had enough. We're supposed to work on a business card project after we finalize the visual identity, but I cannot do it. I have reached my limit. How do I break up with a client? How do I say - thanks for the good times, but I've had enough?
How do you navigate through the creative industry as a newbie when there are SO many amazing creatives out there? It's definitely been hard to convince myself that my business can still make it even though there are already a ton of creatives out there already doing what I do.
I started my business in January and the biggest problem I'm consistently having is negotiating my prices. Far too often, a client comes to me expecting me to work for free (or as they like to call it "exposure"), even though my prices are listed on my website. How do I deal with this? Should I change my rates? What's the best way to determine a fair price point? Thanks so much!
I'm considering changing my business name. I have had my current name for only a few months (not even 6) and have not booked any clients under this name or built much of a following. My branding is solid but the name just feels wrong for what I'm pursuing, my short and long term goals, and what I want my clients to feel when we work together. I'm thinking of this new name as my business name and keeping my current name for my shop I'm opening in a few months. Other than refining my design elements, my brand would remain pretty much the same (colors, photography, etc.). Would this be bad for my overall brand for my business?
Only one column this week (because, sigh, #reallife), but we're tackling two questions from readers today that cover some similar ground!
Here's the first question, from I.M.:
I'm a 24 year old designer with 5 years of actual work experience. I'm entering that stage where I'd like to start finding my own personal clients for my side gig and I'm finding it difficult. I'd like pointers on how to put myself out there (apart from the web) and how to approach people whom I think I can help. I've seen so many cute local businesses popping up where I'm from (Puerto Rico) and I'd love to be able to offer some of these businesses my expertise!
And here's another variation, from T.F.:
How do you promote and sell your brand and products to potential clients?
What do you do if after talking to a client, you find out they aren't the right fit... either their business morally doesn't align with you, there are red flags, or you aren't as interested? My gut is telling me this might happen with a future call with a potential client. Not sure why, but I hate writing those emails that we aren't a good fit. It seems like a slap in the face somehow!
I had someone contact me for an interview series last year. She had a tight deadline, and I accommodated and got all the info + images to her despite being really busy with client work. She ended up scrapping the series and never published it. I was a little annoyed! Well, I just got an email from her wanting to set up another interview about the projects I’m working on… I don’t really have time and feel a little burned by our last interaction – I hate saying that, but it’s the truth! Any ideas on gentle ways to say no?!
What do you do when your client is resistant to your advice, and because of that is slowing down the timeline quite a bit? My client is SUPER nice, but is really hung up on being trendy, despite her awareness and saying she doesn't want to be trendy. She is a photographer and I originally talked her out of going down the path of doing another watercolor + gold foil logo, but she keeps coming back to it despite my best attempts at creating something classic and timeline, claiming that it feels more "personal".
Is this something that you would just call it a wash, and do what the client says? I want to communicate that I know my branding + logo principles, and that she shouldn't be in control, but I also don't want to come across as arrogant, or reluctant to her feedback.