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2 Important Tips for A Freelance Designer

Designer paper work

It’s time to get official as a designer, paperwork official. Once you’ve decide to get serious about freelancing, you need to have guidelines. A set of policies that help direct yourself and any possible clients.

Terms of use, designs rights, pricing structure, etc. These guidelines should contain important information a client will like to know, and you would like to express.

The more information out in the public, the better. The less a client has to email you about, the better.

Create informative guidelines, and policies on frequently asked questions by clients. Policies ranging from pricing, project time-tables, to refund policies.

The more informative you are when working with a client, the smoother the process.

Misunderstandings have ruin numerous relationships throughout history, don’t be misunderstood when dealing with a client.

We don’t live in a perfect world, and there will be hiccups here and there. Be prepared beforehand and don’t wait until they occur.

Anticipate the worst, and prepare yourself to handle these situation through policies. Work with enough clients and there will be some who want drastic design change, discounts and even refunds.

Create policies that dictate how these requests will be handled, if they are even handled at all.

Whenever a customer has an issue with a large corporation, they often review their corporate policies, and guidelines on their website.

Policies that inform customers on various matters, so they don’t have to call the company requesting such information.

Policies that showcase the company isn’t just making things up as they operate, and that they have a commitment to their word.

abstract art work

There shouldn’t be anything abstract about any business, everything should be tangible and accessible.

You can’t run a business inside your head, so don’t leave any important information for anyone inside of there.

The less you have valuable information about your business in your head, the better. Less abstract, and more tangible.

Having written guidelines and constraints help you become more consistent as a designer. No more abstract pricing structures that customer might feel you’re making up.

Give detail explanation of what influences a project’s quote in written characters. Create policies that a client can refer to, or a third party if needed.

We are going to need more than verbally expressed words with our business now, because we’re official.

Most importantly, guidelines are for you as a freelancer. They will help remind you of what is expected of you, and the service you provide. Policies are a promise you made to a client in writing.

No more casual conversation with clients about work and prices. You’re a business now, and you need policies to follow.

If things go wrong, and when they do go wrong… You’ll be glad you have it in writing.

bank deposit box

Always take a deposit

Always take a deposit before you begin any form of creative work, and that include researching.

Unfortunately, Clients who don’t pay a deposit are more likely to haggle the price once the work is complete, or even just cease communication with you about a project.

Especially if you’re working with a client exclusively through the internet, take a deposit.

No more emails, phone calls or even visit. You might of already invest time into researching, brainstorming, and even mock up designs regarding a project. Time that you won’t be compensated for, and have design assets you have no need for.

Clients aren’t your best friend, and sometimes are not even that likeable. But you aren’t there to find a new best friend, or pal.

You’re there to provide a service, a service that isn’t free. A service that is time consuming and requires a particular set of skills.

You don’t have to like the client; the client doesn’t have to like you. If you only worked with people you like, you barely will have work.

It’s all about respect. Designer respect a client time by sticking to the design timetable agreed upon, and clients respect designer by paying them for their skill-set and time.

A deposit represents a commitment, a client who is committed to seeing their design concept come to life.

A client’s change of heart shouldn’t be a costly mistake to the designer, who’s just doing their job.

Designers often require a 30% deposit of the total cost of the project before they begin to work.

This deposit covers “creative time” which consist of topic research and brainstorming.

Think of that deposit as an investment by the client. Clients are less likely to forget about you once they have paid a deposit, which is a good thing for everyone.

The take-away

No one on this planet is a mind reader, so don’t keep important information you like to share with others in there.

People often change their minds, and honestly aren’t that trust worthy. Protect yourself that you aren’t losing money and wasting your time.

By Romaine Raffington

Designer. Writer. Human.

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