Why I punish clients

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Extract from my upcoming ebook, Positioning yourself to Ask.

“Why I punish clients” seems harsh, but you will understand once I explain why.

In every design process there are stages and these stages are crucial in the design process and should be taken as important milestones for both the designer and client. Not adhering to these have a significant impact on the successful completion of the project.

  1. Stage one, involves the client providing the brief and the designer figuring out the best way to provide the solution. This is where the designer provides the three concepts from which the client can choose one or a combination of two.
  2. Stage two involves feedback from the client on three provided concepts. And the client chooses one. Here the format, colour and shape are usually established.
  3. Stage two involves the designer working out and fixing the chosen design or concept to the final design. Here the clients edits and provides feedback towards the indented outcome.
  4. Stage three involves finalising the design for print, video or any other final outcome, for the client’s intended outcome.

Now, you find some clients while you are at stage four they bring you back to stage two. Suddenly the format is not what they want, however, you are busy finalising the final design for print or video or social media. In such cases, it would mean I will have to go back, because right now the video will not shown on facebook anymore, but only on Instagram, and you know Instagram has a square shape, so the flat screen rectangular format now needs to change to a square. Can you image the horror  of changing that in an animation or an illustration? And on top of that you have other clients waiting on you.

In such cases, I treat this as a new project and I tell the client, “okay we were just finalising your project, and now that you want to add or change this or that, you will have to pay extra for that”. If they agree to pay that’s fine, if not I will remain with the current format they initially agreed on and I will wait for the final payment, before I can release their work.

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