Let me preface this by saying that I love freelancers, they are my friends, they are my colleagues, they are respected mentors.
But artists and creatives are sometimes big babies. I do not exclude myself from the “big baby” label, but I have learned from experience this is what annoys clients about freelancers.
- If they care more about how many hours they put in then the result of their work.
- Look, I am gonna get flack for this from my freelancing buddies. So, FIRST allow me to stick up for those who take pride in their work… here’s our VALID argument: You can’t read a client’s mind. That’s the truth. There are some clients that you just can’t make happy. Sometimes graphic design clients tweak and tweak and then go back to the original. Sometimes you try 14 logo designs on them, and all they can do is show you italicized Arial with a 2-tone gradient to “see what I’m mean? This is what we are going for…”. This thing we do isn’t always easily explained, nor understood. It takes a lot of patience to know if you are going to be able to help, and a LOT of fortitude to let it go if you can’t.
- However!! if your freelancer would rather talk about how long it will take for them to make changes than LISTEN to you…, or ask detective-like questions so that they can decipher intent… if you don’t see some sort of defeat in their eyes (or hear it in their voice) that they didn’t get it right, then perhaps you’re not speaking the same language and it’s time for someone to pull the plug.
- If they are more interested in the integrity of the “artwork” then they are in solving your problems – or the goals of your marketing… than they should be painting and selling that. Sure, we can put this stuff up on our walls, and we should be that proud of it, but that’s not really the purpose of it, is it?
- If they talk in absolutes when you make a suggestion. There are no absolutes. (or they just ignore your suggestions completely) “I don’t use that color, font, tool…” We live in a world where there are only compromises in making sure the client’s needs are met. If you deal in absolutes then you are putting out the same damn thing over and over again – and that’s no fun!
- If they act like it’s a chore. Don’t need to explain this, do I? We freelance because … PASSION!