In your work as a web designer/developer the value of time cannot be overstated. When you commit yourself to the creative process it is essential that you get your ROI for the countless hours you will invest into a project. If you have a passion for what you do, likely you will want to do your best work as this will form part of your portfolio and will always be a reference point for future clients.
Confidence in nonsense is essential for the creative process but wait a minute, this nonsense should not spew from your clients rather it should be a product of your machinations as you endeavor to diligently come up with a concept for your client. The fact that he pays the cheques is motivation to bend over backwards for him but I recently read somewhere that the designer chooses the client as much as the client chooses the designer. So the question is do you know your client well enough to undertake that project? Most importantly will he pay, will he pay on time? Having faced these questions numerously I took time to compile the various types of clients that I have encountered. I have categorized them according to my personal experience with them. Read on
1. THE DON CORLEONE
“I’ll make him an offer, he can’t refuse, ” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather.
The Don will expect you to drop off everything and attend to his needs when he calls. He will not question your skills as he knows you’re the professional (That’s why he chose you) and leaves the work up to you. He will provide everything you need for the project including an office and may give you assistants to work with on the project.
The Don Corleone is the dream client, he may cause you to cancel other engagements but will offer generous quid pro quo. He will also pay top dollar. You simply don’t say no to the Don Corleone.
2. THE BUSYBODY
This client usually has no clue what he wants apart from the fact that he/she needs a website. Will expect you to come up with a design concept all on your own and in most cases will leave the content creation and generation up to you. (Yes such clients exist).
The busy body as the name suggests will to be too busy to respond to your emails and you may have to to meet physically from time to time to to update on work progress (Usually after numerous phone calls). May not strictly honor the agreement and will insist on verifying everything is up to scratch before paying out the balance.
The busy body has no problem paying but the work will be a nightmare.
3. THE KID IN THE CANDY STORE
Dealing with this type of client is more or less like dealing with a kid who you promise to take to the mall after he/she has done their homework. The initial meetings will go well and the client will clearly outline what he /she wants. You will then do a proposal and sign off agreeing the list of things that the client will provide. Unfortunately we all know how that trip to the mall goes.
This client never keeps up her/his end of the bargain and will complain about the things you haven’t done. Like a kid in a candy store this client will see something on another website and want it implemented on her/his project and then change their mind almost immediately.
Timelines will not be met, mostly due to failure on the client’s part. Will finally pay after putting you through hell.
4. THE KNOW IT ALL
This is the most dangerous type of client and should be avoided at all costs. This type of client will purport to have knowledge of the technical aspects and will insist on the project being done on a particular platform.
They will want to micro manage every aspect of the project and will most certainly haggle over the price insisting that they can get the service elsewhere cheaper. If they throw that line, take the bait and tell them to seek an alternative developer. Usually they will insist that you do the job for them This type of client has no respect for your time and should you choose to undertake the job, be prepared for a bruising experience where you will earn very little but do a lot of work.
5. THE HOUDINI
Harry Houdini was a Hungarian Illusionist famous for his great escape acts. As the name suggests this type of client has a penchant for disappearing, especially after the work has been completed and there’s a balance to be paid.
This client will be evasive from the word go and will insist on seeing some work done before parting with any money. Upcoming designers will probably go for it just to rope in the client and earn a few shillings. Ironically this client will provide almost everything needed to complete the project. Will pay the down payment once you have a design concept in place but will be scarce once the job has been completed. Will always have one excuse or the other and will take you around in circles before coming good on the balance.
Kindly let us know if there are other types of clients you have encountered