As a left-brained creative, can you imagine how much my analytical, sequential little heart loves making lists?
Spoiler alert: It’s a lot, and they’re color-coded lists.
If I were to make a list of the attributes I value the most when working with clients, topping the list would be client trust. I’ll do cartwheels, backflips, and back handsprings (à la Simone Biles floor routine) to earn client trust and keep client trust.
I work with small business owners and nonprofits who are passionate about what they do. When they need a logo or a campaign to market their cause, they take on the difficult task of choosing a creative professional to work with—someone whose artwork is going to represent them to the masses. Oof, no pressure, right?
Designers need to understand that the livelihoods of small business owners and nonprofit professionals are tied directly to the success of their business or campaigns. For example, a logo represents the entirety of the company—their branding, value proposition, and how they go to market. Clients are trusting designers to create something that will visually represent their company for years to come. And we as designers better not screw it up!
Sure, as potential clients, you can comb through designer portfolios until they all blur together; but ultimately, it’s the client who takes the first leap of faith in trusting a designer. Unless you’ve worked with the designer before, you’re not totally sure what you’re going to get when you hire one. That’s why I hold client trust to such a high standard! If we haven’t worked together before, you’re taking the first “risk.”
If we were talking in person, I would put “risk” in air quotes because you’re not taking a huge risk in hiring me. I have a strong resume, great references, and will do Simone Biles-like backflips to provide you with professional design services.
The logo example was a softball. Let’s say you need to put together an event or membership campaign, and your job, or (literally) lives are on the line. You need to choose a designer who isn’t just going to “phone it in.” You need to pick one who listens first, asks questions about your audience and message, and uses that information to drive the creative decisions. Those skills are much harder to detect in a portfolio, but you’ll pick up on them during the initial consult!
I understand how much you care about the success of your small business or advancing your cause. I feel the same way about my small business and helping people! Trust is earned, and I feel humbled and appreciative every time a client chooses me.