I’ve been in the client facing side of things in an agency for many years now and whilst there are plenty of veterans out there, I’ve had my fair share of crazy experiences that make for great yarns (aka war stories).
I’ve also been through those moments where there’s a fine line between keeping your job or ending your career completely.
Here’s 3 ways to end your career in spectacular style:
1. When a client complains, reply with ‘cool story, bro’
There’s no comeback to a CSB bomb and whilst this might prove useful amongst your friends, it’s never a good idea when it comes to your clients. You couldn’t care any less and you also know their problems are minor in the grand scheme of things… but drop this bomb and prepare for it to blow up in your face.
2. Remind a client about how clueless they really are.
“I’m sorry that your understanding of the field of graphic design is so limited – please mind the design train as it flies past your puny little mind”. Life’s funny like that – even when experts give it to us straight, we somehow feel we know a thing or two more than they do – and we sometimes make no secret about it. It doesn’t matter that a client refers to Photoshop as ‘Adobe’, insulting their intelligence and lack of knowledge is just bad form. Sure, they have no clue nor appreciation for your craft, your expertise or the years you’ve spent between freelance jobs noshing on 2 minute noodles as a poor designer…. but it’s better to suck it up and move on. It’s great for character building and career-saving.
3. Avoid them like the plague.
We’ve all been there – we’ve had a particularly needy client who, for some reason unbeknownst to man, thinks that you need to be on call 24/7 to tend to their every whim and fancy and at some point, you’ve avoided them in every way in order to preserve what’s left of your sanity. Whilst you could buy yourself some time, it only prolongs the agony. SOme clients get extremely crafty, stalking your social media profiles, commenting on them demanding contact and even trying to befriend you on facebook (what’s up with that?!). If they start knocking on your door, then there’s a problem but it needn’t get that way.
It might pain you to do so but instead of avoiding the problem, simply confront it. Be firm but polite. Tell them this arrangement isn’t working out – refund them if possible and cut them loose. Save everyone the bother. I’m still here and I’m still sane – proof that this method works.