Friends with Benefits

Has it ever occurred to that you are cheated out of your hard invested time consuming projects from clients? Clients sometimes believe it’s an easy thing we designers do. Making them seem arrogant and inconsiderate at times. Now, before I lose my cool. I thought it best to just let them know before things started getting out of hand, meaning making sketches, re-designing …but without charging them for it.

This is not a good thing. You, as a designer, should be paid and fully recognized for your work. So here are some things I noticed in freelancing for friends.

Recently I had this experience and how people take advantage, without possibly meaning to, my services.

Worse being it was from a friend.

What I usually do when someone proposes work related to my field, I ask what information they want on their: T-shirt, business card, poster, gifs etc.

The second thing I ask is by when they need it by.

And lastly, usually they ask rather than I; “How much are you gonna charge me?”

This is hard for me because if it’s for a friend I knock it down 20 bucks from what I would normally charge someone.

Here is where my mistake was. No matter if they are a good friend or just a friend always charge them like any regular client plus interest (if there is printing involved).

What I mean by ‘interest’ is if they are asking you to change a few things here and there charge them 10% from what you have already charged. You must have raised your eyebrow at that last sentence but there cannot be any limitations for your work.

I’m a designer, so as a designer I am making my clients vision into reality. And that reality comes with a price.

So what I went through, my client (friend) and I had already settled on a price. There was a due date. I came out with 3 sketches and color schemes as well. My client choose 1 out of the 3 that I was to finally design via Illustrator.

I had designed according to my sketch, but of course, you know as well as I do, once you start designing it takes up almost the whole day and maybe two days depending if you are satisfied with the end result. And once I was finished I sent my client, friend, a snapshot of the design. Perfectly satisfied…until it came time to pay.

I’ve noticed that they disappear for about a week.

Here is a tip for any graphic designer that is yet to land a job and is freelancing, NEVER let them coax you into giving them your design without them paying you first!!

What I learned from this experience is you don’t let anyone take advantage of your kindness.

On a better note, I see it in a positive light because designing for those days did not hurt as it just adds to my portfolio.

If this has happened to you, look at the bright side! You miss but you gain as well 🙂