When clients stipulate "I want to change it myself"... what do you tell them?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design' started by leroy30, Mar 2, 2011.

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  1. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    I always find this a difficult question and I was just wondering how other freelancers / contractors / businesses etc. tackle it.

    I'm forever recieving clients that obviously require a graphic designer or web designer yet as soon as you have completed the job they require to "make small changes myself".

    Obviously there are options for some things and granted the budget is big enough then anything is possible but for things like vector graphics I mean do you just tell them to go do the same degree you did and buy the same $3000 software you did? Man I'd love to say that sometimes..

    When you hire an electrician to wire up a new switch to some lighting in your house you don't demand he do it in such a way that you can easily re-wire it without any knowledge, experience or equipment.

    I guess this is more a rant than anything lol.

    What do you do in that situation?
     
  2. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    If you have fulfilled your side of the deal then I would tell them they are more than welcome to change anything they like.

    If they require your services again to make adjustments to that same graphic then you tell them you will qoute the job.

    Jason
     
  3. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    Agreed. I think it's more a case of when they stipulate it before starting the job. I usually end up explaining to them what their options are but sometimes you can just feel their frustration... I think many just look at people working on the computer and think they can use their computer to do anything we can do and are ignorant of software, hardware and experience requirements.

    For websites I usually get away with providing a CMS and a simple how-to but what sparks me most is when someone thinks they can just change some software themselves or change some text within a logo. I mean, do they want their logo done in Word or something?
     
  4. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    I understand your frustration. Maybe you can tailor the price/proposal to include up to 2 or 3 changes after they approve the draft version.
     
  5. notarypublic

    notarypublic New Member

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    It comes off especially bad if said client is part of your portfolio, and decides to horribly deviate from your design without telling you.. and then prospective future clients assume you were the one that changed the font to pink comic sans with a scrolling marquee.
     
  6. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    That's when you just disassociate yourself from the design ;-)
     
  7. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    Lol. Sounds like you have had a similar experience, notarypublic,?
     
  8. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    Look on the bright side. If any graphic design/web design is alter that drastically then you can still offer the original for sales as a unique design :-D

    I've had customers that agreed with something things only to change their mind and some that wasn't happy with anything. I'm one that usually doesn't mind to put the extra effort in to get something looking right but for me sometimes it boils down to the price of the project verses the time that I have to keep putting back into it. Everyone expects something for nothing and they don't always understand the effort and work that has to go into design work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  9. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    as long as you get paid for the work that you did, you'll most likely also get paid to fix their stupid errors, and in the end its a job right? not all clients are 'good' (but you know what they say, the client is ALWAYS right) let them pretend to be a designer for a day. more than likely they'll get you to do the updates, even if they can themselves. it's the feeling of power that they CAN, IF they want to I think, more so than the actual updating.
     
  10. rwebber77

    rwebber77 New Member

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    That's one of the toughest elements of living in an internet driven era, everyone assumes they can just "figure it out". I don't do graphic design besides basic photoshop and illustrator, but with any programming work I do there are always people from every business that think they are technologically advanced. I've gotten some entertaining phone calls from DIY'ers, but the most recent saying "I am seeing a 404 page, what does this mean?", or my personal favorite "I made a few changes in one of those php files and now nothing is working on the site"....I wonder why!

    At that point, I charge them my normal shop rate because the errors are simply not my errors.
     
  11. notarypublic

    notarypublic New Member

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    I've actually seen a few design studios push the fact that they "know" what looks good, and if the client doesn't like the finished product, they can take their business elsewhere. None of them seem to be getting very much business.

    Thought this was mildly relevant - I think we all could rant about bad clients we've worked with in the past :D
     
  12. ddt

    ddt New Member

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    This is a growing occurrence with clients these days. They think since they can make a facebook or change a myspace then they can change their web site as well.

    There are a few things I tell them. I say, this is not an option unless they pay me for a CMS (Content Management System). Not only do they pay more for this even though it is less work at the beginning cause of all the plugins you will us, but I ask them exactly what they want to update themselves. I only give them access to change the agreed upon areas which is generally news and photos.

    As far as graphics, I tell them that there are a lot of variables to uploading and inserting graphics. It needs to be optimized for optimal speed, it needs to have the correct valid coding like alt, size, title, CSS and other things. If you explain in the most technical ways, then offer them a low update fee monthly they tend to go with the hassle free way.

    This is why I have contracts, low price gives them no rights, higher price gives them a CMS, but they have to pay for training and technical support. It helps to have a lawyer draw you up a nice contract for a few hundred. I can recommend if your in LA. You can usually lock someone in for a monthly maintenance fee with the right sales pitch.

    Then, last thing you say is by having there site on your portfollio they will get better google placement and higher traffic. But updating their site themselves they will not be included on your portfollio cause design perfection is a passion of yours.

    Again, these are just sales and negotiating techniques, not facts. Just do your best, its tough out there. And YES, the client is always right.
     
  13. notarypublic

    notarypublic New Member

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    I agree with all of these things. Looking back on when I was starting, I had several clients that wanted to get Dreamweaver so that they could "change it later themselves" and expected me to teach them how!
     
  14. che09

    che09 New Member

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    I agree on this as well. Well,for me I've done my job if they aren't satisfied then their open to change it the way they want it.
     
  15. BMA

    BMA Banned

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    What content management systems are you guys using?

    I've been telling clients that if they want to make changes themselves, they either need to learn HTML or pay extra for a DIY system. I warn them upfront that DIY systems are more limited than straight HTML, and I will be able to achieve better results with search engines if they let me make the website for real. I also warn them that if they choose a DIY service like Homestead, they don't really own the site. They are only renting it. They will not be able to back up their work or move their website work to a different server. To remedy that limitation, I offer to set up a WordPress site for them, but this literally doubles my original work time. DIY services are not faster for anyone with a modicum of experience in HTML. So I tell them that making the website in WordPress will results in a $379 upcharge. The nice part of using WordPress as the CMS is that there are tons of tutorials all over the net, so they will have every opportunity to learn to make full use of it.

    I need to put this somewhere on my website though, so people can read it before calling me. That conversation always takes at least 20 minutes.

    One client definitely wanted the WordPress because he wanted to update the website by sending an email to it, without actually logging into it. http://www.wagsradio.com/ WordPress is the only CMS I know of with that feature.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  16. Business Cards

    Business Cards New Member

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    Pay me now. Good bye. Something like that should work.
     
  17. noelagnote

    noelagnote New Member

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    Yeah. Everyone is trying to be omniscient! Make changes as if they know everything.
     
  18. Absolution

    Absolution New Member

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    I do understand how the client is feeling though. They want to feel that they have ownership and control over their website. Like owning a car, you cant fix everything, but you control it and you can add fancy rims if you want lol.

    But it goes beyond that when they ask you to design a site they can redesign themselves in the future. That is more of a money saving tactic on their part, but they aren't going to rebuild their transmissions of their cars.
     
  19. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    Good example Absolution! I think it is just that they are wanting to save money but what they don't realise is they could lose business in the long run! Well, not neccessarily but there are other downsides (and upsides) as well.

    Seeing as this is a bit of a rant-topic I'll point out a similar issue that I find quite common and I encountered it yet again last week. For example you design a website concept -they love it. Then you start developing it and show them progress along the way -they love it. Then three weeks after you finish and are still waiting on final approval they say -"Well, we like it but it has to change. This this this and this has to be different. But it won't be hard for you to just change it quickly"
    - Adding "just change it quickly" at the end of their sentence seems like they are implying it will only take you 3 1/2 minutes and it should be for free! I've had clients where the entire design needed changing yet they had the impression we could change it with a single click because 'it's already done you just need to change it'.

    Just thought I'd share lol. It doesn't really peeve me off or anything I just find it fascinating :)
     
  20. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1,978
    poor nasim,

    on one post he had a meth addiction, on this one its valium.

    no wonder he's got nothing to say on graphic design.

    I wouldnt either if I was struggling with such addictions.

    points though for being able to drag himself up off the couch to post!
     

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