"I know you are busy, but this is really urgent, I we are on a very tight budget: do something really quick, it does not have to be great, pretty, beautiful"

A warning to all freelance designers don't fall into this trap.:

  • Your client says it does not want quality, but will for sure be disappointed when she receives the work. Secretly she hoped that you would not stick to the bargain and put in the extra hours to come up with a decent product
  • Your basic, not so good, quick work, will still go out there, it will be passed on, other people will see it, and the poor quality will boomerang back to you.
  • You have crossed the "I am a quick fixer for hire" mental threshold. The mindset of the freelancer should always be, how can I be more valuable, and as a result charge more for my work, rather than less. It should be a one-way door, never go back.
  • If you accept this short term work,  you might have to drop a potentially interesting client a few days later because of it. Opportunity cost of time.
  • Clients who are willing to compromise quality are probably not the best clients to work for.

Another often used argument is "we will do the design, you just focus on the story". Things go quiet when you actually send over a deck full of boxes and placeholders that is ready to go into the design process.

The only real reason I find it hard to say "no" is not cash, it is admitting that I cannot help everyone with raising money or getting that crucial client. But I learned from the few times when I said "yes" and should not have.

Image via WikiPedia

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.