August 16, 2012

How to Be a Happy Freelancer: Part 4



Dealing with Clients

Is the feedback you're getting actually useful to you?  If it is, learn from it!

Do you trust the source? 
Are you just being defensive?  

Figure these things out, and then move forward.

Critiques are like getting fresh fruit from a market; you get good bits and bad bits.

There have been times where I've initially thought my client was bonkers.  They give me feedback on how to change a piece and I'm like "AW, C'MON WHYYY" (this is in my head of course)

And then after really listening to my client, learning more about their business or perspective - then I realize "Oh, they were right!!"
You can use critiques to help you grow as a craftsman

Sometimes we speak in two different languages, - that certainly doesn't mean the other person is crazy!

We just have to make sure we are understanding each other.

And if they let you go?  Don't use your work?

No problem - it's not personal.


In situations like this, I feel just terrible when I'm not giving the client what they want.  I feel like if I don't nail it on the first sketch, then I'm not doing my job.

But it shouldn't have to be that harsh!

Don't be afraid to ask your clients for more help, images, explanations, anything that can get you the stuff you need, so you get them the thing they need.

Working with clients is a collaborative experience.  You are on a journey together, and you'll only get to the destination if you are both communicating well.  



Dealing with Criticism





if it's coming from:

A professional or peer, probably A

Random guy on internet, probably B



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For the times that it is A, 
(and there are many) 
you can't let it get you down.


I remember being so sad after reading some internet comments about my work.  Some were very harsh and some people were nice, but in the muck of it I noticed people saying "The only thing holding the piece back is the gun"

It was hard not to focus on the loudest people, saying useless nonsense, but the other people were right - the gun was off!

So I went back and fixed it, the end result was a much better piece.

But that is to say - you can't sweat it too often - or else you'll be endlessly fixing things to please other people.

The thing was - it had been bothering me too - before I read all that stuff.

If you know you cut corners on something, then it's great to go back and make it better.  But it's a balance.  Don't let other people convince you something is "bad"

How can we make it better?


...................................................................................

For the times that it is B, 
(and there are many) 
you can't let it get you down.

Who are these people?  Probably nobody you care to associate with.  Who cares what they think?  They don't dictate your success.  What took hours of your hard work and labor should not be torn down in a matter of seconds by some idiot with an iPad.

You can choose not to hear the stupid junk people say.  These people are more interested in looking witty and intellectual - they are actually trying to make themselves feel better.

They didn't make anything - you did.  You created something.  

Haters are destroyers but you are a creator.

But you can take away their 
power by ignoring them.
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Remember - YOU ARE NOT YOUR WORK

If you make something bad, that doesn't mean you are bad.

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Next time: 
Overcoming Personal Struggles

4 comments:

  1. Sasha B.16.8.12

    Thank you for creating this little series, Veronica! The best part I find is that practically anyone can learn something from these tips! We all face similar struggles in everyday life: managing time & productivity, dealing with difficult people, and keeping your chin up in those situations...but we have the power to overcome those obstacles! It's a nice reminder of how much control we really have over our lives.

    Looking forward to the next installment. :)

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  2. This is great stuff... sharing on Twitter... this is particularly useful - dealing with feedback and criticism. As freelancers for companies, we have to remember that we are artists/writers/creatives for BUSINESS and the client's brand comes first... hard to take sometimes and hard to find the balance...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Natasha!

      Yes, it's hard, we always have to remember that we can do anything we want with our personal artwork, and that can be how we express ourselves :)

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