1. Avoid Crowdsourcing Projects Parading as “Design Contests”
(Not to Be Confused with Legitimate Competitions)
Note that, in general, design competitions with great prizes and fun community interaction give designers a way to flex their creative muscle and do something outside the range of normal day-to-day work and most the time, will be for a non-profit organization.
Avoid crowdsourcing such as 99designs.com, designhill.com Designcrowd.com logomyway.com etc… Clients keep in mind when dealing with these sites there is a big chance you are getting copied work, the website might return your money after you prove that the work isn’t original, but good luck getting the money back you spent on printing your design, advertisements and promotions, in most cases you’re looking at $1000’s that you are unlikely to get back.
2. Always Have a Clear and Specific Contract
Never ever, build a service contract from scratch – use a template that’s already been written up, challenged and modified over time, but more importantly, choose one that’s been highly recommended by other designers you can check this website for contracts you can modify. DOCRACY
3. Ask for a Deposit
“Ahhh, yeah, you see the thing is ah… I’m not sure, now I still didn’t get my paycheck, my bank account is frozen, I’ll have it in a week you just get started… blah blah blah…”
No! run away, don’t do it, If for any reason the client refuses to make a down payment before starting the work, forget the client in most cases they will just be wasting your time, the client sees your work before he hires you, no one is holding a gun to their head telling them to pick you for the project, if you work without a down payment, don’t complain about not getting paid at all, be smart, down payments are up to you, personally I would not recommend anything less than 50%. If the client decides to move on, don’t think of it as a lost most likely you were not going to get paid at all.
4. Don’t Undervalue Yourself or Service
Before agreeing to anything, consider your take home salary; that is what you take home after income tax, expenses, bills, time spent answering emails, your cost of living – it all adds up.
If the work is not worth your time, kindly explain that a limited budget would result in a rushed, unsatisfactory outcome and that the client should consider raising the budget.
5. Don’t Trade Free Work for the Promise of Future Paid Work
The people I don’t want to see, I would lend them money, most the time they disappear, when you do a job for future pay there is a big chance you are not getting that money, If you do take it and you’re in the same country get signed checks with postponed dates and a copy of an ID, if they are in a different country I just would not do it, it’s up to you but, it’s a huge risk!
6. Get on Skype, Facebook Messenger or Any Video Call
Get to know the client/designer, one of the easiest ways if they are in a different country is a video chat, most of the time you will be able to tell the kind of person you are dealing with, and you can also use video chat to show the work.
7. Register a Company
Most clients want to be sure you are legit just like they are, there are scam artists in every field and you also have the ones claiming to be graphic designers and they end up selling clients stolen work, clip art or just simply bad design. Yes! most graphic designers love what they do and have a passion for it that doesn’t mean it’s easy or it doesn’t take time and energy, what we do takes hard a lot work, research, thinking, creativity and more some go sleepless nights in order to get projects delivered on time, to a lot of designers inspiration doesn’t come with the client brief it comes after a lot of research and sometimes it just sneaks up on them in their sleep, that means they will get up and start working, don’t mistake between the one pretending to be graphic designers and the ones that really are, one thing that could help designers gain more trust from clients is having a registered business, if it’s possible based on your location to do so, go ahead and get it done, it builds more trust between you and the client.
* Cheap design, in most cases, equals stolen designs, Fiverr.com is one of the websites that you will be dealing with a lot of stolen and copied work, I’m not saying all but, I’m saying a lot of it. It’s not a good place to shop for designs
Hope You find this helpful, good luck!
By Ahmad Saleem