But when you are a freelancer yourself, there is no getting around. You have to face the client but believe me this not a big deal unless a creative difference crops up between you and your client. Though nothing in the world is going to help you to sort that thing out, still I believe that with the following advices you will be able to make headway as to how to make the client see the other side of thing so that he lets you do your part peacefully:
Creative Differences are not necessarily bad: It really hurts when you see that your best design gets rejected by clients on some strange grounds. But believe me, differences are quite common in creative field and you have to accept this fact and learn to live your life with it. Moreover, you may never know that your critical client may end up suggesting something that can do wonder with the design of the template. Yes, I know you have years of experience in the designing field but that do not necessarily mean you cannot make silly mistakes. So, do not take it to heart, when you see your client is asking you to make certain changes in the design that you do not like. Try to see his point of view; it could be that he is concerned about the loading time or he might be a bit preoccupied with the conversion thing. You may never know that the client have a great idea that can change the look and feel of the design. So, listen to what he has to say before you start cursing him.
However, you should not always agree with your client. Since you know more than your client does, you should not always have to say, “Yes Sir, will do” all the time just to please him. Rather you need to make him see why it would be unwise to follow his recommendations. Do not tell him straight that he is wrong; rather you need to appreciate him for his hard work before you start clarifying things that you are unable to incorporate his suggestions into the design. The bottom-line is, do not get you drag into some sort of ego fight.
Listen to What Your Client Has to Say: Some designers are so confident that they simply cannot tolerate someone criticizing their design. They just do not want to listen to anyone. But as you cannot make a living without clients, you need to change this attitude. No matter how childish or ridiculous the suggestions are, you have to listen to what the client has to say. Sometimes confusion erupts from miscommunication as well. Probably the client is not aware of the fact that his suggestions do not make any sense actually. In that case, you need make him aware of the absurdness of the suggestion.
Do Not Underestimate Your Client: You cannot throw your weight around all the time just because you have got years of expertise and experience. You clients simply do not care about your experience because they are paying you to get things done and not the other way around. You can use your experience to make him see that he is wrong but you need to do that gracefully and not in a disgraceful way. It should not appear to him that you are treating him like a child because you think yourself superior to him in term of designing knowledge.
The Importance of Compromise: We are all making compromise for living and therefore, there is no harm in making small compromises in a design project just to ensure that the client does not leave you. However, it depends on what you have to compromise. If the client wants you to change the header or want you to make changes in the navigation, that is oaky. You have to oblige even if the design may lose its creative edge. But if the client demands some unreasonable like increasing the size of the text to 20px, you have to confront him headlong and make him aware that this change will go against the ethics of design. It is all about how successfully you are at communication.
You Need to Respect the Likes and Dislikes of Your Client: You can be great at finding the sweet spot between two colors but that does not mean that your client does not have any sense of color. You may an infatuation for red and white color combination whereas your client may wish to have a website based on blue and white color combination. Everyone has a different taste and you have to respect that. Just because you are comfortable working with a particular color combination, you cannot put a gun on his head and ask him to agree. You have to be cooperative and take his suggestions into account while designing the interface of the webpage.
A happy client is a priceless thing and I hope you will always keep in mind that. So, follow these tips and I hope creative differences would not trouble you much.
About the Author
Michael Evans is associated with www.motocms.com and he loves helping small business organizations overcome.