I recently watched this Abbott & Costello video, and figured out the math some clients try to use on creative people. Go ahead and watch it…I’ll wait.
Now you see what happened there? At the time, it makes perfect sense. And most clients who utilize our services talk about how they aren’t making enough to afford your regular rates. Since you are tired of eating Ramen and Peanut Butter and Jelly every day, you think to yourself, “At least some money is better than none.”
You give in. You want to be seen as the nice and understanding one, and quite frankly, rent is due. You think, “Gee…Maybe I will get some exposure, and then the money will roll in.”
Clients count on this. While they go shopping at Whole Foods, get $120 hair cuts, and go home to a house with a view of the city, you are in your one bedroom apartment eating Ramen and Peanut Butter and Jelly. more “Creative Folk: You Are Worth It”
I think the biggest complaint we ever receive is this: “I gave some so-and-so guy/girl so many thousands of dollars and they still haven’t built my website yet!”
And then who do they give a hard time about it? You guessed it. Us. Or someone else like us. Either way, it’s wrong.
So I am writing this both for the people who do these sorts of things, and the people who need to be on the lookout for these sorts of things.
I don’t really believe that the people who are taking people’s money with the promise of a product are actually designers. I think they SAY their designers, but I don’t think they really are. Scam artists, maybe, but not designers. If they are designers, what a designer needs is a portfolio. If they are just taking people’s money and not building up their portfolio, they will not be carrying on this scam for long. With web-trends changing all of the time, their stuff will start to look dated, and they won’t be able to get the pay off they used to. One of these cases involves a friend of mine who worked for months to get a small business loan, and they gave a supposedly reputable designer $2000 to get started on her site. That was over 5 years ago. She still has nothing to show for it. I’ll tell you why later. Now, $2,000 may not have been much to this jerkwad, but it was everything to her. And you know what? I know who this guy is! He was more concerned with being a rock star and being “seen” then he was in having some integrity. In his eyes, she may have been a “nobody”, and people do think this guy is awesome, so he probably thought it didn’t matter. In fact, you often hear people like this saying, “Yeah, I got the money, but she kept calling me and bothering me about the site. I don’t need that in my life!”
more “Have some integrity, will ya?”