Mayra and I are currently the clients in a creative endeavor (I’m going to stay vague here- because it could be redecorating the office or redesigning a logo- the principle is the same). Try though we might be inclined, we simply cannot do this project ourselves. Lack of skill to execute properly and a lack of time made us realize we needed to hire someone- a professional. And because it’s a creative project, we knew we needed to trust them with our “vision”. This project is of extreme importance to us and, we have distinct opinions of how we want the final outcome to be, but we acknowledge that we don’t have the technical skills to execute without expert help. Its an expensive project.
In short, we have placed ourselves in exactly the shoes that our (and your) clients are in when they hire you (or us) to create their vision for their wedding.
It’s been an enlightening experience. Particularly because I realized that, in some moments, we have become “bad clients” (annoying, naggy, seemingly impatient) and, since I’ve always argued there are no bad clients, just unmet anxieties, We have had a birds eye view to two common mistakes we’ve made in the past that have led to “bad” client behavior. I’ll share them with you here as a little food for thought!
1. Only mushrooms like the dark.
There basically can never be enough information shared about what to expect along the road to creative process… This is something that we KNEW and have worked to implement, but only in this current process of being a client did we realize that when we wouldn’t know what would come next we would start to feel panic. The thoughts “did they hear us?” “was this the right team for us?” and the instinctive urge to keep sending emails making sure that “we are on the right track” become harder to fight when you aren’t certain where along in the process you stand.
2. Pro-Actions always inspire more confidence than reactions. As a wedding pro doing this for such a long time, I of course, have gotten the email of “should we have done invitations by now?” and, have always grimaced, because it’s the moment when it’s suddenly unclear of WHO is in charge. The implied lack of confidence that the question posits is valid. Reacting, instead of being proactive, is the surest way put yourself on the defensive that you are, in fact, the “authority” and were hired for a reason.
For us, being a client has come at the perfect time- just as we acknowledge our own need to refine processes. I’ve appreciated how very common it is for creative types with expertise to want to feel that clients should “just trust them” and get out of their hair, but I’ve come to see that sometimes that very desire for creative independence with work has creates more client struggle than freedoms.
Are you illuminating your clients path? Are you providing yourself with built in opportunities to be proactive AND guide them through a process?
Adios from poolside in Cancun!