The 5Cs of Choosing the Right Client

Previously on Onextrapixel, we’ve looked at the 5 Cs of Hiring a Freelance Designer. Today’s article will turn the tables around and explore the 5 Cs freelancers should look out for in a client.

The 5 Cs is not an unfamiliar subject to those of us living in a busy metropolitan regardless of which continent or country. Living in this modern and fast paced society, the need for the 5 Cs (Cash, Credit Cards, Condominium, Career and Country Club Memberships) is a confirmation of the high standard of living we have today.

5Cs of Choosing the Right Client
Image credit: Shutterite Co. /Kelly hofer


Although many have goals to attain all 5 Cs, this article explore 5 very different attributes that are also important especially for freelance web designers.

As freelancers, many times, the power is out of your hands. Clients are the ones with the upper hand because they have the option to choose from various candidates vying for their project. Although you have no control over whether clients will choose you over others, you can work on the things that you have control over to put your best foot forward and give it your best shot.

Clients have a right to choose. So do freelancers. You can choose to politely reject the job offer if they do not meet your own expectations. The idea is to meet each other half way and come to a mutual understanding and agreement. It’s time every one played by the rules; fair and acceptable rules.

The 5Cs of Choosing Clients

Before you go ahead and accept a job offer, these are some guidelines you can follow to determine if the client is worth working for. The following is a characteristic scan on five key areas you should take note of when you consider taking up a project from your clients.

Lack of Condescension

Respect is a key component in every good working relationship. Money isn’t everything; and money shouldn’t be used to make others feel small and inferior. If potential clients treat you with condescension and think that they are cut above the rest, working for them will be a rather unpleasant experience. They will not be open to equal and fair communication and discussion and this will greatly affect the process and the end product of the project itself.

Condescension
Image credit: QueenLaura

Should the client not trust you and respect your capability to produce good work for them, more likely than not, they will dictate, control and question every design decision you make. You are the designer, not an execution tool. Clients will always want a say and some control over their project, and rightfully so because they are funding the project. However, there should be ample constructive communication regarding the project and ultimately, they should put their faith in you, the designer, to make the best choice possible for the project.

Cognition

Knowing what they want is very important. Of course they must not go overboard and dictate everything done in the project. However, they need to be clear regarding what they want to achieve from the end product.

Cognition
Image credit: lorenzodom

When clients approach you with at least some idea of what they want, it will be easier for you to help them fill in the rest of the blanks. Even if they have very little clue regarding what they want, your client will need to work with you to decide based on clear and reasonable judgment how to proceed with the technical and design aspects of the project.

Conclusiveness

On the other side of the spectrum of client types, there are some clients who are extremely indecisive and cannot make final decisions. They will always need to seek further reassurance from others regarding the suggestions you’ve made to them. Their decisions are easily swayed by others and their ineffectual nature will be a handful to deal with. Such clients are prone to making last minute changes because of their indecisiveness and trepidation.

Indecisive
Image credit: .Seth Rader

Clients that can conclusively give you a final decision will ensure that your project does not take one step forward and three steps back because of indecisiveness.

Conscientious

Being conscientious is to be morally guided by your conscience and sense of right and wrong. If your client is not credible or if they are morally askew, they might renege on their agreement with you and give you problems with payment.

Conscientious
Image credit: Andrea Francesco

Ask around to check the credibility of your potential client. Research your client’s profile. Meet them face to face to determine whether you feel comfortable working with them. It is important to work with someone whose moral values and conscious is in line with your own.

Communication

It all boils down to having good communication. Being able to connect with your client and have a healthy exchange regarding the project is a good way to work. Not everyone can click together well. However, if the communication lines are open, problems can be properly resolved and dealt with.

Communication
Image credit: The Visions of Kai

Determine whether the potential client is open to having good communication, then even if they have very different personalities and beliefs from you, there can be a communion of thoughts and sharing.

Interesting Reads

These are some interesting articles that can help you make a decision whether to take up the job or not.

The Perfect World of the 5C Client

Perfect clients are hard to come by. In fact, perfect clients might be an extinct species. However, we can avoid difficult clients by being careful about the jobs we accept or rather the clients that come attached to the project.

We all have our set of rules and expectations when it comes to the clients we work with. What are the criteria you look out for in potential clients? Are they the same as the ones we’ve listed here? If you’ve had any horrific experiences with past clients, share with us what you’ve learn, especially if you’ve learn how to spot the good clients from the bad.