Scare Off Design Clients With Your Contract
Thomas James | Escape from Illustration Island
You should always take measures to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by a client, and one of the best ways to do that is to work with a solid contract that ensures that both parties know what is expected of them. That being said, it’s important to temper your defenses with an element of restraint or you risk scaring off your clients.
Even the good ones.
If you are overprotective about your business, you will not be inviting to new clients who are looking for someone they can trust. You should let your guard down enough to allow the client to feel comfortable about working with you, otherwise they’ll go elsewhere with their money.
Here’s a list of sure-fire ways to scare off your next client with your contract:
1. Write a novel. Present them with a multi-page contract filled with single-spaced, small-print jargon. Bedazzle them with your legalese until their heads spin. Now you’ve got them right where you want them.
2. Include unreasonable demands. If rock stars can demand only green M&Ms, why can’t we?
3. Make it all about you. Only include protections for yourself, and make no mention of what they are guaranteed to receive from you.
4. Don’t explain anything. If they voice any questions or concerns, give them an impatient sigh in return, then stare at the table and hope they forgot they asked.
5. Interrogate them. Demand that they divulge irrelevant personal information, like social security numbers, thumbprints, and next of kin.
7. Make them feel like criminals. Make sure that every part of your contract reminds them that they’re being watched. No funny business.
8. Overstate your ownership of the artwork. Be sure to let them know that it’s a privilege to even be working with you, and they’re lucky you’re letting them use your work at all.
9. Don’t understand your own contract. Who wrote this stupid thing anyway?
Simply choose the one that works best for your business, or try them all! Chances are, any one of these tactics will drive potential clients away.
On the other hand, if you’d like to instill confidence in your clients and put them at ease, do the opposite of everything on this list.
More From EFII