I finished up a project with a new client a couple months ago. I was excited when we landed the gig. Relatively big name, seemed like a fun brand. As it turns out, there would be nothing fun about this client.
I’ll skip the details on what went wrong and why. Let’s just say they won’t be getting a holiday card from me this year.
As that project was wrapping up, a new client came along. Not so big a name, but I was dealing with sane, thoughtful people who understood how to give direction. The project went smoothly for the client and us.
Once project #2 closed, it struck me: Client relationships are often like romantic relationships.
Bad Client was like the Psycho Girlfriend. They had a big name (i.e. good looks), and so we were drawn to them. But who knew that beneath this attractive appearance lurked such evil tendencies.
And yet, that big name is what kept us sticking around for too long. “You want to completely rework this page, even though we’ve already submitted four drafts? No problem!” “You’ve decided to cancel the meeting even though I drove all the way up to your office? I’ll catch you next time instead!”
After a couple months with Bad Client, my confidence was shot and I felt bad about myself. Just like when I was with Psycho Girlfriend back in college.
Then came Good Client, or the Nice Girlfriend. They didn’t have as big of a name (i.e. slightly less attractive), but they had such a good personality. They were accessible and generous with their time … gave excellent and timely feedback … never backtracked on previous directives.
As the Good Client project cruised along, I got my confidence back. I started to enjoy my work again. Clearly, I was in love (platonically speaking, of course).
So let me take this opportunity to thank Good Client. When you work in our field, it’s not all about the money. It’s about the relationships too. And I think I’m ready for a long-term relationship with you, Good Client.
Will you marry me?