Friday, February 4, 2011

All the right reasons

No matter what you do well, someone will hate it. No matter what you do poorly, someone will love it. Please yourself and reach your own personal goals and you will be a success at whatever you do.


It doesn't always work that way, but it should.

I have spent the last 18 years of my career trying to please clients, and for the most part, I have accomplished that task. The problem is, most clients aren't really comparing my work to anything other than the previous garbage they had before. Unfortunately, in most cases, the bar is set really low. My goal has always been to raise the level of professionalism for any client, and make them look and feel as polished as they can possibly be—even to their own ham-fisted undoing.

It's a frustrating high wire act of balancing what the client thinks they want and what the creative team knows to be the best solution. The old adage, "the client is always right," is almost always getting in the way, though. The problem with that is that if the client was right all the time, they wouldn't have needed my professional experience and they could have done their own work themselves. The reason they hired me in the first place is for my experience and ability to do something they could not. Thus, the client might know what they want, but the almost certainly do not know how to execute to a successful completion.

So you run the risk of clashing with a client over details that will make or break the project, or not even have any effect on the resultant product. And in the end, you must determine which battles to wage war over, to suit your own goals for any given project.

In the end, your goals should always be in the best interests of the client—to represent them in the best possible light, all while doing the best work you can given the time, budget and other constraints.

If you manage to make yourself proud of your own work in the process of making the client shine, then all the better.

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