Needy Clients and You

Every one of us has encountered the “needy client”. The clients that constantly have changes, new ideas, and other little nit picky things. Those changes that after ten or twelve of theme are ready to snap. If you have had a client like this, then you know the kind I am talking about. If you haven’t had one yet, you will eventually, and trust me you’ll know when you do.

It is upsetting to spend so much time on a project present it and have the client want to change different parts of the layout. Understandable. But there are a couple points to consider:

  1. The are making suggestions to you because this is really THEIR project. You are the hands that build the house, but they are the ones who live in it. they have to guide you to what they want, because they can’t build it them selves. If they could, you wouldn’t have a job. To say it bluntly.
  2. The first draft at anything is never going to stay. Ever. Just accept it now and make life easier. If it does stay it either is bad, or flawed because their hasn’t been any refinement.
  3. They don’t know. Again blunt. Your job is to inform your client why their suggestion might be a bad idea. I aren’t just paying for your skills, but also your experience and expertise. Don’t be a douche about it though. That can and eventually will break the client relationship. I’ve seen it happen.

Be Confident And firm in your opinion. However, you should also know when to pick your battles. If your talk about a change at length and the client doesn’t change their mind, remember number 1; IT’S THEIRS NOT YOURS.

But recently I came to an understanding of my character, that i think many designers have as well. It’s not aways the client. Sometimes it’s US! I admit it, it’s really shitty to say and hard to accept. It’s the introverted over protective artist inside every designer.

Let me ask you a question:

If you were Michelangelo and got asked to change part of the Sistine Chapel, having worked on it for four years, wouldn’t you be a pissed at who asked?

Of course you would. if not you are either a liar or a saint. but that’s your business. Anyway, we do the same thing with design. Our passion, integrity, and pride that makes us defensive about our work. That’s how we know what we do is our calling, right? We pour all this dedication and passion into a project, and then the client asks us to change something. We as artists have a tendency to take it personally.

Don’t, just don’t. Save yourself a lot of heartache. Take a breathe, relax, and work with the client. Do what they ask (within reason) and if it is bad show them and explain the difference, then see what they choose. If you can present your point well, then client will usually understand your point. These changes aren’t always bad.

Why? It can benefit you beyond what you realize.


If you are charging by the hour, more time equals more money. That simple.


Depending on the severity of the changes you can charge for a revisions, which in itself could be a significant amount.


If you are willing to go that extra mile for a client, that client will be even happier with the end result. Which leads to more referrals to others.

So remember the client isn’t always as needy as you think. Sometimes we are just over protective.