What I learned from my biggest client mistake this year

Biggest mistake, which turned into my biggest lesson was from the job that I wasn’t able to complete this year.

The client and I started working together, but amicably ended the project before completing the design phase. The client hired me to create the branding and a new website for a new business she was expanding into.

After researching her target audience and competitors for the new business, I created a series of design mockups for her. I spent considerable time considering the color choices, typefaces, her positioning message and market approach. I was proud and excited to show her my design ideas.

Instead of being excited, she requested a new round of designs…she wasn’t sure what she wanted exactly, but she knew what I showed her wasn’t right.

I went at it again, this time sure that I could find the aesthetic presentation that would speak to her target audience. After another round of designs, again, she didn’t like what she saw and decided to end the project before we went further.

Here’s what I learned from this experience:

1 – there’s a balance betquicween creating something that I think will resonate with the target audience and what the client will personally like. Sometimes they’re different. Next time, I’ll spend more time understanding what the client is actually looking for. One isn’t better than the other–But I need to be clear on what’s priority, in the client’s opinion, because that’s why they’ve hired me.

2 – I wasn’t receptive to what the client was wanting, I was focused on delivering what I thought would work for her audience. Next time, I’ll focus on being more receptive–and presenting what the client wants. I can always offer an alternative suggestion that I think would work, and suggest split-testing.

3 – If a new client isn’t sure on his or her unique offer or position in their market, and doesn’t think there are competitors offering anything like what he/she has…more time needs to be spent researching the market before jumping to designs.