When you're working commercially, being great at what you do is about 25%of the task. Too many times I see the sad example of someone walking in to a situation withnoble intentions and then getting royally screwed, because what theysee as an opportunity and a labor of love, the other party sees as somethingelse entirely, not at all romantic or idealized, but raw and simple.
You are going to be dealing with people who are unlike yourself. Theirmotivations are their own and their attitudes are probably differentthan yours. When you're in education, you may have tough teachersand think that it can't be worse, but wait until a business person hasa hundred grand riding on your work! Then you will know what
demandingmeans.This list wasn't meant to make anyone crazy or paranoid, but isdesigned to inject some reality into the fantasy.
Do this one cheap (or free) and we'll make it up on the nextone.
No reputable business person would first give away their work and timeor merchandise on the hope of making it up later. Can you imagine whata plumber would say if you said
come in, provide and install thesink for free and next time we'll make it up when we need a sink.Youwould be laughed at! Also the likelyhood is that if something importantcame along, they wouldn't use you.
We never pay a cent until we see the final product.
This is a croc, unless the person is leaving the door open to cheatyou out of your pay. Virtually every profession requres a deposit orincremental payment during anything but the smallest project. Once youhave a working relationship, you may work out another arrangement witha client. But a new client should not ask you to go beyond an initialmeeting and, perhaps some preliminary sketches without pay on the job.
Do this for us and you'll get great exposure! The jobs willjust pour in!
Baloney. Tell a plumber
Install this sink and my friend will see
Youmean even if I do a good job I have to give my work away to get noticed?Then it isn't worth the notice.Also the guy would likely bragto everyone he knows about how this would normally cost (X) dollars,but brilliant businessman that he is he got if for free! If anyone calls,they'll expect the same or better deal.
Well, we aren't sure ifwe want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk tomy partner/investor/wife/clergy.
You can be sure that 15 minutes after you leave he will be on the phoneto other designers, now with concepts in hand, asking for price quotes.When you call back you will be informed that your prices were too highand Joe Blow Design/Illustration will be doing the job. Why shouldn'tthey be cheaper? You just gave them hours of free consulting work! Untilyou have a deal, leave nothing creative at the clients office.
Well, the job isn't CANCELLED, just delayed. Keep the accountopen and we'll continue in a month or two.
Contract? We don't need no stinking contact! Aren't we friends?
Yes, we are, until something goes wrong or is misunderstood, then youare the jerk in the suit and I am that idiot designer, then the contractis essential. That is, unless one doesn't care about being paid. Anyreputable business uses paperwork to define relationships and you shouldtoo.
Send me a bill after the work goes to press.
The last guy did it for XXX dollars.
That is irrelevant. If the last guy was so good they wouldn't be talkingto you, now would they? And what that guy charged means nothing to you,really. People who charge too little for their time go out of business(or self-destruct financially, or change occupations) and then someoneelse has to step in. Set a fair price and stick to it.