I’ve been in the design business for over 30 years and I still get a genuine thrill from listening to a new client telling me about their goals. Usually, when they come to my studio, they are at a turning point and have clear objectives in mind. Some clients explain their vision and then give me a free hand to design their new branding or web concept, relying on my expertise. We analyze their competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and then position the client to be boldly differentiated and memorable, while also being relevant to their niche. I love working with these clients, when the listening is mutual and the communication is open, as I know that I can help them move forward and grow.
It is the clients who come to my studio with very specific design instructions that still surprise me. I am happy to listen to them and I respect that sometimes a client knows what they want. However, after all my years of creating branding, graphics, advertising, websites, contents and marketing, as well as writing business plans for hi-tech and biotech for a few years, I wonder why they wouldn’t want to hear my recommendations too. I’m even willing to carry out the work as they want it. Nonetheless, I honestly believe that these clients could achieve more by putting their trust in me, someone who has extensive practical design and marketing experience.
I wonder if other professionals have similar experiences to mine. Do you feel you could contribute more and yet you find that in some interactions with clients or colleagues you are not truly being listened to? What a loss it is for the other person and their success, not to put their faith in us, not to hear other professional ideas, in what would be a highly enjoyable, mutually beneficial creative process.