Also, there is the power of recommendation. Statistics show that the majority of people will choose what has been recommended to them by a friend rather than pick a) what authorities say is best, or b) what they think is best themselves. If you manage to win a strong supporter of your work, you have achieved what most people are trying to catch but never manage. So if you are being recommended by at least one strong supporter, you won’t have a problem finding work.
The best source for strong supporters is your client base, which leads us to our last rule of Business Relationships in Design:
A happy client is your most powerful advertisement
This is possibly the most important key to being successful in your field. Ive mentioned this before (the 5th rule of Personal Matter, do not try to be a ticket of ten), and I am sure you will agree with me. This also isn’t exclusive to design and advertising: virtually every business relies on happy clients. Happy clients will come back, buy more, and recommend you to others. These are the clients whom you have given a significant benefit.
So, whatever you do, do not mess with your client. This does not mean that you should comply with everything they ask for – sometimes, you have to point them into the right direction, simply because you are the professional. But if you care for your client’s matter, and if you are not only looking to make some quick cash, you will find that this is the way to ensure that your client comes back to you with the next job. Stop and think about it: do you want a quick, solitary rush, or do you want to build a lasting and prospering business relationship?
It is up to you to make your client happy. Not necessarily by giving him what he asks for, but sometimes, by giving him what he really needs. He will be thankful that you showed him the right way. He will be a happy client! Show him that you didnt spray paint his wife’s tulips. Give him the seeds to plant his forest instead.
This was the last part of The 55 Secret Rules in Design and Advertising, which makes this series complete. I hope you have found it to be useful, and maybe inspiring. These rules are meant as guides to grow and succeed in a very complex and highly competitive field. But despite all barriers there may be, it is still the field we love and cherish. So I couldn’t resist to state this final point: Love what you do! Putting all the things we talked about aside, we can see what really counts most, and what makes a really good designer: a passion for design.