The Freelancer Great Filter
This was inspired by a post I saw on a Facebook group for freelance web designers.
Two points of view:
- It’s the client’s fault they’re not ‘enlightened'.
- The client, sometimes unwittingly, needs you, as the professional, to show them the way.
Detailed in the Fermi Paradox (a possible explanation as to why we haven’t encountered extra terrestrial life), there's a concept called The Great Filter. Crudely put, it stipulates that life has to evolve through a filter that is difficult to overcome. Some think we’ve breached this filter by evolving in the first place, others that we haven't hit it yet, and it will be painful when we do (an amazing article on this).
It's similar for freelance work. I see the realisation that you need to control the client, and not the other way around, as the Great Filter for being a freelancer.
If you ignore this truth, and submit content to Clients From Hell (I won’t link to that website), and talk about the ‘enlightened client’, you're doomed to be forever searching for that perfect project.
You cannot make design decisions on behalf of your clients. They have to make the decisions. What you need to do is direct them towards the decisions you want them to make.
Do this well, break through the Filter and you’ll have happy clients, great recommendations, and a portfolio coveted by many.
If you agree, great, read Design is a Job. If you don’t, well social media continues to be a great place to vent your frustrations but don’t expect any sympathy from me.