How to get your power back when a client insists on hijacking your creative process

Yup. We have all been there when you can feel the steam coming out of your ears and the blood rushing to your face. That dreaded moment…

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Yup. We have all been there when you can feel the steam coming out of your ears and the blood rushing to your face. That dreaded moment when your client is driving you bat shit crazy and you know you need to do something about it, or you’re 10 seconds away from quitting.

Sometimes as creatives: we are often taken for granted. Our skills and talents are abused and we sometimes, just don’t get paid enough for the BS we have to deal with. I have personally taken on clients when I have needed the money to pay bills, or charged less than my worth — because some money is better than no money. But, it’s always bitten me in the ass because I went against my intuition. When you get red flags, or your gut is saying “stay away, stay away” — just listen.

No amount of money is worth the stress and anxiety your client is causing you. Protect your emotional well-being and don’t risk your mental health because a client who values your time will always come along.

We open our hearts and businesses to people who don’t know what they want or to control freaks. Investing in your brand and web design does cost a pretty penny but we do attract what we don’t want. For me, lately it’s been OCD clients who hijack my creative process and try to control every aspect of my work.

Nope. Not anymore.

I have started putting my foot down because they hired me to do a job and I have no issue reminding them. I am good at what I do, and if I am not allowed to do that — I cannot be effective or deliver what they need from me.

Here are some ways to get your power back:

  1. Remind your client why they hired you: Go back to your consult call — I am sure you have notes and remind them they hired you because “they loved your portfolio? Loved so and so’s website you designed, etc, ________ and be bold about why they should let you get back to your job, especially if they want their vision to come to life.
  2. Be firm about your hourly rates: If the work exceeds your agreed upon project scope — charge them for your extra time. This on-going hot mess might be cutting into other project timelines, remind them that they aren’t your only client.
  3. Renegotiate: If the project just isn’t going according to plan, jump on a call with them and see what else you can do, so you are both on the same page. Don’t be shy about voicing your concerns, and letting them know your opinion.
  4. Terminate Contract: If no resolution can be found — refund your client for work not completed. No amount of money is worth risking your health, or mental well-being.

I have used all four of these and they have never failed me. Don’t be scared about that negative review, or afraid of what your clients response is going to be. You matter and the way you run your business is YOUR business.

If you have any more tips to offer, feel free to leave them in the comments. And do share/clap for this article if you enjoyed it.

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