Mary Hutchison is a graphic designer, creative director and design consultant. She specializes in designing visual brand systems and assisting companies with their design choices.
A well-designed brand is about the people it represents and the experience they promise. Successful brands set themselves apart by being the best—the best at communicating and interacting with the world. I help companies to develop a visual brand presence to attract customers and investors.
I totally agree with Jeff and Camp Steve. For some reason the word freelance conjurs up the most the most disrespectful tendencies of potential clients. It seems that they think of a freelancer as a hired gun.Though I am a solo practitioner, I do not consider myself a freelancer and tactfully correct people who have referred to me or my studio as one. As a creative director, I run a small studio and do assemble working teams of other independent designers, copywriters, photographers, web developers and marketing and pr people depending on th size and scope of a project.Best of luck with building your business.ps. I would stay away from Craigslist and other such listings. It just does not look or sound professional to be listed on a site where people are looking for dog walkers, used cars, or refrigerators.
Thanks for your suggestions. I have been lucky as I have not had to really
had to look for clients. They usually are referred to me. I also worked for an
excellent large design firm, one of the best in the country and picked up the
format of a proposal that I base the my proposals on. My proposals are
pretty streamlined and succinct at this point. I don`t feel taken advantage of
when I send a requested proposal out. Like I said, it`s not a lot proposals
that get no response, probably only 4 since I started. The majority of my
proposals get signed no problem. I am more miffed at the lack of courtesy.
I`m sorry but most of my new clients require proposals before starting
work. This is after the initial phone or meeting interview to go over the
general scope of a project. I have turned down projects based on this
initial meeting or phone call. Perhaps your client base is different.
And I want a signed proposal before starting work. My proposals are a
binding contract with terms that helps keep things on track and there is
no question about fee or payment.
I have seen too many firms get burned just doing things without a signed
job proposal. It`s a different story for existing clients as there is a
relationship and history there.
When I do send a proposal, I always let the recipient know that they
should contact me if they have questions. The next steps are generally to
either sign the proposal, request revising the scope of the project so that
the proposal falls within a budget, acknowledge receipt, or declining the
proposal because of budget, timing, etc. Also, I am not waiting around for
a response either as I am just too busy with other signed clients` work.
We all get vast amounts of email each day. Yes, I ignore some of them,
especially the sales or unsolicited ones.
It`s only been less than a handful of proposals that I have had no
response to, so I am not really concerned with it.
The point of this forum was not whether you write proposals or not or
marketing techniques or if you respond to all of your email. The point is
that, in my opinion, it is just professional courtesy if a proposal is
requested from a specific firm for a project that has been reviewed
discussed that it be acknowledged and that the firm be notified of the
status i.e. we have decided to go with another firm, the project has been
delayed or cancelled, more than the budget we have, etc. Obviously, it
was important enough to have contacted a business for a proposal.
Otherwise, it`s a waste of time for all involved. But then again, a no reply
is a very telling tale of a potential client`s character. For my own business,
I choose not to operate that way.