How to get your clients to respect you more

How to get your clients to respect you more

This is a story about a mistake I made early in my illustration career turned lesson.

In my early years as an illustrator I got to a point where I found myself complaining and feeling frustrated.

“Why do I always seem to attract low-paid projects and the same types of clients who end up not respecting me?” I ended up asking myself one day.

Let’s rewind a little.

Up until that point, I used to say ‘yes’ a lot. To everything in fact. I was also doing exactly what I was asked to do without batting an eyelid. And icing on the cake, I was doing everything I could to be accommodating, which meant emails at all hours, weekend work at no extra charge, an extra revision for free, and another one, and another one (you get the picture).

What I was hoping? Well:

  • that the client would be so happy with me that they would hire me again;

  • that the next project would be more in line with what I actually wanted to do;

  • that next time there would be a better budget;

  • that the client might recommend me to someone else

  • etc.

See what happened?

I was jumping through lots of hoops, being a good girl in the hope that I would get a reward.

Meanwhile I was lowering my standards and slowly losing myself and my sense of self-respect.

Until one day it hit me: How did I expect clients to respect me if I didn’t even respect myself? I couldn’t expect of others something that I wasn’t doing myself.

This was a big aha moment for me.

Chris Do says “There are no victims, just volunteers” and in the context of business as well as other areas of life I believe it’s true. We are responsible for a lot of what happens (or doesn’t happen) to us.

I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose by trying something else and started standing up for myself more. And as I did, the types of projects, clients and budgets started to improve.

You see, respect is like an aura. Or a hat. Other people can feel/see it.

Start respecting yourself more and I guarantee you that other people will too!

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