Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 10: Commit to make a change!

This post is part 10 of a series. Read the rest of the series here:
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 1: Not signing a contract
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 2: Allowing a discount
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 3: Burning bridges

Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 4: Working for family

Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 5: Missing deadlines
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 6: Not asking for referrals
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 7: Neglecting to follow up
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 8: Letting your client pool die
Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 9: Saying “yes”

For the last few weeks I’ve written posts about common client mistakes that I see designers make – and many mistakes that I have also made myself as a designer.

Today, we reach part 10 of this series and now it’s time to act!

There’s no point in reading (or writing) these blog posts if we can’t all benefit from it. So today is a day of action.

I dare you to make a difference in your design career starting today!

Here’s what we’re going to do:

Today, I’d like to do an exercise that we all should take part in. I’m even going to do it:

  • FIRST: Identify a client mistake that you commit frequently. It can be something from the list of common client mistakes we’ve covered over the last few weeks, or it can be a completely different one.
  • SECOND: Write down (or make it your computer desktop or something) “I will not _________________ anymore.” Make a commitment to yourself and your future clients that you will no longer commit the mistake you’ve identified in step one.
  • THIRD: Share with me and the rest of the Millo community what your goal is by leaving a comment. What do you commit to stop doing?
    By sharing our goals with each other, we can help each other be better. We’re here to support each other. If you have any questions about how to kick your habit, we want to help. If you have  a success story, share it! I want to hear what you’ve got to say.

Here’s mine

And I would be a complete loser if I didn’t share my goal with all of you, so here we go:

I will not lose my cool when clients demand unreasonable changes.

Why did I choose this goal? Because I’m way too proud. That’s right, I can’t seem to set my pride aside when it comes to discussing design changes with my clients.

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And it has gotten me in trouble with clients, burned bridges, and ruined relationships many times.

So today, I commit to stop.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to be a pushover. This doesn’t mean I’ll give in to any change a client asks for. But I’m going to set aside my personal pride and personal feelings about a project and maintain a completely professional face when discussing changes.

Okay, now I turn to you…

Alright, now it’s your turn. What common client mistake are you going to give up starting today? I’m excited to hear your answers! Leave a comment to join in the movement.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.


  1. Marvin Goldstein says

    … i am going to forgive clients who fail to appear on time, or within 15-minutes of the appointed time, or forget they can use their cell phone to apologize

  2. I guess it’s pretty the normal for all creatives to possess some kind of ‘ego’ or pride right? That’s what makes us who we are. But yeah, I agree, more often than not, it gets us into trouble and we’re not even apologetic for it, we think we’re always the knowledgable one, the smart one. We should all practice professional humility, always whenever possible.

  3. – Never work after 9pm. Never.
    – Backup client’s websites. Now.

    Last week I messed up a website: A client send me a mail at 10pm to check a thing that I thought was simple. I’m still working on. For free.

  4. @andrea canton

    Haha…time to put that after 9 commitment to act!

  5. Great tips, this is one of very important part of the whole content! thanks for this worth writing 🙂

  6. I have to admit, all of these were great reminders, but that last one especially really hit the nail on the head (#9 saying yes all the time). I’m by nature a people-pleaser, and then I wonder why a lot of my clients simply tell me what to do, and then get upset if I try to explain to them why that’s a bad design choice to make.

    I’ll often hear “but this is MY design, so all that matters is that I like it” or “I understand that’s your personal preference, and this is my personal preference”, stuff like that. I keep forgetting how important it is to train and educate the client up front. I’m not just a hand with a mouse that they can micromanage, I’m the professional that they hired. It’s up to me to design for them the best design possible, not them.


  1. […] Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 10 […]


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