How Much Feedback Should a Freelancer Receive?

Are you really fit to become a freelancer? Could you organize your time and work and be fully independent from anyone setting your schedule? These are some important question you should ask yourself before leaving your full time job to become self employed. Another critical one, which we will discuss in depth today refers to feedback? How well can you manage on your own and only ask for feedback when it is really necessary?

Let us look at this issue from a few standpoints:

Creative Decision or Sticking With the Rules?

Sometimes, a project is just perfect for one of your ideas. It is brilliant, original and the best way to express the mission statement of your task. However, it is not really what the creative brief states. What do you do in such a situation?

In your full time job, you could discuss it with the art director or with another designer. Right now there is no other person standing between you and the client. Do you go with your gut feeling or you simply execute a ready made plan? If you are bold enough to choose the first option and you are also bold enough to stand your ground during the next meeting with your client, you are on the right path to become a successful freelancer.

How Many Shades of Grey?

The client stated that he wants a grey background. The color palette in Photoshop has even more than 50 shades of grey and you must choose one. Of course it is the wrong one. The client will berate you that you did not understand his vision. You go through five or six more shades, and they are all wrong ones. At what point do you actually ask the client what type of grey he has in mind?

If you do that, perhaps being a freelancer is not quite the title for you, but slavelancer. As a freelancer you must have the guts to be the decision maker in certain aspects of the collaboration with your client. You are not a tool, but a talent. Talent works in its own personal way. You are not paid to click on various tools in an image editing program; you are paid first of all for an idea.

Do You Want a Cookie for That?

Emailing work in progress is great. The client can look, observe your involvement and progress and reply with observations. This is a healthy freelancer-client relationship. However, when you email every single stage of adding a darker color here, changing the drop shadow of a typeface there, the impression changes. Dramatically.

The client will start wondering whether you actually know what you are doing or if you are so praise dependent that you want a round of applause for every mouse click. It shows you as an insecure person, who no longer has a hierarchical superior to consult with and get directions from.

It is not easy being a freelancer. With freedom comes responsibility, nothing new here. But once you have taken this step, you need to cut back on the old habits of constant “OK”s written on your sketches. The client does not care what version of Photoshop you use, or even if you use Photoshop at all or something else. The actual feedback he needs is consistent progress in the development of his project and completion within the deadline.

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Ionut B
Digital Art Director with an innovative creative thinking able to translate ideas and concepts into useful and memorable interactive marketing campaigns.

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