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Redesign and repaint your blog, home, and closet, and prepare for a very nostalgic autumn/winter of 2019. This season's palettes are marked with warm colors with a single shade of blue, to break the warm monotony. Enjoy our picks and put your boots on :)
Let the vinyl spin in the rhythm of these magical colors. This soft, innocent, and fragile palette truly give the taste of retro fashion, parties and carefree times. There is a beautiful gradient from dirty white to subtle orange, where the smooth blue shade presents the perfect contrast.
Nothing says "autumn" like yellow leaves and a tall cup of coffee from your favorite local coffee shop. Wrapped up in your fluffy coat, swinging your boots through the grass in the park, smelling the perfect combo of roughly ground coffee beans and milk foam, you will fall in love with this season straight away.
Not only is this your favorite seasonal fruit, but it is also the unavoidable ingredient for the 31st of October, and the craziest party this year. Pumpkin palette is contained in the color of pumpkin and its surroundings in a beautiful green arrangement. Let the Halloween night shine with its full magical powers.
Since colder weather often comes with gray, rainy days, this cheerful color combination might just brighten your day. The variety of warm colors offers comfort, in contrast to cold agua shade of blue and coral pink. Golden yellow, raspberry, and chocolate are the most subtle shades of these happy colors, inviting you to wrap yourself around them and enjoy the rain.
This palette is contained of colors we have seen above, only in different, more playful combinations. This palette is to inspire your creative workshop to design, cut, and glue, decorate and give away something sweet that comes from your heart. We have a beautiful gradient again, going to pink and orange shades, and two dark colors to oppose the softness of the bright colors.
How do you feel about these palettes? What is your favorite palette this autumn? Tell us in the comment section below.
Author: Nina Petrov
Are you organizing a summer wedding in 2019? You are in charge of the decorations, invitations, music, making sure that everything is so special for the most special day in two people's lives?
When organizing something so beautiful, romantic and big, it is utmost important to keep everything toned, not to under or overdo it. This is why you have to know your color choice and balance your palette out. And remember: minimize to optimize!
If you want a classy, elegant, sophisticated wedding - this palette is your perfect choice. These colors will brighten up the room, highlighting the decorations on the tables, and not stealing the spotlight from the bride. Purple and pink are the most romantic colors there ever were, and this soft mix is a safe bet for every woman with a sensitive taste.
We are the next generation. Young, urban, bold. We dare to take more from life and offer our souls in return. This combination might not seem too "weddingy", but the yellow, green and blue will create the most outstanding flower decorations with stones and adorable details, and they will not be cheesy for sure.
A wedding story that this palette is saying is that the happy couple found each other like hidden treasures, and thus will treasure each other for as long as they both shall live. This gentle choice of colors is perfect for outdoor ceremonies and a casual summer party afterward. Who didn't dream about a wedding on a beach?
Use the colors that no-one dares to use, and do it with style. Be different, be amazing, be groundbreaking. Nothing in this palette is warm & red, it's all unique and toned out to a minimal, futuristic design opportunity. Once upon a time, there was no princess, there was this tall, successful woman, who knew what she wanted. And even though she was always different, she carried that uniqueness with maximum style.
We hope these four wedding palette ideas helped you discover which direction you are taking in your planning. Be brave and create your own style, surprise your guests and take their breath away!
How do you feel about our four wedding types? Which one are you? Tell us in the comments below.
Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com
It is never too late to discover new digital tools that make your life easier! Today, we are giving you 9 software that can help you cut your working hours and simplify your design solutions, as well as inspire new ideas when you feel lost.
Venngage is here to help you with your visual storytelling. This platform creates infographics for you - all you have to do is choose the perfect template, insert your data and customize. You can either sign up for free or pick one of the paid plans for more advanced features.
Animating was never easier than with this animation machine. Choose your graphics, drag, drop, play and let your creativity shine. Animaker gives you six animation styles, which you can combine any way you want, to create a unique content you need. They offer a free plan, but the pricey ones aren't all that pricey either.
Adobe Photoshop Express, an application from Adobe Systems, makes image editing and collage making on mobile phone a breeze. It's also free. Plug your imagination and creativity and get more from Adobe. It is available on iOS, Android and Windows phones, and tablets, while surprisingly easy to use.
BeFunky is a creative platform for photo editing, collages, and graphic design. Their main advantage is that it's super user-friendly, made for everyone, regardless of designer experience. Its funky layouts make it attractive for social media designers, although their mega long adds don't keep your attention and literary shout to you how big the competition is, making them not stand out as much.
Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Systems image manipulation software, is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and tvOS. You can import, organize, tag, edit, and share plenty of digital images. Why should you choose Lightroom? Their user-friendly interface and a whole 1TB of cloud storage! They operate under a Trialware license, so you can try it out first, to see if it fits.
Pixlr X is the next generation of Pixlr editing. With their smart tools, Pixlr x makes editing faster, efficient, optimized and more sophisticated. It's great to quick fixes to your photo, but also fancy and reliable for professional editing. Easy navigation and digital drawing combined with photography are what makes Pixlr X stand out. Not a fan? Don't worry, Pixlr is still available for all users. Pixlr X, Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Pro or Pixlr Express? Web or Mobile? The choice is all yours.
This brilliant app lets you imagine beyond your possibilities as a designer. Create everything with only one app - logos, social media designs, but also mock-ups and videos! They have nearly 30 000 templates waiting for you to play around with them and turn them upside down for your special project. Mock-ups were never so close and so beautiful. Slide, drop, resize, slideshow, gif around, all that while looking incredibly cool.
Get more of infographics and reports with infogram.com! This is more than a designer software, it is a platform for collaborations, where you can brand every design to fit your companies guidelines. Create a custom template and never worry about brand colors again! This doesn't make things easier only for you, but for the whole team to stay in the framework of your branded voice. Achieve more by making your designs interactive and engaging for the audience. Get analytics data for the impact of your infographics, track interactions, shares, and experience. Their basic plan is free, forever, so you're out of excuses to not give it a go!
Desygner is made for desygners, not designers. It offers simplified design solutions and easy-to-use interface. Also, their logo is pretty cool. You can have it on your PC or your phone, drag and drop elements, customize color, text, font, and images; play around with layers and different effects. All that for no money at all. Handy, and doesn't take up much space or RAM.
As you already noticed from our articles, and your research in the world of software for visual expressions, there are countless options, possibilities, restrictions, open-source or pricey, useful, complicated, faster and slower ways to create your designs. Every day new apps launch and other ones, such as Recite, go down.
When I researched for this article, Recite was one of the apps I wanted to mention in 10 apps I would present to you, but by the time I started writing, it was already gone from the internet. The competition is growing bigger, both for laics and professional designers, digital marketers and Instagram influencers, which is why we will often be surprised with amazing open-source resources and software, and create with no restrictions whatsoever.
Author: Nina Petrov, ninapetrov.com
Brand your business with amazing color combinations to ensure a positive reaction from your potential customers. Consider the fundamentals of color perceptions, which we will mention ahead, and get your colors on!
When you brand your business with pleasing color palettes, you make your target feel comfortable enough to do business with you! It starts from the moment your create your logo whether you decide to use color pantones or hex codes. A Logo Creator for example, gives you template options which you can work on if you don’t feel like starting from zero. Color your brand with your personality and your values!
Color schemes have a psychological impact you need to consider while you build a brand. This is why picking your colors is such an important task! You can create the perception you’re after in order to attract the specific market you want. People are very visual, so colors can impact them emotionally. To understand this better, let’s take a look at general meaning behind the most commonly used colors:
We have gathered the best color combinations for different business industries so you don’t have to break your head coming up with a harmonious mix. First, determine your brand’s personality by asking yourself:
This will help you decide which colors best represent your business personality and which will attract the kind of customers you want. Now let’s get to it by industry and get some color palette ideas that are on point!
Most tech businesses want to look innovative and bold, like they will be the next big thing. Because you are trying to appear innovative, don’t be afraid to step out of the typical blue or green. You can use other great colors like purple, yellow, orange, etc.
As you build your tech business, colors are an entirely personal decision. You should be informed on color psychology plus your brand's personality in order to make a more informed decision. Consider things like, is your business related to social media? Is it an app?
You trust healthcare businesses with your life and this is why their branding should evoke that feeling of security. Because these kinds of businesses have a huge responsibility with the community, their image should be professional, authoritative, and peaceful at the same time. Most healthcare businesses rely on mainly blue tones, but you can definitely get inspired by these colors and try something fresh!
Legal businesses should have a minimalist logo. Most legal businesses choose sober colors to appear professional and keep it basic. They usually decide to use only one or two colors.
Marketing brands usually want to appear as young, modern, and creative! They want to dazzle their clients while still keeping it professional. The challenge for these kinds of businesses is to have branding colors that are both cool while classic. I mean, they still need to be taken seriously. Among the industry, most leaders opt to use purples and they see their brands as feminine.
The real estate competition is fierce! Clients need a brand that they sense they can rely on. If your business is in real estate, just like in healthcare or legal businesses you want your colors to say: trust me. This is why most businesses go with a blue color. Remember you can use awesome color combinations to give your customers the whole message! Try these:
Inspired by a huge library of templates in combination with helpful information on color perceptions, you can design your logo easily using the best colors for it! The rest of your branding is a piece of cake once you have your logo and your branding colors (fonts are huge too by the way). If you decide to create your logo design with an online tool, look for one that allows you to input your exact hex codes for your brand colors.
So now you know! Start creating that unique experience for your customers with a totally fabulous color palette!
Brand consistency is one of the most important aspects of making your store memorable to consumers. Every time customers interact with your brand, online or offline, they should be reminded of who you are, which requires using the same images, logo, colors and message.
Experts estimate it takes five to seven impressions before someone remembers a brand. That number may increase as more and more brands go online and clamor for the attention of a limited pool of customers. If you want to be memorable, you must present your brand in a similar way over and over using a variety of methods.
Using your brand colors in every interaction, including in your storefront location, is a great way to create a memorable impression. However, integrating brand colors into a storefront isn't always easy. You may be limited by the construction and colors already present in a rented space, for example. Fortunately, there are some features business owners have control over when it comes to storefront branding.
Creating window displays that draw people inside is a bit of a challenge. You have to highlight some of your more popular or recent items. However, your display windows are also a great place to integrate some of your brand colors, either through signage or selected products. Think about what might catch the eye of passerby as they walk past your store. What colors surround your windows and what will pop out to potential customers?
If you are in a location where you're allowed to paint, change up the wall colors so they coordinate with your brand colors. Think about the colors in your palette and what compliments them. If your colors are vivid, you may only want to use the brand colors as an accent and stick with trendier neutral tones for the background. Different types of colors have a different impact on your audience. For example, you can use black as a neutral color and to create a sense of mystery or stick with light greens and sandy browns for a sense of tranquility.
Signage is a way to incorporate the colors you want without changing the walls or altering more permanent store features. Using signage is particularly useful if you're still developing your brand colors or testing out colors before making a change. Signage is relatively inexpensive, but still makes an impact on store visitors. Use vinyl signs in the color of your choice or add color elements over a white vinyl sign. You can also use signs to point customers toward your register, sale items or to highlight new arrivals in your store. Don't be afraid to incorporate both brand colors and accent colors for attention.
What color are the bags you put purchased products in? Using customized bags is a great way to add additional branding that utilizes your company colors. Whenever the person leaves your store and others see the bag, the bag should be immediately recognizable as a company standard. Using a signature color boosts brand recognition by about 80 percent, so business owners should look for every opportunity to do so.
Think about the last time you visited a local mall. You may have seen someone walking out of Victoria's Secret with a pink and black striped back. You immediately knew what brand they purchased from. Perhaps you noticed a black back with white letters from Hot Topic. What colors scream your brand identity, and how can you put that on a bag so everyone sees the visualization?
Depending upon what kind of store you run, employee uniforms might be a good idea. Keep in mind that uniforms allow store visitors to readily identify who works there in case they need assistance. The uniform should match the overall branding of your business. If pink is your signature color, invest in pink shirts with your logo or black shirts with a pink logo. Think about what type of uniform best represents your brand and how to add your company colors to the outfit.
If you've ever gone to Best Buy, you know employees are easy to spot because of their shirts with the bright Best Buy logo. Go out to eat somewhere like Hooters, and the orange shirts of the servers pop and grab your attention. No matter what your brand colors may be, your employee outfits should highlight them and make the store memorable.
Adding signage to your floor draws customers in for sales and other events and directs traffic through your store. You can even use three-dimensional signage to draw them into a sensory experience. Signage can be used both outside your store, such as in a shopping mall (if the mall allows it) and inside the store to direct customers down a planned path. Think about footprints in your primary brand color that lead the way to a new, featured product.
Adding in brand colors gives your store a unique identity. Keep in mind, though, that the overall aesthetic of your store is much more important than simply throwing up certain colors. It's okay to limit how much you use your brand color, but there are some places you shouldn't shy away from it, such as a sign for your storefront. With a little attention to color and how it impacts your store visitors, you should find a balance between branding and usability.
The virality of content is a curious phenomenon. Sometimes you write a simple article or you turn a video. You publish it and a few days later, your content triggered hundreds of shares.
Without knowing why, you have created viral content. Many entrepreneurs and marketers would like to know the secret of virality.
It's true anyway!
Which entrepreneur would not want to have more exposure for his brand, ideas or products quickly? In fact, virality is simply the best way to quickly gain visibility and traffic without necessarily paying for it or being an SEO wizard.
The 5 ingredients to make viral content
1) The social value: Share what motivates your audience
Social value is the idea that people who discuss a subject, in public or on social networks, do so because they want to appear interesting, intelligent or "cool". If the mere fact of talking about a product or idea makes us look like someone interesting to others, then chances are we'll talk about it around us. It is the social value, the value we place on the information we share with others. In fact, this desire to share our thoughts and experiences is at the root of the phenomenal success of social networks.
It's not just the titles that will help your content become viral, the content itself has a say.
Let's take an example.
You sell organic products and you would like to be a little more visible on the Internet?
For example, you could write an ultra-comprehensive blog post about the dangers of pesticides and share it on your social profiles. It is likely to be shared by others, because from the outside, it implies that they 1) care about their health and that of others and 2) care about the environment and the food brands they consume.
3) Emotion: Caring is sharing
This concept is simple and you surely know it. We share and discuss things that involve strong emotions. Whether positive or negative, it does not matter. Moreover, one of the emotions that sticks to our TV screens and triggers the word of mouth in a crazy way is fear.
Fear is selling. And that's true. Why do you think the media is constantly talking about the misfortune of others or the attacks? Because it makes talking! Because we read and share this kind of articles. For the greatest happiness of the media.
It's not just negative emotions that make you sell and trigger a monster word of mouth. Joy or hopes are emotions that trigger sharing.
4) The public: Become your own PR representative
People tend to mimic what others do. Rather than choosing ourselves, we prefer to emulate or be influenced by the choice of others. This is called social proof.
But you can’t imitate what you can’t observe. The idea here is to make your products or ideas more observable to others, making them easier to imitate, and therefore more likely to become popular. We want our products / ideas to do their advertising on their own.
Have you ever seen how many people use a Mac in a Starbucks?
There are many!
For several years, Apple has placed its logo on its laptops so that the user sees it when opening it.
The problem was that the logo was presented backwards for others when someone was using it, which posed a problem of recognizing the logo and could even harm the image of Apple. Steve Jobs, as a good marketer, made the decision to place the logo in such a way that it is visible to the public and not to the user. Today, in public places, the luminous apple is recognizable on all Apple computers. The visibility of a consumer choice by a large number of people triggers a well-known human behavior: imitation. If a lot of people use the Mac, then it's probably a good idea, and we should use one too.
How can this apply on your social networks?
On Facebook or Instagram, you can make your content more observable by the public via advertising. For example, if you have a Facebook page, you can boost your publications from $ 5 and show your content potentially in front of more than 1000 people. Or you can softwre related to Automatic Viral Alternative. Based on my experience, it works!
Keep in mind: can people see you using your product? How can you design your product so that it does its advertising itself (ex: MacBook)? Do you use an unconventional logo, sound or color for the public that could be highlighted?
5) The practical value: produce useful content for others!
Why would someone want to share your content if it does not add value?
This value is the utility. If we can talk about a product or content that can help others (i.e save money, save time, improve our health, etc.), then we will talk about it around us. It's something natural.
How to do on social media?
Here again, it's easy to set up. Your product is super useful and can improve people's lives. How to make people know it? The answer (and it's still the same): Create useful content. Why not make a video that explains the usefulness of your product or its new features? It's more and more common on social networks.
Hopefully the 5 tips above can help you to produce viral content.
Being grateful towards people who've helped you, has been an old age tradition and still prevails. A thoughtfully curated thank you card prove to be an excellent way to acknowledge and appreciate the presence of people in your life. Such acknowledgments have always improved relations. Before designing your perfect thank you card, do have a look at the following crucial points.
With the advent of new and highly reliable technology, it gets confusing to choose between e-cards or paper cards. E-cards are getting popular these days due to the secure customization options. Anyone can design an ecard. They are considered more convenient because, for them, all you need is an internet connection. Moreover, the whole process cuts the time slack.
However, older paper cards might be a bit on the expensive side; they never fail to leave a mark on the recipient. Paper cards, themselves put forward all the hard work that has been done behind them.
The occasion can have decisive authority over the thank you card. A thank you card presented for attending a marriage will vary a lot from the funeral attending one. Similarly, the thank you cards for birthdays, weddings and parties will have more playful and brighter colors along with dramatic designs.
The cards for the funeral will have more light and sober colors with designs. The thank you notes presented for participating in charity events can even contain a few words of appreciation.
The theme eventually depends on the purpose of the thank you note. Choosing colors that either symbolizes your or the recipients choice can be a good idea and a way to show conscious efforts. However, selecting a design that connects with you can be tedious.
If you are sending a card to a school friend, you can have a few pictures of your school time or related designs as the background. Do write a message with a touch of gratitude and friendliness.
A thank you card presented for unofficial events doesn’t have any boundaries. They can possess vivid designs, fonts, and even pictures. They are mostly self-curated and intended for giving to a group of family or friends. Usually, the people who have some sort of personal relationship with you. You can write a private message for every single person, you want the give the card to.
However, the thank you notes presented by organizations tend to have formal language. They tend to stick to a few officially accepted designs and don’t have much scope for creativity.
When organizing a large event, people significantly prefer to get a card designed by some designer. So considering the importance of the event, suitable designs should be chosen.
If the people are to be invited from very far off places and there isn't enough time, e-cards can be used. This way, you can actively save some cash while whole-heartedly serving the purpose.
We are a society striving for entertainment, distractions, inspiration on every corner of our lives. We get overwhelmed by content and very often bored if the flow of our feed doesn't change frequently enough. We always seize new ways to keep our scrolling fingers busy while our hunger for new trends never sleeps.
I am sure that everyone has their favorite apps and networks where they spend most of their free time in breaks from work, cooking, studying, and while waiting for the bus, whether those are social networks, fashion catalogs, news, blogs, Youtube, etc. In the era where anybody can become an influencer, a question arises in regards to how to find good quality content - who to follow, where to look, how to discover new, fresh ideas in this confusing set of signals on the internet.
I've been researching the best trending hashtags on Instagram, which are showing the most attractive and relevant content, full of fresh colors and alternative styles to make your feed sexy again. Follow these and find the best profiles to stick around with for this hot and exciting summer.
With almost 70 million posts, this hashtag is highlighting the top posts in the casual fashion industry, but most importantly, these interesting photos are taken in quite exciting sights, in urban environments of a metropolis. What dominates is very vibrant colors against the gray, brown, or white backgrounds, and very contemporary fashion style of a variety of cultures worldwide.
Besides the content offered in the previous hashtag, with this one you may also discover various fashion companies advertising their street-wear designs. Use this hashtag to keep up with trending wear and perhaps it can inspire you for a whole new set of palettes of your own.
This is a relatively young hashtag, with only 6 million posts. However, it is remarkably interesting, because as we all know, bloggers are the ones who pay a lot of attention to their contents and visual appearances. If you find the right travel blogger, prepare for some hardcore new palettes in those images you scroll, as these guys can be a true refreshment to our every day.
For similar reasons as the previous one, except this hashtag results in real top-notch content, beautiful landscapes, breathtaking architecture, and even better modern outfits. Out of all the scrolling trying to find the most inspiring feed possible, this one truly made me speechless. See for yourself and find the photos that really move you.
Do you use social media to find inspiration? Which content do you follow? Share with us in the comment section below.
Written by: Nina Petrov
Designs keep changing, and for a designer, trends, principles, requirements of clients, and culture overall play significance in determining what people appreciate today and what they may reject tomorrow. When it comes to culture, many would agree that a design element that gets accepted in India may not always be a good idea in a European country. In this article, you will find out why it is often the case. We’ve dissected into major world cultures and how they impact the work of visual creators.
Some students are also given tasks to write on this or a similar topic. However, whether you are looking up some information to complete your piece, or just researching for job purposes, here’s a quick list of questions you need to answer before you get down to work:
In fact, these questions can go on and on. To make it easier, you can find a reliable, professional paper writing service that can help you with drawing up important design concepts for your paper, or do even a more comprehensive research for you, in case it’s been quite a while since your graduation. All in all, you need a decent plan and a visualization of artistic creations if you want to complete the task successfully.
Now, with respect to cultural influences on design, it is important that visual artists take note of nuances such as religion, values and colors. Think about it this way. Are there religious restrictions that would limit a designer’s creativity when designing, for example, a logo? Also, would the use of certain symbols be regarded as offensive?
Whichever way you look at it, color is a de facto design principle/element all over the world. Whether in traditional or modern design, you will always find color denoting some sort of culture. However, before a designer can settle on color choices to use in creating an artwork, it is imperative that he or she zeros into how cultural nuances of a country influences visual artistry.
At this point, let’s explore a few elements specific to certain cultures and how they vary from each other.
Europe is a continent of many cultures, and there is no doubt such variations play significance in influencing modern design trends. From art, literature, music to architecture, you will need to understand what transpires in a member country before deciding on the appropriate color, line, shape or fonts to use in a logo, drawing or any other type of visual art.
For many years, European culture transitioned through many phases to modern-day art. It means you’ve got to think about Prehistoric art, Medieval, Classical, Baroque, Mannerism, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Rococo, Realism and Romanticism before figuring out the best design for a client.
It is because while someone would relish over retro artwork depicting the age of Romanticism, another would want a creator to factor in modern-day design trends such as emoticons. It is always about providing a client with a design service that resonates well with their tastes or ascription.
A walk down the history of a country is one way to go about national colors and what they symbolize. But depending on the purpose, for which you are hired to create an artwork, designers must also take note of meanings colors manifest in a deeper sense. In Japanese culture, for example, blue color means cool, fidelity and passiveness.
It would also interest you to note that Japanese regard blue as the color of luck. While times may have changed, color traditions remain deeply entrenched in the country’s quest for posterity. You will often notice blue in dresses such as office wear and in attires adorned by fresh graduates during their first job interviews. Other colors, which bear the same meaning as blue are yellow, purple, red and green.
The big question is this, “How does the culture of India impact design?” Well, India is richly endowed with colorful cultures, most of which date back to centuries ago. That is not to mention that for a long time now, the graphic design landscape in India always gets shaped by religious mannerisms. The country is home to some of the oldest religions, namely Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
All in all, it would interest you to note that culture and design are inseparable entities in India. Talk about bold colors, shapes or fine lines and you will always notice them on temple walls, sari apparel, graffiti, and signposts and among other places. In a nutshell, creators targeting clients from this part of the world should always emphasize color prominence.
Culture, according to studies, is a collective view of a people, cultivated behavior and learned experiences. Whether through social interactions and any other form of association, culture remains an overarching factor in the work of designers, even in the unforeseeable future.
Business can be stressful, especially when you add agitated or angry customers to the mix. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who is particularly vile. Maybe they call you names, refuse to treat you with respect, make lofty claims or refuse to pay for goods and services.
It’s not an easy situation to deal with, but we’ve all been there. The most important thing is to keep your cool in the moment so that you don’t lose yourself and damage the brand’s reputation. It’s almost always true that others are watching — including like-minded clientele — and if you explode, it’s not going to be good for anyone.
I’ve had my fair share of dealings with testy customers, and I’ve discovered many ways to make it through to the other side.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood said it the best: “Relax, don’t do it.” Of course, the song has other connotations when you get further in, but the hook sure fits because first, you need to relax. When emotions are running high, it’s not the time to make split decisions or react to others around you, at least not without calming down. That’s when you make mistakes, which can lead to harsh reactions or responses.
I’m not going to spill some mantra about finding your center, going to a happy place or doing yoga right then and there — although yoga and exercise can help. Instead, I’ll share a few tips that help me calm down in just a few minutes, like a spot treatment. If you’re susceptible to panic attacks like I am, you’ll want to remember these.
The eyes are the window to the soul, or so they say. They’re also the main point of sensory stimulation for your body. By sitting down and closing your eyes for a moment or two, you can give your brain a much-needed break, severing an endless stream of sensory input. That's likely why people who are stressed find comfort in sleeping. Besides feeling great, it also gives them a break from the outside world for a small time. And since some people are more sensitive than others, it definitely helps.
It’s rude to close your eyes without saying a word, of course, so just ask for a moment to compose yourself, then retreat to a remote office or isolated area. Sit for a moment, close your eyes, and let your body simmer down. Your client(s) can wait.
Breathing exercises are phenomenal for reducing stress and anxiety. Close your eyes, inhale deeply for about three to four seconds — letting your diaphragm expand as much as possible — then exhale for the same amount of time. Take it slow and repeat it as many times as you need to calm your nerves.
Lots of people squeeze or play with actual stress balls — they feel and work great. But if you don’t always have one lying around, remember that tennis balls are just as effective. Roll it around in your hand to tighten up and stretch your muscles. Doing so will help to release tension.
Fidget spinners are a bit ridiculous to some, but others swear by them. I prefer something a little different. It’s still a toy, mind you, but it plays on the idea of euphoric sensory input. It’s a cube with a variety of buttons, toggles, switches and interactive elements on it. When I’m really stressed, I just palm the toy and play around with it a bit. You can use the same toy or find something different, as there are tons of options for adults.
You can’t do it right in front of the customer, but when you get a moment to yourself, return to your desk or personal area and put on some of your favorite music. It’s even better if you get up and move, dancing to the beat. It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening to Beethoven, Five Finger Death Punch or Lady Gaga — just get up and move.
If you’re agitated or feel uncontrollable rage, it’s probably best to just get away entirely. It's a good time to take a walk, which will increase your circulation, especially if you’ve been sitting most of the day. Walking also releases a lot of built-up static energy.
Relaxed? Good, let’s move on.
Since many different situations can play out — all clients are different — it makes sense to specifically look at what’s happening. For example, what you should do when a client doesn’t pay on time or flat out refuses to collaborate is different from handling a micromanager.
While freelance is one of the most frequent places to find these tough clients (and more), they exist everywhere, even in retail. It helps to know how to deal with them and proceed with your work so that you can stay focused on the finish line.
Keep in mind that sometimes it’s not worth dealing with these clients at all. If you have the power, it may be necessary to cut them loose. If that’s the best option, I’ll point it out first. Don't worry, I've sent many a client packing myself — it's something we all need to do every now and then.
Here are some of the most common troublesome clients and how to deal with them.
The client approaches you for your help, you discuss the project and finalize a deal. Everything goes swimmingly until it’s time for the client to pay up. They flat out don’t pay, drag their feet or continue making excuses. In the end, you deserve to be paid for your work, and you invested your time, so what can you do?
It’s a smart idea to cease future projects with the client even if they pay well. Once they start giving you trouble with payments, it’s time to move on. There are exceptions such as emergencies or major personal events, but that’s up to your discretion.
Sometimes, the client thinks they know best — better than you — and will lob an endless swarm of suggestions, requests and comments at you. Incorporate what you can, but remember, they came to you for help. At some point, you’ll need to use your own judgment and experience to decide what happens next. What you know absolutely trumps what a client “thinks” they want — but don’t tell them that!
Don’t placate the client every time. Follow the process that you think is best for the project and its outcome. Politely explain to the customer that you have more experience. If they do not understand or continue to fight you, it may be best to set them free.
Poor communication is never good. Whether the client is not sharing enough about what they want, sharing too much or being incredibly vague, it can certainly grind a project to a halt. Find ways to meet with the client in person and be specific when you're asking questions or trying to collect ideas. Show them visual examples or past work and try to glean their likes and dislikes as early as possible. Doing so will help you avoid major revisions later.
Poor communication is one thing, but when clients disappear altogether, that’s another. It’s even worse when they’re missing and a big decision needs to be made. That situation can result in your entire team waiting around to complete work or continue.
Of course, you won’t know the client is going to disappear beforehand but get as much information about the project as you can upfront. If you come to a crossroads and they’re not around, move to another part of the project that you do have information about.
The client seemed a dream, you’re nearly done with the project and you approach them with what’s ready. Suddenly, they decide the work you put in is not good enough and they want something entirely different. If you continue, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.
If you made a mistake that caused the change, own up to it. If no mistake was made and they’re just being demanding — which happens more often than I’d like — make it clear that you kept to the original plans and you expect to be compensated. Be firm, be persistent, but don't be rude.
Explain to them that the costs will increase for the new approach and that the work will take longer to complete. If the client cannot understand that changing the scope near completion causes too much extra work — and may even ruin the deadline — it’s not someone you want to be working with long-term anyway.
I get this all the time in freelance. Clients don’t want to pay my rates and often tell me I either charge too much or have an inflated sense of self-worth. They want to pay an incredibly low price for lots and lots of work. If you’re not careful, they’ll continue to increase the workload as time goes on, but they certainly won’t pay what it’s worth.
If you notice the clients are cheap up front, just walk away. Take a moment to explain that the cost is the cost and you won’t budge. If they can't accept that they have to pay for quality work, they don’t need to be seeking help.
“I can do that in X time so much better!” Great, go do it then, bud.
With larger teams — organizations especially — managers aren’t truly managers, at least when it comes to making decisions. Generally, they have to go through a system of checks and balances. This process means consulting others on their team, including alternate executives. Dealing with these kinds of clients is challenging because getting a straight answer is rarely possible.
Make time at the beginning of the project to sit down with everyone involved, get the appropriate input and collect all the necessary contact information. In some cases, it may be necessary to go right to the source, asking outright what they want or what should be done, as opposed to going up the chain of command one by one.
The client wants something and may even be specific, but they have absolutely no clue what kind of work, value or time is required to get it done. Maybe they want you to complete an incredibly difficult project in half the time you usually do, or perhaps they’re offering a fraction of the overall cost. Again, this is best left to your discretion. Is the compensation they're offering worth all the trouble? If not, walk away.
I have found that the best approach is to educate the client using industry-specific examples as evidence. Show them your past work and explain how long each project took. Point out the value in your efforts and politely explain why the costs are higher than what they want or why it will take longer. Smart clients will recognize right away that you know what you're talking about.
You probably can't afford to turn away every difficult client. Sometimes, even I have to accept the undesirable client to make sure I can pay my bills on time, that’s just the nature of the business. That said, it’s not healthy to build an entire portfolio with these types of clients. Avoid working with them on future projects when you can, especially if they don’t pay, change the scope of the work entirely or remain unsatisfied with your work. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be.
When you're choosing what clients are good to work with, assess the impact on you and your team's health. If they're too difficult and it's going to cause stress for everyone, it may not be worth the trouble.
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