Oh, the Clients You’ll Meet

No matter what career you pursue, you’ll run into many type of client “quirks”, and while the customer is always right, it may sometimes seem impossible to make headway with tricky clients. Here are a few client types you may have the pleasure of working with in advertising:

Hannah Jelic
Hannah Jelic

The Dreamer

The kid who drew a doctor wearing an astronaut helmet and holding a basketball under “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” actually grew up to be your client and now they want you to market their app. Dreamers have built their brand from the ground up, and they’ve expanded their plans in some unrealistic directions. Try to find out where these directions have come from, and brainstorm with them to find a more attainable step in that direction that can be used as a “stepping stone” to all that they’re hoping for.

The Wishy-Washy

These clients aren’t sure at all what they’re looking for, right up until the moment that you’ve suggested something, when they realize they certainly don’t want that. Try to pin down something you can both agree on in the very early stages of creative work and reference back to that common ground if they become unhappy later in the process.

The Ugly Sofa Owner

The ugly sofa may take many different shapes (font/color/ tagline) and your client insists that it must be included, no matter if it meshes with the creative plan or not. For someone like this, try to focus their attention on the outcomes they are attached to rather than the method they want to use to get there. They may be convinced to leave behind their first instinct if you can prove an alternative works better with their goals.

There are many other types of clientele in the advertising world that you will run into, and most of them will have quirks that impede the creative advertising process. No matter who you’re working with, it’s important to establish at the beginning of the relationship what your client likes and expects to avoid miscommunication. From there you just have to prepare to be flexible and learn how to work with them on an individual basis.