Education is key. It will, however, only go so far.

The lovely and talented Su Butcher said things, here:

http://www.justpractising.com/its-about-money-stupid/architects-my-client-doesn%E2%80%99t-understand-me/

I’ll wait.

The video is short, and is not much different than the stuff I’ve seen on Clients from Hell, or heard, in fact from *every single* designer, artist or Architect I’ve ever known. The only difference is the designer says these things out loud, rather than just in their heads. Also, everything to me is funnier in a cartoon. Especially with robots. But I digress.

This video made me laugh. I know all too well how that blue robot feels. I know lots of other people who do too (Val and Dare, I’m looking at you two.. Ahem.) Interestingly, the bit that went around recently about the graphic designer who was asked by a co-worker to make a poster for a missing cat, seen here: http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html had the opposite effect on me. Everyone seemed to think this was seriously hysterical and I thought it was not in the least bit funny.

Which brings me to why, on both counts. I told Su I’d post here because 140 characters wasn’t going to cut it. I always advocate for all design professionals to educate, educate, educate. It is KEY in what we do. Most people don’t have an understanding of what architects, designers and artists do, and really need to know more.

However, I want to make something really clear- there is a difference between people being educated about something, and people who don’t think that thing has any VALUE. In the former case, you may actually get real clients out of it. In the latter case, you *never will*. Im going to use the video as an example- the green robot time and again makes comparisons to people (his eight and a half year old nephew, for example) to the designer. This guy is not really ignorant. I mean, he might be, but no matter how many ways you explain to him how it works, and no matter how politely you do it, this guy *will never be a client*. Never. He has no respect for what you do *on top of* his ignorance. He’s not a potential client- he’s a bargain hunter. You can fix the ignorance. But the lack of respect will not change. People who just need educating have a different approach- “Hey, I need this thing done, but I have no idea how much it would cost or how much time it would take. I don’t have a lot of money, so could you please tell me what you think this would cost and how long it would be?” This person approaches a situation with respect, and admits up front they need help.

I see this same phenomenon *every day* in SL(because seeing it for years in RL wasn’t enough). People who will loudly and vocally swoon and sigh over clothing and announce how badly they want it- but ONLY if they can get it for free or at a steep discount. The moment they have to pay for it is the moment it becomes valueless to them. These people will never become shoppers. At best, all they will be is bargain hunters. “Is this real, or did you make it yourself?”

My philosophy is to simply cut them off at the pass and say you can’t help them. Ok, well I do that when it comes to design. I am FAR more creative when it comes to art. “I can make this myself!” Really? Can you get me a dozen of them by Friday? I’m low on stock.

Which brings me to the bit about the cat and the graphic designer. When there’s an actual emergency? A missing pet? A missing child? You either make the poster and STFU, or you tell them you can’t. You do NOT jerk them around. That’s not the same thing as the robot video. At all.

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