Template Resources for Friends Without the “Visual Gift”
As a design professional, or someone with great taste, you are no doubt a resource to friends and family, not to mention many paying clients. Your paying clients will rely on you directly for the visual inspiration and flare that only you can provide – it’s why they pay you after all. But you can’t afford to just give these skills away. So what happens when someone you know asks for a cheap or free design from you? Well, you’ve got to say “no”, for one. But you’ll also want to direct them to one of many free DIY sources with ready website templates and the like. If you steer them in the right direction, this could pay off in a number of ways.
1. For one, putting the ball back in the court of the person asking for a deal on your services could just motivate them to take responsibility and learn about that which they’re asking you to do. Designing well is hard work, but it’s a skill which can be learned. Using available template tools like the ones linked above, you can easily show someone many way to learn a new skill, all while creating the perfect site for themselves. Most people who ask for favors of professionals they know don’t appreciate a.) how much time and effort you put into the thing that you do, and b.) how little time and effort it might potentially take to DIY the web design project of their dreams, or at least one which meets their immediate needs in respectable fashion.
2. If you have to tell someone that, no, you won’t do their website for cheap or free, you might just end up winning their business after all. They may not immediately agree to your pricing request when you deny them the discounted option. But this might play in your favor weeks, months, or years down the line. It often happens that someone looking for a deal like this doesn’t stop with you. They cycle through a predictable list of potential handouts: other professionals like yourself with whom they are socially connected, up and coming regional designers, design students. If after many attempts they can’t be the quality or price they are seeking, they may just give you the price you want and need in order to do you best work while maintaining the compensation you deserve and expect.
The only thing you definitely don’t want to do is accept work that doesn’t pay what you want and expect. As a professional, there are certain standards which you should always demand of those who work with you. It’s important never to let someone ask a favor that is beneath the professional standard you hold yourself to. After all, you won’t design bad work just because the pay is bad. Saying No is an important part in establishing yourself as a professional, and determining how you’ll be treated for the duration of your career by clients of all types. Give the the DIY option when they ask, and see how they respond.