If you don’t tell them, they won’t know. Before I launched the Resourceful Designer podcast on September 30, 2015, I sat down and wrote a list of over 50 topics I could discuss on the show. I wanted to be sure before embarking on this journey that I wouldn’t run out of things to say.
Almost five years later, and 219 episodes in, I still haven’t covered all 50 of those original topics. The ideas behind many of my episodes come from my own experiences in the week or weeks before recording.
Maybe I’ll read something in a book, or an article or on social media that gets me thinking, and those thoughts emerge into an episode topic. Or perhaps something I hear on another podcast or TV sparks an idea. And of course, my interactions with my design clients often turn into teaching moments for the show.
All of this to say, I’m never genuinely lacking for content.
But back before I started Resourceful Designer, I wasn’t so sure I’d have enough discussion material. That’s why I wrote my original list. To prove to myself, I had enough things to discuss.
I remember when I was getting ready to start the podcast, looking at that list and wondering which topics I should cover first. There were a lot of good ones, after all. In the end, I settled on what I thought was one of the most important topics a home-based designer should know and “Do Your Design Clients Know What You Do?” became the first topic I shared with my audience. It’s an episode devoted to telling your clients what it is you do, because, believe it or not, most of them don’t know.
I know it sounds strange, but it’s true. Most of your clients don’t know what services you offer beyond what it is you currently do for them. And almost five years after recording and releasing that episode, the situation hasn’t changed.
Earlier this week, a client I’ve been working with for over 20 years, dating back to my days working at the print shop, asked me to send him a copy of his logo in vector format. Curious because most clients don’t know what a vector is, I emailed him questioning why he needed a vector of his logo.
To my surprise, he told me he hired a designer to create a flyer for his clinic. I immediately called him on the phone and asked if I had done something wrong that made him look elsewhere for a designer instead of asking me?
It was then his turn to be surprised. He told me no, not at all, we have a great relationship, and he loves working with me, but I do websites, and he needed a flyer.
A bit of back story. Before I continue my story, let me give you a bit of history between myself and this client.
I designed this client’s logo almost 20 years ago. I also designed his business cards and the rest of his stationary. The signage outside and inside his clinic, that was me. I’ve also created rack cards, postcards, posters and probably other printed material I can’t recall. That’s not counting his original website back in 2005 and the two re-designed sites I made for him over the past 15 years.
Back to my story. When I reminded my client of all the things I designed for him in the past, he tried to dispute it. He told me his logo, business card, etc. etc. were all created by the print shop where I used to work. Which is correct, I designed all of them when I was working at the print shop.
However, even though he remembers me working at the print shop before starting my own business, he doesn’t remember me being the one who designed his stuff. He remembers dealing directly with the shop owner on every project. Not the designer who worked on his projects.
This admission surprised me even more. He has one of the most recognized brands in our community, something I’m incredibly proud of, and yet he doesn’t remember that I designed it for him. Talk about bursting my ego.
He then proceeded to tell me he’s had