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Watch What You Say

June 15, 2010  

When you work with contractors such as copywriters and Web designers, you might not realize that certain casual statements can earn you membership in the "difficult client" category. Rick Sloboda of Webcopyplus has compiled a list of things best left unsaid, and here are a few examples:

This shouldn't take long. You might genuinely believe a project won't take much time. But a remark like this assumes you know more than the contractor you've hired for her expertise—or, worse, it implies you're trying to get the job done on the cheap. "If you're saying these things in an effort to subliminally reduce the amount of hours you will have to pay for," he notes, "you're just going to annoy the provider and start your relationship on the wrong foot."

Last change, I promise. "Your copywriter has just sent you 15 pages of web copy for approval and awaits your comments," says Sloboda. "Instead of taking the time to carefully go through the web copy and collect your thoughts on edits, you start firing off emails." Complicating matters, you've also sent the pages to a number of colleagues, who proceed to email their thoughts in a similar, piecemeal fashion. A single document with edits approved by all stakeholders will keep tempers cool—and the streamlined process will keep your costs down.

Turn this (water into wine). A graphic designer might be capable of amazing technological feats, but "even the best designer can't turn a tiny, pixilated thumbnail into HD." So adjust your expectations accordingly.

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