Good Read: Design Is A Job by Mike Monteiro

September 18, 2014 / Books / 0 Comments /
Design is a Job

Book number 7 in A Book Apart series, Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro is a must read for any creative professional. From working with contracts to choosing the right types of clients, Mike shares his experiences and lessons learned as a designer and business owner.

Who it’s for:

The title may say “Design” but this book would be useful to anyone in creative services such as photographers, writers, illustrators, videographers, etc. If you’re a student, freelance or hope to someday own your own business – save yourself years of trial and error and buy this book!

What’s covered:

  • Getting clients – Ninety percent or more of clients come from referrals. But how do you get referrals? This book will teach you how to get referrals and what to do the other ten percent of the time.
  • Choosing the right clients – This may come as a little bit of a shocker, but not every client who cuts a check is a good client! First and foremost, can you do the work they are asking you to do? Do you have any ethical problem working for this client? After the initial meeting, do you think you and the client can work well together? Are you working directly with decision makers or an intermediary? Is this the type of work you want to be doing? These are all questions you need to ask when considering a new client.
  • Charging for your work – Young creative professionals have a tendency to feel uncomfortable talking about money with clients. Chalk it up to inexperience and lack of confidence. I know this because it used to be me. This book taught me how to get comfortable talking about money, how to put a value on my work and how to negotiate with clients.
  • Working with contracts – CYA. If you don’t know what that means look it up. Contracts are good for both you and the client. They help set clear expectations on what the deliverables are, when they’re due and how much money is to exchange hands at what point.
  • Managing feedback – Getting feedback from clients can sometimes feel a lot like pulling teeth. They either give no feedback at all or give the wrong kind of feedback. But it’s not their fault. It’s ours. In order to get the feedback we’re looking for, we need to give the client some direction.

Why I recommend it:

This book changed the way I thought about design and how I conduct myself on a professional level. It helped me understand not only how to put a value on what I was doing, but how to explain that value to my clients. Hands down this is one of the most important, influential books I’ve ever read and I strongly recommend it.

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