Why Clients MicroManage in Creative Business(Design)?


What is Micromanage?

According to Wikipedia, In business management, micromanagement may be a management style whereby a manager closely observes and/or controls and/or reminds the work of his/her subordinates or employees. Micromanagement is usually considered to possess a negative connotation, mainly because it shows a scarcity of freedom within the workplace.

In Client-Provider system, client acts like the manager in the above situation. This often becomes frustrating-To have a client that hovers, questions your creative decisions and pretends to be an art director. It is super easy to hate a micromanaging client who only wants to pixel push you off the design cliff.

Now if this is happening quite often, it is an indication that you are a part of the problem. Here is how to keep clients for playing the role creative and avoid a ton of havoc in your life.

Firstly, identify the problem and then apply the appropriate solution. Solutions are followed by the explanation below.

Reasons for Micromanaging

Clients micromanage because-

  1. They have too much free time.
  2. You haven’t earned their trust yet. This takes time and patience.
  3. Your process and lack of transparency makes them nervous.
  4. They are secretly a frustrated creative.
  5. Your relationship isn’t based on focusing on goals, but on tactics.
  6. All of the above.

These are all the reasons I can figure out or have experienced. If you have experienced anything else apart from these, please let me know.

Coming back to the Solution part

There are several ways you can stop thinking. Let’s learn some of them-

  1. Find Clients who put a premium on their time.
  2. Earn trust: ask more questions, talk less, listen intently, be patient, be engaging, and work in the best interest of your client.
  3. Formalize your process and over-communicate.
  4. Identify early how much creative control your client wants, and set clear boundaries.
  5. Focus on outcomes.
  6. Find the real problem.

Feel free to provide any input.
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