May 1, 2023
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Healthy boundaries are vital in supporting and elevating your graphic design business. Without these boundaries, clients can quickly become our bosses. So by setting firm, maintainable boundaries, you allow your clients to value the relationship they have with you.
Yet at the same time, it’s also important not to get carried away with your boundary setting, leading potential clients away from your business. Finding a balance within your boundaries is a vital practice for protecting your processes and at the same time, ensuring your clients feel welcome, secure, and safe.
The good ones!! These boundaries are often a win-win for you and your client and should protect your processes from onboarding right through to the delivery of the project…and beyond!
Important boundaries to consider implementing, surround your availability, payment, rush jobs, communication, expectation on deliverables, and deadlines. Setting clear boundaries around these aspects of your processes will allow for a smoother and clearer experience for both you and your client.
Who would have thought – a bad boundary?!
It’s not necessarily that the boundary itself is bad, it might just be the delivery, the frequency, or the timing. Some clients may not even cope with healthy boundaries, so throw in a few super firm boundaries and you might just lose them entirely.
Clients can become easily frustrated if they feel like you are pushing them into a box. So if there is pushback, consider, how often you are stopping them or blocking them on their journey with you? What language are you using to express concerns? Are you being too frequent with something?
Remember to allow space for people to breathe and process.
Ask yourself, is the line you are drawing in the sand going to potentially hurt the person on the other side?
This usually happens when a boundary is being driven home so much that the recipient feels like they are being hit over the head with it.
The biggest offender with this one is automated responses on emails or DM’s. Only use these when you really need a gatekeeper, for example, you’re taking time off or you are no longer accepting new clients. Avoid robotic communications with your clients, it can feel inauthentic, breaking a barrier of trust.
Another time when boundaries can get ugly is when you have to set boundaries with family and friends. Occasionally, we can go overboard because we just want to be seen as professional. So we tend to throw up a few too many walls, maybe adopt a tone of voice that doesn’t align with who they are used to speaking with, and we can block them out SO much that they feel like they have to hire you to speak with you!
It’s so important to remain authentic and truthful. Especially when working with family and friends. Plus, it just won’t feel right. So, if you call your friends ‘honey’ 90% of the time, don’t feel like you have to sacrifice that aspect of your relationship just because you’re now working together on a more professional level.
Trust your gut and read the room, read the situation.
Ask yourself, are they feeling rejected? Would you feel rejected?
If you’re unsure how they are receiving a boundary, tap into your intuition.
Where are your clients emotionally and how are they going to connect with you throughout this project? What kind of person are you dealing with here? Asking yourself these types of questions can allow you to grasp what type of boundaries you need to push, and which you can let breathe.
Ask yourself, do I maybe have one too many boundaries?
Am I unintentionally pushing clients away because I’m locked up like Fort Knox?
Be aware of how many boundaries you have put in place and always check in to see how your boundaries are landing and if they are being received well.
So beautiful people, boundaries are a lot about self-reflection and asking yourself what you need to put in place to protect your processes. Remember to stay true and authentic to yourself so you don’t lose yourself in the process.
For full transcript click here
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