Getting a new client, heaven or hell

One of the banes of being a freelancer is having to do estimates for clients. I would love it it they would just let me work, and pay me whatever money I wanted. But usually, you have to do estimates, and sometimes you have to do so without no more information than, “Oh, I want a website and a brochure and some ads. How much will that be?”

With no more details than that? And getting a print quote? And getting media rates? Oh sure. So I called my printer and asked him for an estimate. I made up print runs and a size. I don’t know how many brochures she wants. 1,000 or 5,000? My printer laughed. In the old days, if I would do this, I would say, oh, I don’t know. Now I bluff it. I describe a brochure I’ve made in the past, and hope that is the kind of brochure I will make this time.

And while I’m looking at the sites she says she likes , some really nice and some which look as though they had someone’s 9-year-old put them together with a very old version of FrontPage, I wonder, what is it is she is asking me to quote on? And when she shows me five logo versions that the former designer did, and they all look exactly alike, and she says she still has more tweaking to do, I wonder why her former designer left her, and also if I should go screaming for the hills.

And so I send in my bid, based on air and fluff and clouds, and wonder if this is going to be a job from hell, or if I’m going to make a decent wage.

And I wish I could talk to her former designer and find out what happened.

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