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Ep. 74 I Can’t Believe My Client Asked Me This!?!

by | Smart AF Show

customer request

I Can’t Believe My Client Asked Me This!?!

After working with hundreds of small business owners on design and marketing projects I still get surprised by some client requests. Most, however, are the same questions over and over, by all types of clients all over the world.

In the episode, Sean and I laugh about some of the crazy requests we’ve got over the years. If you’re a small business owner, this episode will help you work with your marketing person much better.

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(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 74

Sean: [00:00:00] It’s the marketing company going, this is the new hot shit QR codes, or what’s in. You got to get one. We can hook you up.

Torie: [00:00:14] Hey, welcome to Smart AF I’m your host, Torie Mathis. We’ve got a great show for you today. So let’s get started. Hey guys, what’s up? I’m your host Torie Mathis, and I’m here with the one and only, Founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum, Sean Mathis.

Sean: [00:00:32] What’s going on?

Torie: [00:00:34]  I have been designing for clients for a really long time. And Sean has been to, how long have you been working in the marketing agency? 

Sean: [00:00:41] Since 2007. I’ve been VP. 

Torie: [00:00:44] Sean has been VP forever. However, for the last, five years, four years Sean’s been working with me. And so he has now, experienced some of the crazy things that clients ask for. You know whats my favorite Sean? 

Sean: [00:01:02] What’s that?

Torie: [00:01:03] Make my logo bigger. Clients love their logo to be bigger. Can I tell you guys 

Sean: [00:01:08] Something straight to the edge? 

Torie: [00:01:10] Man, nobody gives a crap about your logo being bigger. They’re not like, wow, that flyer, that logos humongous, I am going to choose them. They don’t care about your logo. They care about what you are doing for them. 

Sean: [00:01:27] In fact, your logo should probably be one of the smallest things on the things you create.

Torie: [00:01:30] The tiniest thing, like the biggest thing should be the solution that you give the clients and not. The bigger logo. Yes. Since the very beginning, it’s one of the biggest things that people, clients ask for is to make my logo bigger. 

Sean: [00:01:48] I don’t do the design part of it too much. And yet I have still been told to make the logo bigger on business cards. Meanwhile, there’s no room to make it bigger. Without that logo like goes straight to the edge and then he got cut issues. 

Torie: [00:02:04] That’s crazy too. Cause like things is like the most important thing for anything that you design is that it’s legible. Like people have to read it, young people, old people. And so making your logo bigger on something like your business cards is going to have to make everything else smaller, which makes it harder to read. Again, the logo is not. What is making people make a decision? 

Sean: [00:02:27] I’ve seen it. We talked on the Facebook advertising episode saw some guy business that paid for an ad. And instead of using a really cool, intriguing photo, it just the logo. That means nothing. It blows my mind like nobody cares about that.

Now I’m a little bias on the Miles Through Time logo. Cause I think it’s really cool. But again, if all I did was like, here’s the logo with the wings and I come to visit them. Nobody cares. It’s not showing them anything.

Torie: [00:02:58] Whenever I design something for the museum. And it’s hard because I really do the logo as well. And I can see that people love their logo, but the important part is the automotive museum because you see a big M you don’t know what the hell that is. The important part is the automotive museum. The second most important part is 100 years of automotive history. Then the name, you got to pull them in first and a big ass M isn’t pulling anybody and 

Sean: [00:03:24] We’ve got a t-shirt that’s the big logo. But even this look at the tiny little logo there, it doesn’t have this is the image, it’s the 59 Cadillac. That’s what it’s all about. I don’t do the gigantic Cadillac and then be like, put the logo even bigger above it. Look good. 

Torie: [00:03:42] Yeah. Everybody wants to make their logo bigger. Yeah. You talked about putting things to the edge. One of the second craziest things and I get it all the time is can you fill up that space? Can you put stuff right to the edge? And that is one of the worst things that you can do for any type of design is to fill every single space up.

Again, with legibility, people need to be able to read things. And I don’t know if it’s you feel like you’re missing something or you need to put more on there. Like you don’t want to fill every single thing. 

Sean: [00:04:18] And another one is so digital on social media posts. The image is one thing. The text that you want to say does not need to go on the image. There is a section that you can post a picture, and then there’s another section that you can put the text with it that, then you can have the link to go wherever you want to. But all that stuff that you want to say does not need to go on the image that then makes it difficult to read. Just uglies the photo a lot of times that like, get your you’re throwing the whole thing out. When you do that.

Torie: [00:04:51] Lot of time your photo is your star? That’s the thing that’s going to grab people. You cover it up with a bunch of texts. It’s hard to read anyway, like 

Sean: [00:04:59] Now you catch him with the photo. Oh, that’s intriguing.

Then the eye goes to the text because they want to know more about what it is they’re seeing. 

Torie: [00:05:07] I know you get requests from one of our clients all the time for social media posts and they have half a page of stuff and they want it all like in the picture. And I said, hold on the picture.

Sean: [00:05:16] I don’t do it. It just, it. And some of that is that they don’t understand. And there are others, they’re actually pretty cool about the whole thing, because I don’t do it. It’s just it’s too much text. And if we just make it a little. Simpler. I can utilize it in all kinds. It’s different. We can put it on Instagram and Facebook.

I can add the additional texts. I, a lot of times then use that same image and put it on their way site and the text that’s needed to go with. It goes next to it on the page that it goes on. And that thing that I created, it’s just a, the picture on the website. But if I put everything, they want it on that picture and it doesn’t even make sense to put it on the website.

It doesn’t make sense on any social media pages. It’s just, it’s a waste of time really? And it looks ugly, says

Torie: [00:06:01] Sean shows me all of these. I don’t know what it is with car show people that again, like the picture could totally be your star of the whole entire thing. And then people want to put all of the details about the car show on top of the image.

Again, like, one of the most important things when you’re marketing, which if it’s a car show, and this is a flyer that is marketing is it has to be legible. You want people to be drawn in and then you want them to be able to read it. And you have to think about, again, the age of your Customer and for stuff like car shows and things like that. A lot of times it’s older dudes. Like they can’t read that. Like you gotta make it make things easy. 

Sean: [00:06:44] It’s hard for me to read. It’s hard for people to read. 

Torie: [00:06:46] It’s funny. I was working out this morning and we have an app that has a whole bunch of workouts on, and the girl that I’m working out with is also a designer. And We ended up not doing the workout on the app. And I take pictures of the workouts that we do. They get written on like this whiteboard. And we ended up doing one on that and she’s Oh, send it to me. And yeah we’ll do that one. She’s I don’t like working out from the app anyway.

Why do they use that font? And it’s light gray. So we’re laughing about we don’t even want to use it because it’s white background, light, gray, really thin text. You can’t make it bigger or anything. It gets really hard to read. So if we’re thinking that Everybody else has got to be thinking that too.

So thinking of where your customers are when they’re reading it as super important for all of these things, I think I’m good at that. Like I’m a user experience. You got to make sure that things are readable and they make sense. 

Sean: [00:07:37] So that’s going to take us to website design a little bit and text size and layout and screen size, perhaps might. Make things look a little bit different depending on your screen size. 

Torie: [00:07:52] Yeah. It’s I get these requests from so many clients. It’s hilarious. It’s hilarious. Just because so many people do them and you could tell that these people came from print in print. You always want the text to look a specific way.

You don’t want certain words broke up. You don’t want lines broke up, but when things are on a website and especially now that like everything is responsive, meaning like the size. Of like your website. You don’t have a website for mobile and a website for the desktop, depending on what size of screen is like it’s made to adjust.

And so it’s automatically going to adjust the size of it. And it’s automatically going to break those words up in another place. So if you put a hard return somewhere and then the text goes smaller, you might end up with like only one word or a half, a word on one line and then a heart. And I know you’ve seen that place.

It’s it’s super awkward. You gotta be a little bit more flexible with things that are on a website. 

Sean: [00:08:44] You’re building a website, that’s going to fit on the smallest, smart screen phones to tablets. And those come in multiple sizes too. 13 inch screen laptops to 17. Then you start getting into desktop screen.

Torie: [00:08:58] It’s really amazing how the technology is that it can make it go to everything, but it’s a give and take on something. 

Sean: [00:09:05] They’re not pictures on the website and that are going to look the same. It’s going to look different. Oh, my name. And it doesn’t matter really 

Torie: [00:09:13] Thinking of websites. Like one of Sean’s favorite requests to get from people is to put a QR code on the website.

Sean: [00:09:22] It’s the stupidest thing ever QR code is for right to take you to a website.

Torie: [00:09:34] It makes it a link, like a link on a website, you click it and it goes to wherever that link is you don’t have to know what the whole long URL is. So a QR code is just a picture version of that link that phone’s can just send you to. 

Sean: [00:09:49] So it’s a scannable picture. A version of it, meaning it is something that you would take a picture of with your phone to then take you to a website, 

Torie: [00:09:57] Rather than having to say, HTTP, blah, blah, blah.

It just automatically takes you to the website. 

Sean: [00:10:02] Not even if it’s on the website, like it can be anything. Then at that point it doesn’t have to be a QR code. It can be a button, it can be a picture of something that’s on the website. It could be anything. It does not need to be a QR code because that doesn’t make any damn sense.

Torie: [00:10:15] You’re not going to put your phone up to a, a. A computer screen to pull up. Yeah, it’s very interesting. Where else I will drive by places and there’ll be a QR code out on a billboard. 

Sean: [00:10:28] Holy shit. I’ve seen that stuff.

Torie: [00:10:30] Funniest thing. 

Sean: [00:10:31] What is that? 

Torie: [00:10:34] Maybe people don’t understand what QR codes are.

Sean: [00:10:37] It’s the marketing company going? This is the new hot shit QR codes, or what’s in, you got to get one, we can hook you up. Here’s a QR code and the customer that doesn’t know. It’s okay. If that’s what everyone’s doing nowadays, give me that QR code. 

Torie: [00:10:51] We’re just proud of their QR code.

Just like they’re proud of their logo. And they’re like, sir, you shouldn’t put this QR code on the billboard. No. Put the QR code on the billboard and make my logo bigger. 

Sean: [00:11:01] QR code makes sense for. printed materials. Like you got a menu. Okay. Yes. The menus are okay. That’s a really good time right now.

Torie: [00:11:09] Like restaurants don’t want to give out menus because everybody’s got cooties. And so you scan the QR code and then it automatically takes you to the menu on, you don’t have to type in the website address or anything. It just automatically takes you to the menu.

Sean: [00:11:22] Now  the phones are smart enough now, like originally when QR codes came out, you had to have a QR reader.

So you had to download that app and then that would read the QR code and then open up the website. Now the phones. You just go to your camera. It sees that there’s a QR code there and it’s to ask you, how do you want to open it? What browser do you want to open it in? And boom, there you are. Totally makes sense.

There’s a major purpose and use for QR codes. When used correctly on a website it’s asinine, same with brochures, PDF versions of brochures that you would normally print have no business. On a website, because that is all the same content that is on your website. You don’t need a PDF version of a brochure that you would have at some sort of other facility or at, in your brick and mortar business to go and let people look like they’re already online.

Everything you need to show them is online. You’d have a patient that can be way more information than anything you could ever put into some sort of PDF. So I put it there, like just tell them what you want them to see PDF Viva for print, man.

And a lot of that, it’s just that they don’t understand. There’s a lot, there’s just an educational thing there that I’ll tell him. That doesn’t make any sense. Th the QR, like I literally got asked about putting a QR code on a website and I told him, no, that’s stupid, but I could have just done it and let him look like fools.

But I I there’s, Y like they just, they don’t know. And it’s easier to just tell them. It doesn’t make any sense 

Torie: [00:13:03] That some of these things though, like it, some things too, like some of the requests that we get, make our job a lot harder and take so much longer. I had this client that would send us just a.

Boatload of pictures for their newsletter, for their blog, for everything. And there were so many, and they’re like use all of our pictures and they always wanted like all their pictures use no stock photography, all their own pictures. And so we would go through, I would design the magazine that we did a monthly magazine for them.

I would design the magazine and I pick out the pictures and then they would go through and be like, Oh, wait, don’t use that one. That one, or this one? That person. Nope. Don’t put that person in there. It would be so much easier. They would just send me the pictures they wanted to use. It would be every single time too.

So I would try it and it wasn’t even it was people in a certain pose or something. Sometimes it would just be like a certain person. So there was never any way to get ahead of that to try to, yeah. But no matter what, even if I asked, like they always sent me all the pictures. Yeah, it was clients make me laugh.

It keeps my job really exciting. Oh, let’s see. Another thing that is crazy, that happens all the time. And if you do this, you are driving your designer crazy.   Is sending in changes one by one, one thing, and then another email, one thing, and then another email probably best if you’re going to send changes to anybody for anything is to gather your changes together.

Yeah, we talk about batching a lot, batch your  changes, and then send them to them all at one time. And then wait until you get something back before you send a whole bunch more 

Sean: [00:14:50] Includes if you’re going to show it to anybody else, to let them express their opinion on it, do it all at the same time you do it.

Torie: [00:14:57] The funniest one is showing. Like I said, we’ve said this before, like I do the designing and then I get the process all set up and then I hand it over to Sean. So for business cards, Sean does all the business cards now, like I’ve already designed them. So we have clients that we just print, like business card after business card for all of their staff and over all of their people.

And so when they have turned around or people need new business cards, like Sean handles all of that from start to finish. And so Sean has a client that every single time he’s you’re not going to believe this. They’ll approve the business cards to go to print. So we will take them to print and print them, and then they’ll send Sean changes.

Like you approve them and said, they’re ready to go. Never fails. 

Sean: [00:15:38] And then it’s also, we’ve got this person, can you do theirs? So I do the others and then they’ll do it again. And so instead of giving me the three or four names all at once and then making sure everything’s correct, and then we send it to print.

It’s just one. It’s a sequence of 15 emails to get it done. And now they’ve earned the right that I don’t send it straight to  

Torie: [00:16:00] Because they’re going to send you wait. Yeah, it’s pretty funny.

Sean: [00:16:07] I don’t know what’s going on their end.  There’s obviously a reason that happens.

It’s just. What happens is it creates a whole lot of back and forth emails. And the more back and forth there is, the more likelihood there is going to be some sort of mistake. And I don’t want the mistake on my end. So I try to limit that as much as possible, even when they’ll send an email and then send another email connect.

Like they replied to themselves before I’ve even replied the first time. Now you’ve got a chain of two emails that are back to back that are very easily missed. 

Torie: [00:16:41] Yeah. And that is that a process thing there that if you. Keep sending more. It’s hard to I always want to keep track of what people are sending so that everything gets done, that they ask for and multiple emails before a change or before another round of changes has gone through is a definite way that things just get missed.

I think that’s part of it is just. We always try to like make sure clients understand the process and all that kind of stuff. And that’s sometimes, these things still happen and it’s, I don’t know. It’s one of those things that like, everybody’s kids like make the same mistakes and do the same little funny things like clients do.

Like  they all do the exact same thing. It definitely happens. Another thing that like is super crazy is that people will ask people that have nothing to do, aren’t in their target market. Like my mom said that color isn’t right. Oh, one of the funniest ones is that. We designed a website, the website was beautiful.

It like went with her colors and her color scheme was just all there. And she said, I talked to and they said that the button shouldn’t be red because red means stop.

That is true. Stop signs are red, but so are sales tags. Red is not used because it means stop red is used because it is a, it’s a flashy color that really gets your attention. So I don’t know, that was always one of my favorite things. Do we still joke about that?

Sean: [00:18:07] And the thing is like the your actual customer, she didn’t even care.

But she let somebody else dictate this stupid thing that ultimately it was delaying her website from going live, which could be costing her money. Like she should we talk about decisions on on another episode. Like she should’ve it’s done. It looks good. Move on. I get that kind of stuff.

Torie: [00:18:33] Yeah. For the design process, that, that is really a hard thing for. Anybody that designs, anything is getting way too many people involved. I think before it design project happens, like you should probably have like your key players and decide, like to keep it a little bit small and just make sure that you know exactly who needs to be involved in the design process.

We were just talking about with decisions, like making a decision for like our kind of company, like we’re nimble, we’re small. We make quick decisions. We’re able to do things on the fly, which I totally love. You deal with some corporate  clients. Sometimes I do too. And it’s they have to form a board in order to make a small decision to move anything forward.

If you’re a small business owner getting so many people involved, it’s it ruins the whole point of you being a small business and having to have that flexibility and maneuverability and be able to move forward on projects and get that stuff out so that we can, make some sales and move things forward.

Do you love that? My mom said this color.

Yeah. Queens are fun.

Sean: [00:19:43] A lot of it too, is that’s just. This, isn’t what they do. They’re focusing on what ever their business is. And it’s the benefit of the doubt. Like I would, rather than not have a clue and ask us to do stupid shit, but then listen to us when we tell them it’s not relevant then to come off as experts themselves, in which case it’s you do it yourself then.

Torie: [00:20:05] All of our clients are awesome. And, we always want the best for our clients. I know it’s a really fun to laugh at some of this stuff. Like some of it is just an education thing and some of it is just stuff that we can giggle about to ourselves. Like red means stop. I think that’s

The important thing though, is that, you work with your designer and you work with your marketing people and hopefully the people that you work for are understanding and try to, give you some, some tips on design and how to do things a little bit easier or how to make the process a little bit better because that’s what all of us want.

We want you to have really great marketing that shows how great you are that attracts your client and makes them want to buy from you because they know and trust them, love you. And that’s what we’re here to do. And so have these like crazy things. Like we hear them over and over again, just like you probably do in your business.

If you liked this episode, we’d appreciate it. If you’d leave us a review and subscribe, and if you want some really great tools to grow your business, we have lots of great stuff on  toriemathis.com. We have free tools. We have free resources that you can use. So go check it out and we’ll see you on the next one.

You want to get smart tools to build your business go to  getsmartaf.com

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

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Hi! I'm Torie!

Torie Mathis HeadshotI help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.


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