Why Graphic Designers Should Use Milestones

When you are undertaking a new project and the contract is something which will be on-going, milestones are something you just don’t want to miss out on. They give you the option to get paid throughout the design process and keep the client updated on your progress as well.

Milestones can be set in a wide range of different ways. The most common ones being: mockup created, first rough design created, first prototype delivered and final product reached. You can have lots of tiny milestones or a few giant ones. Think about your work style and which approach is better for you.

Break Down The Project

Breaking down a huge task into multiple chunks is the very best way to tackle large projects. If you split up the goals into achievable tasks, you increase your enjoyment of the project exponentially. Discuss with your client about what the milestones should be, and also give them an honest timeframe of when to expect the completed project. We’ve included milestones in our design contract template of course.

This approach toward projects will make you appear to be a professional in every aspect of the word. Once you start hitting your milestones your client will be beyond pleased with hiring you, and will no doubt start to consider you for future projects too.

Meet The Client

In order to set milestones effectively, you must have a meeting with the client. It is best to do this in person but you can get some decent results from a skype call. Instant messaging or emailing is not recommended for this type of communication. Setting milestones is a 50/50 conversation and involves the full concentration of both parties. Doing things over emails will lead to you becoming withdrawn and looking bad in front of the client.

It’s much better to meet them in person, with plenty of questions prepared for them. Together with your client, work out the timeframe for the entire project. Once you have a strong grasp of the concepts, it’s time to start breaking the project down into milestones. Choose the tasks which are both challenging and fast to complete. Once you have finished the meeting you will know exactly where to begin and your client won’t have to worry about the hassle of micromanagement.

To make the most of a milestone payment system, you really need to state it in your freelancing contract. When the client hires you and signs the contract, it is good practice to walk them through the contract. You should always let people read what they are signing and highlight any areas worthy of consideration.

Upon delivery of the milestone, ask the client if they have any extra changes they wish to be made. Only after this final touches stage should you move on to the next part of the project. Always keep your clients updated with progress, if you think one part of the job will be late, tell the client! We all experience things that are out of our control and clients understand that, just be honest and let them know when you will have the milestone complete, and keep moving from there.