In life, we’re often reminded of the Golden Rule — treat others how you’d like to be treated. This pitch is applicable on so many levels, but particularly relevant when you think about doing business in the video production world. When we are commissioned by a client to produce a video for them — whether it’s a wedding video, a political commercial, or a documentary about the influx of cat videos on the internet — we become more than just a service provider.
Creating an understanding of how you take a client’s concept and cash it into reality is something that requires a certain level of trust that can be gained in drips, but lost in buckets.
As video professionals, we are arbiters of ideas and deliverers of dreams. Creating an understanding of how you take a client’s concept and cash it into reality is something that requires a certain level of trust that can be gained in drips, but lost in buckets. If you’ve found yourself in the fortunate position to win some video business, here are a three quick tips to ensure you keep that business:
Level Set Expectations
When your client wants snarling lions, but only budgets for rambunctious kittens, establish a level of expectation that aligns both what can be achieved with what can be attained. You can certainly make those cute lil’ kitty cats look mean and ferocious, but helping your client understand that this may upset the pro-kitten population will go a long way in keeping the temperature between you and your client below a cat scratch fever. It also establishes your credibility by keeping expectations in check with what their budget can afford.
Stay In Your Lane
It’s easy to overpromise and under deliver in the video production world. It’s also easy for a client to try and sweet talk their way into additional upgrades to a project without an upgrade to the budget. By establishing early on with your client that deviations from the plan will require incremental budgetary consideration, you’ll be able to dodge the oncoming swerves of extra work without extra reward.
Do What You Say You’ll Do
Put yourself in the shoes of the client. How would you feel if you paid a lot of money to someone to perform a service, take your ideas and bring them to life, only to have the end result come up short of what you envisioned? No one wants to be ‘that guy’ who gives other video producers a bad rap, especially when money is on the line. By working with your client from day one in establishing a rapport of honest, transparent production business operations, your work should be able to speak for itself. Remember to follow the Golden Rule!
Doing what we say we’re going to do, staying in our lanes, and keeping expectations leveled with reality will speak volumes for the video production industry as a whole. We all are stakeholders in this game, and by simply following this golden ideal, we can all protect the credibility of this business we all love.
Dave Sniadak has served a video producer and client relationship manager with several Fortune 500 companies throughout his 16 year professional career.