Don't Be A Jerk: Five Ways to Keep Your Video Clients Happy

Aetuts_Preview_Clients_ChatYou've just exported a video for your client showcasing their product/service/event, and let's face it -- this video is genius. It may be the best video about a product/service/event that's ever been made! But a few seconds in, your client questions your lower third motif, and BAM you throw up a tightlipped virtual fisticuffs, flinging out every reason imaginable why your version of the video is perfect. To help us keep up the best working relationships, Adam Everett Miller of Aetuts+ breaks down, in a fun video tutorial, the top five things to keep in mind when dealing with clients. 

A lot of information in the video, like all lessons in communication, is fairly obvious when you hear it out loud.  However, it's sometimes more difficult to practice in person! Here's Adam's take on keeping good relationships with, not to mention getting more work from, your clients:

Adam uses fun terms like floating in amniotic fluid and tells you straightforward stuff like not to be a jerk to explain his five tips, which are:

  1. Establish a Deadline
  2. Talk a Little and a Lot
  3. Don’t be Somebody Else
  4. Give A or B Choices
  5. Adopt Their Babies

My favorite piece of advice he offers is number 5:

Adopt their babies. Get passionate about what they’re passionate about. If they like things sleek and modern and minimalistic and simple, you can even use words like sleek, modern, minimalistic, and minimal. I don’t know, whatever. You can use the same words that they use, because that shows that, okay, we’re on the same page here.

While our own personal sensibilities as artists may be exquisite, working within the style and tastes of your clients not only keeps them happy and you employed, it can be fun if you look at it the right way.

I try to imagine I'm doing one of those 48 hour film contests where you get a phrase and a color and have to stick to those criteria in order to win the prize money. Can I make a two minute video about a company's new color-coded filing system into an Alexander Payne? Let's give it a try!

Do you have any tips on keeping good relationships with your clients?

Link: 5 Things To Keep in Mind When Dealing with Clients -- Aetuts+

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Your Comment


Uhm ... I think it's fisticuffs .. what? ... someone said something about not being a jerk? ...

August 17, 2013 at 11:54AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Haha my bad. DLD!

August 17, 2013 at 3:45PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Oakley Anderson-Moore

Great article and video! Some fantastic practical advice here. Thanks for sharing.

August 17, 2013 at 12:39PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Samuel N


August 17, 2013 at 1:13PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Succinct, invaluable info. Love it!

August 17, 2013 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


This is obv for small companies/freelancer type people, so another tip I recently had a lot of success with:
let clients choose and provide you with music directly. I would do this really only for the sort of day to day jobs not bigger projects. But I found this little step made my life easier in a number of ways. Firstly it's going to take them at least 2 days to register on sites that you can recommend to them, like for example, during which you can process and start to assemble the footage you just shot. Secondly, they will feel like they have actively taken part in the production and feel empowered (or u have to judge if they'd rather be lazy, hands-off type clients) and thirdly, they can't really ask for revisions when it comes to the soundtrack which I always find a drag.

alrite gd luck

August 18, 2013 at 2:35AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Good tip! Makes sense as a good way to get the client involved productively for both of you.

August 18, 2013 at 3:15AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Great tips, thanks!

August 18, 2013 at 8:05AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


@ Pat - Have you encountered situations where a client wants to use a piece of music they do not have rights to (and would take lots of money to license)? And have you had a client not want to pay the fee for any stock/royalty free music?

August 21, 2013 at 11:32AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Having recently finished a set of commercials for a client whose favorite phrase became 'can you guys do this one last thing for me,' be willing to cut your ties to a client who becomes gum on your shoe. Once you do a little extra to keep a client happy, a significant portion will assume that your generosity is boundless. NEVER exceed the contracted workload without additional cash UP FRONT.

August 23, 2013 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Great article and video! Some fantastic practical advice here. Thanks for sharing. shivaanand by

August 26, 2013 at 11:57AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Thank you so much for this video. I am so exited that I just learned some valuable things. Really clear. I just can pinpoint two projects now. One I did the right way and the other one I failed on all...but still good to have that experience and really good to know why the one was good and the other wasn't ;)

August 27, 2013 at 4:43AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


If clients need to be "happy" they should buy a puppy.

August 30, 2013 at 10:26AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM