When you work with clients on a regular basis, you quickly learn exactly what not to do if you want them to keep coming back.
But, if you're just starting out as a freelance DP, director, editor, whatever, Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens has compiled a list for you: 7 things to avoid doing when you are trying to build up your clientele and keep the clients you already have.
To sum up the video, here's Morgan's list of things that will make you lose clients:
- Not having any idea what your client wants
- Not worrying about your client
- Not being able to solve technical problems
- Just giving them what they want -- nothing more
- Not sharing your work on social media
- Waiting until the last minute to deliver the product
- Not contacting your client after the project is over
Now, it doesn't matter if you're a wedding videographer or a DP on a major film, all seven of these things are important to avoid doing if you want to build your clientele, and in turn, your career. However, here are some ways to combat the three from the list that are probably the most crucial.
Know what your client wants
Before you begin shooting a project, clearly the first thing you have to ask your client is what they want -- so, you know, you can give it to them. There are a bunch of ways to do this, even if they're not familiar with your area of expertise the way, say, a director would be. Ask them about what kind of mood, tone, or look they're going for. Ask if there's any big idea they're trying to capture. Ask if there's anything that they absolutely want or want to avoid in their video. Create a mood board, go through photographs and/or movies with them to get an idea of what they'd like their project to look like.
Take care of your client on set
Regardless of the role you're playing on set, you must always be thinking about and taking care of your people. If you're a director, make sure the cast is comfortable, informed, and well-fed. DPs, be sure to communicate with the grips. Solo videographers -- well, you're basically taking care of everybody.
Simply put, no one wants to work for/with someone who doesn't seem to care about them.
Know your tech
Okay, the C500 is awesome and can capture beautiful images and your buddy is lending you his for some insane reason for this project you're shooting for a client, but -- you have no clue how to use it. Should you just wing it? Probably not. Knowing your way around your equipment is crucial in this line work, because even though a lot of it is creative and inspiring and dreamy, it's also incredibly technical.
You don't want to have to halt production because your camera overheated and you have no idea what to do, or something went funky with your timeline in post and you don't know how to fix it.
A great rule of thumb is this: just try to make the whole experience positive. Care about your clients. Know what they want. Be on time. Communicate. You can almost guarantee that if your client's experience working with you is a negative one, you won't get a second chance.