By: Kirstin Dorsch, Production Supervisor
The client/vendor relationship is just that, a relationship. There are ups, downs, good times and bad, joy and sometimes even frustration. Some relationships are better than others, and some go on to last a work-lifetime.
We often see reports on what companies are looking for in a vendor, but we find certain qualities in a client can just as well aid the success of a project and lead to a partnership rather than a vendor-for-hire formality. Plus it just makes our job that much more fun when working with awesome clients! Here are the top 5 qualities that make our clients awesome:
1. Clear and Timely Communication
If you’ve met us, viewed our work or read Guy’s life story, you know we cherish authenticity and honesty. It guides our creative process, our communication technique and really our whole business model. Having a client who can clearly state needs, wants and even dislikes helps us hone in quickly and efficiently on the best product. We have creative vision, yes, but no one knows your company like you!
What’s even better is a client who can clearly state these needs within feedback deadlines, and all at once. When we set a production schedule, it’s usually based on a client’s desired delivery date. Providing feedback in a concise manner, within the timeframe helps keep the project on track and get you the video on time, or even early!
When we say we want to be a partner rather than a vendor, we mean it! We love working with our clients to develop stories and creative vision. A collaborative client means a final video that best fits the overall needs. That doesn’t mean we need our client’s ear every hour of every day, we know you are busy (understatement?) and we are here to take on as much, or as little, of the project as you want. Collaboration comes in a variety of ways and levels.
3. Open Minds
I’ve already said it- nobody knows your company and business like you. On the flip side, you came to us because your company or business doesn’t know creative video production like us. We make it our business to be the experts, to keep up with the leading edge technology, the newest and most effective storytelling techniques and hire the best and brightest. So if we offer a creative path that is unusual or unexpected, don’t just brush it off, think it over. Some of our most interesting and well-received pieces have come from clients who were willing to think outside the proverbial box. This can also apply to creative pushback from us. If we feel a concept or idea may not play well or work the way a client wants, we’ll tell you (honesty to a fault, remember?). So please don’t take it as us being difficult, please take it as us looking at it from a creative, production angle. Chances are we’ve been through it before, and probably learned that lesson the hard way.
4. Vision and Enthusiasm
I use vision in a broad sense. We don’t expect you to know exactly what you need in a bullet point format, and in fact our creative sides prefer you don’t have a bullet point list. What we are looking for is a clear purpose and set of objectives for your video that remains consistent. Shift in any of these areas can cause delay, reshoots, reedits and, ultimately, wasted time and money. We want to help you develop the best product for your needs, but first you have to have a good handle on what those needs are. We find that clients who have a clear vision for the final video(s) tend to be the most excited and passionate people we work with, and it’s infectious! We love what we do, so when you are excited about it too it’s fuel for our creativity.
5. Realistic Expectations
I’d say this applies to both the quality and timing of the video as well as the expectations of those involved, particularly if they aren’t paid actors. Be honest about people’s capabilities, willingness and level of preparation. It will help us prepare the best we can, and bring the right equipment and techniques.
For quality and timing, we obviously love to deliver the highest value product at the fastest time. But making videos takes time and patience. We do our best to meet tight budgets or deadlines, but keep in mind James Cameron’s Avatar cost $237 million and took 10 years to make. We plan on exceeding your expectations in every opportunity but if you are looking for a blockbuster film in 3 days for $100, we are going to fall short (until someone finally invents a time machine, free equipment and human cloning).
Looking back on this blog, I realize this is no short list, and certainly doesn’t have brevity (a quality I fear you will find in my blog posts), but I do hope it was an open and honest communication of the qualities we LOVE in our clients. And every single one of our clients has most or all of these qualities. But for the sake of continuing our healthy and open relationships for a long time, I felt I would share. All for the sake of continuing to get “!!!” in emails from clients (the best part of our jobs, hands down).