Working with Clients

Here’s a question for you – how do you balance your creative impulses and desires with conflicting views from Clients?
This is something we run into occasionally as we work with Clients where we will have an idea or opinion based on our perceptions of what would work best for them and their opinion differs or even sometimes (though not often) is at the complete opposite extreme of the spectrum – how do you deal with that and still retain both the client and your creative integrity, well here are some suggestions that I try and operate:

1. There’s an old adage that the Customer is always right. Well I disagree – the customer is clearly not always right, BUT something nearer the truth would be – the customer is never wrong. If you have that approach it leads to dialogue, explanations and engagement – the other just leads to frustration.
2. Don’t just reject their idea out of hand because you think you know best after all you do this for a living – they are the client and they actually may know what they want to achieve better than you – you may have misinterpreted the brief.
3. Equally though don’t just go along with what they want – you might be right and by just simply agreeing you may be doing them a grave disservice.
4. Hold everything likely and try NOT to let your ego get in the way. At the end of the day it’s about making it work for everyone – it’s not about “it must be my way or no way” – grow up.
5. Engage in discussion and collaboration and don’t be unwilling to get other advice or a 2nd opinion – I firmly believe that the very best work comes out of collaboration and team work – so use that as your ultimate goal and 99 times out of 100 you’ll resolve it and come up with a plan that will work for everyone. I’ve never yet had to walk away from a job due to creative disagreements.

Of course ultimately if can’t resolve things then you only have 2 options – do it their way (they’re paying you remember) or walk away – that choice has to be an individual one but I do believe if you apply the points above – this outcome will be very rare.

Written by Graeme Spencer of Graeme’s TV Production Blog

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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