My current exploration into Trial and Error land deals with client work. From PSAs and promo videos to brochures to news release, clients make everything real - and hard. I have no problem relaying that I've made some mistakes...okay, many mistakes...in how I've worked my clients. So, allow me to share what little wisdom I've gained so you can look 10 times smarter than the average, pre-graduated bear.
- Patience is not just a virtue - it is a necessity. You may have an idea of what you want to do, but your client cannot see through your eyes. Explain everything in a manner that makes sense - JARGON= no. Plus, with patience comes...
- Listening skills. Listen and learn, ladies and gents. You are not an Egyptian deity (unless you are, in which case, wow!) - omnipotence is not a skill you have in your toolbox.
- Communication: Let it be constant! I'm talking weekly updates, people. And if they're not reciprocating, ask why! Is it the medium of communication? The time of the week/day you communicate? The fact that you use emoticons after every sentence? :(
- Rates. Yes, the most uncomfortable thing ever, but you have to put your rate on the table in the beginning. In writing. You don't want to feel jilted and they don't want to feel sideswiped. Let financial transparency reign!
- Time lines - have them. Start and end dates (even if they fluctuate later). Period.
- Smile and breathe. Smiling helps everything - your mood, their mood, the Ozone layer... Okay, so I can't attest to the last item. Breathing helps you stay alive. Better moods and existence are key to happy projects.