Congratulations! you’ve finally won a corporate client. You’ve deftly negotiated the waters of the bidding process and have now been chosen to be the service provider for this gig. Now what? Why, we get to work. of course!
Working with clients, big or small, is the cornerstone of our service industry. It’s essential to know how to comport ourselves properly toward them and it should be our utmost consideration to give every project our highest care. Being professional at all times is a given, so what I will emphasize in this post are items that are just as important. Also, embedded within this article is a short reference to our Filipino culture in general, in that we tend to skirt around topics that might cause us to be seen as impolite or brash. More on this as the article progresses.
Corporate video jobs are usually sourced out and booked months or weeks ahead, and this allows for the full cycle of making and pruning your project proposal, making your storyboard, refining your shooting schedule, and properly implementing your shoot. Corporate projects also tend to have very long email trails and lengthy meetings even before the first shot is taken. This means that if you haven’t done so already, you have to do your homework and find out more about your client’s market and needs even if it’s outside of the project brief. Be pro-active in this regard. This way, you’re implicitly showing your client that you know them and their product inside out, and your knowledge about their company will give them confidence that the project is in good hands. Why is this included in planning? Because it should be built-in right from the start. Cliche to be sure, but planning is half the battle.
Like the other business mantra of “location, location, location!”, this one should also be a mainstay in maintaining a good relationship with your client. Keep them updated regularly during projects that have a longer time frame. If a client asks for something extra that was not in the original plan, respond with a revised completion date. Bonus TIP: If a problem arises that may cause a missed deadline, let them know as soon as possible. Ideally, you also have a checklist that your client signed off on to show that this item was not part of the original deliverables.
Managing expectations well is an important skill no matter what business you’re in. In the visual industry of corporate videography, it’s even more crucial. Expectations should be set up front. Giving clients a clear list of what they will receive and when the work will be completed is a great way to show that you’re on top of things. Make sure you know exactly what your client expects of you, and then find ways to go beyond their expectations and make sure they know all about it. More often than not, clients don’t know what to expect or have unrealistic expectations (we are all painfully aware of this, unfortunately). Again, while avoiding generalizations, we go back to our cultural tendency not to dredge up “kahihiyan” so we shy away on hard topics that might seem too forward. For example, if a client asks for more items or services that are not in the original plan, there will be a corresponding cost. The subject should be brought up immediately to avoid any confusion or miscommunication in the payment stage.
I know it’s hard, but we have to start changing this habit if we want to remain viable in our business. Knowing what the expectations are is the key to managing them. Since you will be the one setting up their expectations – you own the responsibility. Bonus Tip: Put these expectations in writing and get your client to sign off on them.
The goal of most video production businesses is to simply meet expectations, and some don’t, can’t, or won’t be able to achieve this. With the right care towards managing, meeting and exceeding expectations of your clients, it’s easy to distinguish yourself against the competition.
To learn more about the ins and outs of corporate videography, click on the button below.
Now, a little more about our video post:
In this video, Shoden takes on Canon Philippines’ flagship photography event, the Canon PhotoMarathon. The Canon PhotoMarathon is an on-the-spot photography competition designed to raise the participants’ creative caliber by letting them capture photos that follow a theme under time pressure. Now on its ninth year, the event brings together photography enthusiasts from different walks of life, hoping to take that winning photograph and bring home amazing canon gear.
It was De La Salle University turn to host the University Leg of this year’s Photomarathon, find out what happened in this video.
Shoden: Thanks to Canon Marketing Philippines for giving me the lead in shooting and directing this video, to my mentor Bong Bajo for the immensely rich timelapse sequences and unflinching commitment to detail, and to Wendyman Garrido for the firepower and timelapse support.
MJ and Ying Baguio
Dennis Abad (shoden san)
Direction, Editing, Color Grading:
Cinema EOS Canon C100, 5DMkIII, 60D + various Canon EF Lenses
Pumpin’ Blood – NoNoNo Instrumental Cover