Whether you’re a motion designer, video editor or professional photographer, this plan for nurturing repeat business will keep you more organized and your clients more satisfied.
Ever gone to deliver a project for a repeat client and were unable to remember their preferred delivery specifications? What frame size to export a video out, or what file type they typically need? Maybe you couldn’t recall who is supposed to be copied in on all of the client correspondence?
Don’t rack your brain trying to remember these small details, or worse, having to ask for a reminder. Instead, take notes on every project you complete and your client will not only be amazed you “remembered” their preferences, but you’ll also save time in the process. Let’s break it down…
What Details Should I Be Logging?
I’ve had many repeat video editing clients over the years, and although minor things change each time, I’ve been shocked at how many things stay consistent from project to project. A few things beneficial for remembering:
- Knowing what file formats a client prefers for production and delivery. Is there a particular delivery codec or file format they usually want?
- How do they prefer to receive the final product – DVD, online delivery, tape, etc?
- What are their consistent brand style guidelines? Are there specific fonts that should always be used?
- The names of parties involved in the production process (producers, marketing employees, designers, etc.). Nothing is more embarrassing than someone showing up to an edit session that you’ve worked with before and not being able to remember his or her name.
- Do they prefer a shooting or editing style?
- ANYTHING quirky! Video editors may want to note if the client was picky about things like keying, text position, graphic design, etc. Photographers may want to jot down a client’s retouching and photo editing preferences. Every client has the one thing that they tend to zero in on. It’s worth noting so you’re better prepared to address that pinpoint in the next project.
- If you’re working with a client that often comes in for a creative session (video editing, photo shoot, etc.) log what they preferred to eat and drink (this may seem trivial but you’ll get major points for making sure you have this available for the next session).
You may be wondering, is it really worth logging this info for EACH project? Well, if you’ve ever had to dig through old emails to find file specifics or open up old projects to determine project specs you’ll likely see the tremendous benefit of having all of this information in one place. A little time on the front end may result in huge timesavings on the back end.
The Best Way to Log Specs & Preferences
You may find that you can quickly log this info in a spreadsheet after completion of a project. This is the way I did it for years and it’s certainly effective. Create a spreadsheet in Google Documents and you’ll have access to it from any edit bay or computing device.
If you’re looking for a more robust alternative for this type of note logging check out the free app, Evernote. Evernote is a feature-filled note taking application that is available for, and syncs between, all popular computer and mobile devices – PC, MAC, Android, iOS, Blackberry and more.
An example of an Evernote project entry:
Evernote excels in its rich toolset and ease of use. Did you use a client’s logo for a project? It’s simple to attach it to your Evernote to use for future projects. Create tags for notes, so you can quickly parse all notes by client name or project type. Each note is labeled with the day it was created, so sorting by date is also a breeze. Visit the Evernote site for more information and download links.
Repeat clientele is what any business professional hopes for. Using a simple strategy for remembering client preferences and project details is important in any creative field. It will save you time and most importantly, keep your clients coming back for more.