Yesterday I met with a client I’ve worked with in the past. We were talking about possible future projects, what he’s doing with the completed projects, and solving the world’s problems all over a cup of coffee. Something came out of that meeting that I hadn’t taken the time to think about until now. The Client – Artist Relationship. As I thought more about it I realized that the relationship is much more than me providing a service and the client providing money. Of course that’s important, but we were talking about life and actually hearing each other. How did a work relationship turn into a friendship?
It could be that both of us make friends easily and we just happen to hit it off. That’s absolutely possible, but I think there’s more to it. I work with my clients in a way that friendships have a chance to form. Not only do I want to create great animations for my clients, but I want them to walk away happy with the experience.
If it’s a larger project that I’m a part of then I’ll do what it takes to make sure my part of the puzzle fits. Sometimes that means I do more than what I’m being paid for. I know that this can be dangerous and I could be taken advantage of, but that’s not my point. I am all about boundaries. The point is that if I can do a little more to provide value than what my specific task is then the overall project has a better chance of succeeding.
If the client succeeds then I succeed.
Another thing that helps me build relationships is authenticity. I want my clients to know that the person they work with is the same person they’d have a beer with. Authenticity produces trust. I want my clients to trust me as a person and an artist.
When dealing with clients I make sure I’m professional, flexible, authentic, and easy to work with. I feel like this is why a good number of my clients become friends. Who better to refer me to future clients than someone who trusts me as a person and knows me as a friend?
Granted not all clients will become friends, but that doesn’t negate the process. The end result doesn’t matter because the process makes me comfortable in my own skin. I know I’ve done what it takes to fulfill my life motto. -Don’t be a Dick-
It’s pretty easy…be real…be helpful.