Managing Expectations.. PART THREE | Atlanta Branding Photographer
I began this series based on a business experience I'd encountered and felt it was extremely important to share some lessons I carried away from the experience.
As a business owner, you not only provide a service, you provide customer service, responsible for communicating appropriately and a vast amount of other important things that you will not know on the first or fifth year. Lessons and experience come and go and you must recognize, accept and grown from it.
This is a MUST! In order to secure services and pull the time and dates, clients must understand the importance of the retainer/deposit. This can be refundable or non refundable, based on your discretion, however be sure to outline the terms in the contract. No dates, times or commitments are made until the black and white is locked and loaded.
10. Price changes
Pricing is typically set by the owner and operator and adjusted by them as well. Be sure to notate on website and agreements that pricing is subject to change at discretion of business operator. Any other changes pertaining to the contract should be communicated with client and a contract amendment should be completed.
11. ALWAYS have a contract
I know, I know. Some of you guys are saying this should've been in the Part One but you know... Let's just say all things in their appropriate time. This is the time and place when you don't move forward, don't collect $200, nothing starts or begins without the official legal binding document. You must carefully study and research your state laws and establish policies and procedures appropriately as they may specifically apply to your speciality and brand.
12. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING PERSONAL
This is one of my personal favorites, being that it's one of the four agreements and one life rule I live by. Take your time to respond, don't take a client's response or reaction personally. They may be inadequately supplied on information. A client's portraits or their brand is just as important to them and establishing a great visual can be stressful or pressuring, so try to place yourself in their shoes. It is our place to educate clients on the process, set expectations in the door and communicate effectively. This is not to say that client abuse is ok and everyone should be respectful at all times, however when it may get too enduring, step away and come back clearer.
***Make sure you like one another.. no one wants to work with a JERK!
We are all individuals and just because someone has nice work or they may appear to have things you both can thrive from does not mean that you two are a good fit. Being a good fit is mandatory when working with one another whether it's short or long term. The vibes and energy help the momentum, the communication and allows for criticism to be take effectively. AND don't be the JERK. We all have bad days, bad situations, bad hours, but no one deserves to have your stuff take out on them. So be mindful of your attitude and check it at the door, we all need the best vibes at all times!