While it's all nice and good to be friendly and hospitable, you never want to mix business and pleasure loosely. Don't forget that when business is handled accordingly, all things flow well and everyone is happy. You can only be as ready as much as you are prepared. Be clear first and foremost.
5. Be clear on YOUR policies, rules, pricing, job description
Outline your policies, how you conduct business and what is included and not included. If pricing is non negotiable or collaboration or mentions are a no go for price substitution, let your client know. Assuming isn't cool. Provide starting prices and set up a consultation to get a clearer vision on curating a price specific to the client's needs. Job descriptions... let's just say... sometimes I am commissioned to photograph an event and find myself completing the dessert table because I need to get the shot and the client is running behind. No problem however let's not get to carried away and not get a chance to complete our commissioned duties.
6. Be CLEAR on client expectations
Consultations should be a requirement.. trust they save lives and avoid so much confusion. This time provides a time to get clarity on the clients visions and expectations. Listen very attentively, ask lots of questions, take notes and provide an email recap. Once the recap has been cosigned by the client, be sure to be specific in the contract.
7. Establish Deadlines
Clients are uber excited after their session to view, download and share their images.. but realistically beautiful things take time and an informed client is a happy client. Provide the client with the next steps after the session, including what to expect, when to expect proofs and the delivery of the final images. Also be sure to mention that you may post a sneak peek to social media.** if you are commissioned for a branding or commercial work, get clear deadlines from the brand or contact person to be sure to establish clear lines.
8. DO NOT mix business & pleasure
While it's almost impossible to work alongside someone you don't like, you must first keep business in mind once you see you guys mutually like one another. Don't confuse a verbal agreement with a good ol' fashioned contract. Keep text messages to a minimal when discussing important business. Avoid meeting in one another homes unless work will be conducted at said location. Just because you get along on the business side of things may not mean things are so easy going on the more casual spectrum. You don't want to waste a great business relationship