Dealing with clients from a business perspective is just as important as producing a great video for them. In just four years I have been fortunate to establish outstanding relationships with my clients, and I attribute that to three things: hard work, creative results, and ethical behavior. Ethical behavior is that intangible aspect of the process that is often hard to pinpoint but influences all elements of the production cycle. I suppose that having spent 30 years in ministry accounts for my viewpoint, but that’s not the only reason why I believe ethical conduct is important. I believe it’s important because TRUST is vital to ongoing client-contractor relationships. I believe it’s important because RELIABILITY is something that every client fears initially, and that fear is only alleviated when the contractor demonstrates it in his/her conduct.
So I have established what I believe are the 10 key ethical standards for our business that govern how we interact with each client:
1. Never promise more than you are capable of giving
2. Do what you say you are going to do
3. Give credit where credit is due
4. Stay true to your word
5. Abide by all agreements, contracts, NDAs, etc
6. Make every effort to keep deadlines, and do not make lame excuses for not meeting the deadlines
7. Be gracious in accepting criticism and genuine in admitting mistakes
8. Give every project your best effort
9. Always assume the client is right, but be gentle in correcting a client’s mistake(s)
10. Treat everyone with the respect and dignity that they deserve, even if they don’t deserve it
I have to admit it’s not always easy to keep every one of those precepts perfectly. . . but that’s what I strive for every day. I believe it pays off. How does it pay off? It pays off in many ways. . . the satisfaction of knowing you have done your best, the forming of key relationships that will give your business the reputation of being trustworthy, productive and responsive. As I have had opportunity to deal with many fellow producers., I’ve found that most are making every effort to work ethically. . . and those are the ones that I gravitate to when I need help with a project. It won’t make you a better videographer, it won’t help your editing skills, it won’t win you any awards, but it will go a long way in building your character and reputation.
Owner, Lorray Design Studio