As a freelance animator or an animation studio owner, it’s challenging to get clients every now and then. And when you do secure those animation clients, it would be another challenge entirely to keep them happy.
Now that you’ve got clients trusting you with their animation needs, how do you keep them happy? In this blog, we list down nine tips so you could keep your animation clients happy, satisfied, and interested to work with you in future animation projects!
1. Maintain Constant Communication
One thing you should always keep in mind is that communication is the golden key. Regularly keeping in contact with your client throughout the duration of your animation project will be sure to help build trust between the two of you.
Always talk to them about your progress in the animation project and give them tidbits about what stage you’re in. By doing this, you’ll be able to make them feel secure and confident in both you and your animation work.
It will also make them feel more comfortable with you and even convince them to work with you on future animation projects! But of course, know their boundaries first and respect their choices.
Ask them about their preferred methods of communication. Do they want to talk via video or audio calls? Or perhaps they want to exchange emails? Or maybe they prefer SMS?
Then, ask them how often they would like to be updated about the animation video. Do they want you to update them every few days, once a week, or only whenever there’s a milestone achievement?
Also, empathize with them and don’t forget to always thank them. Doing these will make them feel like they’re your partner and that they’re with you as you bring the animation to life.
2. Get to Know Your Animation Clients More
Being a freelance animator sometimes means having more repeat clients than new clients, which is why it’s important to build a strong connection with your current animation clients.
In addition to constant communication, you should also make an effort to know your animation clients more. Start by knowing details about them like their preferred method of communication, their schedules, how they want to be addressed, or whatnot.
Don’t shy away from establishing a genuine and personal connection with them because doing so will make them feel valued and happy.
Since you want to make them feel like you’re partners in bringing an animation project to life, don’t be scared to get a bit personal! Send them holiday greeting cards and gifts on their special occasions. Maybe even call them by their nicknames if they’re fine with it.
3. Ask for Feedback About the Animated Video
Asking for feedback from your animation clients would perhaps be the most crucial thing you could do to make them feel seen and heard.
Don’t be afraid to ask for comments and points of improvement because that way, you’ll be able to know what to change in the animation. Then, you’ll be able to give them the best version of the animation project they envision getting from you.
Knowing your client’s thoughts on the animation project can also prevent nightmares early on and will give you the chance to prevent misunderstandings and too many revisions.
4. Give Animation Advice
As a freelance animator, it’s your job to know the intricacies and the ins and outs of animation. It’s up to you to advise your clients on changes and improvements that could be done to the animated video they’re relying on you to do.
Before giving them advice, make sure that you’ve understood their vision for the animation project. Also, don’t forget to consider the motivations, inspirations, emotions, and just the whole context behind the animation project.
However, always keep in mind that while your personal touch on the animation matters, it’s ultimately up to the client what they want to see. Just be gracious with the animation advice you’re going to give them and remember that you’re advising, not dictating.
5. Be Decisive With the Animation
While the client’s decisions on the animation should be held in high regard, there are also instances where you should be firm on some decisions.
There will be times when the animation client will ask you to choose between certain options, or they’ll ask you questions and even rely on you to make big animation decisions. In those instances, the client expects you to be the more knowledgeable one, so be confident in your decisions.
Likewise, there will be times when the animation client might make some demands that don’t necessarily meet typical guidelines, like offering low rates or requiring you to finish the animation in a short period of time.
When you encounter cases like this, stand firm on what you know is the best decision, but be sure to explain to them what led you to your choices.
6. Value Your Client’s Thoughts On the Animation
Always be mindful of the way you deal with your animation client’s insights. This involves listening to what they have to say and treating their point of view fairly at all times.
Keep in mind that every time they share their animation ideas with you, they share a part of their minds with you, and they expect you to handle it with respect and professionalism. Make your animation clients happy by showing them that you value their thoughts and ideas.
Don’t ever be dismissive and condescending. If you ever encounter absurd requests or animation demands that seem obviously unattainable to you, give them the benefit of the doubt and explain to them why there are other better options.
7. Be Honest and Realistic
As a freelance animator, it’s always a challenge to secure clients, and this might push you into wanting to impress them so much that you end up lying to them.
The moment the thought of lying enters your mind, stop everything and take a breather first! And remember, lying would just hurt you and your relationship with them.
From the beginning, be sure to assess yourself properly, then set up realistic expectations for you and your clients so no one ends up being burnt out or disappointed.
Make them happy by being clear and transparent, treating them well, and being honest at all times. The best relationships are always founded on trust and honesty, and lying would only drag you down!
Keep in mind as well that they’re paying you with their hard-earned money. And with that, you’re expected to tell them what’s working and what’s not with the animation.
8. Strive to Improve Your Animation
Your animation clients would definitely be happy if you always strive for improvement of your own volition.
When you see possible problems in your animation plans, don’t wait for it to happen. Instead, promptly inform your client of where the animation project could further be improved.
And when you know there are other options for some animation details that your client isn’t aware of, take the initiative to tell them of those possible improvements.
Be the professional animator that you are and be a partner to your client. If you help them improve their animation plans, then they’re sure to be happy and satisfied.
9. Go Above and Beyond
Always be realistic, but also show your animation clients that you’re trustworthy and that you can go above and beyond for them. Of course, this doesn’t mean staying up all night and neglecting your own health, but rather, it means giving them the absolute best you could give them.
Nothing would make a client happier than seeing an animator working so dedicatedly and enthusiastically in an animation project for them.
Just remember to always be mindful of your animation, don’t be careless, and do your best. This will guarantee you a happy client!
To Wrap Up
Every animator wants to keep their clients happy, but it can be challenging sometimes. But don’t worry, just be yourself and follow these steps and you’ll surely make your animation clients feel happy and valued!
Maintain constant communication with your animation clients to help strengthen your relationship with them and to make them feel secure. You could achieve this by knowing their preferences by heart and by getting to know more about them to make them feel valued and comfortable.
Also, never forget to always ask for their feedback on your animation progress and in turn, use your expertise to give them solid animation advice. Think of it as a partnership!
You treat your client’s point of view with consideration and respect. As a professional animator, help improve their animation project by staying firm in your decisions and making them understand the context of your choices.
Always be honest and realistic with your clients. Tell them where you’re at or when something’s amiss because being honest will help build the trust between you two.
Last but not least, strive for improvement and go above and beyond for your animation clients. Nothing would make them happier than seeing an animator dedicated to improving their animation and themselves.