Meeting an animation client for the first time can be nerve-wracking for sure, especially if you’re just starting out. There would be so many concerns racing through your mind. You might even be so overwhelmed to the point where your first meeting with an animation client causes you to be more stressed than excited.
Questions like “What should I do?” or “What should I know?” and scarier doubts like “What if I make a bad impression?” might buzz through your mind, but don’t fret!
Focus on your excitement and follow the steps we listed in this blog post so you could ace your first animation client meeting!
1. Research, Research, Research!
“Knowledge is power” is a cliche saying for a reason. It rings just as true in the animation industry. Being informed about your animation client will help you a lot in your first meeting with them. Visit their website and social media, and check if there are any publications about them and their industry.
Showing up to your first meeting knowing vital information about them would give your clients a sense of your professionalism and thoroughness. It would also make them feel valued and important.
If it just so happens that you can’t find any public information about your animation client, don’t hesitate to ask them directly about their company or themselves. After all, one of the objectives of your meeting is for you to understand them and be able to cater to their animation needs well.
Doing these will surely give you a good first impression.
2. Dress to Impress
Admit it or not, how we look plays a major part in how people form their first impressions on us. This includes the animation client you’ll be meeting for the first time.
Showing up dressed nicely would give your client the impression that you’re a reliable and responsible animator. More importantly, it would show them that you value them enough to spare some time to make yourself look neat.
In addition, dressing up could also help you feel more confident and in control! So, how do you choose the proper attire?
Consider the venue and dress accordingly. If you’re not sure about your outfit choices, stick with the smart ones. Don’t forget that it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Now, if virtual meetings work better for you and your animation client instead of meeting up in person, then don’t be afraid to get comfortable with your outfit! Just make sure you’re wearing a top that’s presentable, preferably one that would show your client you’re a professional animator who’s excited to work with them!
3. Build Rapport With Your Animation Client
GIF by Paradise Hotel via GIPHY
While going straight to the point would show your client that you’re serious about your animation business, it also wouldn’t hurt to engage in some light conversation with them first to help both of you settle.
Starting some introductory conversation or small talk could help you establish your connection with your animation client. The more at ease you and your client are with each other, the smoother your conversation will be.
You could also begin asking about their visions for the project to direct your conversation towards the actual discussion for the animation project.
Don’t gloss over this step because you could never go wrong with an animation client feeling comfortable talking to you. Who knows, this might even convince them to keep coming back to you for future animation projects.
4. Focus on Your Animation Client
As a freelance animator who’s in their first client meeting, it would be understandable if you feel like you have to prove yourself to your animation client further. More often than not, this could lead you to go off tangents about what you can do.
While it’s not bad to share things about yourself from time to time, it would still be better to focus on what they have to say to you. They already chose you for a reason. Now, it’s time for you to hear their side.
Try to learn and really grasp their vision for the animation project and make sure you get the full picture of what they want to get out of your animation. Focus on their comments, directions, preferences, and just basically everything they’re saying to you. Make them feel like they’re not just a client, but rather that they’re your animation partner the entire way.
Along with these, show your animation client that your attention is solely on them by doing even the simplest things like maintaining eye contact and periodically reacting to what they’re saying. Abstain from doing distracting things such as fiddling with your phone. Meeting time should mean animation client time. Nothing more and nothing less.
5. Ask Questions About the Animated Video
GIF by This Might Get via GIPHY
In addition to doing your research before your first animation client meeting, make sure to also prepare questions that are typically asked during meetings. Your questions should include their goals, target audience for the animation, and others like that.
This will give off the impression that you anticipate what they need with the animation. Doing this will help keep the flow of conversation going back and forth between you and your animation client.
Make sure to also clarify whatever parts of the animation project you’re not clear with. It will benefit you greatly to know everything you need to know before starting the animation. And remember, never ever make assumptions!
Also, don’t be afraid to prepare a list of questions before your first animation client meeting. It’s always best to be prepared with an actual list rather than to entrust things to your memory and risk forgetting something during your meeting with the animation client.
6. Be Your Wonderful Self
GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon via GIPHY
Don’t be afraid to show your personality to your animation client! This wouldn’t just help you feel more comfortable, but it would also help your client know the animator they’re working with.
Just be confident in yourself and your animation skills, and that self-confidence will greatly help you when you interact with your clients.
We know, it’s always easier said than done when it comes to matters of confidence. So when you find yourself being plagued with doubts and uncertainties, try to think of your animation experiences, what you had to go through to get to where you are, the lessons you’ve learned so far both in animation and in life, and your progress.
Hype yourself up! Being yourself will give your clients the impression that they’re working with an animator who’s assured not just in themselves, but also with their animation skills. This would undoubtedly help increase their confidence in you as well!
To Wrap Up
It’s perfectly understandable for you to feel stressed and overwhelmed for that first animation client meeting, but remember that this is your chance to show them that you can cater to their animation needs well. Before you’re able to wow them with your animation skills, make sure to hook them in first with how valued and seen you can make them feel.
Just follow these steps and you’ll surely nail your first ever animation client meeting!
First, research about your animation client and make sure you know at least the basics about them. It’s always best to know who you’ll be talking to before you actually meet them. Then, wow them with your outfit choice and show them that you’re a professional animator excited to work with them!
When you do get to the actual meeting, try to establish a connection with them. This would not only aid in making you and your animation client feel comfortable with each other, but it would also benefit you in the long run.
Of course, to help create this connection, focus on their wants and needs, what they have to say about the animation and even why they want it a certain way, and make them feel like they’re your partner. But remember, be sure to also share your vision and animation style with them.
Overall, just make them feel seen and heard. Then, ask all the questions you need to ask, even the most mundane and most uncomfortable ones. And last but not least, be confident in yourself because your animation client chose you for a reason!
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