Avoid conflict; set expectations

by | Jul 23, 2014 | Strictly Business Blog

In my experience, client conflicts begin when someone knowingly or unknowingly changes the rules or vision of a project after it is underway. Sometimes it’s scope creep – a bunch of little things that add up over time.

I’ve seen situations where the client has no idea what to expect, the photographer gets to work with no plan, the client blindly follows the photographer and the client is disappointed with the end result. Setting expectations helps prevent conflict and disappointment down the road.

Layout your vision in the beginning, establish your process, state what you expect from your client and when it is due. Ask the client what their vision and expectations for the project are. You may be surprised.

It’s amazing how two people can use the same word and have completely different concepts of its meaning. Especially as it’s applied to your project.  Ask clients to define the meanings of the words they use: What do you mean by natural light, causal, photojournalistic, artistic, lifestyle or formal?

Once you agree on a direction, don’t change it without consulting the client. Never assume they will be good with your new idea or change of plans.  Good communication is the best path to good client relations. It protects both you and your valuable client.