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What makes a good client.
Old 03-02-2007, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rolando makes some very good points in his article What makes a client? http://www.camerazoo.com/blogs/viewblog.php?entry=40

However, there are clients, and there are good clients. jimmyd has a post today on his blog http://prettygirlshooter.blogspot.com/ about an experience with an outfit that I would not consider to be a good client. A good client relationship is based on trust and honest communication, which were lacking with these guys.

What other things do people think make for a good client, or is a check that clears all that is needed?
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Re: What makes a good client.
Old 03-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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trust is the toughest thing of all.

some people are too trusting.

some people put little trust in anyone.

even in long-term relationships trust is difficult and it's fragile.
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Re: What makes a good client.
Old 03-03-2007, 06:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are two types of clients. The "warm fuzzies (wf)" and the "cold (cp)".
The wfs like everything. They ooh and ahh and can't praise your work enough. They buy all your special offers. The cps, on the other hand, hate everything, are always trying to get you to drop your price, add more work, and so forth, and then they don't like the finished product when it is delivered. The trick to being a success in business is to be able to tell up front who is a cp and who is a wf. Then you pass the cps on to your competitor while you relax and enjoy life doing business with the wfs.

If you ever read Robert Ringer's books on sales, you'll also be able to identify with the above. He divides potential customers into three groups, but essentially the first and 3rd group corresponds to the wf and cp. In his methodology you still deal with all three types but you deal with each differently.

As far as trust, the wf is always trusting (sometimes to a fault), so you must be gentle with them and never take advantage. The cp wouldn't trust his own mother, so you must be sure never to trust them either.

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Re: What makes a good client.
Old 03-03-2007, 09:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Theres a podcast by a guy named Franklin McMahon called media artists secrets. It has the usual cheesy music and the content can at times be tedious but he has a class of client called 'The Grinder' which I fully understand. Basically its the same type of client the Mr. Smith was discussing, wanting more for less and not understanding the value of your time. There's also another podcast by Leslie Burns D'Laqua called Creative Lube that outlines some good general business practices.

In short, good clients are few and far between but there are plenty of clients that are good enough.

SB
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Re: What makes a good client.
Old 03-04-2007, 05:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A good client is one who gets what they pay for and pay for what they get...
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Re: What makes a good client.
Old 03-04-2007, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post

As far as trust, the wf is always trusting (sometimes to a fault), so you must be gentle with them and never take advantage. The cp wouldn't trust his own mother, so you must be sure never to trust them either.

cheers,
rfs
enough said
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Clients vs Customers
Old 03-04-2007, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tami Donaldson for In Gear

When I was brought up in sales I was told that there is a big difference between customers and clients. Customers, regardless of how much the spend, are people who do business with you one or two times. Clients start as customers, but wind up doing business with you on a regular basis ("regular" meaning on their schedule, I have clients who I do business with once a year, and others I do business with virtually every month). Clients are repeat customers.

You have to start with customers, if you do your job properly you will build some of them into clients. Clients are the key to any successful business. Another problem is that once a successful business has a book of good clients they lose track of the importance of acquiring new customers and as a result, reduce their marketing and sales efforts. For what ever reason you will lose clients, they must be replaced and to improve your income you have to continually increase your number of clients.

I often see people discuss a "client", when they are actually discussing a customer. I get it, I do it. For marketing purposes it is useful to mention a high profile customer as it encourages some new people to consider you for new business. But for ourselves, it is more than useful to keep the distinction clear. I repeat, the success of any business is directly related to their success in converting customers into clients or you will spend way to much time selling and not nearly time enough producing a product.

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Re: Clients vs Customers
Old 03-04-2007, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
the success of any business is directly related to their success in converting customers into clients or you will spend way to much time selling and not nearly time enough producing a product.

Fish
great points, fish. i have clients and i have customers and i definitely spend more time with the care and feeding of clients than i do hunting new customers.
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professionlism and credability...
Old 03-05-2007, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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While all my clients are my customers and I treat them all equally the same, my original "rant," for lack of better terms, was basically that be careful with marketing hype. You basically have two types of hype, honest or misleading.

When this hype is misleading, in the case in point originally, then it's someone making you think certain customers are clients while that someone is using this same hype in hopes you'll become a customer. It's like comparing "true" watt-seconds to "effective" watt seconds. One is real, one is not and the average person will not "see" the difference with marketing hype.

When in doubt, simply ask, did Maxim, Stuff, FHM, and all those other lad magazines people hype to be published in pay you or did you get an image printed without compensation, without a by-line? I seriously doubt a free image in a lad magazine without compensation means those magazines are trying to cultivate you from a customer to a client or vice a versa.

My shot of Lisa Klypas comes out tomorrow, 225,000 hard-cover copies in book stores of her new book Sugar Daddy--this was an assignment for my client St. Martins Press. Images from this shoot start this week in the New York Times and People, while I'll have by-line credits in these full-page ads, my client is St. Martins Press and I only become a customer of People or the New York Times if I purchase their magazine--which I will do, my name is in there and I have to get something to show my family. Thanks, rg sends!

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Re: professionlism and credability...
Old 03-05-2007, 11:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolandogomez View Post

When this hype is misleading, in the case in point originally, then it's someone making you think certain customers are clients while that someone is using this same hype in hopes you'll become a customer.
well, sometimes it can be a bit more complicated.

let's say i'm hired to shoot a model, i.e., by the model. (or, her company, to be exact.) let's also say the model is, herself, something of a mini-cottage-industry within a specific industry.

now let's say the reason the model hired me is because a well-known publication (for the sake of argument, let's say that publication has bunny ears in its logo.) wants to publish an editorial featuring the model and wants the model, i.e., her company, to provide specific kinds of images of her for the pictorial aspects of the editorial.

the model's people hire me to shoot the model and the images are sent to the publication's people. neither the model or her company are compensated for the images although the editorial is designed to market signature-line products the model, that is, her company, is manufacturing. that's the model's/her company's compensation.

so, the publication is the model's customer (or should that be visa versa? i'm getting confused.) anyway, the model is definitely my customer and the end result is i'm paid to shoot images that end up published in the publication. now i understand that doesn't make the publication my customer but i think i honestly deserve pretty much the same, resume-worthy, credit for my images being published in the magazine in question. and we're not talking thumbnails in a "girl next door" type of print section.
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