How to impress clients with your professionalism


Working in a creative industry can sometimes mean that how you work becomes a little more relaxed. You may not have to get up, put a suit on, and head to the office every day. As photographers, your day might look more like grabbing your camera bag, heading to a coffee shop, answering a few emails, and going out to shoot. However you choose to work, you should always remain as professional as possible. Behaving professionally and treating your clients with respect still applies even if you are working in a non-traditional job environment. A clients perception of you is everything, and treating your client relationships well can result in long-term partnerships and future contracts.

We’re sharing our top tips on professional habits and practices to implement into your creative business in order to create a lasting positive impact on each client you work with. 

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Deliver on time

Although this seems obvious, this is a common issue at Shutterstock Custom. Developing good time management skills will always serve you well as a freelancer or independent business. Your clients rely on your ability to make deadlines, and there can be lasting impacts on strategic campaigns and marketing objectives that aren't met if you miss a deadline. Using your Google Calendar, or an app such as Trello is a fantastic way to self-manage your time as a freelancer.

Don’t make commitments you can’t keep

We get it- as freelance photographers and videographers you sometimes never know when the next job will come, making it tempting to take anything that a client offers to you. However, in finding yourself trying to please everyone, you risk making commitments that you can’t keep. You should always accept assignments and client work based on your ability to shoot the project and ensure that you can deliver what they expect. This goes back to time management, and ensuring that you have adequately prepared your schedule before accepting any new work that may impact your availability. 

Communication is everything

When a client sends an email that requires your attention, do your best to respond promptly to address their note. A lot of times, client interactions in creative industries will be over email or phone, so how you respond to the client trying to get in touch with you is a huge indicator of how you are going to work together. 

Treat the people you work with respect

Treat others how you would like to be treated will always remain a principal to adhere to. Respect your client's time,  ideas, and opinions as well as the people that may be assisting you with your various contracts such as models and assistants. If you run your business with respect and adhere to a high ethical standard, you can create a positive impression on each client that you work which can lead to long-lasting relationships and future jobs.

Finishing a contract

If you’ve completed all of your work for a client or finished a Shutterstock Custom shoot, fantastic! Now you're at the point of completing this contract.

You should have three goals in mind when you complete any contract:
The client should be really happy with your work
The project tasks were completed
The client wants to work with you again

So when you’re bringing a project to a close, make sure to follow-up with the client to make sure they are happy with the results. Chances are if they had a positive experience, they are going to want to work with you again.

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This is a small list to remind you to conduct yourself professionally on all client shoots. It essentially roles down into communication, honesty, and being a positive business person to work with. Do the things you say that you’re going to do, commit to the things you commit to, and operate with respect. Have any tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below. 

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