4 Project Management Tips For Successful Remote Studio Sessions
Knowing how to effectively communicate and manage projects, is a skill that every successful freelancer must have, or learn to cultivate. This is even more the case with remote recording sessions, like we have here on AirGigs. While we do everything in our power to weed out any hint of shadiness and sheninigans from this community, there is always the potential to run into an unscrupulous, exceedingly demanding or uncompromising client. So we wanted to share 4 tips / guidelines to help our sellers create the smoothest possible transactions.
1) Be Clear & Communicate
One of the reasons we are so strict about communication going around, or outside of the AirGigs platform, is that it creates a broken and unverifiable paper trail. When you keep a clear paper trail with clients (in AirGigs messages and order communication), you prevent misunderstandings and complications due to lack of clarity.
The first place your paper trail starts is within your service description. For example if your service description is vague, and does not specify things like the amount of revisions or takes you provide, then you have nothing to back you up when a client requests an endless stream of edits, re-takes, etc. If you treat your service description more like an agreement, rather than a banner ad for your services, you will get more bookings, and save yourself time and communication issues down the road.
Once an order has been placed, you will want to clarify all the particulars of that specific project. For example, say your providing a client with a vocal track, there are several aspects to clarify before you start working. Things like mic choice and placement, room sound / effects (if any) etc. are all important details. Then there is the overall performance vibe that the client looking for. Don’t be afraid to request performance / production references from well produced songs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, if anything is vague. At every stage of the project, you can request feedback in writing, so that at the end, it will be hard for the client to come back with something like “the performance was great, but I wanted a close mic’d sound”. It may seem obvious, but every experienced freelancer knows that the best protection against getting overworked, is to be clear, and to create a solid paper trail.
2) Pre-Order Samples
Some clients may request pre-order samples, to get a feel for how you will handle their track. If you decide to provide a pre-order sample, then be aware that the client may have requested pre-order samples from multiple sellers. You can always ask the client if this is the case, to decide whether it’s an effort you want to make. When providing pre-order samples it’s really important NEVER to deliver a hi-res sample, or full take, before a client has actually ordered your service, as there is nothing stopping them from taking your work and using it.
3) Deliver MP3 or Watermarked File for Pre-Approval
This again goes back to the paper trail guideline above. It’s not wise to deliver final tracks until you have received approval on the creative (i.e. performance vibe, general sound quality, etc). If a client has given you the “thumbs up” on an MP3 or watermarked version, then they will have little ground to contest your final delivery, unless there is some kind of technical issue with the final file(s). This is the safest way to deliver tracks online, because you are basically obtaining approval before releasing the final files.
4) Know Your Worth
You have already done the hard work of setting a “fixed price” for your services. To do so, you had to think through many potential situations and create an appealing offer to accommodate clients. While there will be some cases where it makes more sense to create a new service listing for a particular client / situation, you may want to carefully consider requests for a “reduced rate” on your basic service. We’ve found that accepting these kinds of proposals from clients will (9 times out 10) leaves sellers feeling somewhat compromised. You have to remember, with AirGigs, the client gets the talent, the studio and the engineer all in one, so you don’t want to sell yourself short. Odds are, if a client liked your work enough to request a reduced rate, then someone out there will happily pay your full price. Of course, it is always your call, but it’s really important to us (also as musicians and engineers) to see our sellers prospering and happy.
We welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions below this article. We are a community, so our collective knowledge helps everyone. Peace, love and AirGigs!