2: Define Your Feedback Process In Your Contracts
If you’re freelancing or collaborating on small teams, you don’t have to let your client define it for you. You are in control of how you want to work.
Personally, I like my feedback process to take no longer than four rounds of back and forth notes. I also like when I don’t have to remind clients to review their videos.
As a result, I detail my process in my contracts. I include deadlines for returning feedback, as well as next draft deadlines. I detail my availability, stating when I am available for phone calls and email responses. I also include a detailed project description, taken from the answers to the questions in the first point.
Spelling out the feedback process sets clear boundaries between you and your client. It also forces your client to use each revision wisely. They have to be proactive about giving feedback because the number of revisions you’ll do is limited. This is a great motivator for client’s giving luscious feedback!
3: Point Out and Ask for Specific Feedback
When you send a video draft to your client and you simply ask for “feedback,” your client may not know where to being. This can lead to missing critical areas or feedback on things that don’t matter. To prevent this, I facilitate feedback by pointing out what I want them look at and asking for reactions.
I typically use online review software to share my work. I send my clients a link to their draft in an email, along with some details. In the email I spell out what I want them to review. If it’s music choice, I ask for their thoughts. If it’s storyline, I briefly mention it in my email how it flows. Whatever needs their attention, I tell them. By directing them where to look, I help them think constructively about what they’re seeing.
The idea with directing and asking for specific feedback is to help your client envision the finished project while it’s still in pieces. Some people can’t do this naturally. By directing what kind of feedback you want, you help your clients see and impact the look of the future.
4: Provide Structure To Communicate Feedback
I often ask my clients to group similar categories of feedback together. Often I ask them to format it like:
- Things they liked
- Things they don’t like
- Things that don’t seem to be working right but they don’t know why.
This grouping helps me respond and answer questions and concerns without missing anything.
I also ask for feedback notes with timecode. It’s no good when a client says, “the part with…” or “the section with…” This causes confusion for both of us. Timecode, even if it’s just a simple minute:second notation, is better than nothing.
5: Use Online Revision Software
Before the advent of online revision tools, I used to use a password-protected Vimeo link for reviewing projects. A few of the clients I work with still use this method, but it has it’s flaws:
- It’s cumbersome. You have to constantly remind your clients of the password to the link.
- It’s too simple. Online playback doesn’t provide precise frame rate timecode. As a result, notes can be off by a few frames.
- It’s not mobile-friendly. Making feedback requires constantly switching apps. It’s challenging to figure out the timecode.