The biggest mistake you can make with a client during the early stages of creative collaboration is taking a project too far too quickly. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean things need to move slowly. This just means you go through the creative process in very small steps. For a video, you don’t cut the entire thing and send it to the client for approval. At Apple Box, we write a rough script and get feedback. And we certainly don’t want or expect the first draft to be approved and move on. We embrace feedback and client commentary. This is true of every step. We research music options for tone and get feedback early on. We benchmark. If it requires talent, we research and present auditions early on. If there are graphics involved, we story board scene by scene and get approval on tone early on. And when we get into actually cutting the video, we take on small sections of motion comps early on. This is a gradual process, but it’s key in gaining insight on your client’s tastes and expectations. It’s also a good way on delivering the desired outcome more quickly and staying on budget. This process can be applied to any work we do, whether it’s graphic design on a print piece, or an interactive project. In addition to delivering a project on time, on budget and meeting our client’s creative expectations, this gradual process achieves something even greater – engagement. It involves the client in the creative process, which is such a valuable way of connecting with them, and building our relationship. I find the healthiest and best relationships I have with my clients are the ones that enjoy the give and take and the back and forth in creative collaboration. I don’t want to just deliver something to my client, and I don’t want to work for them, I want to work WITH them.