How to improve my workflow and better managing client expectations

First, let me say that there no implied criticism of the salon owner. I request that there is no criticism, trolling or contacting her (unless you want to book a facial).
This started with a friend of the salon owner asking if I would help with making some video’s. In the salon there is a screen playing different promotional video’s, and she wanted to replace them with her own video’s, but following a similar style.
Over the course of a days videoing, I ended up with 8-9 hours of raw footage from three camera’s.
The salon owner wanted several 10 minute video’s that she could show on Facebook, and have on rotation on her salon screen.
What I am interested in knowing is how I could better handle it. Should I just get a more detailed brief of what she wanted, and just make it, or make less/more steps for approval.
I won’t include all steps, because some were very minor changes.

1: Check that this layout was suitable and the style of background music was fine

Except where mentioned, the salon owner was happy with each step.

2: Make a start/spash screen

3: Add a title to the splash screen

At this point she said she didn’t like the pink colour scheme, so I made several different video’s of different colour schemes until we settled on the grey background with black text.

4: Approved colour scheme.

I made a couple more test video’s but that was just for checking the positioning of video within the viewport for each camera. I then made a full 10 minute video. I realise there was a transition error, and viewport position error, but they would be easy to correct in the final edit.
The salon owner was to give me the text that I would display below the viewport which I would add along with the audio.

After she watched this, she wasn’t happy, saying that because I wasn’t a skin professional, I wasn’t showing the procedure correctly with too much emphasis on the preparatory massage.

She has now asked that I teach her how to do video editing, so she can do it herself. I told her that I am happy to show her how I do it, and the tools that I use, so that may be the next step although I don’t imagine she will have the time to do that.

My question, is how do other video makers take their brief from their client. Is it as open-ended as I made it, or do they have a scene by scene breakdown before they start, or somewhere in between. I am keen to learn more, and do more, but in a more organised manner that meets the clients expectations.

As I said at the beginning, this isn’t a criticism of the salon owner. I need to improve what I do, so that there is a more clear scope before I start. I appreciate any criticism and suggestions towards my work and what I should do to improve.

To be clear, this isn’t paid work, it is something that I enjoy, and maybe do more of in the future.

A proper brief from the client is essential. Also, liaising with the client at regular intervals discussing “mock-ups” you make to see if they correspond with the client’s intention is very important. This alleviate the problem of you interpreting wrongly what you think the client wants.

See here for what suh a brief should contain:

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Thank you.
Next time, if there is a next time, I will spend more time on the pre-planning, instead of point & shoot as said in your linked article.


This sounds to me like quite a classic client video/photography production problem. Its about relationships and communication and sometimes the client does have unrealistic expectations.

My understanding is that it’s best to work in stages with agreements as to what happens next with the client often this coincides with incremental payments as well. Preproduction planning… Production… Post production with an agreement of how many re-edits you will do established at this time as well.

As an aside maybe remove these videos from the forum? You can describe the process well enough without the videos here. If I was your client I would not be happy about airing any problems publicly like this.

This was not meant as a criticism of the salon owner, but, as a learning opportunity for myself if I do future projects.

However, I will delete the video’s, if I knew how to edit the post.

Is there an edit button that I missed?

Edit: I have made the video’s private in YouTube Studio. Thanks for your input.

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