Develop a Clear and Detailed Commission Process: Establish a step-by-step process that outlines your communication, planning, and execution strategy. This includes clearly defining the scope of the project, setting realistic deadlines, discussing pricing and payment terms, and creating a contract that outlines the agreed-upon terms. A well-defined process will not only instill confidence in your clients but also ensure a smooth and organized workflow.
Communicate Effectively: Maintain open and prompt communication with your clients throughout the entire commission process. Actively listen to their ideas, preferences, and feedback, and address any questions or concerns they may have. Regularly update them on the progress of their artwork, sharing sketches or work-in-progress images to keep them engaged and involved in the creative journey.
Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate your artistic style, techniques, and limitations to your clients before starting the commission. This will help manage their expectations and ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding the desired outcome. Be honest about what you can deliver, and if a request falls outside your expertise, consider recommending another artist who may be better suited for the project.
Provide Samples and Portfolio: Share a comprehensive portfolio that showcases your previous work, demonstrating your range, skill level, and expertise in different styles or subjects. Offering samples or examples specific to the type of commission they are requesting can help clients visualize the final result and make an informed decision.
Ask for a Deposit: Request a non-refundable deposit before starting the commission. This serves as a commitment from the client and helps protect your time and effort in case of cancellations or changes. The deposit amount can vary but is typically around 25-50% of the total commission price.
Keep a Schedule and Meet Deadlines: Establish a schedule that includes milestones and deadlines for each stage of the commission process. Stick to this schedule to ensure timely delivery and manage client expectations. If unforeseen circumstances arise that may cause delays, promptly communicate with your client and adjust the timeline accordingly.
Maintain Professionalism: Treat your commissions as professional projects, regardless of whether they are personal or commercial. Be polite, respectful, and patient when interacting with clients, even in challenging situations. Professionalism builds trust and encourages clients to recommend your services to others.
Offer Multiple Communication Channels: Provide clients with different means of communication, such as email, phone, or video calls. Some clients may prefer one method over another, so accommodating their preferences can enhance the overall experience and strengthen your relationship.
Create a Positive Client Experience: Aim to provide an exceptional client experience from start to finish. Pay attention to the small details, such as packaging the artwork securely, including a personalized thank-you note, or offering suggestions for framing or displaying the finished piece. These gestures can leave a lasting impression and lead to repeat business or referrals.
Continuously Improve and Learn: Invest time in honing your artistic skills, exploring new techniques, and staying up-to-date with industry trends. Learning and growing as an artist will not only enhance the quality of your work but also attract more clients who appreciate your dedication to your craft.
Remember, success in commissioned artwork comes not only from your artistic abilities but also from your professionalism, effective communication, and commitment to providing a positive experience for your clients.