Setting The Right Expectations for Satisfied Clients

WITH Josh Emerick


Many of us get into this work to feed our creativity. We love to create and see our visions become reality. But we still have clients who have their own visions and ideas. It can be a tricky balance creating a business with the structure to satisfy both your clients and your own creative needs. Today’s guest explains how he manages to do just that.

Key Takeaways

Your business is built on relationships. Getting them right from the start leads to better work down the road. Take the time to suss out the good relationships from the bad first thing in order to assure that you’ll have a good working relationship as the project progresses.

About Josh Emerick

Josh is a DP and Producer from Zanesville, Ohio who leans on structure and planning to manifest what people perceive as creativity. He is mostly known for his work in music videos, but still actively shoots a lot of commercial work, weddings, and recently narrative films.

Creating Systems for Efficiency and Creativity

Systematized efficiency is a large part of how Josh structures his business. By automating as much as he can and preparing in advance when possible, Josh is able to maximize his efficiency while meeting or exceeding everyone’s expectations. 

Josh also explains how his personal work fits into his business. By making his own work where he has complete creative control, Josh hopes to show potential future clients what he is capable of. Doing this not only feeds his own creative needs, it will attract exactly the types of clients he hopes to work with.

Harnessing the Power of Referrals

The challenge will always be finding new clients. Josh describes how referrals have been the boon of his business. There’s no magic formula to getting referrals. Being easy and fun to work with while serving your client’s needs is what it all comes down to. This can be done by setting the right expectations from the start and not backing down from them. Throughout this interview, Josh describes all the ways that he does just that.

How do you manage client expectations? Do you have a lead magnet? Tell me about it in the comments below!

In this Episode

  • Building a business that feeds your creativity while pleasing clients [10:04]
  • How to get referrals by doing the right work and setting expectations [17:00]
  • The power of an email list to grow interest in your work [22:30]
  • Using blog posts to position yourself as an expert [28:30]
  • Whether or not to post packages and pricing on your website [33:40]


12:33“Whether we’re doing a personal project, whether we’re doing a project for a client, I’m always trying to look at how we’re using our time and how do we break that down and automate as many things as possible.”
17:38“I think it’s easy as creators to be like let’s make the most beautiful thing with the coolest lighting and the coolest camera. That plays a role, but how does that make your client feel? If I make someone feel good, they’re going to want to come back to me and they’re going to want to actually have a referral.”
36:34“I have no problem educating on how we make something possible. But I don’t want to spend time educating you on what cinematography really costs and what a real production actually costs. Either you value it and you want to work with us or you don’t and that’s okay.”



Ryan Koral

Ryan Koral is an entrepreneur, producer and business strategist from Tell Studios, a video production agency with a big heart for authentic stories that build brands and inspire action. He’s a husband (mostly happily for like 16+ years), has 3 kiddos, and has an annoying – but infectious – laugh.

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