10 tips for client video collaboration.

A group of colleagues sits around a table having a discussion.

Tight deadlines, confusing feedback, tenuous communication, and siloed processes can derail video production projects quickly. But when projects involve a client, the impact of poor collaboration can reach beyond your internal team and strain the team-client relationship. Collaborating closely with your clients on video projects can — and should — be a positive experience for everyone.


These 10 tips will help you establish seamless internal and client collaborative workflows to elevate video production and, ultimately, craft better stories.

1. Set up projects for collaboration success.

Begin project work by establishing a positive, collaborative environment with your client. Adobe solutions consultant Michael Gossen says, “A key component to this is asking questions and being open to receiving feedback in different ways. Through asking questions, getting a sense for their mood on a project, and seeking clarity about the vision upfront, you can translate client feedback into creative direction.” This collaborative exploration early on will help with expectation setting, building mutual trust, and establishing boundaries for constructive feedback so your creative team can deliver the best possible product.

2. Clearly define team roles and responsibilities.

As part of the project kickoff, work with the client to outline and define roles and responsibilities for both internal and client team members. “Often, several people need to weigh in with their opinions and motivations. Having clear roles and responsibilities and a shared platform to discuss creative choices means we can ultimately create a better final product for our clients,” says Gossen. By defining these roles ahead of time, your creative team can make sure they’re communicating with the right stakeholders at the appropriate stages of the project.

3. Make the client feel like part of the team.

Even if your internal team is large, you want to make the client feel like they’re in the room with you. MALKA Media credits its success to client relationships. Founder Jeff Frommer says, “When I think about the brands we work with, we function as their go-to in-house partner. We make them feel like we are a part of their team.” Building a strong partnership with your client and connecting with them through modern cloud-based technology will make them feel included in the workflow.

4. Keep everyone on the same page.

Organize communication streams and keep everyone on your video projects in the loop — including the client. Feedback can get confusing and ambiguous with internal working teams, clients, and stakeholders all providing input. Including the client in feedback loops while keeping comments productive and organized for editors is essential. Centralizing communications and client project feedback in one place ensures everyone sees the same updates rather than feedback getting lost in one person’s email inbox.

5. Problem solve with clear lines of communication. 

The key to client problem solving is seeking feedback consistently and asking clarifying questions throughout the production process. Sometimes client feedback can be ambiguous. Comments like “make this bigger” or “I’m not sure if this scene is working” can lead to confusion, but getting to the heart of the matter with the client can help you arrive at a revision that satisfies everyone. Gossen suggests, “Ask questions and be open to receiving feedback in many ways. Not everyone uses the same technical terms, but we can all describe a feeling, a sense, or a mood. If you encourage that from your client and can translate that into creative choices, then you are truly collaborating.” Using review tools and established communication norms will help your creative team address problems and challenges along the way instead of at the end of the project. This active approach to client feedback builds positive rapport and ongoing dialogue between the client and your team.

A man looks at the Frame.io editing panel on his phone and computer.

6. Stay in sync on tight deadlines.


Communication and the right tools are vital to meeting tight deadlines. Many video production teams today are working remotely, and meeting deadlines working across different locations and time zones can present significant challenges. If a team can’t get timely feedback on dailies, reshooting can cost timeline and budget issues for the team and client. For example, aerial photography specialists at V/SPEED had one chance to capture live footage from inside of a tornado. Mike Knockenhauer, executive producer at V/SPEED, says, “We were able to upload extremely high-quality proxies over cellular networks and get feedback on [them] instantly” to ensure they got the right shots in real time.


7. Use feedback tools to help avoid confusion.


Gather client feedback iteratively to avoid confusion, keep the client up-to-date on progress, and save time. Consistent client involvement in feedback loops creates a learning culture for your creatives and client stakeholders alike. BLOCK and TACKLE, a NY-based creative studio, leveraged a cloud-based review platform to capture and resolve client feedback. “Being able to share timecode-specific comments with our clients and mark them as ‘resolved’ helped put them at ease and ensured that everyone was on the same page,” says Adam Gault, a B&T founder and creative director.


8. Build confidence with secure technology.


Use protective measures such as password-protected links and watermarks to route files securely as they move back and forth between the internal team and the client. For enterprise clients, collaboration and security go hand-in-hand. When companies are developing videos for new products or campaigns, security is a top priority. Knowing their intellectual property is secure in the hands of the agency’s team will build client confidence. For example, digital creative agency Elastique relied on digital video watermarking when working with BMW on design for a tradeshow launch. “We’re very strong on security for pre-series vehicles,” says Leonie Hohbach from BMW. “It would be a disaster if a vehicle design were leaked before it was communicated out by us.” 


9. Work faster with cloud-based tools.


Bringing stakeholders into the conversation at the right moment is critical and will help establish a frictionless workflow for your creative and client teams to work at a more efficient pace from concept to delivery. “If it’s too soon, the client may not understand your vision. If you bring them in too late, it will become more difficult to make comprehensive changes quickly. The ability to collaborate with everyone in a cloud-based platform provides a centralized forum to discuss creative or technical issues,” says Gossen. The flow of communication prevents confusion and saves time for the production team.


10. Use cutting-edge tools for the best product delivery.


Use modern technology that can help your team deliver on your best and most ambitious creative concepts for clients. Untold Studios had firsthand experience using groundbreaking cloud-based collaboration technology for a John Lewis & Partners holiday ad. Head of operations Tom Walter notes, “We deployed next-generation technology throughout our workflows to create transformational experiences where content can be personalized in order to make unique connections with the audience.”


The right mix of relationship building, processes and communication, and technology can help your video team collaborate more effectively, both internally and with client stakeholders. 

Adobe can help.

Frame.io is a scalable video collaboration platform that can cut video turnaround times by 31% and improve client satisfaction by 36%. Accelerate your production workflows by sending media right from your camera to stakeholders anywhere with Camera to Cloud. Streamline your creative process with centralized asset storage, seamless integrations with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and frame-accurate video reviews so you can collaborate in real time with distributed team members. Protect your creative assets with enterprise-level security and access controls. With a modern video workflow, your team can work at the speed of creativity.