choosing clients as a successful animator featured image

Choosing clients as a successful animator

Want a great experience with your animation clients? Here’s why choosing clients carefully pays off…


When you’re starting out, it can be tempting to take on any projects your offered. Animation is a competitive industry, and many aspiring animators struggle to find work. However, choosing clients carefully is a good habit to get into when you can afford it. A positive experience with a client is far more likely to lead to work in the future. Don’t rush at every chance and take the time to build positive business relationships in your animation career. Here's what you should be doing to build positive client connections...

1. Choosing clients who are professional


‘Professional’ doesn’t have to mean ‘largest budget’ when choosing clients. It’s much better to complete a smaller project for an enthusiastic local company than take on a huge corporation who are a nightmare to work with. Don’t be put off by larger budgets, but make sure professionalism is there as well. Interactions with your client should be productive, frequent, and leave you feeling reassured. At our own studio when choosing which client productions to take on this is one of the most important factors we consider.. that and a fun project that lets scratch that creative itch.

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2. Choosing clients who have a clear vision


choosing clients who have a clear vision

A good client enlists your skills with a clear idea of what they want from you. This should look like:

  • In-depth knowledge of company branding
  • Rough estimate of length and budget
  • A clear idea of how your animation will be used.

Clients may have uncertainties about the production process which rely on your skills as an animator. The overall concept of the animation, however, is up to their guidance, so make sure they can explain in detail what they want. Opportunities to revise throughout the process are an excellent step in preventing miscommunication.

A good client enlists your skills with a clear idea of what they want from you. This should look like:

  • In-depth knowledge of company branding
  • Rough estimate of length and budget
  • A clear idea of how your animation will be used.

Clients may have uncertainties about the production process which rely on your skills as an animator. The overall concept of the animation, however, is up to their guidance, so make sure they can explain in detail what they want. Opportunities to revise throughout the process are an excellent step in preventing miscommunication.

choosing clients who have a clear vision

3. Choosing clients who value your skills


Most clients are not animators and have limited knowledge of the animation industry. This means that a good client should be referring to your expertise, rather than assuming they could do the job better. Avoid clients who push on agreed budget and time restraints. Try not to undersell yourself, as it can lead to difficulties with clients who return and expect the same price again. Establishing a schedule and cost breakdown early on ensures you have documented proof of your standards.

choosing clients who value your skills

4. Choosing clients who keep you updated


Communication is a two-way street. As an animator, it’s up to you to communicate any obstacles in the production process to your client. On the other hand, a good client will keep you updated with any changes on their end. Are they providing you with a storyboard that will be delayed? Is their marketing team taking a while to get back to them? Clients who are uncommunicative from the start can be risky to work for. Choosing clients carefully ensures your project won't fall off the client’s radar when they haven’t replied to your emails in a month.

Choosing clients who keep you updated image
Choosing clients who keep you updated image

Communication is a two-way street. As an animator, it’s up to you to communicate any obstacles in the production process to your client. On the other hand, a good client will keep you updated with any changes on their end. Are they providing you with a storyboard that will be delayed? Is their marketing team taking a while to get back to them? Clients who are uncommunicative from the start can be risky to work for. Choosing clients carefully ensures your project won't fall off the client’s radar when they haven’t replied to your emails in a month.

5. Choosing clients who fit your experience


There’s nothing wrong with taking on a client that pushes your animation skills in a new direction. However, don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’re unsure whether you have the experience to take on their vision, consider referring them to an animation contact. Not only will this build your brand’s trust, but other animators will be grateful you thought of them and may do a favour for you in the future.

choosing clients who fit your experience image

Choosing clients: Summary


Choosing clients is about more than just the money. Reliable clients are an investment for your future as an animator. The more positive client experiences you have, the more you can hone your production process. Building positive client relationships can secure high-paying, reliable references in the future.


Check out the animations Stormy Studio has produced for some of our favourite clients...





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Interested In Starting an Animation Studio?


Take The Animation Career Quiz

Are you best suited to a studio role, freelancing or ready to start a studio of your own?
Take the quiz and plan your next animation career steps.

Animation Career Community

Sign up for free to the Start A Studio Animator community & network with likeminded artists.


Animation Studio Startup Course

Checkout our award-winning online course on planning and launching a creative & viable animation studio.



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