Before I go any further, I'd just like to take this time to say anything posted here in this blog and any future blog is solely my opinion and comes from my own unique experiences. I'm not trying to sound like I know everything!
This topic is something that isn't to be taken lightly. In some cases, it's more important than writing amazing music. From my experience, I would say that being reliable, personable and likeable is a MAJOR part of getting repeat work in this crazy and unstable business. Clients can often be hard to deal with, though luckily I've always worked with mostly pleasant people so far, with a couple of minor exceptions. I know people who have had it a lot worse than I!
So, how do you deal with a client? Surely you just write music for them, and then your job is done? Not true. The aim is to keep them sweet. Be likeable, be reliable, bend over backwards, use your creative input, but abide by their commands. Often, you can try and plead your point if you feel very strongly about it, but always be delicate with these matters. It's our job as composers to be the diplomat and the therapist. Listen to them and try and understand what it is they are requesting from you. Often directors/creatives I have worked for have a very clear approach in mind and know exactly what they want, but what if you're working with somebody who has no idea what they want? This can become a problem, but it is as much about coaxing the information from them as it is using your gut instinct and initiative for what's needed on the job.
When I work with clients, I am often in touch with them every few days and multiple times throughout the day via email or by phone/FaceTime/Skype (but mostly email). It is imperative that the client feels like you're fully dedicated to their job (even if you aren't). It's important to juggle jobs but at the same time, make them feel like you're fully committed to their project. Generally, it is the music that the client is the most nervous/anxious about because it's probably the one area that they're not well versed in, and more likely than not, they cannot do it themselves, unlike cinematography/script writing/editing etc. It's our job to ease their minds and make them feel like they're fully in control at all times. For example, if you ordered a new sofa and wanted it to be black, and it arrived in blue, you'd be unhappy right? It's the same scenario as the client. We always have to understand that they're the ones paying our rent...