Managing Client Expectations: A Guide for Professional Storytellers

Managing Client Expectations: A Guide for Professional Storytellers

As a professional storyteller, one of the biggest challenges you may face is managing client expectations. Whether it's a miscommunication about the project scope or an unrealistic timeline, unmet expectations can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction on both sides.

Identifying Unrealistic Expectations

The first step in managing client expectations is to identify when they are unrealistic or misaligned with the project scope. This can be done through clear and open communication, as well as setting realistic expectations from the beginning.

Some red flags to look out for include:

  • Asking for too much within a short timeframe
  • Expecting perfection or zero errors
  • Not understanding the project scope or deliverables
  • Requesting frequent changes or revisions

Addressing Unrealistic Expectations

Once you've identified unrealistic expectations, it's important to address them as soon as possible. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Reiterate the project scope and deliverables: Make sure the client understands what is included in the project and what is not. This can help clarify any misunderstandings and set clear expectations.
  • Provide realistic timelines: Be upfront about how long the project will take and any potential delays. This can help manage the client's expectations and prevent frustration later on.
  • Set boundaries: Make it clear what changes or revisions are included in the project scope and what will incur additional costs. This can help prevent scope creep and ensure that you are compensated for your time and effort.
  • Offer solutions: If the client's expectations are unrealistic, offer alternative solutions that are more feasible. This can help find a compromise and ensure that both parties are satisfied with the outcome.

Preventing Misaligned Expectations

The best way to manage client expectations is to prevent them from becoming misaligned in the first place. Here are some tips for setting clear and realistic expectations from the beginning:

  • Create a detailed proposal: Outline the project scope, deliverables, timeline, and cost in a clear and concise manner. This can help ensure that both parties are on the same page from the start.
  • Use visual aids: Visual aids such as flowcharts, diagrams, and mockups can help the client understand the project and what the final product will look like.
  • Set clear communication expectations: Establish how often you will communicate with the client, how you will communicate (email, phone, in-person), and what the turnaround time will be for responses.
  • Be transparent: Be upfront about any potential challenges or issues that may arise during the project. This can help prevent surprises later on and ensure that the client is prepared for any delays or setbacks.


Managing client expectations is a crucial part of being a professional storyteller. By identifying unrealistic expectations, addressing them

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