6 Must ask Questions

by Tanya Klumb

We sat down with a client this week. Multiple companies and people have taken advantage of them. Sadly we hear this more often than not. They are kind, sweet and want to make sure that their family business will be there for the next generation. Plus, they employ a great number of people in Spokane. But their business isn’t marketing or creative production. So, they aren’t sure what to ask.

If you haven’t seen steam coming out of our ears, this will do it. We get boiling mad on their behalf, mad at those who have taken advantage of them and their business.

We know building a business is hard work. Because we are doing it too. Sinking everything you have into it. You, your life, your family and so many hours that you’ve stopped counting. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to spin straw into gold? À la Rumpelstiltskin. So we know that every little thing must produce a return on your investment.

In honor of this client, we want to be transparent. We want to make sure that you find the right creative studio.

Here are 6 questions you must any creative studio or agency.

1. Do you release all raw production files?

At CutBoard we are your partner in creating content. Yes, we may be there to film one commercial. But we make sure that our clients get the raw files, so they can use them on their website or social media. If this still gives you hives, we can help create posts and videos, so all you have to do is post them.

2. What steps do you take to preserve our files?

Because we share all the files with you, you have a copy. Sometimes a computer fails and files can be lost. Because of this, we keep a server with a raid redundancy (multiple copies of the files, so if a drive fails there are backups on the server). In addition to this, we copy current working files to an off-site location just in case of fire. CutBoard is known for being digital hoarders, so you can count on us to keep your files for years.

If we are looking to remove client files from our servers, we will make every effort to contact you or someone at your place of business.

3. Are you just re-selling us a template?

No. Everything we create will be custom for your business. Occasionally we will use a graphics package which we customize for your business. This helps save our clients money because animations can take a lot of time to create. And $40 vs $400 is money well spent.

4. What are my rights to the native files?

You have the rights to everything. On your request, we will always package up the native files. Adobe Creative Suite is excellent for this, we can package all working files. InDesign Files, Premier Files and even your After Effects project files. To be transparent, we will charge for the time it takes to package (typically 1–2 hours), and the hard drive to deliver the files to you.

5. What about licenses?

If we buy any licenses, we make sure to buy them on your business's behalf. We keep PDFs of every license we buy for your music, graphics, and we will even keep a copy of all talent releases. And what makes it great for our clients, we don't upcharge for anything we buy on your behalf. Images, stock footage or even voiceover.

6. Do you work with Agencies? Why?

Yes, we work with agencies. With the sincerest of transparency, we are not media buyers. We can help you develop a strategy, and what kind of creative (commercials, print ads, radio, or social media) will help you achieve your goals. When you work with an agency or media buyer they negotiate to get the best rates of your media placement. More often than not lower than the standard stations or publications rate card. If you need some recommendations ask.

We are now diving into the details with our new client. CutBoard Studio to the rescue. We can’t recover the files that their Agent lost, or force the creative agency to release their files … although we do try.

We can make sure moving forward our clients are prepared for the next generation to take over the family business with everything intact.

Working with CutBoard Studio, you have a partner for life.

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