Get The Most From Your Creative Partner

Best practices when hiring creatives.

What has been the worst thing to come from your third party creative hire? A late delivery? Boring work? Perhaps they didn’t understand the assignment, as the first draft is far from what you have expected. Admittedly, not all content creators create equally, but perhaps it is what you are doing as the client that could be setting your creatives up for failure. Below are some practices to implement in order to get the most from your creative team.

Have a clear line of communication:

The process of content creation is intricate enough to throw the best communicators into a game of telephone. This problem often perpetuates itself the larger a company gets.

Having a point of contact for all creative decisions is necessary when working with an outsourced creative team. Try to limit this to  one person that delivers your feedback to the creatives and handles any responses from the creatives appropriately.

Just imagine getting feedback from multiple sources from the same client, this often adds unnecessary stress and comes across as dysfunctional. Making sure communication is clear would be the best starting point to any creative endeavor. 

Create parameters without a ceiling:

There is the stigma that creatives don’t want to be limited. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Personally, creativity comes from problem solving. Learning about the parameters and communicating your message within the limits and boundaries set by the client is all part of this process. However, it is completely possible to be too controlling, which in turn will hurt the final product. If the parameters to any project were a box, imagine micro-managing to be the lid. The worst thing a client can do is place a roof over the creative's heads by controlling too much. Creativity is nurtured by it’s parameters, aka the foundation the box provides and it’s flourished by an unlimited sky or potential the creative team can take the project. 

How do you know where the line is drawn with control? It could be as simple as leaving out the “How?”.

For example, we know what our brand is, what our campaign message is and who our target audience is. Given all of this information a creative team should be able to come up with some really kick-ass ideas to promote your brand.

Generally speaking, creative teams suffer largely if creative license isn’t handed over. That comes in the form of a client being too controlling or too fearful of failure.

This is a big one and largely common in the ad space, since marketing isn’t cheap. The irony of being cautious with your brand is self-defeating. The entire point of going to a creative team is to help you stand out, so be bold and have faith in others to deliver! Great creatives will understand your fear and risk and will work tirelessly to give you content worth promoting. Understanding that failure may happen and not letting that fear undermine your creative team should be your number one goal and best chance for success.

Listen to their advice: 

A great leader surrounds themselves with people who are smarter than them. We can’t know everything, right? So we should lean on and trust our team!

This same idea applies for your creative partner. You come to us with a problem and our job is to create these video, audio and/or still assets to solve that problem. 

I would bet we’ve created more content in a single month than you have in your entire life. Perhaps that’s a stretch, but just imagine how many hard lessons we have learned or how many things we know works! Career experience is a fine-tuned gut that helps us make one of the thousands of decisions that go into making any piece of content. 

I’m not saying that we are always correct, clearly you know your brand better than anyone else, so take all advice under consideration before agreeing.

Some common advice I give to clients who are new to marketing their brand is to be precise with your messaging.

Many times we will have a client who is trying to make a single piece of content that explains everything about their business condensed in a 30 second commercial. The end result being a poorly-paced video with mixed messaging. Good content creators should understand the goal of your video in order to keep your messaging appropriate and concise.

Lastly, I’d say that creatives got into the industry because they found the work challenging and fun. The stakes may be high when marketing but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the ride. Have fun creating with your team. People will react well to your open and positive attitude and you will reap the benefits of their wonderful work.