WATCH THIS EPISODE OF MWAH TV ASKING IS EXTERNAL CREATIVE A GOOD IDEA?
Is external creative a good idea?
PRO LAURA: “Hiya you said that I’d have that creative work yesterday and there still isn’t anything in my inbox, is everything ok?”
CREATIVE CAT LAURA: “Hey…. Aw sorry, I decided to do things a bit differently so I’m now gonna need at least another week. That’s cool right?”
PRO LAURA: “No not really. I have 3 more suppliers waiting on this, so if we add in this unexpected week to the plan my schedule is totally knocked out.”
CREATIVE CAT LAURA: “Awwww. Can’t we just push it back? I’ll try my best to get it to you then instead. K bye”
PRO LAURA: Ahhhhhh!
PRESENTER LAURA: Is external creative a good idea? When you’re familiar with that lil scenario we just saw there, I fully understand why you might be avoiding adding more creative to your business. Let’s transform this and get you hitting the creative jackpot over and over again.I’ve just seen the @laurapcreative #MwahTV episode all about getting the best out of external #creative suppliers. Take a look if you're a creative or you have been disappointed by creatives in the past, some great tips! Click To Tweet
IS EXTERNAL CREATIVE A GOOD IDEA?
PRESENTER LAURA: Today I want to talk a lil bit about creative direction and in particular I want to help you figure out and maintain control when answering the question: Is external creative a good idea?
Stick around to get some easy-to-use tricks to keep you hitting that creative jackpot and build up your own confidence on working with creatives in a mutually more enjoyable way. I like to define myself as a bit of a creative mutant. I never really have blended in with the creatives because they often see me as ultra-organised and efficient, and I rarely fit in with the pure capitalist entrepreneurs because they think my creative ideas are too nutty.
LET ME HELP YOU NAVIGATE THIS
I think I’m probably the best person to help you navigate this as both a creative and a professional. If you hadn’t already noticed, I’m playing both of these roles as well as showing up as my presenter self this week.
So you’re getting THREE LAURA’S!
THE COMMON PITFALLS/SCENARIOS
PRESENTER LAURA: Some common Pitfalls of hiring creative…
CREATIVE LAURA: I don’t like that idea, no I don’t want to try to explain why to you.
I work alone like a wolf at twilight. I’m not going to join in on your slack or be able to attend your group meetings.
<texting> sorry will be late, slept in, running behind.
I know this is your strategy, but coconuts are totally hot right now, so why don’t we just use this as the creative muse?
<Dancing around with headphones on whilst the phone is ringing in the background>
BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES
PRESENTER LAURA: Some of these examples have been exaggerated there, but all of them are based on my experiences of dealing with and working alongside creative professionals for shared clients over the years. It’s easy to see why there is a stereotype of the average creative professional as an anti-social nutcase who can’t be relied upon. In fact, just last week one of my colleagues said to me during a call “Hey, that’s creatives for ya, I always expect the deadline to be ignored. No offence.”
If you are a creative supplier and you secretly just admitted that you have been guilty of one of these flaky behaviours, please take this as an official slap on the wrist from me and stick around, I’m going to share some tips on how you can step it up out of this stereotype.
CREATIVE LAURA: <Getting slapped on the wrist with a ruler.> OUCH!
MASTER YOUR OWN CREATIVITY
Join fictional character Margot (a vintage housewife in the 1950’s) as she works through some classic creative principles to prepare a stellar dinner party. Work alongside Margot’s predicatable journey to develop your own creative practice with the very familair context of hosting a dinner party. Each step of the How To Sex Up Your Creativity Playbook has been designed for you to refer back to on every new creative idea and quest in your adventures. Truly the go to reuseable resource for better ideas and memorable originality.
ARE YOU A CREATIVE SUPPLIER?
PRESENTER LAURA: Now if you are a creative professional who supplies creative to businesses, my simple single piece of advice is this:
DO YOU USE WORKFLOWS?
This is a workflow that any creative pro can add into the workflows they should already work with when creating. Aiming for over-communication as a way to set expectations and guide your customers through your creative workflow helps to give them an added peace of mind at taking the risk in investing in something they do not fully understand.
If you’re a creative pro who doesn’t operate with SOP’s or Standard operational procedures, then you need to shape up and get these going for you. Trust me it saves you an inordinate amount of time and the initial investment will probably pay off after 1 or 2 jobs using them. That added follow up process can dramatically affect your bottom line too.
WELL MANAGED CREATIVE RESULTS – AN EXAMPLE
Here is a good example of managing multiple creatives who are on different timezones to deliver a project on time.
CREATIVE LAURA: <Taking notes> wow! right on.
ON THE FLIPSIDE – WHEN YOU WANT TO HIRE CREATIVE SUPPLIERS
PRESENTER LAURA: Now if you’re on the other side of this and you’re the client who is trying to work with a creative you can apply this same simple practice but you just need to flip it.
PRO LAURA: <writing notes down> Gotcha! Gotcha 110%.
If you’re wrangling with creatives in your business growth right now, then you should subscribe to Mwah TV, I share more tips like what you’re seeing today about working with creatives, and I also showcase how I am creative with my clients. Stick around by hitting that subscribe button. If you hit the bell you will be notified when a new episode comes out every single Friday.
TAKING CREATIVE DIRECTION TO THE NEXT LEVEL
PRESENTER LAURA: There is way more beyond the simple steps in project managing creatives or fitting into a project as a creative supplier. This is where the real art of creative direction comes in. It’s at this point you can expect to go from being delighted by creatives, to make a serious return on your investment from getting the best out of the creatives you are commissioning. For me these actions fit into these 3 groupings:
REMOVING YOURSELF FROM THE SCENARIO
Cutting yourself out of the mix in the creative process can have a tremendous impact. As the stressed-out pro investing in a creative director to wrangle your creative team is probably a good idea. Their time is worth less than your time spent on leading the business as a whole. Doing this means you cut yourself out as the decision bottleneck. In many cases you will not identify as the most creative person, so fully delegating this gives those who are hired creative the onus and responsibility of true ownership to deliver better results.
FACILITATION OF COLLABORATION
This takes time if you’re doing this yourself but giving creatives the opportunity to collaborate and engage with each other is really powerful. It’s not about flinging them together in an off the cuff zoom. You need to facilitate teamwork, communication and make space for them to begin riffing together for you.
This leads me nicely onto…
TIME & SPACE
When you’re planning a project that involves creative work in any capacity it is incredibly common that as a business owner you’re going to undermine the time it takes to do incredible work. Sure great creatives work fast, but probably not as fast as you would ideally like.
So allowing more time than what you think in the project mapping is always a great idea. If you’re unsure about what’s a reasonable amount of time, I’m happy to help on this over on Instagram DM’s.
When you get the blend of these three practices right, you put yourself and your hired creatives into a place where they can begin making solid recommendations that are way beyond what you imagined but that deliver and execute on your briefing.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
PRESENTER LAURA: I’m curious to find out where you feel you sit in this mix.
CREATIVE LAURA: Are you a purist creative?
PRO LAURA: Do you own and run a business?
PRESENTER LAURA: Or are you like me and a bit of a mongrel too? Let me know below in the comments.
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