Time to Delegate? Why Use External Creative?

Why use external creative

Watch This Episode of Mwah Tv Exploring The Question – Why use external creative?

In this episode of Mwah TV, I want to explore if it’s high time you get more serious about delegating creative in your business. Specifically, why use external creative sub-contractors and freelancers? Today I will show you the importance of outsourcing creative.

I want to give you some nuggets from my experience so that you can dramatically save your time to focus on leading your business towards growth.

How to let go in a way that you feel confident about, how to de-brief specialists like graphic designers, photographers, web designers, illustrators, animators, stylists, copywriters and on and on. Let’s get started!

I’ve just seen @laurapcreative #MwahTV episode sharing tips on hiring creative. Some great tips! Click To Tweet

Are You Stuck in The Creative Weeds?

By the end of this episode, you will have a whole new frame of mind about re-prioritising creative delegation. If you stick around to the end, you’ll have 5 easy-to-pick-up tips you can use to do this more effectively.

Let’s get you re-focusing your energies on growing your business instead of being stuck in the creative weeds.

Ideas, Fear & Ego

It’s actually pretty common to find yourself in a pattern of resistance when it comes to using more external creative in your business.

All this resistance can be boiled down into your own personal flavour of fear.

People who do not work with creative professionally often get incredibly precious about ownership of an idea. I don’t know why we place so much importance on who thought of “the thing”. When you work with ideas and creativity in an industrial way you quickly understand that a basic idea is just a tiny little seed. It can die and fail, or it can flourish and grow.

The seed sort of pales into insignificance because really what distinguishes a crappy seedling idea from a golden seed idea is how you research it, grow it and then execute it into reality.

Then when it is actualised – how you measure it.

Why Initial Ideas are Cheap

Who had the idea is probably irrelevant. If that person is really coming from a pure place of collaboration, they will not care that the idea was theirs. They will feel an innate joy that it was used, inspired by and manipulated into something tangible.

Side Note…

Side note here… This is not to be misinterpreted into my being an advocate of piracy and copycatting. I follow the copyright laws to the letter – you can go and look at this episode if you like all about how copyrighting works in the world of commercial photography.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

The next part of why I think you should use more external creative is because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Let’s take a quick beat to consider all your training and experience.

What have you studied to become qualified in delivering what you do in your business?

How much money did you invest in getting that qualification?

Or a set of qualifications?

Tally Up

Then add to this quick tally-up to how many years you have spent perfecting that knowledge into real-life experience. With all manner of customers who had different personalities.

How many working disasters have you overcome doing that?

Now, let’s imagine roughly the same calculation but for a professional creative supplier. Instead of your expertise replace that with everything there is to know about their specialism. It’s near to impossible to experience what they have experienced first-hand. The only way to do this would be to go into the Matrix and upload that experience into your brain.

The point of this is you can’t begin to know what you don’t know about that specialism. Unless you want to hit the pause button on your business and go off to have that same parallel experience as your creative specialist you can expect to save yourself hours if not years by appreciating how little you probably know about that creative specialism.

Peace of Mind Is Built Into The Price

Appreciating this is a wonderful way to justify investing in External Creative. The price that they are charging includes the peace of mind in their training and experience and knowing how to navigate a problem before it arises.

The Science of Creative Direction

It’s important to now think about the best way to communicate delegation to a creative.

If you are someone who favours the technical – perhaps your happy place is a spreadsheet? Then you will need to get outside of your comfort zone in communicating what you need from a creative.

Moodboards Really Do Matter

I made this episode on how to make mood boards back in season 3. I give you several handy tools to use to create a mood board.

De-briefing creative suppliers in a visual way like this is incredibly effective. In fact, on every single one of my brand photoshoots that involve a crew I have a big printout of the shoot mood board on display on set for the full team to refer to whilst the shoot is going on.

Tangent Fear

One block that a lot of people struggle with is that a mood board is a collection of loose potential directions for creativity to go in. In my years of doing this, I have found that clients not used to this process tend to freak out if there is a tiny bit of one image used in a loose mood board that they don’t like.

They get scared that the end result will look exactly like this.

De-Briefing – Correctly

The next level up from this involves a solid de-briefing. This could be from giving a copy of your brand book to any creative you hire to work with you. In this book, they will be able to get more of an understanding of why your brand has been built in the way that it has. They can then apply this knowledge to the way they create for you.

I like to go one step further when I’m directing creatives.

I provide a brand book if there is one. If I’m working on this, I share what’s in place already and the timeline to completion.

I provide a mood board.

Setting out Expectations in Black & White

I also provide the specifics on exactly what I need from them in a de-briefing document. This looks like a one-page sheet with visuals and exact details of what is expected when I need that by and a proposed set of drafting deadlines.

This may be sounding quite control-freak and yes I agree it is quite like that.

I have these things in place to then be able to leave the creative professional to go off and get on with it. They need their own space to work in the way that they do. Cutting back the going back n forth on small details with everything upfront is not only respectful of their time, but it also gives them every piece of information they could possibly need to go off and do their thing without interruptions.

Save Your Time & Your Money

Creative Outsourcing is about saving time and money. For some of my biggest clients though delegating this is a real struggle for them even when they have a trusted posse of suppliers, they delegate the not-so-creative tasks to.

I’ve got 5 Top tips to get the best out of delegating to external creative in a joyous way…

The Top Tips

  • 1) Think critically about which bit you feel you know the most about, challenge these ideas and plan out a way to test letting go of this bit first.
  • 2) Test yourself by aiming to re-frame this project or campaign in your mind. This time try to think of it as an emotionless project management task.

3) Plan in a contingency so you know exactly what you will do if it all goes wrong. But really go into it with an expectation of being delighted and surprised by the external creative you have chosen to fully delegate to.

4) Be realistic about your preferred timeline for this project or campaign. Then double the length of time to experience this new more unusual way of working. Any added expense on extending this timeline can be chalked up to your own personal development as a leader. To make that feel like less of a pinch on your purse remind yourself that better creative delegation in a long-term way will save you months and maybe even years of your precious time in the long run.

5) Tell the creative or team of creatives that you want them to run with the project, and that you expect to be delighted. Reinforce that the onus is on them. Many creative suppliers feel stifled daily by their clients trying to micromanage them. Forcing them to follow internal processes that use up most of their time. The truly brilliant creative suppliers will jump at this opportunity and feel enormous pride that you trust them. When creatives feel the creative sparks, they can’t help but go the extra mile for you.

The RED Flags

  1. Look out for red flags in not hitting mini-deadlines.
  2. Asking for your sign off after every task, asking for your direction on the next bit.
  3. Nickel and diming you about minutes on their billing.

These red flags indicate that the creative supplier is not up to snuff. And, or, you haven’t done enough as a leader to get the best out of them with communication and direction.

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