How to Avoid Killing Your Own Creative Process
Despite the fact that creatives and their clients both want the same thing—to deliver the best work on any given project—it can often feel like we’re battling against each other instead of playing on the same team.
What many clients don’t realize is how important their role is in the creative process—and how easily they can derail or inhibit its success. Here are a few ways to avoid obstructing the creative process to allow your creative team to deliver its best work.
Start with good direction. Without good direction on a project, you open the door for frustration, confusion, disappoint, and rework. Take the time to think through a project strategy or brief, and make sure that strategy is clearly communicated to your creative team.
In-person or over-the-phone meetings always help open communication more than an email chain. Consider scheduling a kick-off call before the project begins to answer any questions and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Don’t crunch the timeline. The creative process takes time. Listen to your creative team when they tell you how much time they need to give your project their best effort. Try not to haggle on timelines, especially if there’s no true sense of urgency.
If you’re struggling to make a project timeline work, consider where you can save time on your end—like by talking through feedback over the phone instead of sending it via email, providing a solid creative brief, and turning around revisions within 24 hours.
Give constructive feedback. Your creative team wants to know what you think, but they don’t want to know what you feel. Instead of telling them what you like and don’t like based on your personal preferences, tell them what you think accomplishes the goals you set out at the beginning of the project, what will resonate best with the target audience, and what meets the criteria outlined in the project brief.
When giving feedback, always start by asking yourself “What’s working?” instead of asking yourself “What do I like?”
Trust your team. You hired your creative team for its expertise and talent. So trust that. Let team members offer suggestions and listen to what they have to say. After all, you’re paying them for their expertise, so use those skills to your advantage.
Not sure you agree with a suggestion from your creative team? Try A/B testing to see what really works for your audience.
By following these four rules, you can help empower your creatives to deliver their absolute best work for your brand. That way, everyone wins!
Tell us about your creative process in a comment below.