Fuel for the Creative Professional

26 Aug

“Do the best you can do, even in the small things, even when no one is watching”
Said everybody’s Mum

I received an email from a client today that got me thinking about one of the most important factors in getting the best results from creative professionals. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think I’m on to something here.

The email was a follow-up to a peppering of suggestion for changes to a web video we created, suggestions from the marketing team who offered thoughts and opinions for changes, most of which I disagreed with.

There are lots of times when a client has awesome plans from the get-go, and great suggestions along the way, but disagreeing with a client here and there is bound to happen. I think it’s wise to balance professional insight and suggestions with the reality that some clients know exactly what they want and they want you to do it that way. Build a bridge and get over it. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Stop whining about your artistic calling and just take the picture of the heart shaped hands on the pregnant belly.

Okay, that last request is one step too far. I have, and will continue to refuse doing those pictures.

Unless it pays.

“I trust you”

I responded with a brief email, requesting a list of changes required. I expressed that I agreed with some suggestions, but not with all. A list of revisions would help me narrow it down to what they wanted. I got a quick email back, asking what suggestions I disagreed with. While I was busy typing up a tactful response, I got a second email. It read:

“You are the artist so I wouldn’t want you to make any changes you don’t agree with.  I think just making the changes you agree with would be best.”

That email made my day. If I were to toss that email in the blender to make it a smoothie, it would read:

“I trust you.”

Want to get a creative professional to bend over backwards to give you a top notch product? (assuming their mother DIDN’T tell them to do their best no matter who was watching) Tell them you’re hiring them because you trust their opinion, abilities, input. Don’t just tell them. Hand the reigns over and see what happens.

I think this principle carries over into far more than service provider/client relationship. I mean, it’s really the foundation of any relationship. Heck, this is probably an effective way to get a 7 year old kid to safely babysit your toddler.

What do you think?


One Response to “Fuel for the Creative Professional”

  1. Kevin September 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Yes the customer always knows best, except when its an opinion about your specialty. Great work Cole to walk the tight line between what they want and what would be best.

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