Like most people in first world nations we have access to top-level healthcare providers—when we’re sick we go see the doctor. These trips to the doctor’s office vary, but in general, they entail checking in at a receptionist’s desk, and after a short wait in a room decorated in 1984 someone calls you back to sit in a much smaller room to wait for the doctor. Once the doctor arrives, he checks your vitals and you explain the reason for today’s visit, as well as any symptoms you may have. A good doctor will listen patiently to you to make sure he clearly understands what may be ailing you. Then you, the good patient that you are, listen to the doctor’s diagnosis and recommendations for treatment—more testing, medication, and possible procedures—you know the routine.
With the exceptions of meds and outdated decor, your relationship with your creative professionals should function quite similarly to that of your doctor. Instead of discussing medical symptoms, we discuss your story, products, image, advertising, audience, engagement, and user experience. And after one or two conversations your Creative will share with you some creative recommendations and solutions to remedy your “symptoms”.
Just as it is with any relationship, communication is the key to success. The optimal outcome cannot be reached without participation and communication from both parties. Without your cooperation and back-story the Creative would have no idea how to approach the situation. And without insight from your Creative you may overlook valuable and effective solutions to your problem.
Tips For Working With a Creative Professional
- Approach your project with an open mind. Be willing to appreciate that ideas exist outside your experience with the given subject.
- Ask for advice. Be prepared when meeting with your Creative for the kick-off meeting. Gather as much background information as possible, so your Creative can be as informed about the project as possible. Share any ideas you may have, but always ask your Creative for their professional opinion. Your creative will likely be able to offer new perspective on the situation.
- Don’t rush things. There is a tried and true creative process that needs to take place in order to achieve the best results. This isn’t our first rodeo. Allow your Creative to complete all necessary research, exploration, ideation, execution, and implementation steps of the process. Your experience and outcome will be more likely to be a positive one if you do.
- Respect schedules and deadlines, and be responsive. Much like you, your Creative has more than one client and depends on a highly orchestrated production schedule to keep all projects moving along smoothly. Failure to respond may lead to a stalled project, stunted creativity, and frustration from all parties involved.
- Enjoy the process. Really! Take advantage of the opportunity to work with a creative professional, and step outside your day-to-day routine. The creative process allows you to revisit dated or inaccurate perceptions you may have about your business or organization, and see things from an outsider’s perspective. Bask in the enlightenment!