I met with a colleague of a colleague who recently launched a branding company, thinking we might be able to strike up a working relationship.
While I was presenting our work, he put forth the following suggestion:
“Have you ever considered outsourcing design work to Russia or China? You can get those guys for about five bucks an hour.”
I respectfully informed him that delivering effective creative communications is not just about cool pictures and clever headlines. A strategic relationship is vital to the success of any creative effort. And understanding the client, their product or service, their audience, their industry and their competition is paramount.
Beyond that, reflecting the attitude, personality and style of the client in the creative is not only entirely appropriate, it brings to them real ownership of the campaign.
That requires a relationship of proximity.
To segregate the creative professional from the client is not only misguided, it productizes what we do.
The road to success is best taken in tandem.
Networking is not just about making connections and creating awareness of your business. It’s also about forming an alliance of credible professionals to help you fill organizational gaps and be able to confidently refer others.
Get to know your customers on a more personal level and understand what’s behind their buying decisions. Make them feel special and important. Engage them while listening between the lines about their needs and concerns. You’re not just providing a product or service; you’re providing a unique and positive experience that will distinguish you from your competitors and lead to more referrals.
Jeff Brown proved that success is found when you engage your audience, make them part of the experience and deliver on your promise. Whether your business is in a highly competitive or under-served market, the lessons he learned are the same.
Remember, nobody can be right all the time. And, that applies to every one of us. After all, if we were always right, we’d never need anyone’s help, would we? When we accept that fact, we take a huge step toward bettering ourselves and our businesses.
Francis Bacon once wrote, “A Prudent Question is One-half of Wisdom.” Knowledge comes from inquisitiveness and the willingness to accept your own lack of it. We don’t pretend to know everything. So, excuse us while we throw a few inquiries your way.
Sure, when you go to the local fast food joint, you know that what you see on the menu isn’t really what you’re getting. Perhaps, we’ve become accustomed to being misled to the point where it’s no longer misleading.