How to get your clients to see your point of view:

All of us know the basics work functions of a “creative professional”.   We write, we pitch, we strategize—but basically we get paid for our unique ideas. The rest of the world gets paid for results, or for production of a service or tangible object, but us…we get paid for our brains.  A lot of times, life can get in the way, and our brains aren’t shiny and focused as they need to be to achieve the big blockbuster ideas that make Don Draper seem like a bore.  Creative services and client services are often two areas of the job that are conflicting with one another.  The notion that the publicist, graphic designer, branding expert, or account manager, is expected to not only think of the idea to satisfy the client, then modify it to the client’s needs and then make sure it’s up to the client’s standards, is kind of an awkward theory.  It all seems too much.  Isn’t the creative services professional supposed to be the expert? Think of it this way, a patient doesn’t go into a doctor complaining of a pain in the arm and when the doctor says it’s a broken arm, the patient shoots back to say, “Well no, I am sprouting wings out of my elbow joint; it’s your job to make sure it doesn’t hurt.”

We don’t argue with doctors, because they have tangible evidence that their statements and conclusions are correct.  Why is it that clients can argue with idea experts? No one really knows, but what we do know, is if we’re in this field, it is a constant struggle to come up with a winning idea and simultaneously satisfy a client.  The other struggle is that usually, a client already has a vision that the creative has to then compete with.

Here are some good guidelines to follow in order to persuade your clients to see your vision before they shut their eyes:

  • Present the idea you have from their point of view, most clients care about how their money invested in creative ventures will offer a return.  Just because you understand the artistry, doesn’t mean the client will and understand the numbers.
  • Push for bigger ideas.  If you’re initial idea seems like it can be torn apart and knit-picked, it probably will be.  Make sure you have a back-up idea that is crazier or more out there than your original idea.  Clients like options, and if you can push the envelope, it might force the clients to see the big picture.
  • Have confidence.  You’re the person who gets paid for your brain right? Well, don’t let swaying opinions or a lackluster response from your client make you insecure about what you’re paid to do.  In a world where ideas make sales and sales make businesses run, consider your brain a factory- those ideas are costly, have confidence in your product.

This may sound manipulative, but in reality, this is all about having confidence in ideas.  As creative professionals, or writers, or marketers, it’s our job to make sure that the ideas we have get put into action.  Not all ideas are meant to succeed, but in the end, it’s alright because it should be viewed like everything else.  Some products fail, some services never launch and some doctors mess up surgeries.  If you can get your audience to have faith in your idea however, then you have succeeded.