As The Client, the first thing you should know is that to each member of your agency’s creative team, each project is a life raft or a house on fire.
This means every project is fight or flight. Especially for creatives. Each project either inspires thrilling, amazing results that radiate waves of work envy, or it prompts palpitations and preparations to sprint from the room.
You can try paying the creatives ridiculous sums of money. That doesn’t hurt. I completely encourage it. As professionals, those highly paid creatives will still do the best work they can. Rest assured, they will most likely do a better job than creatives who charge less, but not always. Either way, in their heart of hearts, every creative dreams of fleeing badly managed projects. Commitment to the project or income source will see them through to the end. But painful projects will also always see creative attention and inspiration suffer to some measurable extent.
That sucks. For you and for them.
It’s a tough industry. Getting a break isn’t easy. Creatives work hard. Just getting the chance to work with the right agency or brand can open doors for the rest of their career. They will fight to climb aboard a life raft. They will also scratch, claw, and maim to get away from a house on fire.
For well-established creatives, it’s never too hard to find another project or team to work with. Eventually, they will find the right fit for their talent. While every project has unique challenges, in-demand creatives don’t always have to put up with agencies that are hard to work with.
What the hell does that mean for your brand? It means the best people available might not want to work on your brand or project. And those working on it might be wishing they weren’t.
That’s not good for your agency. And, as The Client, it’s not good for your project, it’s not good for your brand, and probably not good for your career, either.
The first step in becoming a wanted brand is to become a brand creatives want to work on. If talented creatives cringe when they hear your agency’s name and avoid working for it (due to reasons outside of your direct control, reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your brand or team)—that’s a big initial setback for you, before anything even happens.
If your creative team isn’t inspired to work on your brand, you better find another brand or find another creative team. Because what’s the point?
This is a sample chapter from So You’re a Client.
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