How to stop a client from destroying your work


How to stop a client from destroying your work
When you’re a creative professional, your work is always under the scrutiny of a higher executive. Even the most powerful creative directors in the world are subject to the random requests and ignorant edits of some dipshit clients. This can have a devastating affect on your portfolio, leaving you with fewer examples to submit to advertising competitions, marketing awards, or website awards. Being able to work the clients is almost as important as being able to do the actual work. This is one of the most griped about topics in all marketing and advertising, and nobody really knows the solution. Short of pulling off some kind of Jedi mind trick, how do you get your creative through the approval process unscathed? Here are some reliable, if not full-proof, tips…
Present It in Person
The first impression of your idea is the most important. Sending your work or concept as an email attachment is putting its presentation at the whim of the client. What if they open it on their phone? That’s probably not going to leave the same impression as it would if you put it up on a big screen while you give an awe-inspiring spiel about the merits of your ideas. This could backfire if you aren’t a practiced presenter. Few of us artist types enjoy discussing our ideas. But it’s an invaluable skill worth practicing, especially if your plan is to get showered with marketing awards..
Make Them Think They Were a Part of It
People are partial to their own ideas, which is why it is difficult to steer a client in a better direction once they’ve offered their own ideas. The trick is to make it seem like your better idea was somehow inspired by their terrible one. Their idea doesn’t even have to remotely resemble your end result. You can say that there was a theme or subtext to their concept that you incorporated into yours. That should be enough to make them feel like they have some ownership over the work, and will lead them to view it more favorably.
Think It Through
It’s tempting to come up with one part of an idea and then wait for the client to approve it before proceeding. However, having a less than fully fledged concept will make it easier for others to poke holes. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a question you’re not prepared to answer.
Learn the Clients’ Personal Biases
In a perfect world, the client will think only of the best interest of the company and approve campaigns that appeal most to the audience they’re going after. However, there isn’t a human on earth that can totally tune out their personal biases. If you happen to know the client hates a certain celebrity, form of music, graphical style, or trend, don’t incorporate it. Even if the market research determines it’s the target demo’s favorite thing in the world. That’s why, at our Austin marketing and advertising agency, we always ask clients about their favorite brands and least favorite people. They want to see their personal preferences reflected in the creative. It’ll help them get behind your work. In the end, a client with terrible taste and poor judgment is going to screw things up no matter what you do. But if you follow these tips, you’ll reduce your risk of client self-sabotage.
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