9 Tips For Selling Your Creative Work

Image courtesy of Cubicle Ninjas.

Image courtesy of Cubicle Ninjas.

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop led by Jane Maas, a legend in the advertising industry and the author of the book Mad Women. Her workshop, titled "Elevating Creative Work," was extremely informative and applicable to all who work in the creative industry, whether as a copywriter, art director, web designer/developer, or video producer and director. 

During her presentation she highlighted 9 tips for selling your creative work:

  1. Begin with the creative brief. Everyone involved in the project needs to be in agreement. Refer to the creative brief at every stage of the project.
  2. Prepare. Rehearse your presentation. Don't wing it. Jane told an interesting story about David Ogilvy who even rehearsed staged moments when he would pause and act as though he was searching for the right word. This made his presentations seem off the cuff, but in actuality, they were the complete opposite.
  3. Use every weapon. Presell your work with every tool you have, whether it's new research, customer insights, or testimonials. Get your client excited to hear the creative before they even hear it.
  4. Always make a recommendation for a creative execution. If you pitch three ideas, tell the client which concept you recommend and why. However...
  5. Don't present anything you aren't proud of. Just because you make a recommendation doesn't meant the client will choose that concept. And you definitely don't want to be stuck executing an idea that you aren't happy with.
  6. Visualize and crystallize. Give the client a vivid image of the creative.
  7. Present with confidence and enthusiasm. Confidence is contagious. If you exude passion, enthusiasm, and confidence, your audience will start feeling that way too.
  8. Listen hard. Yes, clients are allowed to have good ideas too. 
  9. Stay focused and stay on track. Don't let the presentation veer off onto a tangent. 

Which of these do you think is the most important? If you had to round out the list with a tenth tip, what would that be? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.