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.

Things You Must Do Before Producing a Video

Image via  Flickr

Image via Flickr

I may be biased when I say this, but creating a video is exciting. You may feel the same way. When assigned the task of creating a promotional video for your product, client, event, service, etc. it's tempting to run, full-steam-ahead, to produce the best possible video. But, like any other marketing and advertising tool, video requires forethought and strategy. 

So, before diving in head first, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What's the intended purpose of this video? If you don't know exactly why you need a video, perhaps you would be better served to consider other avenues to market and promote your goods and services. Are there alternative ways to communicate your message that might be better tailored to your audience?
  2. Who are you creating the video for? Who is the audience? This will help you determine the right tone, voice, and pacing for your video.
  3. How will the video be shared? Believe it or not, some people will produce a video without giving any thought to how it will be distributed, tracked, and measured on the back end. What's your strategy? Email? Website? Social media? DVD? Event? Meeting?
  4. What do you want the audience to learn? Knowing this will help you shape your script so that the most essential, core messaging is communicated to your audience.
  5. What do you want the audience to feel? This will also help to shape the tone of your video. Should the video be uplifting, funny, inspiring? Or should it have an urgent, serious, or somber tone?

It's important to consider the above questions and to write out a creative brief for your video. If you take the time to do this during the conceptual stage, you will end up with a video that's laser-focused and hyper-relevant. Otherwise, you may end up with a nice, professional (and expensive) video that never sees the light of day. It's best to make sure that the water is deep enough before diving in head-first.