Creative Feedback: How to get the work you want from copywriters and designers
By Ella Wilson
Here it is – the blog I should have written 14,000 years ago when I started here. It would have saved both you and me a lot of hassle.
As a copywriter, my job is to take your ideas and make them into small business marketing materials that accomplish your goals. One problem that I and the other creatives (like designers) run into from time to time is that creatives and business types speak two different languages.
So today I’m gonna help you bridge the gap so you get what you REALLY want out of your creative work.
“I’m just not feeling it” isn’t helpful
It happens. You give us information, we create something, and you don’t like it. That’s part of the creative process, and every professional artist/writer/designer knows this. Having a thick skin is definitely part of a successful creative’s portfolio.
That being said, we need to know more about what it is that’s not working for you, because we can do exactly zero with “I don’t like it” or “I’ll know it when I see it.” If you can’t put your finger on it, we can’t either. So specifics matter.
- Here are some examples of feedback we’ve pried out of clients who started with “I’m just not feeling it”
- The mood seems too dark/light/cheerful/young/stiff/serious/etc.
- The pictures don’t look like the people we actually work with
- I don’t want to focus on XYZ, but instead, let’s focus on something else
Put some thought into really nailing down what’s rubbing you the wrong way. Still can’t figure it out? Just ask for our help. We’re used to distilling down thoughts and feelings into tangible assets, so we’re kinda good at this stuff. And giving you a product you absolutely love is the most rewarding part of our jobs. We’d be happy to help.
Be nice – We’re fragile
Creatives have a reputation as divas, and I admit, we earned it. Inspiration is a tricky thing, and that’s what we work from. There aren’t fancy tools we can use to cheat at our jobs. It all comes from here (points at noggin).
And let me tell you – creativity dies when you think you suck. Because underneath it all, we’re all afraid that one day, whatever muse/magic/sorcery that got us to where we are will run out. Even greats like David Ogilvy talk about it. Ernest Hemmingway called the blank page “the white bull.” When you come on strong with negative feedback, we get afraid that today is that day, and it shuts down the whole machine.
Understand your target market
The very best, most helpful piece of direction you can give to creatives is a good knowledge of your target audience. One of the first things we do on a project is sit back in our chairs, put our thinking caps on, and try to put ourselves in the mindset of your audience. It’s a lot like the “getting into character” that actors do. The best work comes when we not only know your audience, but we FEEL their struggles, desires, and needs.
Things we’ll want to know about your target market include age, gender, location, income level, education level, and other demographic info like that. We also need to know what problems they have that your product solves – that’s a biggie.
Your business is your baby and you think every detail is important. But your clients will feel differently. So you need to know what’s most important, least important, and everything in between … because not everything can get top billing on your page.
Know your ultimate goal
Everything we do centers around your ultimate goal. You’d be amazed (and probably bored to tears) if I told you all the tricks we use to move people toward taking the action you want. But to do that, we need to know what you want people to do. Sign up for a class? Buy a subscription? Letting us know exactly what you want people to do first, second, and third is a key to getting a solid product.
Parameters are your friend
We have some very well-intentioned clients that will tell us “You’re the creative. Just run with it” because they want to be easy to work with. And we LOVE clients that are easy to work with! Problem is, there’s a thing about creative types: Give us a task with no direction or parameters, and our minds flood with possibilities. And we drown.
What we need are some parameters to reign us in. We like a challenge – that’s how we show off. 140 characters to showcase your best product in a Tweet? Bring it. A 12-page, long-form sales page to sell a million-dollar product? Oh yeah.
So don’t be afraid to give direction! There’s a big difference between giving direction and being a dictator. We really want to know what you want!
That being said – trust us. We know what we’re doing.
There’s a reason we work at one of the best marketing agencies in the world. Because we KNOW OUR STUFF. When you work with creatives, either here or somewhere else, it’s a partnership, and we want nothing more than to do awesome work that gets you amazing results.
So ask us for advice (we love it). Listen to us when we say “doing it this way would be a great idea/terrible failure because…” Don’t be afraid to debate with us, ask why, and really dive into the psychology behind why we do what we do. We love to show off our knowledge.
Want great creative work? Call us!
Passionate, results-driven creative work is our specialty! Get started today with a FREE 1-hour consult by giving us a call at 877-236-9094 or visiting us online at www.GetUWired.com.