Hey, creative. Do you see yourself as a creative partner to your clients? Or as more of an order taker? Which role do you normally find yourself falling into? Like the order taker, like a server at a restaurant. They come up to the table and they, you know, the folks are looking at the menu. They pick from the menu, maybe customize a little bit. You go back to the kitchen, you bring ’em out, what they want and the relationship is done. Or is it more where you’re helping them think through what the project should look like, making recommendations to them to help collaborate, to come up with the very best kind of product for that client. Now, the second one, the thinking partner is the one that I recommend that you be. It’s really fun to be that person, but more often than not, and it’s, it’s weird.

A lot of young creatives especially, are more like order takers. They just want the client to tell them what to do, tell them the ideas, the client brings all the ideas to the table, and they just do the order, right? Take the order as quickly as you can. You need to move away from this order taker mentality into more of a thinking partner. Don’t be an order taker. Be a thinking partner, because the real clients, the ones that have good budgets, the serious clients do not want to come up with the all the ideas themselves. That’s why they’re hiring you. If you get a client who just wants to tell you what the idea is and you go execute it, well you’re, that’s a different kind of job altogether, isn’t it? What you want are clients who ask you, you’re the expert, you’re the one with all the creative ideas. You’re the one with the experience in this field. Help me think this through.

That is an incredibly valuable asset to clients, to serious clients because you’re taking a job off of them. You’re, you’re, you’re doing something they don’t now have to do, cuz they can trust that you are gonna help them. Now, it doesn’t mean they’re always gonna agree with your ideas, but it does mean that they know you are thinking, they know you are an expert and they know you’re competent enough in what you do to offer ideas and help them think this through, even if it means telling them that their idea probably isn’t the best one. Now, I know that’s a scary thing for especially young people when you’re working with clients, especially if you get like a big corporate client or something and you’re dealing with a chief marketing officer or somebody, you know, somebody very experienced, very, somebody very senior. Um, it’s hard to to push back on some of that stuff, but I’m telling you, more often than not, they love it.

They love it. We work with some pretty dang big clients, okay? At we all films, McDonald’s 10 credit union, some big, uh, uh, destination marketing organizations like We, and I’m telling you, they like to have thinking partners, okay? They don’t want order takers. Order takers are a dime a dozen and it puts more work back on your client. Your job is to take work off of your client. So next time you’re in one of these project discussions, feel free to share your ideas. Feel free to think that through with them. Feel free, disagree with them and watch what happens. Usually they’re like, oh, you know what? You think, oh yeah, you know what, you’re, you’re right. And then they’ll ask you for more ideas. That’s how you build a solid and repeatable client relationship because now they will tell others, oh my gosh, I got this person that came up with the great ideas. I didn’t have to think of everything. That’s who you want to be in the world, okay? So be a thinking partner, not an order taker. I love you.