Want to Work with Creatives? Here’s What you Need to KnowCreatives are…
“Creatives” is also a noun used to describe people who spend the majority of their professional and oftentimes their personal lives creating something of artistic value, from visual art, to stunning websites, to music, to ideas and great copy for your brand. Creatives are creative professionals. As such, they’re the people interacting with different facets of the culture, picking up on emerging trends, aesthetic tastes, or movements. Because of this, connecting with stellar creatives and growing a solid, working relationship is vital for any business owner who’s looking to grow their brand in a unique and effective manner. Good Creative can leapfrog you miles beyond the rest.
One size does not fit all.
If you’ve worked with one creative, you’ve worked with one creative. Just like “ordinary” folks, creatives can vary lots. So please, do not assume to know who we are based on the fact that you and that last creative you hired really bonded over your shared love of Chinese tea culture or existential philosophy or some other somewhat obscure interest. If you want to know what a creative person is into, ask! Then, listen carefully to see what you have in common. Even if that surmounts to virtually nothing, that’s not a bad thing and may, in fact, be a very good thing if you’re willing to go on a guided tour of their fascinations. A bit of advice: If you want to bond with anyone who’s got a creative streak, ask them about their interests, inspirations, and the things they gravitate towards. Then listen. Accept this “getting to know you” time as part of the process of building a solid working relationship. And just in case that sounds high-maintenance to you, consider how long it took to acquaint yourself with your business partner, Chief Operating Officer, head accountant, or even your biggest client?
Our brains are not alike.
Creatives to tend to think differently than your average Joe but again, there’s a gulf between how one creative thinks versus another. Some may be very visually oriented and need to see things on paper, on the board, or in their heads in order to better process information. Some may be very aural (hearing oriented) and need to hear and even talk about things as a way to process and create. Some need to walk, mumble to themselves, or drum on their desks. Bear in mind that even if a creative person you’ve hired is working on visual media as a designer for your company, that doesn’t mean they’ll process information visually. So, keep it fluid and don’t be surprised if you find that visual virtuoso is also an audiophile who’s constantly tuned into her playlist and talk podcasts, while the jingle composer is surrounded with art. Cross-fertilization tends to run deep with many creative folk.
Some creative professionals will go headlong into a project without stopping, often staying beyond hours to see a project to completion. Others will start strong but fizzle off considerably once their aesthetic interests have been satisfied and there’s still some tweaking and fixing to be done. Other creatives may work in fits and stops while seeking their inspiration. Understandably, this can worry those in charge but it’s just part of their process and so “chaos” can also be part of the magic recipe.
Our motivators are different.
You’ll find just as many, if not more, different kinds of motivators among creatives as you will among other professionals. Some may want their art appreciated (and recognized) by others in the company. Some may be seeking acknowledgement from the outside world and be desirous of fame or repute. Some can be focused on the money (nope, creatives are not exempt from this) and draw real inspiration from that paycheck. Others can be fiercely project-oriented and focused on seeing their ideas through to completion. Some are perfectionists, striving to outdo their last work or achieve their own gold standard. This last brand of passionate, self-driven creatives may also be resistant to changes or notes that run contrary to their own tastes and standards. So, if you want to know what motivates us and gets us to work at our best—ask! Chances are we will know something about what drives us and if we don’t, we’ll start getting curious about it. In any case, show some interest, stay open and receptive and that will help set the stage for a fruitful, rewarding relationship.