1.0 The creative process
The creative process is concerned with the emergence of ideas resulting from discussions with the client. Ideas can arise immediately, but usually it occurs after a period of contemplation while walking, taking a shower or sitting quietly somewhere.
2.0 Message design
Design is a planning process, so message design is about planning your message. Ideas, words and images are crafted into an organised proposition for web, print and video applications.
2.1 Design development
Design development is about making it happen and involves a broad range of knowledge and skills such as: marketing, copywriting, website design, graphic design, photography and filmmaking.
Finally, words and images are carefully crafted to influence and inform people about your product or service.
Production covers all the technical skills and resources needed to launch your online projects, brochure or video.
It’s easy to be influenced by peer groups. Most people want to stand alongside like-minded people. This is quite natural, but it can lead to me-tooism and a herd mentality. And this is not good for your business.
If you want to separate yourself from your peers and make it easier for clients to choose you, then you have to give up the impulse to follow others. Followers are always a step behind.
Become a maverick
It requires strength and confidence to stand alone, which is why the maverick is more likely to succeed in getting attention. But you want to stand out for the right reasons.
The key is to carefully examine your own experience and ask your team members to do the same. Document it and use it as a platform to build your marketing content.
1. Look at recent projects and document the challenges you and your team faced.
Talk to your team. Discuss the lessons that were learned, they’re rarely documented. Don’t rush. Avoid making assumptions if there are gaps. List any questions and look for the right answers.
2. Then compare these challenges with your current offering.
This will show the changes needed and provide a springboard for new marketing content.
3. The secret to crafting effective messages is to write from the heart.
Be direct, sincere and honest. Write with a person in mind, not some corporate entity. This is achieved by having the confidence to stand by your knowledge and skills without referring to any authority.
4. Avoid popular shorthand jargon.
Always write from your own experience and not from what you’ve heard or read unless you’re using a quotation to illustrate a point. Use memorable metaphors people can relate to.
5. Demonstrate your expertise using success stories.
This grounds your message in reality. Be generous, but don’t give too much away. You have to build confidence and trust.
6. Be the voice of a friend.
Offer advice and help whenever you can. People bond with people, not companies. Don’t be afraid to speak naturally. We do it in the bar, coffee shop and on the golf course.
7. Use anecdotes to illustrate something outstanding about your business.
Specify the benefit in financial or productivity terms. It could be a money-saving idea that increased profits. Or it could be joint expertise on a collaborative project or a patent for an invention. You are different to anyone else, so promote the difference that made the difference.
8. Be passionate about your work.
Passion communicates beyond competence and says you’re ‘right’ for the assignment.
9. Create visual impact with meaningful graphics and photography.
Graphic elements should support headings and copy and express the value you’ll bring.
10. Avoid exaggerating promises and benefits.
Always deliver more than you promise. Keep doing this and you’ll be remembered for your integrity.
11. Avoid clichés and throwaway phrases like, ‘our customers always come first.’
So, in summary, getting your sales proposition right is a combination of reflection, clarity and integrity.
If you’re a maverick, these guidelines will come naturally, but with practice and our help, they can be easily implemented. Mavericks are often industry heroes. They possess the courage to break from the herd mindset and stand alone.