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, the carefully crafted proposition message is designed to influence and inform people about the value of your product or service.
Production covers all the technical skills and resources needed to launch your website, print your brochure or produce your video.
Make it easy for clients to select you
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 wanting to be like them. 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.
Eleven easy tips on how to stand out and be selected
1. Look at how past projects relate to client challenges. 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 look at how past projects and client challenges relate to your products/services and structure them into a capability profile. This will provide a sound platform to launch your marketing campaign messages.
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 understanding using your words – not 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. 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. Avoid using design as a decorative tool to make pretty websites and brochures. Graphic elements should support headings and copy, expressing key benefits and illustrating the value you’ll bring.
10. Avoid exaggerating promises and benefits. Always deliver more than you promised. 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.