How to Have a Great Experience With a Creative Contractor

You’ve hired a copywriter… and the copy doesn’t sound like you.

You’ve hired a graphic designer… and the graphics are not your style at all.

You’ve hired a web developer… and the website is not on brand.

This happens ALL.THE.TIME. If you know anything about me, you know I am all about systemizing how your team operates so you can have a great experience every time.

But some clients have said it’s impossible to have a great experience with a creative contractor, freelancer, or VA because creatives are totally different types of team members…

Mic Drop Moment: This isn’t exactly true.

Team members are team members. All of your team members require training and feedback to really deliver that read-your-mind, sound-like-you, think-like-you… pretty “Be you.” type of service.

And the way that you onboard, train and give feedback are systems that are important and the same, no matter what type of team member you bring on.

HOWEVER, there are a few things about working with creative team members that you should keep in mind and adjust for, so you can have a great experience every time.

So, how do you make sure you have a great experience with a creative resource on your team?

1. Onboard and train them the same way you would any other contractor, VA, or team member in your business.

Some clients don’t onboard or train creative resources that work with them, or they gloss over parts of onboarding because they think that how they do work, what they stand for, what their values or expectations are, aren’t as important to creative resources. 

All that information IS important to the creative working with you, especially if they are trying to capture your essence, your tone, your voice, and your style. 

And if they say it’s not important… that would make me wonder about the resource…

2. Get your creative brief in order.

Get your creative materials in order. I’m not just talking about your logo or your branding board, I’m talking about your creative specifications.

Your creative framework materials – things like voice guide, your marketing content formula, your style guide, your image parameters.

All of these pieces put parameters around what the creative produces for your business. A lot of the time, the reason why a creative is not hitting the mark is that you haven’t been clear about (1) what your business, what it stands for, etc. and (2) you haven’t given any guidance on what things should look like, sound like, and read like.

So give them the tools and guidance to be successful – tell them what you do and don’t want because if there are no parameters, it’s a lucky shot whether what they produce will be what you’re looking for.

3. Give good feedback.

If you’ve prepped creative resources and the first deliverable is not what you had in mind, don’t just scrap the whole thing. The resource type doesn’t matter, even the best trained VA or contractor is going to need feedback to be successful.

So give them good feedback often and early on so they can actually improve.

Have you said many times something along the lines of “this isn’t right” or “I don’t like this,” and you didn’t specify exactly what you didn’t like, what wasn’t right, and what you wanted instead?

Feedback should include specific examples about what doesn’t sound, look or feel right, what it should be like, and an example.

4. Understand the feedback cycle.

Finally and most importantly, understand the feedback cycle and know that no matter what resources you have – creative or otherwise – you need to give feedback and give them time so they can maneuver and do it right.

Too often, the issue is that you don’t give them time to improve. You don’t give them the right feedback and you don’t give them any time to make adjustments. Know that you have to give them a little bit of time to change things AND that it also takes a couple of feedback cycles to nail what you want. 

I’ve seen a lot of business owners miss out on great resources because they shot off a quick email with some feedback and didn’t see changes immediately and then they wonder why they never seem to find the right resources or their resources don’t seem to ever work out.

Until next time,

Diane 

P.S. If you don’t feel confident leading and managing your team and you want to level up to a fully supported 6-figure CEO, then you might be a good fit for my Develop Your Dream Team Intensive. Apply for a Systems Assessment call with me and I’ll tell you how you can be a confident and in-control leader of your team.

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