The frustration for most creative firms is how to get “good” clients. And when you talk about a list of attributes for “good” clients, it’s usually a list of negatives. We want clients who won’t micromanage or won’t try to do our jobs or won’t dumb down an ad. What we want are clients with imagination. So here’s a little list I came up with Saturday. I describe three company attributes that can be built upon, but are often left undiscovered. Feel free to leave comment and help me think through it.
First, we want clients with vision. And that vision goes beyond simply making money. It has to be a human vision. These businesses can include the profit-driven company that has a vision for how to help people in some way and make a fair (even if it’s substantial) profit off of it. The group can also include companies that look more like nonprofits in their ability to connect with other humans. But what it doesn’t include are commodity-selling companies who are interested in competing on price only, and just beating the hell out of customers by buying repeat media.
I believe 80% of startups are visionary. After a few years of not knowing how to build a vision, it drops to10%. I believe there’s a market for a creative group that can help people remember their vision, recover it and execute.
The second group are people with clear, long-term goals. This can be a huge area of growth. After all, most of us have a vague picture of our future, but our daily activities aren’t actually taking us there. Some companies aren’t at all serious about the work it takes, and they don’t have the help to be able to execute an operation. So they wouldn’t be worth working with.
I estimate that about 70% of businesses have an underdeveloped goal structure that, if activated, would give them an immediate and substantial boost. If goals are defined, creativity stops being random and starts being focused and interesting.
Finally, about 100% of organizations have barriers between their long-term and short-term goals. But here’s the thing. Lots of those companies feel they have everything taken care of already. And some do. But often times, this is where people lose their original passion: they don’t know how to reach their ideal goals, so instead of getting help, they change their goals to boring, more “obtainable” goals.
So we’re looking for people who want that passion back. They want to be different, and they want to stop believing in the lies that got them to the place of mediocrity. If there’s a market for your vision, even if it’s unclear, it’s time to get brave and talk to a creative strategist.