How to Convince Clients That Your Creative Ideas Are Right
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How to Convince Clients That Your Creative Ideas Are Right

Facing the "I like it" / "I don't like it" hurdle when presenting work to clients.

How to convince clients of your creative ideas. One of the key hurdles for writers and art directors/designers in presenting creative work to clients is the "gee, I like it," or "gee, I don't really like it" phase. We all run into clients, whether business owners or merely the people we work with at a client, who think that their job, when working with creative consultants, is to judge work we present. (One of the worst experiences I ever had was working with a "committee" in which every single person felt that they had to change something or they weren't contributing.)

A simple and effective response is to say, "I appreciate that and understand what you're saying, but please bear in mind that we're doing this campaign for your target audience, not this company. So it's what 'they' like that counts."

In order to convince, you have to have solid knowledge ready about your true target audience. In other words, demographics. If the product or service is targeting 15-22 year old males, then whatever communication you create has to be something that audience can relate to. Similarly, if your true target audience is 55-70 year olds women, you have to create communications in a style that works for them.

1. Do your homework and get to know how to speak to your target audience - either online or in print. You can do that by looking at what's already out there targeting the same audience and get a solid feel for the right tone and voice.

2. Do more than one approach to present to your client(s), but be sure which one you want to sell and have persuasive arguments ready for that approach. However, you also have to be ready for the wild-card clients who choose the one you like least. Therefore ... don't ever show anything you wouldn't be happy running.

3. Be as diplomatic as possible if you run into the "I like it" / "I don't like it" hurdle. This is where you'll have to convince people to step back from their gut judgment preferences and trust your instincts on how best to speak with the true target audience.

If you're convincing, you'll get your way. Then your work will have a chance to stand on its own. Once again, don't present anything you don't feel confident about because it may be what ends up running in a national campaign.

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