The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 1

Recently I was asked: What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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Some of the common mistakes that I've seen in my career are usually attention to detail(s). Proofreading a print advertisement, submitting an order amount wrong, or typos on presentation decks.

You will come to find that creative people share similar traits, this is a generalization to be sure, but there's a likelihood you'll find one if not more in most marketing professionals:

Many of us have ADHD, this is not figuratively speaking, a lot of us do. Diagnosed or not. Knowing this will allow you to coat the next following list:

  • The biggest shit-storm one can create is to have a vague, or non-existent, creative brief. Creatives are just that — CREATIVE. A creative brief should give, at least the initial idea, and some parameters to reign in their thought process initially. (e.g. If the client has a brand standards manual, fonts, specified voice or defined goal objective) During the creative process of the 'client-only' edition of the project, we more often than not, come up with a slew of new ways to shape the original concept.

  • We get distracted. Allow us to listen to music, background noise, or whatever allows us to get "in the zone." Busy agencies that create atmospheres of account executives (AEs) or related, consistently asking your creatives questions will delay the completion of a project and in many cases, the creative will suffer.

  • We're slow to do the jobs we HAVE to do and ATTACK the jobs we want to do. We often have pissing contests over who got what project.

  • We are terrible spellers (as I write this in Grammarly) – check our shit, again and again. Of course, it's important to remember that your creative IS NOT your proofing person.

  • On tasking: checklists will help. Daily huddles will help as well, as long as we hear what we want to hear and forget the rest (see jobs we HAVE to do above).

  • Most of us suck at math. Give us the sizes of the ad! Tasking us to research this is like throwing money away.

  • Remind us, again and again on the due dates. This is why daily huddles are beneficial.

What are your favorite truths about creatives?