Creativity, by its very nature, involves the element of novelty. But replicating successful outcomes is required for the growth of any business—including a creative agency. These two factors, creativity and scalability, seem to be by their very definitions incompatible.
Yet as more and more clients sought to partner with our agency, we were faced with the conundrum: How can creativity be scaled?
Here’s what has worked great for us:
- Be focused: Allow your creative experts to focus on what they do best.
It’s tempting to bring your whole team in on every exciting conversation during the concepting phase of projects. The more the merrier, right? Well, not always.
Does your editor love polishing copy? Be judicious in askinghim to brainstorm design concepts. Does your social media expert thrive in creating digital content? Don’t pull her into everydiscussion about new tag lines for a client’s latest product.
Yes, stepping out of our comfort zones can be invigorating. Sometimes it’s necessary—and important. But constantly being pulled in too many directions can also be draining. So be thoughtful when deciding what level of collaboration every piece of a project needs. Then allow your team to work together as appropriate, focus on their strengths, and maximize their creative abilities.
- Be organized: Take project management off the plate of your creative team.
For a boutique agency, it was a big decision to hire a project manager with the sole focus of keeping jobs moving smoothly. Any increase in payroll requires a leap. But it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Our operations strategist assigns tasks and due dates, and streamlines communication between clients and our team members. Now, our writers can focus solely on creating amazing copy. Our designers aren’t distracted from developing powerful images. And our leadership team has the time and mental space to dream and build.
Goodbye minutia, hello creativity!
- Be selective: Find clients with similar needs as the clients you currently love serving.
Variety may be the spice of life, but identifying and focusing on your strengths can be even more invigorating. Just as each member of our creative team is encouraged to work within his or her strengths, so our agency seeks to find and retain clients we are particularly well suited to serve.
You probably have clients you love to work with—and those whose phone call or email you dread. More often than not the clients you enjoy most are also the clients whose projects are most exciting to you. And when you’re excited, creative inspiration seems to flow more easily.
Creativity requires mental and emotional energy. Pick clients whose projects excite you, and fuel that creative fire!
Freedom to work within our strengths, improved project workflow, and careful cultivation of the right clients has created a structure within which our creativity has exploded.
Ashley, Senior Partner and CEO