When we started Southend, like any small business, we were eager to land our first clients. Now, looking back, there are some things we’ve learned that we wish we had done differently.
If there’s one big thing we’d change from the start, it’s sticking to our guns…sticking to our values of what we know creates a good storytelling video…a video that will speak to an audience.
In the beginning, we let our clients have all of the say in the creative process. But often, this meant the final video didn’t turn out as awesome as it could have. Deep down, we knew that if we had spoken up about our own creative ideas, the videos would have been better. At the outset, we lacked the confidence to voice our opinions, but that’s changed now.
Over time we’ve gained confidence in our style and our brand. We are creative storytellers, and while we value a client’s input, our ultimate goal is to present them with a variety of options we think will work really well. We can handle creative concepting, ideation and production, bringing their ideas to life.
That said, our level of involvement with the creative process also depends on the client. Sometimes agencies come to us with their concept and we focus on executing the production. Other times brands come to us with a blank slate and we build it from scratch. At the end of the day our goal is to create a video that will connect with our client’s audience and evoke emotion.
Another skill we’ve honed in on is mastering the discovery call. It took about 2 years to fine tune the process, but with some trial and error we’ve figured out what works. Instead of getting into the weeds with a potential client discussing their creative vision, we shifted the focus to the client’s problem. Specifically, what problem the client needs to solve and how a video can present a solution. Asking the right questions is key.
When we were first starting out our Discovery Calls would last over an hour. We’d invest time in discussing creative ideas and storylines, etc. only to realize the potential client didn’t have a budget and/or wasn’t ready to move forward. By streamlining our discovery process we were able to increase efficiency and also establish boundaries.
These lessons have been learned over time and the underlying factor here is confidence. Being confident enough to speak up, push back, and sometimes even squash an idea because you know in your gut it’s just not going to work. That confidence will carry over into all aspects of your business, and your clients will appreciate the end result. After all, they hired you for a reason.