We convince our clients to hire us because we bring a fresh, creative perspective to their message and their business. We’re excited about their product or service, and eager to get the message out. They’re excited by our excitement and (hopefully) by the results our messaging brings in, and up their game some more. It can be a lovely upward spiral.
How can clients inspire us?
What is it about their story, product, or service, that makes them unique?
One of my clients is a women’s clothing designer. Many of her designs are Asian-inspired styles and fun fabrics. But you know what one of the most exciting aspects of her designs are? Most of her pieces have pockets!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve bought men’s jackets at thrift shops and worn them just so I have pockets. I get tired of feeling like a snail, carrying my house on my back, as most women I know do, especially women who commute.
I want pockets, damn it!
As a member of her target market, the pockets are one of the major selling features for me. I get excited about them, and use it as part of the marketing.
Marketing that includes mention of the pockets results in more sales than the materials which don’t.
I inspire that client because we share a love of cats and mysteries. We talk about both a lot. One of her styles is a Thumbprint shirt that’s great for mystery lovers, which grew out of our conversations, and she puts cats on lots of her pieces.
Conversations with a client who’s a bread maker spurs fun little flash fiction with unusual flavors and shapes of bread. Which comes first? The bread or the story? They play off each other (the site has not gone live yet). We get going with our brainstorming; she does recipe development and I do flash fiction and other content.
A former landscaping client became the focus for an article pitch to a national magazine. A theatre client liked my idea of using holiday cards as a way to stay in touch with former performers/presenters and current sponsors, especially when the emphasis was on not asking them for anything! (Yes, that breaks the “rule” many nonprofits tout about using EVERY opportunity to ask for a donation. That’s a rule with which I disagree, and backfires when used on me, so I’m sure it gets old for others). I’m using a theatre based on hers in one of my novels (although I’ve set it in a different state and changed a few things).
Everything can spark inspiration, if you let it.
The basis of that is conversation as real people, not just in terms of market-speak and analytics. Get to know each other. Have real conversations.
That leads to real creativity.
Which translates into tangibles that benefit you both.