Saturday, October 10, 2020

Recent issues

Read Time: 2 minutes

I work as a consultant to creatives. Most of my clients provide creative services to corporate clients as small firms or as individuals. Some work in house. Others are employed by agencies owned by the giant ad/design holding companies.

Last week one of my clients asked me what kinds of issues people ask me for help with. Good question I thought, and I quickly made a mental list and walked her through it. Then it occurred to me that the list would make a good blog post.

With a bit of masking to protect the privacy of my clients here’s an extended list of issues I’ve encountered recently:

My creative directors have said yes to so much new business that we’re overwhelmed. I’m worried that the team is going to burn out.
My whole group was let go. The company has a new CEO, the strategy has changed, and they no longer need our services.
I spent my life in publishing both inhouse and freelance. For the last couple of years I’ve been working through Upwork. I just got a bad review from what was a difficult client and now my source of work has completely dried up.
I’ve got a new prospect and the opportunity is bigger than anything I’ve pitched in the past.
I’ve just been asked to let half of my team go.
Should I call the client and get her reaction to my price prior to sending in my bid?
I’m being asked to move from a freelance role to a much larger contract role. I’ll have to hire people to help me.
I just discovered that my boss has been running the business at a loss for almost a year and refuses to cut costs.
I need someone to take over operations.
I have an experienced, high performing creative that I want to hire. She wants more money than anyone on our management team.
My most experienced and top performing designer wants to take on management of the design group. He’s not good with people. At least two have quit the company citing him as one of the reasons.
We’ve been asked to put together a proposal to take over all of the design work for a client. It’s a major opportunity for us. Something we’ve never done before.
Since we’ve been acquired, we have a new VP we report to and our design group has been pushed to create design that’s clearly not on brand.
Would you be willing to interview a guy who I’d like to bring on as a new business person? He works for one of my clients at the moment.
I’m thinking of introducing profit sharing. I want my team to feel a sense of ownership in the firm.

In my experience, what links all this together is the need to talk with someone who has dealt with these issues within creative cultures. Cultures where the pleasure gained from the work within a collaborative group is the driver of personal satisfaction and money often seems less important.

By-the-way, I don’t know if it’s the pandemic, the race to a digital world or the economy but I’m busier than I’ve ever been with my consulting practice. Loving every minute of the interaction with clients on the one hand and feeling their pain on the other. On another note, only one of my clients has come down with Covid-19 so far. Hope it stays that way!

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