Apr 11, 2012
The 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in
Boston (early bird deadline is April 30!), is rapidly approaching.
For today’s podcast interview, we have Marcia Hoeck, giving us a
preview of her session, Skillful Communication with
Q: What’s the biggest mistake creatives make when
communicating with clients?
Marcia: The biggest mistake is not setting the right tone
and maybe taking things personally. We’re in a business where it’s
our art, it’s our creativity, so we tend to take things more
personally. We have to step back and realize this is a business
relationship. We have to set the right tone. The client has to
place his trust in you in order to feel confident that you can do
The biggest miscommunication mistake is that we don’t
establish ourselves right out of the bag as a partner, as a
resource, so that the client can relax. When we feel boxed in by
client demands, it’s when our role hasn’t been positioned correctly
in the beginning, and that’s our job. If the client knows that you
have strategic ideas that will help him, as well as the
implementation skills, that client can relax … It gives you equal
footing and leverage in the relationship.
Most powerful people … they’re really not looking for “yes”
men. That’s the biggest mistake that I see is when we’re making
that assumption that they are, and we’re taking things personally
as a creative person.
Q: Do you think these problems are rooted in the
creative professional’s lack of confidence?
Marcia: I’m really glad you brought up confidence. That
isn’t talked about enough in business. People don’t teach it. It
isn’t something that comes naturally to creative people. But in
creative work especially, where we highly value our work, and we
are passionate about our work … we often undervalue our own role in
what we do. There’s kind of a disconnect. We have great confidence
in our work, and we know the value of our work, and we have great
confidence in our ability to do the work, but we often can’t show
that confidence when communicating our role in the process. We
don’t come off as confident in selling situations, or when
defending our pricing … What that comes off as to prospective
clients is lack of competence. They think we can’t do the work
because we can’t defend it, because we can’t talk about
Listen to our 11-minute interview to hear more. Use your Big
Ticket pass to catch this CFC session – or sign up for CFC on its
own. If you aren’t yet registered for CFC, sign up here and take advantage of the combo
$100 discount: $50 early bird before April 30th + $50 Marketing
Mentor discount with promo code “CMM12”
And listen to the rest of the podcast interview series with our
speakers, including Dyana Valentine, Mark O’Brien, Shane Pearlman, Jonathan Cleveland, Ed Gandia, Sarah Duham and Allen Murabayashi.