Building A Valuable Creative Business: Step 3 - Change The Conversation

Yesterday was an interesting day for the future of creativity. An extensive article in Fast Company analyzing in some depth the state of the advertising industry. 

By 1pm it had made its way round the business.

By 2pm I’d received emails from three clients asking whether issues raised in the article had been considered in our most recent recommendations. They had. Relieved clients are happy clients.

By 3pm, I’d received a call from a journalist asking for my thoughts on the article. I said I thought there was one fact that stood out.

The average tenure of a CMO is 22 months.

You want to become more valuable to the economic buyer, solve that problem.

The question is how.

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that I’ve been offering a practical, step by step guide to creating change. The guide begins here.

Step 3 in The Guide to Valuable Creative Business is:

Change The Conversation.

You can’t engender fundamental change in your business or your life in an instant. The organism, human or cultural, won’t allow it to happen easily. Or at all.

Instead, identify your smallest client, the loss of whom would not keep you up at night. The purpose of which is not to minimize your potential loss, but to minimize the resistence you have to overcome in order to take this step.

Ask to meet them in their office. Tell them you’re looking for an opportunity to invest in improving a client’s situation. Then ask them these five questions:

1. Why do you buy services from companies like mine?

2. What’s the best outcome of that work?

3. What’s the worst outcome?

4. What are the three biggest problems your company faces every day?

5. If I told you I was willing to invest $25,000 of our services to help you solve one of those problems, with an agreement that if it works we are paid $40,000 and if it doesn’t we are paid nothing, would that be valuable to you?

The value of this process to you is driven not by whether number 5 creates a new opportunity - one that realizes a 38% return incidentally. But by the knowledge you gain from numbers 1-4. And the confidence that comes from realizing that changing the paradigm starts by changing the conversation. And where it happens. 

 “Most significant changes that happen in society will happen from the bottom up, little phenomena that start locally and then multiply exponentially. Once you do that math, the exponential multiplication results in dramatic change.” Vinod Khosla

What you do with the information you gather, we’ll discuss next time.