Running a web-based business has many perks: being able to work from any location, enjoying a flexible schedule, and having the freedom to do what you love on your own terms. It’s easy to think that you’re working well with your team and clients on web and social media marketing related manners if you’re consistently emailing and checking in with everyone, but sometimes you might not realize that your emails or phone calls aren’t providing enough information (or worse, sometimes too much information!). Without clear creative direction, projects might take longer than necessary, confusion and frustration amongst the people involved might happen, or small messes might be made.
You never want to disrespect your clients, team or vendor’s time by making them do more work than necessary, so it’s important to have all communications flowing smoothly and effectively. When providing creative direction or direction for a task, the goal is to avoid making others ask questions that should’ve been answered in the initial request; no one wants to drag out the process and keep going back and forth about the same issue.
Here are some easy ways to make sure that you’re giving the best creative direction:
- Be clear and specific about who is owning what task in a project.
- Be direct and to-the-point about what needs to be done. In emails, give a clear subject line and as much information in the message as possible so your team can take that information and get to work.
- If a task is needed by a certain time, make sure all parties are able to produce within the time frame. If someone isn’t able to finish a task by the deadline, it can easily be passed on to someone else if it’s clearly communicated early enough.
- Before handing anything over to someone else to work with, make sure you have everything together. Details matter! If you need changes made to a website, be specific in what information needs to be changed on which pages, and be sure to provide links to the pages to be updated. It also never hurts to provide images or examples of what you’re referring to. This saves time for the web designer and gets your results to you faster!
For example, let’s say you want to ask a graphic designer to design new a graphic for the new promotion you are rolling out on Facebook ads. Instead of emailing:
We need a few graphics for my new promo to use for Facebook ads.
Happy Day! We are rolling out ads on Facebook this month for the new ____ promotion and we would like your help creating a graphic. The dimensions for the graphic need to be 1,200 x 628 pixels.
Text for the graphic can include ______
Accompanying photo suggestion: ______
Font: Open Sans
We will be linking the ad to _____
Can you have this done by August 12th?
If there is anything I can answer for you, let me know!
Thank you so much!
The more clarity you’re able to provide, the better. Giving clear creative direction to both clients and other team members is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what their role in the processes are. This will help save time and money, and avoid any unnecessary annoyances so that your work can get done in the smoothest and fastest way possible.