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How To Get Your Client On Board with Creative Ideas

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Your creative team has come up with a fantastic concept for your client's campaign, and you're all really excited about it. The problem is, you know the client is quite conservative and this idea … well, it's not conservative. In fact, it's downright wacky.

However, you're certain you can deliver great results with this wacky creative idea. You done the risk-assessment and feel as though its worth a shot. But how do you present this concept to the client in a way that they will understand? How can you convince a conservative client to take the chance on a creative idea?

Be Honest and Direct

The crux of the client/agency relationship lies in strong communication. The client needs to feel as though he/she can trust you, and that you have the best interests of their company in mind.

So don't try to slip this idea in unnoticed, don't try and downplay its kookiness. Explain to the client that you're going to show them something a bit left of centre, and let them see how excited you are about it. If you can translate that excitement over to them, you won't struggle to sell the idea at all.

Be Prepared

A client needs to understand a concept – especially a unique one – from all angles, so come to your concept meeting with a fully articulated concept and plan of action. Projections, diagrams, facts and figures – these will help the client understand what you want to achieve.

Present a Scale of Options

If possible, show the client a scale of options. Show them the wackiest idea you've got, then show them the same concept, but scaled back a bit. Then the same concept again, scaled back even further. Chances are, when seeing ideas presented in this way, the client will choose the "middle-of-the-road" option – so make this option your strongest.

Stress the Measurable

If the client brought the job to you, it's because they've seen the results you've achieved on other jobs, and they want the same results for themselves. To a certain extent, the client doesn't really care you they get those results, as long as you remain brand-focused and come in on budget while you achieve them.

When presenting a creative idea, focus on the success similar campaigns have generated in the past, and how you'll measure results – the tangible benefits the client can understand.

Educate and Show Examples

Clients often struggle with overall concepts. What will really help is creating a mock-up of you concept – an example of an email campaign, or a mock-up of your mobile game app. It obviously can't be too complex, but if you can allow the client to experience the concept for him/herself, and demonstrate features and ideas using a sample of the project, you're much more likely to get that buy-in.

Be Professional

This should go without saying, but be professional in your words and actions. This is especially important if you're presenting a wacky creative idea.

Remember, the client is the one taking the risk, not you, and they are taking the risk with their company's money. They need to feel that you're taking their project seriously.

At the end of the day, it is the client's money, and if they want to see a more conservative concept, then this is what you will give them. Don't go in all guns blazing ready to fight to the death for your creative freedom – that's a quick way to lose a client, and your reputation. A company willing to take bigger risks will come along in no time.

So are you ready to present that creative idea to your clients? Do you have a plan of action? Let us know how it goes!


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Steff Green
Steff Green is one of WorkflowMax's resident wordsmiths, writing everything from website pages to blog posts, ebooks, emails and everything in between. Steff is also an award-winning author, with several fantasy novels available on Amazon. When she’s not writing up a storm, Steff lives on a lifestyle block with her musician husband, two cantankerous cats, several sheep and chickens and her medieval sword collection.

Steff Green