Permission To Be Demanding

You’re hiring a designer or marketing person and can’t wait for the process to unfold.

Or…maybe not.

Most likely you have some uncertainty. You don’t know how to choose a consultant. You’ve never been through the process. You don’t know which questions to ask. You don’t speak the same language. You’re worried about money. You have a committee to please. You’ve got your other work to do.

Oof.

Maybe you can relate to one or all these feelings. If so, a few things can happen:

• You turn over the process to fate, ignoring the costs of backing up and redoing things later.

• You put all your trust into your consultant who, though prepared to deliver, might be set up to fail.

When vital engagement is missing, it’s easy to focus on stylistic details like wanting the color to be red instead of blue even if you can’t say why. Or requiring all your text to remain, even if it doesn’t fit or is muddying your message.

That’s not being demanding.

What does it mean to be demanding?

Demanding is…

…staying really engaged in the process.

…articulating a clear and concise vision.

…fearlessly marrying your wisdom and expertise with that of the consultant.

…asking, “help me understand how this process works.”

…supplying answers that create a strong foundation out of which great work comes.

…caring more about the big picture than the stylistic details (but details do matter).

…knowing who matters most to your efforts and encouraging good solutions that reach these people.

…knowing who and how to hire the best person for the job.

Good designers and marketers don’t shy away from demanding clients. In fact, we prefer clients like this because we can do good work when you set a high bar — a high bar of what really matters. You don’t need to be an expert about design, branding or marketing. You only need to be an expert about you.

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(Image: Flickr / Creative Commons License / Felicito Rustique)

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