Why invest in creativity?
It’s almost impossible to put a value on creativity, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless. It means that it’s priceless.
How can someone seriously invested in a business justify throwing valuable cash at creativity? What does creativity even mean? How will it make a difference? How will a nice logo with a cohesive brand image improve business? Why do you need a professional photographer when your iPhone can take professional quality photos? These are real questions that a lot of people don’t have an answer for and taking that next step to invest in creativity for your business can feel like one of the riskiest choices an entrepreneur can make.
Let’s take a look at the opportunity of creativity from a different angle.
Creativity is a legitimate position that only certain types of people can do.
So why can’t you just ask Jim, your accountant, to help you with your branding? Well, just like an artist would mess up your accounting in under an hour, Jim shouldn’t be in charge of how you communicate your brand with the world. Just like the photographer shouldn’t be your legal consultant, the lawyer probably isn’t the best person to take professional photos for your online marketing.
We can accurately guess which people will be creative and which people will not be, based on personality traits. It doesn’t have anything to do with how they are dressed or if they can draw pretty things. Being creative is a legitimate type of person. It comes down to how our minds work, not just what type of job we want. Just like not everyone has the brain to be an accountant or a lawyer, not everyone has the brain to be creative.
What are you really investing in?
Effective creatives are psychologists. Their job isn’t to make something look pretty. Their job is to make something attractive and effective while also making it look pretty. Their job is not to get likes on your social media feed. It’s to get people to engage with your companies beliefs and goals. When you invest in creativity, you are investing in the attraction of new potential clients and methods to keep them interested in your business. You are investing in one of the most important aspects of humanity. You are investing in psychology. And in business, psychology is what separates the pros from the rest.
When your logo is interesting, it makes people look at it just one second or two longer which makes them more likely to notice it again. If your website is intriguing and interactive, it might make someone stay and scroll down a little further instead of flipping to the next site. When your brand ideas are professionally written on your website or inside your shop, people will enjoy reading about your business instead of losing interest because too much information is being thrown at them. Whether it is visual, readable, or conceptual, having it professionals done can be the difference between a new customer and an uninterested passerby.
How Do You Put A Number On Creativity?
Well, you don’t. Just like a business owner might have no idea what a creative position is worth, a lot of creatives have no idea what they should charge for their work until they know exactly what they are doing. Why? Because creativity has no process, no schedule, and no time frame that works best.
If you give someone 8 hours to file papers, you can guess somewhat accurately how many papers they will file. Creativity doesn’t work like that. On a good day, a very creative person might come up with 5 golden ideas in 20 minutes and only come up with one the next. This is why a lot of freelance creatives choose to be paid per job, and not per hour because it’s hard to know exactly how long the process will take. But what about deadlines? Nobody wants to wait for an unknown amount of time to get the product they are looking for. Well, of course, creative people can meet deadlines. If they couldn’t they wouldn’t be very useful. But the time that creative people need that many of us forget about is the time to actually be creative. I am a videographer so I will use the example of creating a video.
What do you think goes into making a promotional video for a brand? Taking the video should take an hour or two. Recording a voice-over might take 20 minutes or so. Throw that all onto a computer and out the other side your video will pop out and your profit will go through the roof! Right? No. If you are looking for a high-quality video to promote your business, here are some of the questions that need to be answered before we even touch a camera.
What are you trying to promote?
What’s the concept?
What’s the style?
Is it going to be funny? Serious? Sexy?
Where are we shooting it?
Is there a voice over in the video?
Does the video include people?
Do you need to license music?
What’s your budget?
Do we need to hire any other people to help?
The list goes on. You get the point…
When you see a cool commercial or ad online, they didn’t just pick up the camera and start shooting. Someone, if not a full team, sat down and came up with a list of ideas that might work to promote whatever they are promoting in the best possible way. They had time to be creative. The filming, shooting, painting, design, or whatever is being done is just a skill. And that skill can only be effective after the creative person or team is given a chance to think about what they will create. The part that brings real value to a business is the time before anything is physically made. It is the time where creatives are allowed to be creative.
The difference between someone creative and someone who is not is that the non-creative person will come up with an average idea and go with it. A creative person will come up with many ideas and dig to the core of each in search of the most interesting, effective, efficient, way to achieve the task at hand. A creative person finds the best way for you to reach your goals. And they can only do that if they are given the time to do so.
Hire them because they are worth your money.
Let's be realistic. Don't hire creatives because they are struggling artists that need community support. Don't hire them because they feel like a job in creativity is their calling (As a creative person, it's annoying when it feels like we are getting work out of pity). Hire them because they will take your business and make it better. Hire them because they bring real value to the process of growth that you won't find anywhere else. Hire creatives because they are worth your money.