Hiring Creatives Is Not Like Hiring A Plumber

If you want to hire someone to perform a creative service, it is not the same as if you want to hire a plumber.

If you have leaky taps, you just want the problem solved. You will make your decision based on cost and speed. How much will it cost me? When can you do it?

The aim of the task is simple. Fix the taps.

When hiring people to deliver creative services, the aim of the task is not always so clear.

Here’s an example.

I sometimes get enquiries like this:

Hi Sam,

I got your name from Dave at Yay Adelaide, who said you did a good job on their video. We want to put a video on our website. 3 minutes would be good. How much will that cost?



Emails like this are why we need meetings.

The initial meeting is a vital part of my creative process. This is because I get to ask questions.

Questions like ‘Why do you want to make a video?’

‘Who is going to see it?’

‘How are they going to see it?’

‘What is the message you want to convey?’

Of course, the client has questions too.

Questions like ‘Have you ever created something like this before?’

‘How long will it take?’

‘Where do we start?’

This is why the meeting is important. We get to collaboratively feel our way towards an answer to the main question.

And the main question is not ‘How much will that cost?’

The main question is ‘Are we a good fit?’

A good fit is when both the client and the service provider are confident that the working relationship will be mutually beneficial.

A good fit is when the client feels they have made the right choice for their project. They have selected someone with the unique skill set, experience and expertise to give them the best chance of receiving an end product which meets or exceeds their hopes and dreams.

A good fit is when the service provider feels that their particular expertise has been understood by the client, and that they are a good match for what the client ultimately wants to achieve.

For people who need plumbers, it’s easy to find a good fit.

For people who need creatives, it’s not so easy.

That’s because creative problems are not the same as leaky taps.

Creative problems require creative solutions, and no two professional creatives are alike.

In Adelaide, lots of people and brands are now looking at creating video content.

They have many service providers to choose from.

They are all in search of their good fit.

I have many clients across a wide range of industries, but part of my job as a freelance creative is to always be on the lookout for more.

I am constantly searching for my next good fit.

Not just people who want videos. Not just people who happen to be able to afford videos.

A good fit is about more than that.

A good fit for me means that the client understands exactly what it is that I do, and what I don’t do.

On my business card, I have the following words printed in capital letters:

‘I help people and brands tell their stories with compelling short web documentaries. I cover every stage of production and make videos you’ll be excited about sharing.’

That means I don’t just make videos. I tell stories.

A good fit for me is a client who has a story to tell.

It could be about an innovative project they have undertaken.

Some groundbreaking research.

An inspiring story of triumph against the odds.

I specialise in using documentary filmmaking techniques to elicit emotion in an audience.

My business makes that skill set available to people and brands who have stories to tell.

That means I don’t do corporate presentations.

I don’t do training videos.

I don’t do scripted drama or TVCs.

There are plenty of other local service providers who do offer these products.

But that’s not what I do.

There are plenty of businesses who need these services.

But they aren’t my clients.

A good fit for me is a client who wants to create something special with their video content.

A good fit for me is someone who takes the time to research their buying options, and understands what I can offer.

Someone who understands that their problem is not a leaky tap.

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