Stop lying to your customers. Just stop.
One of the biggest mistakes we make as we become freelancers is adopting this idea that we have to be able to provide agency-like services. Everything has to be perfect. Turn around has to be extremely fast and we use a certain language with our clients that makes it seem like a military-sized creative team is helping you out.
“Smoke and mirrors, MAC, you have to play with smoke and mirrors.” WORST advice ever given to me.
I received this advice a few months back, and I felt very awkward. This was coming from somebody with great knowledge and experience in marketing and business development. I wanted to implement this, but never felt comfortable.
I repeat, STOP LYING TO YOUR CLIENTS.
In my experience, behaving like a big business only cemented big business expectations in my clients. Could I live up to these expectations? Most times, I could not—resulting in clients who loved my work, but felt couldn’t trust my delivery dates.
Over a decade ago, I attended a seminar on Advertising Trends in Latin America and learned a lesson that would change my approach to my own marketing as well as my work for my clients. The CEO of Ogilvy Venezuela was sharing company secrets and he pointed out a quote that I will never forget:
“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” —David Ogilvy
In any business, it is important to create a true relationship with your client—even more so in any creative industry. Treat each client as your spouse. The symbiosis you want to create is one of mutualism, were both are gaining something very important.
This is the birth of TRUTH BE TOLD, a section of my blog dedicated to the trials and tribulations of being a creative freelancer or solopreneur in a new era of business.
Always at your service,