While it can be tempting to jump head first into a creative project fuelled only by the passion and enthusiasm you have to create something, this can be a dangerous way to approach a project.
Any kind of creative, especially a marketing agency, needs to have a creative workflow to follow so you know exactly what you’re doing and when. By developing these habits and routines, you make the operational aspect of being creative so much easier, giving you more energy to focus on the work you love most.
We’re going to explore the top 9 ways you can create and optimize your workflow, ensuring you have the best creative performance possible.
1. Create a Brief
Start every project with a creative brief. This is the best way to make sure your whole team knows exactly what needs to be done and what the end goal should be. With a clear goal, you can take clear actions.
Free Creative Brief Templates
Every successful project starts with a plan
2. Set Milestones
Start to finish, a job can take months, possibly even years, to complete. With no way to track your progress, there’s no way to know you’re on the right path. It’s important to make sure you’re breaking up your project into measurable milestones so you can see where you need to be and when.
Perhaps the most important tip on this list; make sure you’re delegating the roles out to your team, so everyone knows exactly what they’re responsible for, and the entire project team has structure. By having a clear structure and a clear chain of command, you’ll be eliminating the majority of communication and productivity problems.
4. Put Your Client First
The better the client experience, the easier and more productive your workflow will be. Terry Burton, a marketing manager for Brit Student and Australia2Write, explains:
“The client is one of the most important priorities you need to be thinking about when it comes to each creative project, so make sure you’re considering them at every step of the process. Consider what they need and what their expectations are, so you know you’re keeping them happy and in the loop.”
5. Expect Problems
Every project is going to have problems come up at some point. Make sure to take advantage of the collective intelligence of your team to anticipate and prevent any project fires before they start.
The more organized and prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be able to handle whatever curveball comes your way without seriously derailing the job.
6. Create Templates
Why start from scratch on every project, especially if you’re doing the same thing over and over again? Instead, take time to create templates you can use to save you a lot of time and effort now and in the future.
For example, if you create a lot of blog content for clients in a certain format, create a template to save time and your team can simply fill in the gaps.
7. Visualize Your Project
As a creative agency, chances are that the majority of your team will identify as a “visual person.” Especially when it comes to the health of a project, your best bet for transferring information to the most number of people is to make the information as visual as possible.
Job dashboards give you at-a-glance insights into the health of your jobs. Make sure your projects stay on time and on budget every time with Function Point’s dashboards. Book a demo to see how FP helps keep your agency profitable.
Visualize Your Project Success
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8. Optimize Communication
“Communication is the key to success for every single project or process you’ll ever be involved in. Without effective communication, the risk of misunderstanding becomes rife, problems are created from nothing, and solutions become harder to find”
– Dani Harris, marketer for WriteMYX and Next Coursework
Thanks to technology, effective communication has never been easier. Make sure you’re implementing the tools that works best for your team size, composition and team communication objectives.
9. Analyze Everything
At the end of every project, make sure you’re taking the time to look through everything that happened and analyze. How long did certain tasks take, or how much did certain resources cost? How can you make things better next time?
With FP’s Business Intelligence Reporting, you have access to insights into your agency’s profitability, staff utilization and work efficiency right at your fingertips. Book a demo to learn more from one of our FP experts.
Katrina is a creative and marketing blogger at Academic Brits and writer for Origin Writings, is involved in many startup projects. She enjoys identifying project problems and finding solutions for these. Her goal is to improve the effectiveness of team communication. She also writes for PhDKingdom.com.