The internet's great for finding a name and seeing a photo. It's ok for back-and-forthing a few ideas and suggestions. It's fine for displaying work. But I always try to meet new clients these days, and other creative folk. As humans, we're made up of cells, genes, emotions, smiles, smells, frowns, warmth, colours, flesh, stature, everything.
Behance will never show that. Creative Cloud will never bring those qualities together. The internet, computers, mobiles will never create those relationships people really crave in life.
Call it networking, call it connectivity. The best way to meet the people you want to work with is to get in front of them, drink tea with them and buy them a cake.
Look in their eyes – you'll know if you can work together.
My thoughts got this lovely response from Katy at Creative Boom:
This is actually a great point and was whirling around my own head when writing this post. There were so many corners I wanted to cover - and this sentiment was one of them. In all my years of running my own business, by far the best way to connect and build solid relationships is to actually go and meet people. It's that human interaction which is priceless. Sure – you've got to be discovered in the first place. But I think networks only go so far. They sometimes feel like an inbred thing. All of my clients come through my own website which is optimised or through word-of-mouth referral. My directory on Creative Boom has helped people to get work - which is great! But that's free and just another fishing line for people to throw into the pond. Where real connections are made... well that happens by good old networking. Getting out there and making real connections.
Today, I popped into the offices of a design agency who’d asked me to write their website. I'd done the writing, so I could've emailed a Word document to them. But that didn't seem right. And as creative maestro Sam Gray once said to me, you've got to go with what feels right.
So I went to see them to present the words face to face. Words designed in their font, laid out like their new website, printed on A4 paper. I held them up, I told their stories, and I read it all out loud.
The two founders, creative director, designer and marketing exec got it. They nodded and smiled and asked questions and discussed and picked up the papers and pushed them around the table and engaged with the whole experience.
They could never have done that over email.
Writers, when you can, please meet your clients (and other creatives) face to face. Please present with a cuppa, not over email. Please explain your decisions with your voice, not with Word’s comments. Please shake hands, look into eyes, offer advice and bring people into our world.
You'll help in ways you didn't know you could.
Here's that article, 'Can you really contain and control creativity?', from Creative Boom.