So it’s been a couple weeks, and it’s definitely been busy. We’ve now launched 11 websites this year, including a rebrand for my software product.
Things have been slow at the big store which has my wife worried. But the first of the year is always slow and this January ended up just about the same as last January. So while there really isn’t anything to WORRY about, try telling that to a business owner with overhead and employees who doesn’t know if a slow sales month is due to normal seasonality or the beginning of a more serious slump.
My marketing business has stayed strong though, and we’re closing new clients every week. Right now my biggest battle is helping folks keep things simple. I’ve been working with the owner of another agency recently — his company is bigger and older than mine and he tends to work with slightly larger clients than we do — but his primary business is print and so he needs to hire out when he wants a new website as opposed to handling the project internally like I would.
He’s a great prospect and I would love to work on his site if for no other reason than I know we can do some really fantastic design work on it. The problem is that he’s stuck on ideas that would cost about $40K in custom development but his budget is about 10% of that. The challenge I’m facing is trying to reign in his ideas in a way where he feels like he’s still getting a killer site but his creative energy gets refocused on ideas that showcase his firm and his values without the necessity for custom code.
In my experience, a lot of people tend to get hung up on what they CAN’T do that they forget all the incredible things they CAN do. The best creativity happens within constraints, creativity demands boundaries. If someone gave you a blank check and no restrictions, you’d probably end up wasting a lot of that money. If you have to live on a budget though, you figure out innovative ways to stretch your dollar. The same thing applies in marketing. People who have boundaries come up with better stuff than people who don’t.
It’s why, in the most creative and innovative time in the history of marketing, this year’s Super Bowl ads were so largely uninspiring. Good marketing no longer requires spending millions and those who can seem content to waste that opportunity.
With a little luck, I’ll convince my soon-to-be-client to embrace his boundaries rather than fight them when we speak tomorrow.