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#creativitypillar: Why creativity matters so much (and how to foster it)

Jan 6, 2017

Creativity pillar

Creativity is another of the four pillars on which we stand at The Profitable Firm.

It’s obvious for a creative agency. Of course, we’ll be creative. That’s what we do. But it’s important to us to define that, to make it not only a priority but a principle: a way of doing business.

Creativity is a word that gets a little lost in the digital age. It’s rather like the word “art”: we all think we know what it means, but when we try to define it, turns out everyone’s definition is not the same.

So here’s what we mean at The Profitable Firm when we talk creativity.

Creativity is core to all our marketing activities

Whatever the project, and whatever the medium, we always strive to come up with a new idea, or a new way of doing something. Keeping things fresh, challenging ourselves and looking for the best possible creative answer is what drives us a creative agency.

And that drive for innovation is something we’ll always aim to foster in our accounting clients too – it’s a crowded market out there, so being creative in your marketing is one key way to stand out from your competitors.

We actively seek ways to invest in the creative talents of our team

Even though our graphic designers enjoy design work, and our content writers enjoy editing work, creativity means finding what makes you come alive. It’s about what spurs you on, and makes you better.

Creativity can sometimes be misunderstood as a concept. It’s not about being “arty” or off-the-wall purely for the sake of it. True creativity is a response to a brief, an issue or a problem. How can we make our tweets stand out more on Twitter? How do we help this client create the most eye-catching guide to bookkeeping? What channel will most effectively help a client increase awareness of their new auto enrolment package?

That’s where the “hive mind” of an agency kicks in, with everyone suggesting their own ideas, putting forward ways to move forward and coming up with brand new concepts – concepts that only get born through teamwork.

The more you involve your team in creativity, the more engaged they’ll be and the more involved they’ll feel in the business – and that boost in team motivation will flow into the work we do for you.

Creativity means keeping an eye out for the most innovative ideas for your marketing

Within our team meetings, our daily Slack channel conversations, and every interaction we have as a team, we’re alert to what will help the firms we work with to do well and impress your clients and deliver the best accounting services possible.

We’re members of marketing groups, get email notifications of new posts and videos, join forums, attend webinars, buy subscriptions, and check things out on social media.

Everything and anything that could help you, we discuss as a team to understand it better. When we think of someone to whom it might apply, we drop you a line, or share it in the PF Community on Slack, or write a blog about it.

Of course, we encourage you and your accounting team to do the same.

We know accountants are creative, too.

This may be one of the hardest concepts for accountants to accept. Here’s a short list of what we hear on almost a daily basis:

  • “I’m not very creative.”
  • “I don’t know: you’re the designers”
  • “I’m not sure what works when it comes to marketing”
  • “Thinking of marketing ideas isn’t my strong point.”

…and so on.

But our experience is that accountants have really, really good marketing ideas.

You may not always be able to see the full picture in your mind’s eye of what would happen if we take your marketing idea and run with it – the designed graphic, the printed presentation folder, the signage out front of your offices, the videography integrated in your new site – but that doesn’t mean your idea isn’t creative.

A favourite example is the Awesome 8 concept that came from the head of one of our clients, Steve Moss of Holden Moss in North Carolina. Steve and I had a chat about his marketing efforts, and he mentioned that they helped their clients with 8 different areas, and wondered if we could design an image around it.

The Awesome 8 image became a logo, 8 icons, 8 landing pages each with their own download item, and an entire marketing concept for the firm.

It was all from Steve’s head: and his creative idea and our creative team working together made it visible to their clients in a way it hadn’t been before.

So we always encourage you to be alert to the ideas you and your team have for your firm. We’ll help you take it from there.

Creativity means trying new things (and not fearing failure)

Here’s the deal with creativity. You don’t know if your creative idea is going to be the world’s next brainchild, or yet another failed concept.

That’s the beauty of it.

There’s hope, and mystery, and wonder. It harks back to childhood days, when you scribbled on a page and your mum called it wonderful. When you and your siblings turned a cardboard box into a castle, complete with moat and enemy and battle and triumph.

Part of creativity means being open to trying new things, even if you’re a little nervous about it. Even if you’re the first, or the only one, to try this new thing. Or the first accountant in your area to work in this way.

There are a lot of ‘mights’ and ‘maybes’ when it comes to creativity. It might go really well, and it might not go so well, and it might lead to an even better idea than you had at the beginning.

And it might change the world.

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