In Central Park in New York, in the hills of Montmartre in the City of Light, at State fairs and street fairs, you can always count on seeing the caricaturists. Seated at an easel with a pad, colored chalk and charcoal, they each have the same displays as lures. One grouping is caricatures of celebrities, amazing in their professionalism and artistic merit. The other display is of previous customers, which, of course, we have no way of judging in terms of accuracy.
But when you think about it, which writing this blog insists I do, you also have no way of knowing if the artist actually drew the caricatures of the celebrities they are displaying. For all we know, there is one central outlet that sells these handmade, charcoal celebrity caricatures, three for ten dollars.
The only ways you can actually tell if the artist has any talent is either to watch as they draw the person sitting before them, or plop yourself down and hope.
Which brings us to you and your creative pitch. Unless you are willing to do some spec work, which is a different blog topic, how do you convince a prospect that just because they like the body of work you are showing to them, that you will be able to accomplish that same magic for them? Heck, how can you actually prove that you created the work you are presenting, as opposed to having just been in proximity when the campaign was created?
Cynical? Perhaps. But not from your prospect’s point of view. They know in advance, for example, how much a label maker costs, and how effective it will be. Your real value…not so much.
I guess your “proof” could be your reputation, your references, even your enthusiasm during the pitch. To be honest, there never is a guarantee that you will come up with that good idea for them. The client may keep tweaking the strategy, making good creative solutions that much more difficult. Or simply ask for more versions, and more and more. The category may be one you are not comfortable with. You may simply just come up empty.
I guess it is like selecting a new doctor, or auto mechanic. You often base your choice on word of mouth, referrals, plus hopefulness. The good thing is that usually, amazingly, it does indeed all work out.
If you have any hints to overcome this possibly overstated problem, please comment below.