"Please improve..."

For some unfathomable reason, some clients seem to think that when you're Creative, it means you're psychic as well.  No.  Sorry.  Love your insane confidence in me, but my greatness can only go so far.  Lol!
I can understand that sometimes the client can't really put his finger on what he wants.  It happens.  All he knows is that he doesn't like the material you presented so he says, "It's not that I don't like it.  It just needs something.  It needs ...improvement.  Thank you."   
That's it.  No elaboration.  No nothing.

Will you just go right ahead and 'improve it'?

"Please improve."
"Please improve further."
"Please improve some more.  We're almost there."
"What is THIS???  Please go back to the original and improve from there."
Friendly tip 1:  Never operate blindly.  Lead your client to proper articulation by asking the right questions:  "Do you want the visual bolder?", "Is the copy a little bland?", "Do you want something else highlighted?"  If you can't get a complete direction, at least get a modicum of one.  During the discussion, always go back to the brand's objective to keep both of you in line.

Friendly tip 2:  Speaking of lines, teach yourself to read between the lines, too.  Watch out for key words.  Know your client's taste.  Once you get a focused direction, go back to him with options.  There are a thousand ways to improve something (exactly!) so it's better to come back to him with at least 2 viable choices.

So what does this post tell you?  When given a vague direction, don't force yourself into burn-out.  Instead, be inquisitive and perceptive at the same time.  Sure, it's extra work on your part ...but at least it won't involve a crystal ball.


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