TIPS FOR THURSDAY! Simple Strategies (7 of 8) – Learning to Love your Deadlines!
Submitted by Jessica
Welcome to the 7th article in an eight part series that digs deeper into the 8 Simple Strategies so you can save time, money and energy on your journey to the best marketing materials around.
We can all have a love-hate relationship with deadlines. Imagine, it’s the 11th hour, you haven’t eaten lunch, many cups of coffee in…but garsh darnit you have to get this finished or you just can’t take that next step into your business development or your client will be really disappointed. Not only will your client be upset but so will you, because we entrepreneurs always set expectations and the pile of to – do’s is getting higher and higher. Plus, deep down you are ready to get this project off your plate. And then…wait for it… completion! What a great feeling! You’re happy! The client is super happy! And voila the deadline wasn’t such a bad idea after all. So you know what it feels like to be on deadline, right?
Even with all its ups and downs, deadlines are one of the most important elements of not only your creative projects, but of your business as a whole. Human beings work much better within a structured environment (hence government!). Deadlines are obviously a great way to create that structure and get results.
When it comes to your creative projects its very important to communicate specific deadlines to your designer. This allows your designer to plan their time more effectively and it gets you your projects finished in a fair amount of time for the both of you. There is nothing worse for designer or entrepreneur than a project that drags on indefinitely. So think back to when you have been on deadline, remember you were probably not dealing with just one client but multiple clients. Your designer, if successful, is probably working with a production schedule of his or her own.
Discuss with your designer openly and honestly your expectations for your creative project. You might have some immediate needs, but of course don’t expect a turn around in less than 24 hours to always be possible. Also do not “over deadline” by becoming a micro manager. Make sure that the schedule works for both of you. It is better to communicate your needs and ask if your time schedule is possible for your designer rather than telling them. Remember they are running a business too and to rush the creative process will show rushed results. I suggest setting up your deadline schedule like such:
1st round review: Nov 6th
2nd round revisions: Nov 12th
Final version: Nov 18th
Email 3 to 4 days before each due date to check in
Post this schedule up where you can see it to keep the flow going. Set up with your designer a communication protocol if set dates are going to shift for them or for you due to longer revision time and processes. Then, if you feel the need to check in, email your designer 3 to 4 days before to communicate your excitement to take this next step. Also, make sure they don’t need any additional materials or further clarification from you. This will allow for them to share in your excitement and will often show an even greater loyalty to you and respect to your time commitments. All in all, once due dates have been agreed upon create an assurance with your designer to excitedly meet them. You will both be better armed to finish the project on time with amazing results!
Happy deadline setting!