I used to play a video game called Parappa The Rapper, and that was its catchphrase- an optimistic, shouted “You Gotta Believe!”. I loved that game, and I got pretty good at it. But I think I like the catchphrase even better than the gameplay, because it applies to everything. Especially on working for clients.
If my firm decides to work with a client, it means we believe in their product or service. We gotta believe! I mean that wholeheartedly, and I can tell you that the very few times I’ve allowed my firm to work with clients that suck I’ve profoundly regretted it.
This insistence on only working with clients one can believe in may sound like a luxury, but it’s not- at least, it’s not if your company is all about providing the best work possible, without losing your hair or stress-eating. If you have a client you can believe in, you’re motivated to really get inside their business, and you look forward to working with them to really make their tv commercial, website, or video rise above the industry norms. You’re invested in their success. And almost always, clients you can believe in are also the kind of clients who respect and appreciate the hard work you and your team put in for their benefit. They usually pay better, and come back for future projects, too.
Doesn’t working for clients you can believe in sound like a lot more fun than working for indifferent, stupid fools who are a waste of oxygen, who beat you up at every turn, while putting out shoddy products and inflicting pain on the world at large? It does to me!
Sure, some fellow digital agency owners have approached me privately and told me they take on every client who comes through the door, and that we’re foolish for not doing the same. Actually, one guy called us “arrogant twats who deserve to go down in flames”. That was twelve years ago, and we’re still in business while his agency is long dead.
I’m not saying that if you embrace our policy of needing to believe in your clients that your company will prosper. But I am saying that if you’re interested in coming to work each day with a smile on your face, while you do the best work you possibly can do for your clients, that you gotta believe in them.