Take note: Jacky Winter Gives You the Business

Published:  February 17, 2015

Spanning two days in conjunction with SupergraphJacky Winter Gives You the Business arrived at Melbourne Museum to arm participants with the essentials of starting, sustaining, and growing a creative practice with event partners, Media Arts Lawyers.

Equal parts hawkers, financial advisors, producers, therapists, and friends, Jacky Winter‘s success as an agency hinges on taking charge of the boring stuff so their artists can do what they do best.

The day opened with an introduction from captain of the good Jacky Winter ship, Jeremy Wortsman. Yasmin Naghavi followed on behalf of Media Arts Lawyers, to discuss the ins and outs of copyright and licensing. Kristie Hokin went on to challenge the myth of passive income being a no-brain, no-effort feat, before Bianca Bramham from Jacky Winter gave a concise rundown of managing client expectations across deliverables, schedules and budgets. Straight-talking Bramham outlined the following considerations for handling client expectations and project scope:

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Ask questions: it’s your responsibility and not the client’s to set each and every parameter of a project from the beginning; don’t expect that the client already knows everything that you need to know. Asking questions from the outset means both parties will be on the same page.

Make contact: if possible, it’s best to meet with a client in person. The process is all together more productive, efficient and builds a healthy rapport. If arranging a meeting is unreasonable, a phone conversation is the next best thing.

Define the scope: it’s integral that all details surrounding what, how and when, are all put into writing and agreed upon by both parties. Define exactly what you need from the client, and make sure to always get approval in writing.

Don’t forget the fine print: be clear about the conditions of the estimates, rounds of revisions, payment and cancellation terms. This guarantees that you’ll have leverage if an issue should arise.

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Define the process: remember, not every client has a comprehensive understanding of your creative process. Make each stage known, set key dates up front and discuss when opportunities for feedback are to be expected.

Communicate clearly: ask specific questions, ones that provide you with detail and not a simple yes or no. Explain what can and can’t be changed as each particular stage is reached and surpassed. Ask for consolidated feedback.

Set conditions: using conditional logic, explain that “to do X by Y, I need A by B.”

The first panel discussion of the day covered how to ace an interview, with insights from Catherine Graham at Clemenger BBDO and Jo Vohland from Revelian.

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Be visible: think of a question and use this as leverage to call the prospective employer before you apply. This will establish familiarity, and show initiative. Send a follow-up email after the interview stage. Vohland says she doesn’t consider candidates who don’t send this follow-up.

Be memorable: according to Graham, a straight-laced Word doc resume just doesn’t cut it anymore. Create an online CV to demonstrate your creativity, and your attention to detail. No need for bells and whistles: a well considered, clear rundown of your skills and experience is key.

The interview: if you make it to the interview stage, the employer already knows you are skilled for the job; they learnt this from reading your CV. The interview is more concerned with your personality and workplace culture. Be interested and interesting. Make sure you read the paper the morning of the interview, says Graham. It pays to be curious and informed about the wider world around you.

What should I ask: if presented with the opportunity at the end of an interview to ask a question, ask the panel what strengths and weaknesses you present for the position at this stage of the application. This will give you the opportunity – either at the end of the interview or in the follow-up email - to reinforce the strengths, and convince the employer that the perceived weaknesses are manageable or evolving.

Be aware of the process: not getting any interviews? Perhaps your CV needs work. Not getting a call after the interview? You may need to work on your presentation. Identify at which stage of the process you’re falling short, and work on strengthening this.

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One of the key takeaways from the conference, as endorsed by Willow & Blake and Brodie Lancaster from Filmme Fatales and The Good Copy, is the underrated value of being nice. It is the most simple and manageable thing you can do to promote positive workplace culture, healthy relationships, and to enlist help when needed.


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