In the competitive world of content, creativity is a MUST have skill. As a Creative Director, it’s important to know how to manage a creative team in a way that keeps them motivated and inspired.
All creative people have the potential to make truly incredible work, and it’s my job to make sure we have an environment where collaboration is encouraged, and creative expression is a natural product of each individual’s professional journey.
Here are my tips for managing creatives so that our content remains effortless.
Hire the Right People
Hiring people who not only possess the skill sets needed, but also fit into the kind of culture you want to create can be challenging. As important as talent is, we’re not looking for a superstar content creator who can’t play well with others.
We’re looking for someone who is collaborative and team-oriented in addition to being well-versed in content marketing, design, copywriting, or other specialized areas.
Nobody on this team functions as an island, we’re all working together, bouncing ideas off of each other, and helping each other succeed, so what we really need is the whole package: creativity & collaboration.
Keep Your Team on Top of Trends
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when managing creatives is research, research, research, and more research.
Creative teams have to be able to keep up with the rapid pace of social media.
Things are constantly changing, mediums are evolving, and unless you're looking up new content trends and methods of delivery, you'll fall behind.
This is not the kind of field that you can just learn a, b, c methods in college and then be eternally educated on the subject.
As the Creative Director, I’m always researching what's happening and encouraging everyone on my team to be aware of what other creative teams are doing to make sure that what we create is as up-to-date and compelling as possible.
Watch Out for Burnout
Burnout is the killer of good work, and if we’re not careful, it happens to the best of us. It's crucial for my team to stay motivated and creatively inspired in order to keep creating the kind of work we want at the scale that's being demanded.
If we don’t keep the spark alive, nothing we make is going to have the impact we want. We've put a lot of systems in place to make our environment as conducive to creativity as possible.
Part of that is making sure that all of our deadlines and revision cycles have buffers, so that the minutia of how we do what we do doesn’t get in the way of us actually doing it.
The other way we protect our team from burnout is through collaboration and teamwork.
If someone is struggling with a client or a deadline, we all pitch in and carry the weight. That way, nobody feels isolated and everyone is supported.
I also keep open communication with every team member, so they feel comfortable coming to me when an issue arises.
Once you establish these mutually supportive relationships with your creative team, you’ll be amazed by the kind of work people make when they’re happy and in a healthy environment.
Always Be Ready to Inspire
For me, as a creative leading creatives, I am very protective of my team's inspiration. I find it incredibly important to not only know my team on a surface level, but also know what keeps each of them motivated and inspired.
For me, my inspiration always comes from travel, and when I travel, I'm constantly photographing to capture the details and essence of each city. So, my workspace is reflective of that; hanging photos so I can draw inspiration from different aesthetics. And I always encourage my team to do the same.
Everyone brings in pieces and items that inspire them, so the space is designed to bring us joy. Working in a physical space that is comfortable, vibrant and aesthetically pleasing is key to us staying creatively energized.
Don’t Be Afraid of Challenges
Leading a creative team can be challenging but being mindful of how you manage your team from the hiring process onwards will make all the difference.
Always keep your goals in mind and remember what kind of culture and environment you want to create, and never underestimate the power of healthy collaboration to ensure your team stays focused, positive and creative!