How do you think collaboration can take place smoothly such that the creatives don’t get bogged down in meetings or do things counterproductive to their skills because clients are tough to access and provide extremely poor feedback? Discover the innovative strategy used by a marketer and a creative to resolve this issue.
In this episode, Phil Alves, is joined by Cody Miles, Founder at Ashore and Creative Director at Brandcave. They discuss the key issues with collaboration in the creative industry and how to develop an innovative idea into a company that both clients and creatives like to work with. Join us as we look back on his journey from idea to a ground-breaking company that offers thousands of creatives an environment to work out an effective way to connect with their clients.
Cody Miles is an Austin, TX-based entrepreneur and UX designer. After years of struggling to collaborate with his clients, Cody founded Ashore, an online proofing software for high-velocity creatives. Today, Cody utilizes his background to run both Ashore and his digital marketing agency, Brandcave.
In this episode, we discuss:
- The two main problems of creative people
- Dealing with non-creative people
- What made Cody become an SaaS entrepreneur
- Dealing with employee attrition as a founder of a creative agency
Starting with a Simplified Problem and Solution
To achieve a common goal effectively, creatives and clients are constantly searching for the appropriate approach to collaborate. Simply limiting the amount of feedback you receive from the clients during the creative process when working on projects alone, you may exclude important viewpoints.
Creatives always face two major issues, namely:
- Clients are difficult to contact for feedback
- Understanding customer feedback when it is provided is difficult
Collaboration is challenging since each party speaks a different language, making it difficult for clients to provide input that the creative can understand. This is especially true when they don’t use design language to convey their feedback.
The strategy used to address this difficulty was:
- Automate the procedure for approval
- Make the feedback contextual
As a result, meeting time would be significantly cut down, and the quality of feedback would significantly improve.
Ashore is an online proofing tool made for high-velocity creatives, those who find it difficult to get and comprehend feedback from their clients. Creatives may send, track, collaborate, and manage their projects on Ashore’s all-inclusive platform. They also provide approvers with a straightforward digital interface where they can give feedback on any kind of file.
[The primary problem is that those who are not creatives find it difficult to adopt the design language that creatives use – Cody Miles]
Serving Your Team Effectively
When you start a company, you truly have no idea what you’re getting into. You think you have a great idea and a very great product, and you start getting wonderful comments. Perhaps you have experienced some organic growth, but when you consider how the market is evolving through collaboration and innovation, your decision to remain in this extremely competitive environment is either driven by your strategy or a certain degree of certainty, both of which heavily depend on your team.
Founders tend to act quickly and break things. And they probably will break things if they move quickly and damage things—like their team—because they don’t know all the information about their product.
Cody recommends founders become familiar with some of the technical details of their solution to better understand and communicate with their team, empathize with them, and make trade-offs from a place of understanding.
[The better you can understand your product, the more effectively you can serve your team – Cody Miles]
Knowing When You Have Built Something that People Love
It just comes down to having small iterations of success here and there. Just being able to validate early, fail quickly, and build out from there.
The fundamental idea is to ensure that your product has a market fit. You can’t be everything to all people when you design software, especially if your business is bootstrapped. You must be aware of the specific individuals for whom you will be solving this problem.
If you can find a solution for those folks, you can then move beyond them, but for a start, try to gain some market share with only these individuals.
[It all boils down to genuinely understanding the client for whom you are developing the solution; it is helpful if you are one of those clients – Cody Miles]