Tyranny of the Chicken (and the Egg)

Over the last few weeks a theme has been surfacing within our discussions with our clients: a “stuck between things” kind of thing. That age-old issue where you’re stuck between the current work you have and the work you want. Except in order to get the work you want, you need to show you can do that work, but your studio’s completed projects don’t quite fit the bill. Chicken and egg: it’s a bugger.

It got us thinking about solutions, especially if you’re a small practice looking to level up in terms of workloads and clients, so we’ve got 3 tips that can help:

    1. Look closely at how you talk about your existing projects within all your promotional material (socials, lookbooks, websites, press, etc). Is there a way to spin the narrative of those projects towards elements you want to highlight, versus the ones you’d rather keep under wraps? For example, if your studio is known for designing co-working spaces but you want to move into residential projects, are you able highlight the domestic parts of the co-working space, so that you can flex your understanding of a residential-like space
    2. Get super clear about why your best clients chose to work with your studio. You know the ones that have brought you some cool briefs – why did they choose you over your competitor down the road? This requires some market research which is a jazzy way of simply jumping on a call or a pub stool and talking to your clients about why they hired your studio in the first place. This means you can bring that into the way you talk about your projects. If they say it was because you are collaborative, brought fresh ideas and innovative materials to your project, and that’s something you want to highlight, do it! (Note: if they chose you because you were the cheapest, they are NOT your best clients)
    3. Have patience and don’t give up after a few months – to pivot into new sectors can take months, but probably years, so sticking consistently to the message you came up with in point 1 about your projects is the key. Eventually your desired clients who find you will see that you are able to deliver the work in the way that most aligns with what they need.

Lastly, because it’s us, we’ll also remind you to get clear on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing because without that, the above could eventually lead to more ennui and frustration. Knowing the purpose and mission for your business will bring further clarity, but don’t wait to define that before starting the above: while you work your Big Picture parts out, these tips will help you move towards the sectors you’re keen to go after next. As always, if you get stuck, we’re here to help.