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Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Lesson 21 of 29

Core Principle: Context

Ted Leonhardt

Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Ted Leonhardt

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Lesson Info

21. Core Principle: Context
Know the value and the vision you bring to your clients and learn how to communicate it.

Lesson Info

Core Principle: Context

So today, we're going to talk that we're going to start by talking about context, context and, uh, the context is set usually by a client who has something that they need, and they have come to us to ask us, teo, talk to them about how we might meet their need, and, uh, our goal is to really understand their context and what they're thinking and what they're trying to accomplish and what their goals are and uncover their both their interests, the obvious things like budget, schedule and and deliver bols, but also the, uh, the underlying interests that they have that we've talked about over the last couple of days. So those first thing is understanding the context, the client's context, and then the second thing that we want to do is try to change that context, and we want to shape the context that the client has with our expertise, with our understanding of what they need, because we know what we can do for them, and and usually we can expand on dh, give the client a much fuller and mu...

ch more successful result after we have discussed with them their context and added to it, or shaped it to fit the skill set and experience is that we have, so we want to change the context for the client's benefit today, we're going to talk about the concept of fitting in standing out and ultimately standing apart which is always the goal we're going to talk about going beyond the parameters uh and uh going beyond the parameters of the context and then we're going to find out if a a higher purpose is viable and we're going to see the alfa group team negotiate with the better world team and we all remember that better world is a million dollars hi there a million dollars high and they have a plan they think for how to resolve that with the client and we'll get to see that uh evolve into videos today one this morning and then once afternoon and devin liddell who is the director of brand strategy at teague and internationally known industrial design firm uh he is going to talk to us a little bit about his experiences defining the context and doing so both in his life and in his work so we got an exciting morning but we're gonna start right off with the principal and the principal this morning is changing the context is in your clients best interest and it sidelines the competition so it gives you a built in advantage a built in advantage so fit in stand out and stand apart notice I put stand apart in red, which means we want to stand apart so let's talk a little bit about kind of what happens during our careers you know you're hired you start out and you're hired as a professional because you're in the category you are a trained photographer, designer, architect, musician, actor whatever you are and you have training, you have experience life experiences, you have a work experience and you fit into that category and the client accepts you in that category or the employer accept you in that category that's sort of the first step that's where you are when you get right out of right out of school and uh the second step is stand out, stand out your work is widely recognized as amongst the best of the best in your category you receive request to pitch monthly weekly so you're in demand, but you're within the category you're within a group, you're in a competitive situation, but you are fantastic and you're doing great work and you're thought of as a real player within within your profession and that's sort of the second step. But ultimately what we really want to have happen is we want to stand apart where you're selected without any real competition, where your expertise is viewed as indispensable and unique and that's really where we all want to go, we want to be in a place where we solved the client's problem like no one else and that is and it's a huge value to them and we're in such demand that we actually cannot meet the needs of everyone who comes to us and asks, so I kind of think about that when you're in your career, you know, we're starting out, we're fitting in. The next step is to stand out, and ultimately we're going to try to stand apart and that's a goal and frankly, that's, what we're trying to do in our work for our clients were trying to help them stand apart with the work that we do, whether it's a product design, aura, photography session or whatever it is that's in effect, what we're trying to do for our clients were trying to make them be successful beyond their competitors beyond their category. If you will so fit in stand out, stand apart now, you can start stand apart in a bunch of different ways you could stand apart selectively, you can stand apart selectively or you can stand apart sweepingly and selective he's just fine, it's sort of like within a geographical area, you're the only one that can do this or within a narrow category. You're the only one who could do this, but, you know, the broader world has not heard of you, or you can stand out sweepingly, like, you know well known hollywood actor stands out sweepingly the people that are on the silver screen that air turning down, you know, fabulous movie rules sweepingly so so but you could do it in a small way as well. And that's, why specialising is so important. So I thought I would ask you a question we've had, uh, whole bunch of interviews. And, uh, you saw sara mark with her photographic icons. You heard jim campesino talk about his imagination and the insights he uses to help his client's advance their businesses. You heard karen moskowitz and saw her commanding presence as she talked about her work and her passion and the way she and the way she deals with these issues, you have yet to hear from devon liddell antique, but you may even know about them because they are fairly well known here I went let's just have a little discussion if we could about, you know, does sarah mark stand apart? Any thoughts, any comments? Or if she does, how does she know? Yeah, I definitely like for me, it was the images definitely stood apart from a because I haven't, you know, photography is my life, and those are the images that I really haven't seen, like really before, and I think she she does have something that she could definitely could grow on, you make something special, yeah, and I would say that they were they also were kind of fantastic and not in the sense of like, very exciting or really they were really good but they were sort of fantasy they were surreal little bit you know the egg on the good well on the ironing yes are the iron was like not it's not riel and photography is usually depicted as you know the representation of something of reality right? Uh journalistic supposed teo creating something that's just from your imagination they were sort of surreal is that it is a really interesting word that's like that's a great word russ she had a surreal aspect to her work. Um salvador dali rename a greet which surrealist would we would we pick? I don't know but uh yeah, they were surreal interesting maria any thoughts? Um so stars like sarah goes yeah, it was just it was things I've never thought of before like a cherry inside of like ice and they like it gradually melting like that could be like a photo siri's you know, like little frames like next to each other is kind of cap it's like I'm really into simple ideas. Yeah, but also when they're executed in the way that's you know, like obviously thinking outside the box, right? I mean, she has that and it's like in a few years you'll see her like everywhere billboards and magazine ads and such yeah um I think getting back on the surreal part very illustrative buck was really it had an illustrative quality really done yeah, they weren't photographs there were illustrations yes now lester tip quality yeah it's it's you know it's interesting what will be interesting if we get to watch her you know evolved her her you know as she moves forward professionally it'll be interesting to see where she goes with that work you know? Will she stay on that track or will she find something else? You know it'll be interesting to see how how that developed because she could do whatever you know but it's really interesting to see someone that young just starting out right out of school sort of standing out like that and and when I was doing my portfolio revue up there and I saw gorgeous work wonderful work, impressive work and then I saw sarah as I was like, oh my goodness you know, it was like this little league you know, so it's such a pleasure to discover that and jim campesino thoughts um a couple of quotes that jim said that yeah yeah I had to write down great brands are authentic brands or the organized expression of your values, right? Yeah really he really is very powerful he really gets it doesn't yeah, you could tell he's probably talked about it before absolutely does it well yeah yeah yeah uh one thing with jim that I really noticed this you know he is one hundred percent himself like that's one thing it was a pleasure to see that yeah yeah it's like it's like he doesn't put on a show are like anything like that it's like hey this is me and I'm thinking to leave it yeah exactly percent it wass you know that that's inspiring to just be like you know hey you don't like it that's okay but if you d'oh once let's make something happen right yeah right yeah maria um he had just has ah very like human element to his work and it's really just anyone but that's what makes it like funny and even like you know the commercials for you know the baseball team here like it's just like you can see the passion in it but that's what makes it fun it's like hard and yeah yeah and the whole idea of turning a stark picture into well the king of pitching is good I guess the way he explained it I didn't even beat not being a someone who follows baseball I got the the cleverness of making a professional baseball player be elvis presley impostor and enjoyed it you know, just on that level but oh, there was a meaning behind it for them or you know serious sports fan as well so well and I like that he ties into the idea of being authentic because he just has a funny guy. Yeah, and so why shouldn't his work could be that? And why shouldn't he bring that to his negotiations? Yeah, and interesting. So he has a big agency with a hole, but I don't know how many how big staff is, but it's a significant agency and hiss he's obviously infused the whole team with because he doesn't do all that work himself. I mean, you know, you couldn't do that, you know, and that, you know, I don't know exactly how he contributes to the work, but he's contributed to the team because the work of the agency feels that way. All of the work of that agency feels that way. So somehow he's able to infuse his creative team with this kind of gym style that's comfortable and, you know, we like him, you know, and the work works. It's clever, it's smart, you know, so very interesting. And then there's karen crushing a little bit, carried away in love with her aren't way you know, karen's, if we spoke about this after she left the other day. But yesterday, excuse me, but karen's energy that she brought to the table, wass just infectious yeah, you know and it's like I am and then it reminded me of wood in said what changed her thought about design and help presenting in the person that was remodeling her kitchen was just like really excited and let's do this and like karen brought that immediately and I was just like on the edge of my seat he was bold enough to ask meet up with her but I was like yes please yeah no I hundred percent agree it's just like hurt attitude and like her presence and her happiness was just super infectious and you just wanted to be a part of it and like and she knows what she's worth and she knows what she wants and she's not afraid to say it and she's willing to say no and you know that that's that's you know, a lot of like creators probably starting off think that's crazy all right now we need to get as many jobs as we can but you know, sometimes jobs might not be in want write one for you so and I think that shows respect and many it's it was just a pleasure just to listen to speak with her mario for I mean for somebody who's like so excited about a project like anybody working with her it's going to get justice excited about and then they're going to put all the effort they can into making sure that you know it comes out great and so with all those people like working together in collaborating I mean it's just going to be you know, a polish finished project so you know, just caring like obviously brings that it's like all just coming from her heart right? No interesting also you probably picked up on it she had a little aside there where she said there was a couple of years where I kind of burned out and you and I we were earlier we've been studying the ten creative trades and this trade she probably has an over abundance of the trade of just leaping in and you know, getting really really excited just taking it on and taking it on and taking it on and then overdoing it overdoing it just yeah and she did she did speak on that where it was like and I realized and I had to put that in jack and it's like I need to respect myself right? Yeah and so she stepped back and grabbed control and uh you know herself so that was like she had to she had that wasn't natural to her you know the natural state was just do it and do it through my excitement and I do love doing it the unnatural state that she had to like protect herself she had to go so I have to draw a line here so that was alert what I saw was a professional who had learned how to get this control you know which I thought was really interesting russ, what I love, the better it and it's related to this commanding presence idea is the fact that she when she walked in the room just her confidence, her ease of speaking that's just natural yes, calmness was very much like I want to do whatever she says to gerry, you know, when she wants to do something, we will do it yes, whatever it is and it was just that very almost effortless that I'm sure has come after learning and mastering her craft and just mastering her knowledge and embracing whatever makes her unique that really does let her just walk in a room and be herself right and be someone that we want to do whatever she says exactly yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that was completely natural. I thought that was she's probably always been like that and of course we'll talk. We'll discuss devon after he departs to encourage him tio tio watch the show, I guess, but one of the things that I thought that sara and jim and karen all had in common in common was that they were very brave in the way so it wasn't an artificial braveness it wasn't sort of like getting yourself up to be brave they were sort of like naturally comfortable with themselves with their emotions and the ups and downs there was a little nervous of course you know she was the youngest et cetera but they were all extremely brave that's what I I thought they had a kind of a sense of braveness and power about them completely comfortable in the world and a slide I've used for a long time that I really enjoy is and when you're in the lion's den you know of negotiating on duh de lyons are all around you to keep them from really harming you have have to seem like you're brave but you do it in a way that is about you the way you feel so it's natural so you're okay well it's not like some fake thing it's not like you've put on armor it is you're brave because you're just comfortable I mean this gentleman obviously is quite comfortable with these lions all showing they're all showing their teeth might also because he has an amazing outfit on well there is that is that an outfit or what? I don't even know what it is I want to get one uh question for you elle woods is wondering what suggestions you might have on how we find our voice as artisan creatives to be unique to the point of standing apart yes I think there's a lot of times where we see other people doing a thing and so we want to do it because we see them being successful so we want to try and follow of course so how do we find our own voice? How do we embrace what makes us unique? Well imitations something we usedto learn we do it all the time it's a perfectly good thing to do you copy traits just try to emulate that's a great way to learn I've been learning that way my whole life I'm sure every human being on the planet learns that way every day that's what we do you know but you know there's this creative process that we go through where we we faxed sarah described it you remember? She said, I've always been interested in food my parents are in food uh I knew that I was going to go into food photography and I began doing the food photography and I learned about the things I learned about lighting and stuff like that but everyone was doing it was like it's already been done, so she began looking for what fit her skill set and her interests food but it wass somehow different and then she sort of stumbled into it. She sort of took a photo one day and said, yeah that's why I want to pursue the hat she didn't show us which one we didn't kind of get to that level of detail, but I picked that up in the converse decision that she made this little leap so I think one of the things we do is we try things, we try things, we try things and we thrash around a bit that's another part of the creative process where you don't know kind of where you're going, and I've recently been going through that myself, so you kind of don't know where you're going and then you go, yes, that's it I can do that, I'm good at that. I'm interested in that I really enjoy that, and it is in fact nobody's doing it, and I could help that way. That's the other thing I always think I always think it's really important to think about how what you do helps other people because we are social animals and and helping others makes us feel really good and it's a good thing for them, it's also fabulous for you because you feel good about the fact that you're helping. So so I think that's, the way you do it, you thrash, you copy, you discover you have these little blips and then you go, oh, maybe that's for me.

Class Description

Core negotiation skills are essential for creative professionals, but negotiating can be fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainties. Join Ted Leonhardt to uncover the negotiating tactics that allow you to build the power and respect that lead to financial and creative freedom.

Throughout this course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the common anxieties and vulnerabilities around negotiation and build the skills you need to keep those fears from holding you back. You’ll explore negotiation not as a bargaining session but as a collaboration in which you guide those you are negotiating with. You’ll also learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with your vision. Because dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging aspect of negotiation, you’ll build strategies for coping with and disarming bullies and naysayers. You’ll develop a negotiating style that doesn’t neglect the importance of kindness and good manners, but that also allows you to know and assert what your unique offering is worth.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re a longtime creative professional, this course will equip you to know your worth and confidently ask for the opportunities and compensation you deserve.



While I walked away with some amazing knowledge and skills to apply to negotiation, more than anything, I appreciated the authenticity and humility with which Ted crafted and delivered all of the materials in this class. As a fellow creative, every word spoken in this course resonated with me on a deep level, and led me to retain and integrate the materials far better than I expected. A most sincere thank you to Ted for sharing these pieces of his inner life with us.

Kal Sayid

Love Ted. His desire to help creatives shines through. Lots of great nuggets as well as strategies for both the newbie creative and the veteran.

a Creativelive Student

Another terrific course from CreativeLive. I would and did recommend it for anyone, creative or otherwise. Most negotiation courses leave one with a "bad taste"-not this one. I vastly prefer this approach. My life would be very different right now if I had this information available when I first graduated from college with a BFA in Graphic Design. Oh, and an unmentioned bonus-a design agency soap opera is included. Ted is a marvelous teacher.