Aug 24, 2018
Blair Enns, CEO of Win Without Pitching (Kaslo, British Columbia) and author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour
Blair Enns is Founder and CEO of Win Without Pitching, a company that trains creative agencies on how to win business without giving away their most valuable product—their intellectual property—in getting that business. Blair authored two business books that have proven to be transformational for many creative firms: The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour. Key to the power of these books is Blair’s recognition that Creative people have an inherent difficulty with “sales.”
Blair defines creativity as “the ability to see, the ability to bring a novel perspective to a problem you haven’t previously solved.” Creative people tend to build businesses that allow them to solve problems they haven’t previously solved. However, their personal desire for variety does not work from a business standpoint—to build a strong, financially solid firm, they need to differentiate, to focus on doing a specific thing for a specific market.
In this interview, Blair emphasizes the importance of client selection . . . of building your business with clients who are interested in value and a return on investment . . . rather than chasing budget-driven clients who are focused solely on price—those who see marketing as a commodity with charges based on billable hours and the cost of materials. The foundation of a strong business is value-driven clients who recognize that creativity is unique in its ability to produce bottom-line results and worth the investment. Although a creative agency might sell excess capacity to price-buyers, it is critical that the agency “strip out the extras” for the reduced-price client, instead of trying to “fly everyone first class.”
Blair is very clear that a price-focused buyer is unlikely to become a value-focused buyer. The creative’s job is to discern a buyer’s-type and manage that buyer appropriately.