The Importance of Asking Harder Questions

I’ve learned a lot at Drive about the creative process, but one of the most important things I’ve come to realize is that a great video starts with the very first meeting. It's been an interesting process to learn how to make the first meetings lead to not only good content, but great content. The thing I’ve learned more than anything is that asking harder questions is the best way to get a company to think through their video in a more strategic way.

Here are two questions to ask when deciding to create a video.

1) Why does your business exist?

This question relates to something that we see so many businesses lose touch with as the years pass. They get so wrapped up in growth, profit, and the day to day struggle of just trying to exist…that they forget why they exist. A year ago, we had the opportunity to work with Cincinnati based hair salon High Five Salon, and during my initial talks with owner Sam Hills, I asked the following question:  

“Why does High Five exist?”

Sam explained his heart for the industry and how he was doing this for more than just the monetary gain. I was so glad I asked that question because it gave us a unique perspective on Sam’s passion, and the project was shaped by this conversation.  One of my favorite stories that Sam shared with me recently is that he occasionally goes back to watch the produced video to remind himself of why High Five does what it does. Asking this question not only helped the strength of the video, but also the long term success of the client we were able to work with.

2) Why do you want to make a video, and how will that video help you accomplish your goals as a company?

People come to us wanting video for a lot of reasons. The main one seems to be they think they need it because they see everyone else has one. The truth is, video production is expensive, and it’s expensive for a reason. Because of that, we always want to make sure that there's a clear need that video can fulfill and a clear plan of use after the video is produced. There’s nothing worse than watching a video that looks amazing and shares a great story but goes nowhere and serves no real purpose. It’s really easy to put a video on your website, but it takes hard work to make the video work for you. When we saw Carabello Coffee promote their video like crazy, it felt like the shop gained more customers overnight. We’re constantly reminded of  the power of video, and it’s wonderful to see a video effectively create movement.

One of the things I've learned as a result of asking harder questions to clients is that I need to be brave enough to ask myself the same questions. On some days, I have immediate answers, but on others, it takes a little more work. At Drive, we love our cleints and we love getting to create kick-ass video content for them, but some of our greatest strengths are getting clients to understand themselves better, and by asking them harder questions, we are able to understand the soul of what they do.