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The ideal creative workflow for agencies
The ideal creative workflow for agencies
Peter Steidel avatar
Written by Peter Steidel
Updated this week

This is a step-by-step guide that teaches you how to efficiently manage the creative review process from the first client brief to the final delivery of the content. By using this process in Filestage, you will ensure maximum productivity when creating high-quality material by establishing a fluid internal quality review before sharing files with the client.

The Creative Workflow

1. Get instructions from your client - The Client Brief

Firstly, you will want to receive instructions from your client. After everything is clear, you kick off the job by creating a project in Filestage.

Once you create a project, you will see reviewer group 1, rename this to make it clear which reviewer group you’re in. Typically, agencies rename the first step to be Internal Review. Now, that the first reviewer group is understandable to your team, upload a PDF of the briefing document that contains the client instructions.

Did you know that you can give clients and external partners permission to upload files directly into your project? So with this feature, your clients simply upload the brief directly and you can avoid any detour via other file-sharing platforms. 

If you need a creative brief template before you start the production process, you or your client can look at this creative brief article for instructions. 

2. Create a concept and get the approval - The concept

After the project has been started, you will want to create the concept and approve this internally. 

Concept Creation and Internal Approval

Based on the briefing document, create your concept. Once your concept is created, upload the concept as a new version of the previous file. This will make it accessible at any time during the project by internal reviewers.

Now, you will want to have feedback from your internal reviewers; therefore, you will want to invite your colleagues or supervisors as reviewers to the first reviewer group named Internal Review. This allows them to leave comments, request changes, and ultimately approve the concept. If the reviewers request changes and you alter the concept, you can continue uploading new versions on top of the previous version by using the integrated versioning function. Repeat this process until you get an approval for your concept.

Once the concept is approved internally, it can be moved to the next step of the process. In this step, you will want to coordinate the concept with the client and receive their approval as well.

Coordination and Approval with the Client

Now that it’s time to involve the client, create a second reviewer group in the project and rename it to something akin to “Client Review.” By using this name, your teammates understand it is for the clients to review. 

You will want to invite the client as a reviewer to this newly created reviewer group.

After that, drag and drop the internally approved concept from the Internal Review to the Client Reviewer groups. 

The client will be notified by email that there is a new file in their reviewer group and it is waiting for their review. This will allow the client to review the concept, request changes, or give the green light.

Please note: This way your client won’t see any internal comments from the previous reviewer group.

Once the client approves the concept, produce the content and get it approved both internally and externally.

3. Create content and receive approval - The Content

Since the concept has been approved, this is where the fun part begins! It’s time to bring to life the concept by creating content. Once the content is approved, you will want both your team and your client to approve it.

Produce the content and approve it internally

Start this process by dragging and dropping the approved concept from the Client Review back to the Internal Review. By putting it in the old reviewer group, you are ensuring that internal team comments remain hidden from the client. You can discuss the project in a completely private and secure manner. 

After your team creates content based on the concept, you will upload the freshly produced content as a new version of the concept as you have done in previous steps. 

Once again, reviewers of that reviewer group will be notified that there is a new version that needs the feedback and approval. 

Internal reviewers will be able to access the content via email and leave comments. They will also decide whether to approve the version or request changes. If they request changes, you will simply need to alter the content and upload any new content as a new version. The will guarantee you fantastic Internal Quality Management.

As the project is approved with the internal team, it is time to send it back to your clients for their approval.

Coordinate the content with the client

Similar to the previous step, you will drag and drop the file to the “Client Review” reviewer group. The client will be notified via email that there is new content available for their review.

The client will be able to access the project via the link in the email message. Then they can begin commenting, requesting changes, or approving the file.

If the client requests changes, you will update the content based on the comments and then upload the new version of the content on top of the previous version using the integrated versioning function. 

When the new version is uploaded, the client will once again be notified via email and the process can repeat until you get the final approval from the client.

Now that the client has approved the content, it’s time to wrap up the project. 

4. Completing the project - The Finale

Now we will discuss how to provide the client with an overview of all the work performed. Our export feature allows you to review all the feedback and approvals made within Filestage to a file. This will once again ensure quality management. 

To do all this, you will want to share it easily! Luckily, it’s really simple! 

Just follow these steps:

  1. Use the Filestage Export Functionality to get a review report as a PDF.

  2. Pack the PDF and all other assets (content, graphics, fonts, etc.). into a ZIP file.
    a. This provides the client with an overview of the project’s progress and change requests.

  3. Upload the ZIP file as a new version (and hopefully the final version!) to Filestage.

  4. Move the entire file to the Approved section and enable the download feature for your client.
    a. Clients can be notified, e.g. by mentioning them in a comment (@/+mention Comment), telling them that the final file is ready for download.

  5. Lastly - don't forget to send an invoice!!
    a. If necessary upload it as the last version to Filestage.

Cheers to finishing a successful project ;-) 

💡What´s next? After seeing the ideal creative workflow for agencies, see our Getting Started Checklist

Let us know if you have any questions by reaching out to us on chat or emailing us at We're always happy to help!

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