What EVERY Creative Person with a Product or Service Needs to Know
Here's YOU
A person or team with a super-awesome product or service, like...
A digital illustrator specialising in mythical beasts and outer space who keeps banging on about his love for tea.
A one-legged violinist with a peanut butter addiction and a sound that could melt the heart of Simon Cowell
A funky keen little start-up making these cool racing games for smart phones.
A bald wedding photographer who loves canapes and refuses to work when it's windy
Chances are, you want all, or a few of, these things...
Admiration, A mega-cool lifestyle, Recognition, Adoring fans
...but to do so, you need other human beings knowing your work exists. And not ANY human, but the kind that could actually be ATTRACTED to your stuff
Otherwise, what would be the point?
This is why it's so important to know WHO it is you are creating things for, as early as possible.
Art Directors for books and magazines?. Graham, an art director from London, with a 50-strong collection of Star Trek figures.
Classical music fanatics. Male teenage gamers?
Engaged, traditional middle-class couples?
To share your creations with the world, this is what you need:
1. A DISTINCT PRODUCT that has the potential to provide VALUE to a PARTICULAR GROUP of people.
I.e. Your quirky mythical beasts illustrations that bring excitement to teenage boys who see the artwork in illustrated books
The joy your bitter-sweet violin melodies bring to the masses of concert-goers.
The thrill kids get from playing your gnarly truck-racing games on their iPads.
The colourful professional photography that capture the momentous weddings of hundreds of newlyweds.
2. You need to PROMOTE you distinct product if you don't want it to sit and gather dust at home.
Now, this doesn't mean walking around wearing a billboard or handing out tacky flyers and being plane cheesy.
Promotion these days is about making RELEVANT people aware of your product or service by forming a connection with them, over time.
These are connections made through social media, email, newsletters, blogs and good old-fashioned, real-life interaction.
And the way to make these connections? By providing VALUE, even beyond the value of the product itself.
Here are some ways to provide value and build connections with people:
Tell funny stories, Smiling at people, Helping others be successful
Sharing a useful blog post or free ebook you made
As long as your product is easy to find, and clearly presented on some platform like a web portfolio, you don't need to spend much time talking about it at all. Just share value, especially value related to your product or service, and you will draw people to you and your product.
PAUSE FOR BREATHER
If you want to share your creation with the world, and make money doing so, there are a few additions, to simply sharing it. You will need, like before
1. A DISTINCT PRODUCT
2. PROMOTION to your target fans, clients or customers. Be aware, those who enjoy your art could be different to who you are promoting to. For example, if you are a children books creator, you might direct your primary promotion to book publishing contacts, instead of the parents or children themselves.
3. People who are willing and able to exchange money for your product or service.
4. A means to get paid
5. A means to deliver your product to your client or customer.
Know that by making money from a product or service, you are now officially a BUSINESS.
The bigger, and more important your business gets, whether you're making cash crafting chickens out of dental floss, or shipping containers around the world, the moer you need to think and act like a proper business.
YOU CORP
You know how companies have various departments that help them run the whole thing?
Like:
ACCOUNTS, CUSTOMER SERVICE, LEGAL, MARKETING, IT, R+D, LOGISTICS, SALES
PURCHASING, FINANCE, HR, PRODUCTION
Well, even if you're a solo creative, you need to be thinking about every single one of these 'departments' in one way or another, if your business is to succeed and kick some rump.
For example:
Barry, the illustrator spends an hour a week to see how much money is coming in and going out of the business.
Jane the violinist gets a friend to build a website showing videos of her playing in a concert.
Frank, head of the gaming startup, holds a meeting every week to brainstorm new ideas for new games.
Jerome the wedding photographer spends 20 minutes a day writing for his blog on the merits of wind-free weddings.
Too many creative geniuses put everything into only one department, usually production (making pretty pictures or cool creative stuff)...
BUT, where the real creative pros succeed, is in understanding and putting time into those other departments to, so that your business runs smoothly.
To summarize... To share your creations with the world, you need:
A product that really stands out and provides some kind of value to people. Promotion, through making connections and friendships with people, especially with those who need your value
To make money from your work, you need: As above
People who are willing and able to give you money for your product. A means to get paid and to deliver your work to the client.
An understanding of how a business works, with all its various departments.
HAVE FUN!
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"Your blog inspires me so much, and helps me feel somehow not as insignificant, despite the plethora of artists around the world."Natalie, artist

  • Armelle Rapin

    This post is great!! If I may say so, I had a hard time finding how to share it on Facebook. I would recommend bigger buttons to share on top or directly at the bottom of the post, and maybe it would look great on Pinterest! :)

  • Alex Mathers

    Thanks Armelle – definitely working on this!

  • http://lasalaaudiovisualdealex.com Alex Carr

    Just brilliant!

  • http://www.thatgirlshelley.com/welcome That Girl Shelley

    Great post with great ideas! I love the illustrations!

  • okikesam

    Business made intersting :). I feel ispiredto kick off