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!
I would love it if you could share this post with your creative friends by clicking one of the share buttons below.
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Posted by Alex Mathers

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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56 Comments

  1. Fabulous post, Alex! Thank you so much for the advice!

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  2. wow, awesome post/infographic! Great advice in a very nice format πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Yamile!

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  3. Sandhya Ganesh April 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Reallly enjoyed this post! Thank you!

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    1. Glad to hear that Sandhya!

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  4. I want to pin this, but can’t because they’re all separate pieces. Was that intentional? Or just for load time?

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    1. Hi Nicole, this is to make it easier to display the post. Did you want to pin the whole thing on Pinterest?

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    2. ok, the post is now pinnable – that ok?

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  5. This is really great! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Sure thing!

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  6. David Rui SouliΓ© April 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Admirable post as always Alex, straight to the point! Thanks for all your tips, great job!

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    1. thanks for reading, David!

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  7. This post has been really informative! Many thanks!

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  8. Wonderful post! Thanks for laying out this information in such a clear and visually interesting way. πŸ™‚

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    1. My pleasure, Laur, many more to come πŸ™‚

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  9. Very useful tips in a simple but good looking way! Thanks a lot!

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  10. GMR Website Maintenance April 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for sharing! Very useful advice shared.

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    1. my pleasure

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  11. Great post and lovely presentation, thank you!

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    1. Thanks Boriana!

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  12. Brilliant Post! Can i be cheeky and ask, who designed the Illustrations or where you got them from? I’m after illustrations creating just like this. PM me an address please

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    1. Thanks John! I actually did the work here..

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    2. Hi John, re your Twitter message, unfortunately, I’m not taking on any work at the moment, but all the best with your project, which looks great! Alex

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  13. As always, Alex, big thank you! The bald photographer is my hero πŸ™‚

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  14. GMR Website Maintenance April 17, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Great Ideas! Thanks alot for the post Alex!

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  15. Such a great post. Thank you!

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  16. I think you also have to have utter confidence in what you are putting out into the world. It’s not enough to have confidence in yourself. There are so many moving parts to making it all work. Absolutely love your graphics!

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    1. Thank you Jen, though I don’t think you need 100% confidence in what you put out, because then you never would! Just make sure you are prepared as was talked about, before you bring your work to the world. πŸ™‚

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  17. Great job and lots of hard work here!

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  18. Such a helpful read!

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  19. Shiv Illustration August 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Wonderful! A fun one to read ^_^ thanks!

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  20. Brilliant Post,very useful

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  21. I’m new to this site and I love everything about it! Lots of great info here! Thank you.

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    1. Great to hear that Cheryl! Welcome

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  22. Killer tips as usual, Alex. I love your illustration style.

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  23. Some great advice put in an easy to understand format.. Oh, and the illustrations are brilliant..

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    1. Thank you Lee, pleasure πŸ™‚

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  24. Super fun and unique presentation of some essential art biz info Alex. Well done!

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  25. 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! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Armelle – definitely working on this!

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  26. Great post with great ideas! I love the illustrations!

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  27. Business made intersting :). I feel ispiredto kick off

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  28. Great post, really enjoyed it πŸ™‚ well, it’s a journey the key great work, consistency and persistence to succeed!

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