How comfortable are you with the idea of calling yourself an ‘entrepreneur’?
Even if the word itself is a little trite, the basic meaning behind it is solid enough for the purpose of this conversation. Anyone working as a creative who works for themselves and initiates their own projects, which I imagine is most of you, can be thought of as such.
One thing that entrepreneurs have in common in their quest for gaining traction, attracting customers, buyers and fans, is that in order to do so, they need to solve problems for people.
Being enterprising is solving problems. Making money, if this is your intention, requires solving the problems of other people who pay you for this privilege.
“The more value you provide as a problem-solver, the more you will be rewarded.”
Creatives of all kinds, be they painters, film-makers, sculptors or photographers, need to be thought of as problem-solvers if they are to make a dent in someone else’s life. The tricky thing with the arts world, compared to, say, the world of ‘computer software’, is that the ‘problem’ is a little harder to define.
Certain creative services are more obvious in this regard, such as product designers. But what about when creative output moves closer to ‘art’?
What problems do ‘artists’ solve for others?
The answers are very definitely real, and they are rooted deeply to an individual’s psychology and primal needs. It’s important to know what they are if we are to know how to ‘solve’ or ‘minimise’ them through providing well-defined products, creations and services.
I can’t claim to know what everyone’s problems are, but I can have a guess at some of the thoughts your potential customers or clients may be having. These thoughts point directly to the problem being felt…
“I’m bored and I don’t want to feel bored any more.”
Boredom, like so many of the other forms of emotions we’ll come across in this article, is difficult to define, but is commonly rooted to not being engaged or lacking stimulation.
What aspect of your products and services can take someone from ‘boredom’ to feeling engaged?
Here are some other thoughts your potential customers, fans and buyers might be having. How does what you do solve these issues?
“I need an escape.”
“I need to increase my status.”
“I want to feel good about myself.”
“I want to be understood.”
“I need to appear more professional.”
“I need my business to make more money.”
“I don’t want to be like everybody else.”
“I want to be liked.”
“I want to be entertained.”
“I want to learn.”
“I want to feel more motivated.”
“I want to expand my horizons.”
“I want to be inspired.”
A key part of being a creative is factoring in an awareness of the people you serve. If you have intimate knowledge of what they are struggling with, rather than simply doing what you enjoy doing, you will stand out from the rest.