Use these tips and level up and build your creative brand.
Being able to make your own schedule, play by your own rules, and do the work you love is the epitome of living the dream for a creative. Entrepreneurship can be an intimidating concept for everyone, but for creatives, it can be especially hard. Pushing art, ideas, and creative services isn’t as easy as selling products people already know the value of. Every creatives journey is different, and honestly, that’s the beauty of the profession. For those of us who thrive on working at our own pace and musing in our free time, finding a way to make it work while making sure the roof stays over our heads is a daily struggle. Having to prove yourself, create work that will transition you into entrepreneurship, and make a living at the same time can, in the words of Kanye, “drive a sane man berserk.” These 8 tips though, will help you work smarter instead of harder while you build up what you need to go at it on your own.
Decide where you want to be and don’t stop until you get there
Spend some time for yourself and decided what your end game is. Think big picture and decide what you want your life to look like. From there set manageable goals and work like hell until to you achieve them. Dreams are awesome and motivating, but they don’t get you anything. Nothing works if you don’t.
If you know your work is good don’t do it for free
I know it’s important to build your portfolio, and doing a little work on the side is perfect for that. However, not officially having your own business doesn’t mean you should work for free. Your talent is worth something. It may not be what you get paid at your nine-to- five, and it definitely won’t be what the leading industry professionals make, but you deserve to get paid for working.
With that being said, getting paid less than what you make at your day job doesn’t mean you should give less quality. ALWAYS work hard. Your reputation will proceed you and money is not an excuse for failing to deliver.
Constantly update your resume
Most people don’t update their resume until they’re ready to shop it around. If you wait until then you could forget some valuable things you did in your current position. Keep a spreadsheet of all the project and assignments you’ve completed. This will make it easy for your to show what a valuable role you played during your entire time with a company or client.
Create a portfolio
This should be a given, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned it because it’s so important. Not to be confused with a resume, a portfolio is a visual log or your work. It shows potential employers and clients the work you talked about in your resume.All the work you’ve done (articles, hair, graphics, paintings, structures, etc.) should be placed somewhere that allows you to easily showcase it. I have both a digital and a physical portfolio where I keep my work. I like having a digital portfolio because I can add the link with my resume or give it out easily if I don’t have a business card I like having a physical portfolio to take with me to interviews the person who checks your resume is it always the one doing the interview so it’s great to have samples on hand to solidify that not only are you bomb at speaking on your skills but you have the proof to back them up
I have both a digital and a physical portfolio where I keep my work. I like having a digital portfolio because I can add the links with my resume or give it out easily if I don’t have a business card. I like having a physical portfolio to take with me to interviews. The person who checks your resume is it always the one doing the interview so it’s great to have samples on hand to solidify that not only are you bomb at speaking on your skills but you have the proof to back them up.
Talk about your work
If you’re not promoting your own work how can you expect others to? Be your own biggest cheerleader first and give others the tools to talk you up when you’re not around. What does that mean? It means getting your elevator speech down pat and being ready to deliver that bad boy whenever the time arises. If you don’t have an elevator speech stop reading this right now and start working on it.
Speak up when you know you can assist
I hear so many people complain about getting passed over for projects or promotions outside of their current position. My first question is always “did you tell them that you could help.”
What I’ve learned through my job experience is that what you may think your employer knows about you is not always the first thing on their mind. I sat quietly several times while projects I wanted to work on pass me by. I remember being really frustrated and thinking about quitting. Finally, I womaned up and talk to my boss. He was completely surprised that he had forgotten so many of my skills and experience I had listed on my resume, and that I was beneficial to other parts of our company. He also thought that my workload was a lot heavier than it actually was. Moral of the story- a closed mouth doesn’t get fed
Networking is awesome for meeting people, but once you’ve met and exchange info then what? Collaboration is a beautiful thing. It’s perfect for getting your message to a larger audience. It’s also a great way to elevate your ideas. Though you may think you have something all figured out, collaborating with someone else is in your industry could open your eyes and your mind to options you never even thought about. Don’t limit yourself by seeing everyone in your industry as a competitor. Be open to working with others and creating mutually beneficial relationships
Become comfortable with saying no
When you’re working on establishing yourself as an entrepreneur you may feel the need to take on as much work as possible. Saying “yes” when businesses, friends, ect ask for your help might seem like great opportunities to pad your resume, but you can quickly become overworked. Be selective with the work you decide to take on. Make sure that it fits your end goal and also doesn’t take more time and resources than you have. Saying no will be really tough in the beginning because you won’t want to let people down, but ultimately it will save you a ton of time and frustration.
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