I thought it would be of value as I reevaluate things that worked and things that didn’t, as we quickly adjust and lay the ground work for making the next six months the best year we can possibly make it in terms of creating the lifestyle we want most from our creative endeavors.
It can’t be overstated how important defining your purpose, values and mission are in developing and maintaining a success mindset.
Don’t think Purpose, Mission and Value statements are only for large businesses either.
‘WHY’ you do what you do, and the results and benefits clients will get from working with you versus someone else will be key in determining your value to your clients. Sure, they may hire you based on your unique artistic style alone. But I suggest you couple that with a value centered message your target clients will connect with on a deeper level.
Chances are your prospective ideal clients have purpose, values and mission statements of their own. Read what they are and reflect that in your communications with them, but be genuine.
How do you find out this information? Visit their website.
Beyond deciding on the kind of creative work you want to produce and the market or clients you want to produce it for, how do you feel about the work you do?
You are Not Just Selling Art – My own experience:
When I first started freelancing, my target market was local ad agencies and design firms. While I didn’t have a specific art style or subject matter that I worked in, my focus was to offer as many illustrative services as I was competently capable of delivering to the lucrative advertising market.
My value centric reason for my choosing this market?
- Purpose and mission -I took pride in being a visual problem solver for clients working in challenging environments, who could count on me to deliver quality work, under tight deadlines and would value and appreciate my services.
- Value – I enjoyed great satisfaction making sure that my clients experience working with me was a pleasurable one. I took an active interest in their projects, asked the right questions, delivered what was expected, when was expected and went the extra mile whenever possible to make their work life less stressful by working with me.
- The money – This one is part of my own personal value system. Not a popular motivation most artists would readily admit to, but that’s the way it is. Fees were much higher in this market than say editorial or publishing work. If there was going to be any chance of my succeeding and making a go of this full-time and cover my bills, this was a no brainer for me.
- Project diversity – As an illustrator, I was quite versatile and enjoyed working on a wide variety of work, from story boards, product illustrations, airbrush, humor illustration and cartooning. Again, a no brainer for me.
Working under pressure suited my personality. I worked well in the demanding, fast-paced advertising environment. That versatility gave me the advantage to prosper as a freelancer in my LOCAL market.
While I no longer just work locally, and I now specialize in humor illustration and cartooning, can you see how this approach clearly helped me in attracting the quality clients I most wanted to work most?
The better you are able to identify your potential clients mission and deeper purpose and show them how it resonates with your own, the more likely you are to make connections, experience success and satisfaction in your working partnerships.
Here’s a few more questions you may find helpful in developing your own mission and value statements.
- How much money do you want to earn? Be specific.
- What about your work makes you the happiest?
- How important is balancing work and family?
- At the end of the day, what benefits do your clients REALLY get from working with you?
- What benefits can you offer that your competitors don’t?
- Of all the competitor in my field, what do I offer that they do not?
- What other personal or professional experience do you bring to the table that may be of value to your client?
Note: Even if you assume that most of your competition offers the same value and benefits as you. You’ll find that many don’t bother to to mention them. So even if you offer the same advantages and benefits, if they aren’t mentioning them, and you are, you’ll be ahead on the connection game.
“Your compensation is directly related to the size of problems you can solve or emotional void you can fill”.
I believe there’s often a perception among artists that you have to wait around for others to recognize and approve your work, to grant you opportunities. The limiting and even debilitating belief/mindset that your career and your life depend on waiting for others discovering your greatness is something I strive to correct.
Ultimately it up to YOU to identify the deeper value in what you offer, locate the most responsive market for your work, and market your ass off to get your work in front of as many of them constantly and consistently with the right work, the right message and a solid reason for using you versus someone else.