Creative professionals are always looking for ways to get the word out about what they do, what they've created and what they have to offer. I could write list after list of ideas of things we can all do to help spread the word, but the truth is, it takes time, dedication and some serious belief in ourselves to really succeed.
Before you stop reading right there because you really wanted a “10 places to promote your creativity talents” list, you'll get one but not yet. I want you to take a step back and make sure you are ready for the to-do list. I want you to take inventory of where you are with your goals and self-promotion plan and THEN tackle that list of creative promotion to-do items. So here are some ideas to get you moving so that you are ready to get on track with your task list.
Lets get started –
10 ways to Improve your creative success
1. Believe you can – Put yourself in the frame of mind to succeed. It doesn't matter if you really think you can, you have to let everyone else know you think you can. Remember, “faking it” is not only ok, it's expected. Having a blind faith in ourselves is one of the secret keys to making things happen.
2. Plan how you will succeed – Before you grab your ideas and start throwing them on the wall to see what sticks, you do need to have an idea of some goals and a plan to reach those goals. If you came here looking for that task list, don't fret, I will give you a list. But not right now… keep reading.
3. Check your branding – make sure your branding is in order and you have a cohesive presence across all your different “marketing channels”. Its hard enough promoting ourselves, but trying to promote fragments and mixed messages is really a confusing mess to your potential audience. Tidy up before you invite people to join you on your exciting journey.
4. Practice your follow through – If you have business goals, you need to follow through on the steps required to reach those goals. This sounds simple and straight forward, but it's really much easier to fall back on old habits, react only to things that work and ignore the tasks we don't love. If you can't follow through on the regular business tasks, promoting yourself and work on a regular basis, without immediate results can easily turn into a task you don't do either.
When You get a hang of where you want to go, you'll want to build a habit, pay attention to reactions and notice the involvement of those who already know and like what you have to offer. Creative Success a process that has no definitive end. It's an only journey that continually changes, so you have to be prepared to move with it.
5. Monitor and Analyze – Keep track of your actions and the results. It's hard to gauge success if you aren't recording what's going on. Then set realistic expectations.
6. Network and play nice – Promotion now days is more than just sending out a message or display what you have. Its about building relationships, collaborating and supporting others in your industry. Get out there and make friends – real friends and get involved together. When you start really pushing your promotion, you'll find the word goes a lot further when multiple voices are sharing.
7. Spend time listening – “Listening” is more of a general action term, not a single function. You need to be paying attention to what your customers perspective is, what they want from what you have to offer, what they like and what they don't like. The be prepared to adapt according to what you learn. Example, I draw penguins. I did not start out with a goal to draw hundreds of penguins. I heard people say they liked the character, I heard them ask for additional “penguin personalities”, the idea fit into my plan, so I drew more penguins.
8. Be patient – prepare yourself for the reality that your success is likely not going to happen overnight. growing success is like growing anything in general… you don't have to be an oak tree, but you won't go to bed tomorrow and wake up an overnight success.
9. Persevere – Find your hat of determination and wear it always. Trying something once, or even just for a day or 7 might not be enough to determine whether you've been successful. – You've heard it a million times… if at first you don't succeed, try, try again – ditto, times 3.
You can walk through steps 1-9 over and over again. You can make them a habit and a part of your every day. But, without step 10, your creative success might not be nearly as gratifying as you hope. I think this is the most important part…
10. Say thank you – in everything you do, there will be people along the way that help you in one way or another. It might be a someone you network with, someone you collaborate with or someone who's work you admire. Every person we come across has some kind of impact and leaves an impression. Stop and let other's know that you appreciate you crossed paths.
The bottom line, you have to be in the mindset to succeed for it to happen. I'm not talking about the “YES! I really want that nice house and all my bills to be paid off” mentality. I mean the whole big picture, the workload and the responsibility and self-confidence it requires to be successful. Once you have set in your mind that you are ready to take on the role… promoting yourself won't feel like such a big daunting task. It should feel more like your own personal celebration and opportunity to inspire happiness within someone else. Be proud of what you have to offer without the expectation that it's a fit for everyone. You will find success as soon as you set your mind to earning it!
Thank YOU for taking the time to read this article, I'd love to hear if it's helped you…
If you need a daily reminder to stay on top of your goal to get started on your creative success… you're in luck! The above image is available as a free printable. Download it, print it and glue it to that spot on the wall right next to your computer screen. (I don't mean literally glue, it's more of a figurative comment). Or if you are more mature with your decor, put it in a frame and set it on your lovely desk where you can see it all the time.
Oh and, that list I was talking about… it's on my list to write up for you. I'll update here when it's ready. Leave a comment below and tell me what kind of things you'd like to know!