Over at Red Lemon Club (which gives advice to creatives on building influence), founder Alex Mathers has been spending the last few years compiling some of the common issues people have with their creative careers. I put together a list of 24, with short answers. Here are the first five…
1. How do I find my first clients if no one knows me?
You will once you have value that is of direct use to someone who needs it and can pay for it.
To get there, work on developing a consistent and clear style or service, do some self-initiated work, know the benefits your prospects will get from you, and do some quality free or discounted work for others and get those testimonials.
2. Should my style appeal to what is in demand or be about what I enjoy?
It’s crucial that you find the balance here. There isn’t really an alternative, especially if you work for a living. Both of these need to be factored into the creative products you produce, and into their evolution over time.
3. How do I earn more?
If you want to bring in more cash for what you create, you need to be adding to your inherent value as a creative maker and putting that value in front of the kinds of people whose lives are positively affected by that value who are ready and able to pay for it.
4. How do I know what to charge for my creative work?
You can put in the research. Pricing is rooted in economics. Economics is highly contextual, meaning you need to be aware, at least vaguely, of what similar products and services around you are selling for.
Take an honest look at what you think you are worth, and price with regard to all that research you just did. This research can include simply asking people. People are more open about this kind of thing than you think.
5. How do I move from full time employment to going freelance?
Peel away from the full-time job, in steps, over time, perhaps via a part-time job route. Everything about this transition is step-by-step and requires planning ahead.
This includes setting aside buffer money in advance for when you are solo and being ready before you even end your last employed job.
Read the remaining 19 common questions, over at Red Lemon Club.