The way to getting more work as a creative professional is not always about direct selling, marketing or pitching a buyer, as some people may imagine. How you conduct business, promote your story and go about building relationships plays a large part in you achieving more clients that not only become customers, but stay with you in the future.
Achieving these projects is a long-term process, and it’s good to know that taking the time to build relationships will pay off. It is about being more than just a salesperson or somebody that wants somebody to invest in your product.
Below are some pointers to help guide you into winning more work with new and existing clients.
Authenticity is Key
What are your personality traits? What little quirks, habits or hobbies do you have? Use these to put into your work and the marketing of yourself. Banksy uses his thoughts on politics as catalysts into the satirical types of art he creates and spreads his message through public spaces. Gemma Correll has used her personal love of pugs to create a whole range of artwork featuring them and her work then becomes very personal to her. People are drawn to a creative person who can reveal their true selves through their work, rather than somebody who tries to produce something because it is in trend or because they think it is what they should be doing.
Donating to Worthwhile Causes
Whether a percentage of profit or a piece of your work, giving to a worthwhile cause that is close to your heart can have a tremendous influence on how people view you and your work.
It tells people a great deal about you as a person and shows that your work and your business are real.
Promote Other Creative Professionals
While you want others to promote you, it can really add value when you show an interest in other professionals — whether they work in a similar area to you or not. By promoting other creative people who are not known widely in an industry, can make people feel curious about them, while also helping to draw attention to you. It is easy to promote those who are already recognised in their field, but promoting others lesser-known will create a stir about a new artist, make people want to know more and expand your networks.
Interact in Social Media Groups
Professionals have a tendency to set up a profile, create a great profile statement, add some of their best pieces of work — but then sit back and hope that people catch on.
Creating a profile with a strong portfolio is not enough to generate a following.
Join groups that are of interest to you and make comments on topics that you are passionate about. Interact with networks that will enable you to get to know other creative professionals, businesses and organisations.
Be A Little Self-Indulgent
Spending time to work on a project you truly enjoy will give you the chance to express yourself as you want to, without having to be tied to a client’s strict guidelines. What is that concept or idea you always wanted to work on but never had the time?
Many musicians have their mainstream band going but then continue to pursue other genres of music in smaller, unknown bands, as their side projects. These side projects can be used as a talking point for your followers or you can ask bloggers to feature your project on their website.
Whatever it is that is going to keep that deep satisfaction to your creative side going, that drew you to your craft in the first place, will enable you to be fulfilled in it and to present your background and story effectively.
Nurture Your Emails
The art of lead nurturing is a modern concept based on an old technique. Essentially it uses email to send written communication which is personal and highly tailored to the individual business. It involves emails over a long-term period and, as well as including emails sharing details of your latest project or newsletter, it can include emails to ask them how they are and to comment on their latest products or services.
Doing this will show that you know what they’re about, understand their brand and have an insight into the possible problems they have and how you can provide a solution for them.
According to Business2Community.com, more than 50% of a buyer’s journey and decision-making process happens before even talking about selling a single item to them.
Taking time to write really quality emails provides a useful technique that helps to show you value the buyer and their needs.
Make use of a potential company or individual’s senses to show them a sample of your product and what you’re all about.
This could be an item as simple as a Christmas card, a DVD or a free item you have made that enables them to see, touch, smell and get a sensory insight into your product and your personal story.
Plus, they will like the fact that they have been chosen to receive such a product, as if they are part of an exclusive group.
Blog for Others
As an artist himself, Bob Baker writes a blog helping creative professionals to achieve more in their careers.
He has what he calls the ‘Empowered Artist Movement’, offering advice in the form of written and video content, as well as podcasts, for struggling artists.
A blog can become anything you want it to be — it could be aimed at stockists or potential clients to show them how an artistic or creative channel can help them with their business aims.
Don’t Underestimate Trade Shows
Trade shows can be a great tool in getting you noticed. Make sure you have your best threads on show.
Do something different to capture attention and to give potential new clients a reason to stay — a short, engaging activity or free sample to open up the conversation.
Potential clients are much more likely to remember you personally alongside showcasing your products, which will go a long way to beginning a positive rapport.
If the trade show is a little costly, consider pairing up with a fellow professional to split the costs of hiring a table and other expenses, such as travel.