Creative work is good. Financial security is good. Both together? Bliss.
Making money is good, okay?
First, let’s not hold on to the “starving artist” syndrome. We’re pretty much all over that now, right? Right?
Here’s the thing: art has inherent value whether or not anybody ever pays money for it. And you won’t always make money from your creative work, whatever it is. There will be some flops, some failures, some great things that nobody quite gets, some projects that you do for yourself only.
But working as a creative professional also means making money from your creativity. That’s natural, normal, and good. Your identity as an artist doesn’t depend on the money you make… but your livelihood as an artist does.
Stop begging, and start earning.
Don’t ask for sympathy purchases, apologize for charging, or beg for support. Instead, create work that is valuable, put a fair price on it, and get it out there.
Step everything up to a professional level.
Because you are a professional. Get in the habit of working like a professional, which means daily and consistently, not whenever you have a whim or an itch or an urge. Get a domain name. Clean up your website/blog/portfolio. Respond to inquiries quickly and courteously. Put a price list together.
Write and use an elevator speech.
This little gem of the marketing world will help you present yourself and your creative work in a way that is understandable and builds confidence. It will both build the confidence you need to have in yourself, and build confidence other people have in the quality and value of your work.
Put high values on your work.
Unless you’re the Discount Art Mart. Set prices that are fair but that coincide with the value of your creative work. The high value. Don’t sell yourself short, don’t offer your work for pennies, don’t sell stuff for anything less than a sustainable price.
Quit apologizing for charging a fair price.
It’s a fair price, so there’s no point in apologizing. Apologizing just says, “This probably isn’t worth the price I’m asking, but will you pay it anyway?” NO! Don’t do that to yourself. Instead, state your price and leave it at that, with the assumed understanding that this IS a fair price and your work IS worth the price you’re asking and NO, you do not (why would you?) need to apologize for asking a fair price.
Limit all these things:
creating buzz, using social media, checking your Klout score, creating a content strategy. networking, building a platform, updating your profile picture, answering questions, defining your genre, so on and so forth, ad infinitum. Yes, those things have a place but the place should be limited.
Create work in abundance.
Find ways to make it easier on yourself to work. Get help with the housework and the kids. Say no to invitations and stay home and do more work. Practice productivity. Produce. Be prolific, unashamed, abundant. The more you work, the more you learn and the better you become at what you do. You sharpen your skills. You grow in confidence. You become able to help more people, to perfect the details, to see the big picture.
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