Creatives need to learn how to be more business savvy
I’ve encountered many creatives who struggled with business side of things. And believe or not, I was also one of them. I didn’t want to become a freelancer because I thought I can’t deal with all the business things around it. So what changed my mind?
Fear of starting a business
First of all, I know it’s a bit scary having your own business but I’m telling you it’s not much harder than going to work that you hate, or when you’re underpaid. Once you make a decision, the learning process starts. How to deal with businesses, how to deal with pricing, finances, invoices, advanced payments etc. Also making mistakes in the beginning because you’re figuring things out. I’m giving more details on this topic in my previous article on biggest freelancing mistakes.
I’m going to talk about creative people only for now because I can relate to it the most. The only thing I used to care about back when I worked for an agency, was my projects, creative process and deadlines. I didn’t care if the client paid, how much or how to get clients in the first place. That’s why I struggled when I started as a freelancer.
You can learn everything you need to so don’t worry about it. But you need to sacrifice that mindset of your creative work and only your creative work. You need to accept the fact that creativity is not the most important thing in your business. The outcome, amazing photography, incredible video, viral video, awesome graphic/web design is not enough. If you don’t know how to deliver it. If you don’t know how to market it. If you don’t know how to sell your skills. All those amazing skills you have are completely useless. You need to accept it and become a business person and then a creative.
I can give you interesting example of my recent experience of working with a musician. Pretty known few years ago in a band but now struggling a bit with his career. I told him exactly why it’s happenning – posting only once a week, no stories, no Twitter, no Youtube videos, not verified accounts, no new professional photography. All those things make people forget and not care. Unfortunately, his answer to my suggestion was that once he makes an amazing song, people will find him without any marketing needed.
On the other hand, some musicians have or learnt the business skills like Olly Murs and they become entrepreneurs with their career. He used to be a telemarketer so I guess he’s got some good sales skills. Posting on all of his social media himself multiple times a day, creating content, not only staying in music but also having Fitness YouTube series, TV programmes and so on.
As well as Mike Shinoda proves my point because he’s doing the whole marketing himself and he does it very well. Also his campaigns with Mercedes Benz are great way to promote himself and his music in the end. All the life streams and videos all over internet when the new CD Post Traumatic was out, he worked 24/7.
I have to say I can’t work with people who have no business mind or skills. I strongly disagree with opinion that if you create amazing art or great song, people will find it somehow. You might go viral on the internet by chance but very soon you might be forgotten forever again. Unless you think business wise and do your marketing properly. Especially in music industry, the most forgotten are sometimes those with the biggest talent.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes that I made when I first started out freelancing. There are still some mistakes I do but it’s much better to learn from others in order to become the best videographer I can be.