Thrive As a Creative Professional
A creative professional who is also known as a creative specialist is one who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative spaces. Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, and more.
Let’s be honest — creative work is hard.
Not the typical kind of hard. Creative professionals certainly aren’t out there sweating under the hot sun, risking our lives, or enduring a dreaded retail position. But we are creating, and that is no joke.
It’s a different kind of hard — the kind we can’t always wrap our heads around. The inspiration comes and the inspiration goes. We pound out line after line of work, to come to the end and feel the sudden urge to trash every word of it.
We invoke the muse, sit down, and hope against hope this time we offer up something that will be well received.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to do in order as a designer or creative in general.
1. Understand that success comes in phases: Nobody got up there with just one step. No! It will take some number of steps to get up the ladder and you’ll have to climb gradually (except by miracle or someone has done the climbing for you) otherwise you’ll fall and injure yourself badly.
2. Focus on value, NOT on the money: Money is good, it’s the reason we are all working now. However, the moment you prioritize money over value creation, your chances of making it gets slimmer by the day. For people in paid employment, this is usually a big issue. You think you are employed to get a salary, NO! You missed the point completely! You are employed to add value. One great way to create value is to understand Client Management and Relationship. Know your clients in and out and learn to win them.
3. Work on your Attitude/Character: No matter how good you are, work on your character, be accommodating, be open to criticism, understand that “NO” does not mean that you are not good.Stop posting on social media for “like buttons alone” I see how creative people get angry once you don’t share their opinion. It’s a sign of weakness. Finally, when you put your portfolio on social media, don’t be in a hurry to fight those who criticize your post, take time to read and ask what they’ll want you to improve on, NOT blocking them off because they didn’t give you “like button”
4. Communication skills (emails, phone calls etc): Because most of us picked graphic design along the way, we didn’t go through university or a proper training session, all we know is just the software.We lack basic Business Ethics, Etiquettes. Some may argue that you are not in client service, wait until you start doing your private practice. It may be too late to adjust. Most creative people don’t even know how to pick calls, not to talk of writing e-mails to a client and then we want to charge an arm and a leg for flyer design. E-mails can communicate mood. Oh yes! Away from email, calls, chat, what about one-on-one communication? Sometimes, good communication skill is all you need to win your client, and win big!
5. Negotiations skills: Understand that all clients are at different levels. The bill you give to a Nigerian politician should not be the same as someone who is just starting a small-scale business. Remember, Pricing is not “one size fits all”.
6. Excellent delivery: In the creative world, there is no room for mediocrity. To stand out, you must ready to deliver only the best. Its either your design works or it doesn’t.
7. Smart Work: Deliver good work in good time. Don’t follow the crowd, know your workflow and how it works for you. Don’t think that because some people use particular software, you have to use it. NO, own your process and master your craft.
8. Know your core strength and leverage on it: Oh yes! I am extremely fast, I make sure when it comes to my core competence, I don’t deliver less. Sit down and ask yourself, where do I have best the advantage over others? Start building on it, make it so difficult for others to compete with you in that your core competence.
9. Self-Evaluation: This one is hard for almost everyone. We always like our works appreciated. We don’t like it when people say otherwise.Let me be sincere, failure is part of the process. See failure as an opportunity to do better next time. Every time you don’t get things right, don’t just be angry alone, sit down, do self-evaluation,learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat the error.
10. Collaborate/Multitask: It is often said that he that thinks he can do it all by himself should be ready to dig his own grave. The blessing of collaborating with other people cannot be over-emphasized. It takes you out of your shell and opens you up to a new world Also learn to give out tasks, delegate to others and trust that they deliver. That’s one special trait of a leader.
I hope you enjoyed your reading as much as I enjoyed putting them together.
Till next time,
Keep Building! Keep Branding!