3 Phases of Your Creative Business: which are you in?



In this short video from the September Office Hours group coaching session (which is the most popular element of The Simplest Marketing Plan), I shared a brand new idea about the 3 phases I see creative professionals go through as they walk the path toward the freedom that is possible when you take good care of, and invest in, yourself and your business. 

Which phase are you in?

Phase 1: Guessing (w/ fingers crossed)

  • Your niche: You don’t know yet -- you’re all over the place and taking whatever you can get.
  • Your marketing: Inconsistent but trying lots of different tools and strategies. More famine than feast.
  • Your services: Everyone is asking for something different (or not asking for anything).
  • Your pricing: Probably hourly, but if project-based, you're underestimating = leaving money on the table.
  • Your mindset: Confused, scattered and frustrated -- nothing feels like it’s working -- yet!
  • The danger: Don't let paralysis, frustration and discouragement get the best of you.
  • What you're saying to yourself: "Will this ever work?" 

Phase 2: Settling in - finding your place

  • Your niche: You are getting a vague sense of who "your people" are and what they can afford.
  • Your marketing: Getting more consistent (following The Simplest Marketing Plan, kind of). Something's working but you're not sure what exactly.
  • Your services: Starting to narrow and gaining competence doing (mostly) the things your people need.
  • Your pricing: Package pricing make sense as you narrow your services. You can talk numbers without worrying (too much) that you’ll scare your prospect away.
  • Your mindset: Getting clearer. Still confused but with glimpses of clarity about your path.
  • The danger: Don’t get too attached to anything and don't fall into a pricing rut -- keep raising your prices.
  • What you're saying to yourself: "Things are starting to make sense. This could work." 

Phase 3: Strategic Guessing

  • Your niche: Really clear! And they see you as their “go-to” resource.
  • Your marketing: Your pipeline is full -- you’re very selective about who you say yes to.
  • Your services: You know what you do (and don’t) do. You’ve developed a clear competence and the confidence that goes with it. You say no to everything else, with occasional exceptions.
  • Your pricing: You love the money conversation. You start high to see what the market will bear. Maybe even testing value-based pricing.
  • Your mindset: Excitement rooted in confidence and experience. You're exploring and pushing boundaries.
  • The danger: Don’t get too cocky.
  • What you're saying to yourself: “Let’s see how far I can take this.”

Want more?

Watch the 9 minute video. (I go into more detail about the points above, with a bit of humor too!)