How to Get Creative Work in the Gig Economy

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I was recently interviewed by Hal Conick of the American Marketing Association for their Marketing News column. We talked about the entrepreneur mindset, how creatives can market their business and how they can prepare for the gig economy. Here's an excerpt: 

Getting Creative Work in the Gig Economy

Q: What’s the most difficult part of getting into the business mindset for creatives?

A: Getting outside of themselves and seeing that what they want isn’t the focus of marketing their services; it’s all about the client. Self-promotion is not about you. It’s a paradox, but the idea is that even the way you answer the question “What do you do?” is not about you. (Watch my video on Crafting an Effective Elevator Pitch here.)

What I like to say to that, for example, is, “I help clients get better clients with bigger budgets.” That tells you nothing about what I do or how I do it, but I’m speaking to a certain type of creative professional who is at a certain place in their process—they want to take [their business] to the next level. 

Q: What’s the most important tenet of entrepreneurial thinking for creatives?

A: It’s being ambitious enough to pursue what we want. That means you have to decide what you want, find the people and companies and approach them. You have to not care about rejection because the reality is that most of them won’t want what you have to offer. You’re looking for something better than "whoever happens to find you" (a.k.a. word of mouth).

That is the biggest challenge for people, even people who are successfully self-employed. A lot of people are spoiled by word-of-mouth and see it as a blessing, but when it stops, it is no longer a blessing, and you have no foundation. That’s why taking responsibility for the direction of your business and pursuing the types of projects and clients that you want puts you in a much stronger position. You’re not dependent on something outside of you. 

Hal also asked me: 

  • Are most people ready to run their own business? Should people in full-time jobs start preparing to be self-employed? 
  • What’s the most important tenet of entrepreneurial thinking for creatives?
  • What is the first step people can take toward this way of thinking? 

Read the rest of my answers here and if you want "better clients with bigger budgets" take advantage of my free mentoring session and we'll point you in the right direction.  

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