As you stare in the abyss of the chipped coffee mug, the sound of phones blaring in the background, it suddenly dawns on you. You are one of the 25% of Austrialians who have chosen the wrong career.
Maybe it’s your creative juices keeping you up during the night conflicting with your 9-to-5. Maybe it’s the feeling that your talent is going to waste. Maybe it’s all those pottery tutorials you’ve been watching on youtube. Whatever it is, your mind is made up: it’s time for a career change and this time around you will follow your creative instinct.
But everybody knows an artistic domain, while rewarding for the soul can be pinching on the wallet. Is there a secret to thrive in a creative career?
The good news is, there are several. Here are a few to get you started:
1. Get certified!
Getting accreditation for your skill is paramount. Not only will it increase your credibility, but it will also help you develop the business aspect of your artistic job. Let’s face it, time management, brand identity, client – seller relations or marketing are just quintessential skills that we tend to overlook in the creative process. The buyer will want to know that he can rely both on your inspiration, AND on your professional approach.
For example, if you are looking into transforming your photography skills into a full time job, there are some very good online courses allowing you to obtain a professional Level IV Certificate in only 18 months time.
The advantage of these courses is they are time efficient, condensing long hours of lectures and tutorials into a more interactive form of learning from home. Following these intensive courses means you can get out there and start earning money from your work.
2. Study the market
While most creative industries tend to be concentrated around Melbourne and Sydney, this year’s spike in remote working means that more creative jobs are available for people living in other metropolitan areas, such as Perth or Adelaide.
Make sure to test the market on line to see how much demand for your skillship you can find in your area. Keep in mind that most job openings in the creative sector are support roles, such as account or project managers, rather than the traditional core creative ones. This offers you an amazing opportunity to get inside the industry you like, learn the ins and outs and work your way up from there.
A UX Designer, while not sounding as glamorous, can earn up to 108K AUD per year, while a fashion designer sits not too shabbily at 90K.
3. Advertise your services
If you feel ready to be your own boss, get ready to scout some customers!
The days of print advertisements are long gone. Social media is the main way to create hype around your services or product.
Make sure your customers understand what you are offering: create daily content from your workshop, post sketches and other sneak peaks to give them a taste of what they’re missing out. Share stories and show the customers an experience they want to be a part of.
Entice your potential buyers with a value-add service and offer them free gifts or discounts if they sign up to your channel. Nowadays it is very important to maintain a vibrant community around your service.
4. Make a memorable launch!
Even if you’ve been on the market for a while, it doesn’t hurt to dig deeper into your capital and create an event announcing your presence. A well thought out strategy and preparation is usually the key to a successful launch.
Do not forget inviting large follower-base influencers to the party and offer some of them exclusive coverage. Send them images, links instead of old timely press releases. And when writing your emails, make it personal. Bloggers and influencers are thirsty for new content, so if they like what you bring to the game, they will most likely share you with their followers.
A quick advice: make a list of the influencers most likely to endorse your services and contact them first!
5. You are your own brand – grow it!
Pretty soon you will have to pump the breaks and start gathering the feedback from your customers and competition alike. Use it to improve your product. Think about costs, accessibility, process and materials.
In time you will learn who your real customers are and tailor your services to them.
The most important element in a creative business is word-of-mouth. In this aspect an FX artist, interior designer or wedding photographer is no different from a plumber. Make your clients happy with your work and they will further recommend you.
So if you are dedicated to your passion, invest your time and start learning as much you can about it. Gain some real life applicability, master the rules of the game only to break them one by one. Make sure to surprise your customers and they will come back again and again, looking for something fresh.