Are you wondering about how to succeed as a creator? The romanticism of being one may be the very thing that keeps you from achieving financial independence. No matter whether you are a writer, artist, designer, videographer, photographer, vlogger, or similar.
Creators often do not view their work as a product competing in the free market. This is because they don’t typically think of their work as “products”.
They think of them as their babies—extensions of their heart and identity.
As a result, countless brilliant and potentially highly influential works never get the exposure and recognition they deserve.
Your Name Is a Business; Your Creation Is a Product
To be a creator is to be a sole proprietor. If you have a team behind you, you can even be the owner of a corporation.
Think about it. What’s the difference between writer Tom Clancy and Apple Computers?
Look beyond the fact that one produces books while the other produces technology. Take a step back and observe from a more neutral bird’s eye perspective.
- “Apple” is a name; “Tom Clancy” is a name (we’ll refer to him as “Clancy” for short).
- “Apple” produces a product; “Clancy” produced a product.
- Customers have a certain expectation when they hear that “Apple” is releasing a new product; customers had a certain expectation when they heard that “Clancy” was going to release a product.
- “Apple’s” product is associated with innovation; “Clancy’s” products were associated with innovation.
The only difference is the physical form of each company’s products and how they’re used by consumers.
Names like Anne Rice, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, aren’t just people, but sole-proprietors in the free market. They’re brands.
Most people don’t think of them that way. But understand the reason why pen names are able to be used. The name is actually nothing more than a construct that consumers associate memories, emotions, thoughts, visions, ideals, or ideas with.
People don’t expect to find a vampire novel written by Tom Clancy because that’s not his brand. When consumers hear Tom Clancy’s name, they think of modern warfare and super-technical descriptiveness.
The opposite is true in Anne Rice’s case. People don’t expect to see a super-technical war novel from Anne Rice. They expect blood and seduction in the form of super-sharp canine teeth.
The same concept applies to virtually any creative endeavor.
Through repeated high-quality work and signature style, the name of a creator holds the same exact power in the market as a Fortune 500 company. This is why some creators can sell without much effort.
Because of the evangelical fanbase, they’ve established over time.
Creators Need to Be Innovators of Thought and Style, Yet Keep Their Target Audience in Mind
In the creative world, we tend to see two extremes – being too unique and ignoring the needs and interests of the target audience altogether, or being afraid of criticism and trying to please everyone.
None of these is optimal if you want to succeed and make a livable income with your work.
Analyze the Market
Instead, they should seek to understand who their target audience is, who their major and relevant competitors are, and how to innovate ideas or develop a vision that has not quite been seen before by their target audience.
This process is called “analyzing the market,” because you’d be surprised at how many creators don’t realize or acknowledge that yes, they have competitors. And that they are competing in the free market.
Yes, the moment they publish, they’re competing on the same territory as other big-name creators for the attention and money of consumers.
And that no, the free market does not care about their feelings. The free market only cares about truly beneficial innovative and inventive products, coupled with good marketing.
Improve the Lives of Your Audience
Whenever a creator wants to produce, before they even start, they should ask what the audience will benefit or take from it.
What separates their work from others in their industry?
Why should consumers choose their work over that of others?
A creator should be able to answer, like any entrepreneur in any industry, how their product will benefit the lives of their consumers, their target audience.
That will be the foundation of the copywriting that will sell the product and the hook that will reel people in.
If a creator can’t answer those questions…
…then they’re not good enough yet. And the free-market, critics, and haters will brutally and unforgivingly determine that.
To stay relevant in the market, creatives must work hard to innovate their products in the same way that Apple or Microsoft has to with their computers. For computer companies, innovation comes in the form of faster processors and such. For creators, it comes in the form of unique thinking.
Nevertheless, if creators merely change the way they look at themselves and their own work (their creations as products and their names as brands, competing in the free market) that will revolutionize the way they approach their work.
Such competitiveness will implore creators to produce work that will be easy to market on their own. They will be able to generate buzz on social media easily and, thus, sell effortlessly to their target audience.
Set Realistic Goals to Achieve Success
And last but not least, you should set realistic goals so that you’re able to achieve over time. Especially when it comes to marketing yourself on social media.
While it may seem like the opposite of being creative, being consistent and planning ahead is paramount for you to achieve success and financial independence as a creator.
You should consistently produce content so that you can nurture your target audience and give a reason for them to trust you and follow you.
Now that you think of your name as more than just a human’s name, but as a company’s name, what is the signature association that you want to make in the consumers’ minds? What shall the world associate with your brand?
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a physicist studying part-time at the University of York who is a veteran of the United States military and the 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays about world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.