10 Tips for Building a Freelance Business

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020|

At Artisan Creative, we work closely with our freelance talent to help them create success in the creative, marketing, and digital fields and best market their services to maintain an on-going freelance business.  Especially, during the current state of the economy, freelancing can provide a needed respite in between interviews and job searches. Below are 10 tips to help launch or enhance your freelance business.

  1. Update your Linkedin presence and ensure hiring managers know you are open to new freelance and full-time opportunities. Focus your expertise, use SEO keywords, and ask for endorsements.
  2. View your freelancing as a business. Revisit your resume or website to review all clients and brands served, list all new accomplishments, update software proficiencies, and highlight your client and/or project management skills.
  3. Create your Portfolio. Be sure to update your most recent work, and present your best pieces first. Your design samples should be representative of the type of work you like to do, as well as showcase your range of skills.  It must be well-organized with good UI, simple navigation, and include a description of the project and your role. If you are unable to build a portfolio, use some of the great free tools such as Krop or Behance.
  4. Represent your Brand. Let your personal style shine through your presentation and create a consistent thread via the color palette, font, and imagery on your portfolio, resume, and social media assets.
  5. Be a Subject Matter Expert. Join an online discussion, share articles, write blogs, become engage on Twitter.  If you have the bandwidth, create your own blog or podcast, guest blog, or write articles to industry publications.  These tools enable you to get your name and profile in front of a larger group of people to help establish your credibility and brand.
  6. Volunteer. Volunteering for non-profits is a way to give back to an organization that can benefit from your services. All will help improve your portfolio/skillset and offer built-in opportunities to network as well.
  7. Build your Network – In-person networking may be on pause currently due to the pandemic, however greater opportunities exist online.  Join existing social media groups and discussions, and attend online industry events and expand your circle of like-minded creatives who can become collaborators on projects or be a great source for referrals.
  8. Get Listed. Create your freelance business pages. Create profiles on directories, portfolio & resume portals as well as freelance portals where you can list your work and advertise your services.
  9. Work with Recruiters.  Recruitment agencies have access to opportunities that are not listed on job boards. This expands your marketing efforts for free by enlisting teams of connected specialists who also benefit from you getting work.
  10. Perfect your pitch. As a freelancer, everyone you meet may be a potential client (or knows someone who could be a client). Work on your presentation and perfect your elevator pitch.  Representing yourself professionally will speak volumes about your abilities, so don’t be shy about sharing how can be a great freelance resource.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 573rd issue of our a.blog.

7 Ways To Revamp Your LinkedIn Profile 

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020|

Linkedin continues to be a great resource for job seekers. If you have ever applied for a position through LinkedIn or used it to search for an employee, client, or friend then you know that similar to other ‘social media,’ platforms, LinkedIn allows a prospective hiring manager to quickly assess one’s expertise, availability, and experience for a role.

Although it is not the platform to post your vacation pictures and funny cat videos, LinkedIn functions as an intermediary between job seekers and employers who are looking for talent, and a hub for professional networking. 

A well-crafted LinkedIn profile is often the first impression you make with potential employers and collaborators. Therefore, your online presence should be as crisp, concise, and professional as any job application you formally submit. 

Here are some ways you can revamp your LinkedIn profile: 

Highlight the Portfolio Section

  • Add a featured section to your profile to highlight recent work or blogs to draw attention
  • Add your online portfolios, articles, podcasts, and other work that has been published online. 
  • If you work in a creative field, this a fantastic way to show off your work, and it easily accessible to hiring managers. 
  • Add industry-specific keywords in your headline and throughout your LinkedIn profile including the description of past experiences and your summary. 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Headline

  • Your headline is the first element of your profile an employer sees. 
  • Communicate more than your current position. Considering that you have a whole 120 words, it should include the skills you have, and titles of the positions you hope to have in the future. 
  • Maximize SEO for keywords that align with your skills, and experience

Update your skills

  • Highlight skills that are relevant to the positions you are applying for. 
  • List your subject matter expertise
  • Skills and relevant keywords will help your profile with SEO and increased visibility
  • Change the order in which skills appear on your profile to ensure that the most relevant ones come first.

Join Groups

  • Join groups on LinkedIn based on your interests and affiliations. 
  • Network with those in the same industry or who have similar interests as you. 
  • Communicate with like-minded people, keep up-to-date with industry changes, and even bolster your network for a future job search. 
  • If you are unsure about where to start, LinkedIn recommends groups for you to join.

Activate Open To Work feature

  • Under your profile photo, you can Let Recruiters Know You Are Open To Work
  • Make your profile discoverable by recruiters and hiring managers
  • Once you have chosen this option, you can share your tailored career interests with recruiters. Additionally, you can share this information with only recruiters, or share it with the whole LinkedIn community, to increase your pool of opportunity. 

Get Recommendations

  • Testimonials are one of the best ways to increase efficacy. 
  • If you have just completed a freelance project, make it a practice to ask for a testimonial
  • Ask your employer or client to endorse you on LinkedIn or add a recommendation. 
  • By doing so, you show that your work is valued by a diversity of people, and helps verify the skills you claim to have.

Update Your Summary

  • This is your elevator pitch and needs to be clear, concise, and demonstrate the skills you have and what you are looking for in a future position. 
  • Keep it engaging, and use an active voice to write it
  • Detail education, work experience, certificates, and volunteer experience.  

 

Your LinkedIn profile should be curated for the job you want, not the job you have. It should reflect how your experiences make you stand out from others applying for the same position. In today’s highly-competitive, technology-driven job market, tailoring your LinkedIn profile will make all the difference.   

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 571st issue of our a.blog.

How to Discover Your Core Values

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020|

“Our values are at our core, and are an expression of how we act every day.”

Warren Rustand.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my core values, how I define them, and how I remain true to them.

Warren Rustand, a successful entrepreneur and the Dean of Leadership for The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, says our values carry us through good and bad times. “Our values are everything we do, our acts, and behaviors. It tells people what we actually value, they define our character, they create and compose our integrity.”

Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People defines these as our three moments of truth:

  • Discovery of our values. We realize what our core beliefs and values really are.
  • Discovery of what we stand for when we commit to those values.
  • The moment we act on those core beliefs and values.

In the corporate world, it is common-place that companies define and share their core values and display them in their offices, on their website where customers, employees, and candidates can see them.

We did the same at Artisan Creative and I’m proud that our a.team helped articulate ours after several conversations together. They are Accountability, Agility, Trust, Communication, and Enthusiasm. These are the core values we embrace every day, and how we conduct ourselves in business year over year.

If companies take the time to discover and articulate their core values, why don’t we do this for ourselves? For our families? How can we better share what we stand for and what our values are to others and to our children?

It’s often during difficult times that we need to evaluate what is important to us. Today, with one of the highest unemployment rates on record, many are going through challenging times. Candidates are evaluating and contemplating what their next step can be, and what type of company they want to work for. I’ve heard from many who no longer want to commute long hours, no longer want to work for a company without a purpose, no longer want to travel just for work. They no longer want to work for someone whose values don’t align with theirs.

We live our lives by a certain internal compass, a moral code, and although many times we may not know how to articulate these actions as values, it is in challenging times that we can rely on them.

So as we are in this time of reflection, it’s important to determine and articulate our own personal core values and share them with one another.

Here are three steps to help define yours. This is a process of putting together seemingly disparate puzzle pieces until finally, an image emerges. It requires patience, thoughtfulness, and reflection.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

Reflect back to a time when you were faced with an important decision and ask:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Reflect back to a time when you were faced with a challenge in your life and ask:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did l I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Reflect back to a time when someone needed your help:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Additional questions to bring clarity:

  • How do my friends describe me?
  • What gives me joy?
  • What brings meaning to my life?

Once you’ve answered all the questions, look for common themes, phrases, and words.

Circle those words, or search for other words that resonate with you.

What emerges? Who emerges from those words? Do they resonate with you, and are they who you are at your core?

Once you know them, share this with others. Then, add them to your website and your resume. Let potential employers and employees know how you live by these values.

In the words of Gandhi, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
 

Please connect if you are looking for your next opportunity or your next hire.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 564th issue of our a.blog.

5 Steps to Building Resilience in Your Job Search

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020|

If you’ve recently lost a job or are getting frustrated with the long application or interview cycles, a key attribute that will help you stay in the game is resilience. Studies have shown, that with the right habits and mindset, you can develop a more resilient approach to your job search. Here’s how to do it:

1. Reflect, Then Keep Moving

In the aftermath of a job loss or during a difficult job search, it is normal to experience sadness, anger, and loss. Acknowledging these feelings is the best way to move through and continue on. Avoid getting stuck in the past, learn from your previous experience, develop a positive mindset, and become more conscious of new opportunities and things to be grateful for.

2. Take Stock of Yourself

Now is the time to be a good friend to yourself and emphasize your strongest qualities. Gather evidence of your past achievements, think about the things you love to do and are best at, and do some research to discover what new avenues may be open to you in a changing marketplace. If you haven’t updated your online portfolio or your LinkedIn profile in a while, make sure they showcase your best work in a way that’s exciting and relevant. (This may make you feel more optimistic and become more resilient, too.)

3. Try New Things

A sudden job loss or a long job search can give you the needed time to build new skills or to experiment with new hobbies and interests. If you read books and articles about subjects you want to learn about, attend virtual events that look interesting to you, and get out of your comfort zone, you may find yourself drawn to fresh subjects and opportunities you didn’t notice before. Be yourself, make connections, and grow your grit. New experiences can help you put things in perspective and develop a more broad-minded outlook, which is powerful for building resilience.

Masterclass, Udemy, Creative Live, or General Assembly are great places to brush up on your skills or develop new ones.

4. Express Gratitude

Our inherent negativity bias makes it easier to dwell on the negative and ignore the positive. To become more resilient, refocus your mindset and go overboard with positivity for a while. When you make a daily gratitude list, or simply remind yourself to look for the silver lining in situations, you train your brain to notice the good things around you, which will make it easier to spot your next big opportunities.

5. Reach Out

Being independent doesn’t mean being alone. Your peers, mentors, and friends will understand what you’re going through, and many will be eager to help if you give them a chance to do so. Join online platforms, browse groups on Linkedin, Groupspace, or Creative Mornings can connect with your other likeminded individuals for collaboration, connection, and communication.

You can start by contacting Artisan Creative. We have experience helping creative professionals connect with amazing companies and tune into new opportunities in a changing world of work. Let’s keep the conversation going!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 563rd issue of the a.blog.

The Power of Gratitude

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020|

“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” –  Anonymous

It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well. We count our blessings, and express gratitude for all the good we have. It takes effort when things are not.

In those moments when life challenges us, it becomes even more important to count the good that is still around us, even though we may not be fully aware of it.

Martin Seligman, an American psychologist, and the founder of positive psychology says “When we take time to notice the things that go right – it means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day”.

It’s a choice to take time every day to notice the beauty around us, things that are right with the world, even in the midst of a pandemic, even in the midst of one of the highest unemployment rates in our history.

What if amongst these hardships we could seek the good and express our gratitude for it, and shift our mindset towards happiness?

Warren Rustand, the Dean of Leadership at the Entrepreneur’ Organization (EO), a long time friend and mentor shared his 10-10-10 morning routine with me a few years back. He starts each day with 10 minutes of reading positive writings from a selection of well-known books, followed by 10 minutes of thinking positive thoughts and ending with10 minutes of journaling about gratitude.

Based on this learning, I personally have been using the Day One app to write down my own daily gratitudes. When personal tragedy struck a few years ago and I lost several family members over a short time due to illness, it was the gratitude journal that helped me heal. Even in the darkest of times, I could be grateful for the time we had together, grateful for the memories I was left with, grateful for the lessons they had taught me. Although I could not change the outcome of their illness, I could change my mindset.

David Steindl-Rast in his widely viewed Tedtalk talks about the connection between being grateful and being happy.   He says we can be grateful in every given moment.

I’ve chosen to embrace the power of gratitude and have shared these learnings with my team here at Artisan Creative. We’ve started a gratitude Slack channel and each day share them with each other.

So today, at the start of our 10th week of Safer at Home I’m hoping you’ll also join me in expressing gratitude for all that you have.

This week my ten are:

  • Grateful for health
  • Grateful for weekly family zoom calls with family across the world
  • Grateful for my pets and spending so much time with them at home
  • Grateful for expanding my culinary skills
  • Grateful for the jacarandas that paint LA a beautiful purple this time of the year
  • Grateful for early morning walks in our neighborhood
  • Grateful for the Artisan Creative team helping candidates who are looking for work
  • Grateful for Yoga with Adriene!
  • Grateful Southern California beaches are open again
  • Grateful to you for reading this.

Will you please share yours?

with gratitude,
Katty

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 561st issue of our a.blog.

3 Tips to Navigate Your Job Search

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020|

The current massive unemployment rates have many talented candidates out of work and searching for new opportunities. Additionally, the impact of stay-at-home measures is clearly exasperating the job search efforts for many.

As we navigate these unchartered waters and contemplate what the next version of what “work” is going to mean, it becomes important to take a moment and reflect. Julio Vincent Gambuto calls this moment “The Great Pause”.

We are indeed in a (prolonged) moment of pause—which is not comfortable.  However, since we are unable to rewind and go back to what once was, we can be more fully present and work on evaluating the future and possibilities that we can create.

To do so, here are three tips on how to evaluate what you really want to do next.

Define your Core Values

Take the needed time to think about what you want to do next and how that may align with your core values and purpose. If you haven’t had a chance to define your core values yet, now is a good time to partake in core values or visioning exercises to discover what is important to you.

Focus on Upskilling

As you re-imagine what that future of work will be for you, now is also a great opportunity to upskill. Many well-known universities around the world are offering free online classes. If you’ve been thinking of pivoting into other fields such as UX or product design, now is your chance. Ideo offers Design Thinking classes, as well as Leadership and Innovation classes. Masterclass is another great resource to try out a new hobby, learn something new, or write the story you’ve always wanted to tell.

Give Back

Volunteering is a great way to keep busy, make new connections in a new field, and help others in need. If you’ve always wanted to help out a non-profit what better time to share your expertise? It also provides a great opportunity to enhance your resume. More importantly, giving back is a great mood enhancer as it boosts oxytocin levels by creating levels of engagement, productivity, and usefulness which leads to gratitude.

We wish you the best as you embark on your job search.  For additional tips on resume writing and interviewing please check our a.blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed our 560th issue.

20 Remote Meeting Best Practices

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020|

By staying safe at home, and seeing nearly all interviews and meetings transitioning online, we wanted to share twenty remote meetings best practices we’ve learned over the past ten years of working exclusively as a remote team.

Whether you are having ongoing daily team huddles, interviewing for a new opportunity, meeting a client or prospect via video for the first time, it’s important to keep the following pointers top of mind:

Equipment

  1. Ensure your device and headphones are fully charged or plugged in prior to your meeting.
  2. Whether you are Zooming, using Facetime, Google Hangouts, or another tool, test your device’s audio and video connections before the actual meeting.
  3. Look right at the camera when you speak. If you only look at the screen itself it’ll appear as if you’re not making eye contact with the attendees.
  4. With everyone working from home, combined with homeschooling for many others, ensure that you are in a quiet place with enough wifi bandwidth.
  5. Adjust your device screen to ensure your head and shoulders appear in the frame – don’t get too close or move too far away from the camera.
  6. Be stationary and mount any handheld devices such as your mobile phone or iPad so you aren’t “traveling” with your device. It’s distracting and disrespectful.

Environment

  1. Let your family or roommate know you’ll be on camera to avoid unexpected noise or interruptions.
  2. Practice your on-screen time and record yourself if possible.
  3. Adjust the lighting so your face is front-lit without any shadows.
  4. Keep an eye on your posture. Adjust your lighting as needed.
  5. Pay attention to your surroundings—especially your background. Select a clean, neutral, and distraction-free backdrop like a wall, a screen, or a panel of curtains. Close closet doors, make your bed and clean the clutter. If you are unable to do so, use zoom’s virtual backgrounds to create a branded look. You can find many examples on Canva.
  6. If you are presenting or screen sharing, make certain you have a clean, uncluttered desktop and if needed, change your desktop wallpaper to something creative and professional.

Engagement

  1. Confirm time zones in case you are meeting with someone in another state or country.
  2. Speak clearly and succinctly. Use your voice, tone, and body language to communicate and connect. Use modified hand gestures as needed or gently lean in when making a point.
  3. There can be a slight delay in communication, so be mindful not to talk over the other person.
  4. Mute when not speaking (just remember to un-mute when it’s your turn to talk).
  5. Dress and groom as if you are meeting in person. Working from home still requires being professional.
  6. If in a larger gathering, become familiar with layout views so you can fully engage with everyone.
  7. If you are making a pitch or presenting your work, have your portfolio or presentation loaded on your desktop to screen share as needed.  Practice Zoom’s presentation tools such as whiteboard, and annotation to create a bigger impact on your audience.
  8. Be friendly and smile while talking. It lifts and warms your voice, which helps you to connect with the group.

In 2009, we decided that the benefits of a successful remote environment outweighed the stresses of the daily commute. We love it and firmly believe in the life/work integration that being a remote company provides our team. If working in a remote setting is new for you, please check out this video and our additional blogs on the subject matter.

WE hope you’ve enjoyed the 559th issue of our a.blog

2020 Vision (Board)

Monday, December 30th, 2019|

This is a special time of the year to reflect on the abundance of the previous year and to plan for the upcoming new year. In this very special case, we have a new decade to celebrate with the perfect 2020 Vision.

What would you like to see, do and be in this new year/decade?

Here at Artisan Creative, each year our a.team members work on their New Year’s goals and create a vision board or dream board. Most create physical boards, although a few opt for a digital version using Trello, Canva, Pinterest or PicMonkey.

We present our boards to one another at our first team meeting in January. The boards are a collection of our short and long term goals and include both personal and professional aspirations.

Presenting to the team creates accountability (one of our a.team core values) and enables the group to learn more about each other’s ambitions, dreams, and commitments. Some set a theme for the year, some have specific action words—others use inspirational quotes. All have in common a shared use of imagery that inspires, tells a story, and conveys a message to create a powerful visualization tool.

In addition to sharing our vision and goals at the start of the new year, we review our boards mid-year in our June meeting and share a recap at our year-end meeting. This helps keep us on track during the course of the year, which can have many twists and turns. This activity is one of our strongest team-building exercises, as it stays “evergreen”.

You can do a variation this year and create a vision board for the decade with a focus on long term goals.  An alternative is to create a gratitude board where you can continually be reminded of all things you are grateful for.

However you choose to proceed, here are some tips to create your vision board and get started on achieving your goals!

  1. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values.
  2. Create positivity and inspiration for yourself and others.
  3. Imagine the integrated life/work you want to live.
  4. You can either divide your board into sections for business and personal or mix the elements together throughout. The important point is to create an integrated board where your personal and professional aspirations are represented.
  5. Hang the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often! Mine is right in front of my desk, so I get to see it every time I look up from my computer.
  6. Share with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.
  7. If you choose to go the digital route, change your desktop to the vision board artwork so you can see it every day for inspiration and setting priorities.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x 28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through and find those inspiring words and pictures.
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write on or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity.
  • Time to reflect.
    Cut images and words throughout the month. Select aside a day to create the actual vision board. For some, it’s easier to start with a theme and for others, the pictures and words shape the theme of the board. There is no right or wrong method, harness your creativity any way that works best for you.

What is your goal-setting process?

Happy 2020!  We hope you’ve enjoyed the 550th issue of our weekly a.blog.

Digital Detox

Thursday, December 12th, 2019|

Like most things, screen time is best in mindful moderation.  As the holidays approach, we have a good opportunity to unwind and take a digital break.

As digital technology proliferates through every aspect of our lives, we are becoming more cognizant of its potentially less-savory effects. Taken to an extreme, the use of such technology can hamper our productivity, sociability, and mental health. Indeed, some of the most wealthy and well-connected people are beginning to ensure their children spend less time looking at screens.

It is possible to take advantage of the profound benefits that digital connectivity has brought to our life and work while mitigating the harm it can do when overused. Here are a few ways to do this.

Become More Aware of How You Use Your Screen Time

If you think you may not be using digital technology as wisely or productively as you could be, start by keeping track of how you actually spend your screen time.

There are numerous apps designed to help you measure or limit your screen time. Try one, and get a more accurate idea of your use and how your time is being spent. You can also follow these few tips to keep yourself from common indulgences that are likely to be counterproductive or to make you unhappy.

  • Turn off unnecessary notifications and get updates at certain times (rather than all the time). This will eliminate some of the digital distractions that can prevent you from doing deep, focused work.
  • No scrolling in the morning. Start your day with exercise, mindfulness practice, or a productive morning routine instead.
  • Read a book, practice meditation, and engage in other activities that might be more enjoyable and less stress-inducing than looking at social media or the internet.

Try a Digital Detox

If you think digital technology is really cramping your style, it may be time for a digital detox.

Take a mandatory day of rest, or even a week, and see what it’s like to go without electronic devices, apps, and the internet altogether. Let everyone know you’ll be off the grid for a while, and spend your time resting, working with your hands, or bonding with friends and family.

You may find that those notifications weren’t nearly as important as they may have seemed and that you didn’t miss anything you couldn’t just as easily handle later.

Don’t Overdo It

Unplugging is becoming a fad in its own right, with some of the excesses that entail. You can moderate your screen time without doing anything too extreme.

You don’t need to subscribe to highly demanding regimens of dopamine fasting or do anything else that could compromise your career, your relationships, or your happiness.

Again, the key here is awareness and moderation. Take stock of how you spend your time. Regulate your digital intake as much as you can. Make sure you have all the time you need for the pleasures and challenges of “real life,” and you should be able to keep your digital technology working for you, rather than against you.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals, businesses, and teams make the most of all aspects of their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 549th issue of the a.blog.

Creating Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019|

As a creative professional, how do you open better opportunities and do more of the work you love? How do you differentiate? In the context of personal branding, this means presenting yourself in a way that sets you apart from others in your field. Your personal brand should be easy to explain in an elevator pitch, yet complex enough to generate a range of ideas and evolve over time.

You can get some unusual personal branding insights from a classic Harvard Business Review interview with Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the richest person in the fashion world, and one of the world’s leading authorities on building “star brands.”

Become a Star Brand

According to Arnault, a star brand has four key characteristics. “A star brand is timeless, modern, fast-growing, and highly profitable,” he says. “It is very hard to balance all four characteristics at once – after all, fast growth is often at odds with high profitability – but that is what makes them stars. If you have a star brand, then basically you can be sure you have mastered a paradox.”

To work toward becoming a creative rockstar, you should cultivate your own unique sensibility independent of passing trends. At the same time, you should pay attention to your media diet and attune yourself to the zeitgeist. And, you must have the courage to ask for what you’re worth. A creative staffing firm such as Artisan Creative can help you get a fair price for your work.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

“A lot of companies talk about quality, if you want your brand to be timeless, you have to be a fanatic about it,” says Arnault. As a creative professional, this means pouring your passion into every piece of work you do. It also means presenting that work in a way that showcases your personal brand in the most flattering and exciting possible light.

Make sure you invest time and attention to detail when building your creative portfolio so it best communicates who you are and what you’re capable of. Attend networking events to build a professional support system and get comfortable with promoting yourself.

Be Bold and Take Risks

When working with the world’s most famous designers, Arnault’s biggest management priority is to give them the freedom to be themselves. “If you think and act like a typical manager around creative people – with rules, policies, data on customer preferences, and so forth – you will quickly kill their talent. Our whole business is based on giving our artists and designers complete freedom to invent without limits.”

As the manager of your own personal brand, this means giving yourself some space to pursue unusual ideas and try new things. You can orchestrate the right environment to loosen your creative muscles, or do fun and experimental work on your own time – work you really love – to freshen your perspective. Also, give yourself permission to occasionally pitch a risky idea. It may unlock some hidden potential in a project.

First, build rigorous self-discipline. Then give yourself the freedom to be yourself and shoot for greatness.

Seek Inspiration From Unlikely Sources

While he doesn’t make demands, Arnault does encourage designers to broaden their horizons. “Not long ago, I said to one of our designers, ‘Why don’t you take a trip to Japan and see what the teenage girls are wearing on the streets at night?’ These girls are very leading edge in fashion; they create trends years before they hit the mainstream, like with those very high shoes, and it makes very good sense to watch them. I did not say to the designer, ‘Go and see what kinds of shoes they are wearing and copy them,’ although I was hoping he would notice their shoes. I just suggested, ‘Go look.'”

To grow and refine your personal brand, capture ideas and inspiration from as many different places as you can. Go to museums, art galleries, symphonies, and public gardens, and take note of anything that strikes you. Explore the hidden history of your profession and how it’s done differently in other times and places. Keep an open mind, and you’ll have the flexibility to do unique, courageous work that is unmistakably yours.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals get more from their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed issue # 546 of the a.blog.