And as a continuation from yesterday’s post, here are tips 11-20.
11. Share your ideas and find people whose opinions you value
People who you respect can help push you, prod you, and challenge you. Sometimes, we need others to hold us accountable for our actions. It’s hard to be the boss and the the employee at the same time. Treat these people well. Make them part of your extended team.
12. Do things for others
People want you for you. But they really want you for you because of what you give them. So if you find yourself with the time and without the inspiration, just ask yourself how you can make other people’s lives better. There’s always something. It needn’t and shouldn’t be change-the-world stuff either. It can be one simple thing after the next. We’re all content producers in this day and age, and those who create useful content are those who attract attention and acquire devotion. Useful content is still a rarity. Most people broadcast who they are and what wonderful things they can do. But remember things like throwing one more recipe out there for how to make mac and cheese isn’t something the world will consider useful. Well, unless it’s damned amazing mac and cheese – I recommend starting with a bechamel, adding gruyere and cheddar with a hint of smoked paprika in a pan, and finishing in the oven with some bread crumbs on top. Works for me.
13. Forget about the pie in the sky
Yeah, big ideas can be great. So are big campaigns, big dreams, and all that other stuff. But getting things done is even better. So don’t forget about the routine items. Giving one client a call a day to say hello and help them out could easily lead to more business than creating an earth-shattering manifesto.
14. Create a website and blog with genuine content and character
People go to a website to learn about who you are and not just what you do. If the only way you tell them about yourself is by showing what you do and jumping straight into a portfolio, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. And don’t write your content like a CV. Get some character in there. It’s endearing. Showing what you do might be what gets people in the door, but showing who you are seals the deal.
15. Find your identity
You are your identity. Don’t try to build your brand based on everything you think you should do. Not even on everything you always wanted to be. Build it on who you are. If you’re down to earth, make it part of your business. If you’re sophisticated, make it part of your business. But don’t worry about being what you’re not. Forget notions of what it is to be professional. Focus on your strengths.
16. Build your identity
Once you’re ready, spend the money to get a designer to create an identity. Most people won’t know enough about the language of design to get the level of polish they want. If things like kerning, leading, descenders, and baselines sound foreign, find someone who can help. But remember, a designer, even a good one, can only work with what you give them. Be ready to know what you stand for and represent if you want to get the most out of the experience.
17. Be organized
Tag your photos. Sort them. Keep them in places that are accessible. At first, it will slow you down, but at some point, you’ll miss out on opportunities to submit them, show them, and feature them. It will help generate publicity and business, and the process of staying organized will help you assess your growth and development. And don’t forget to keep back-ups of everything. The more, the better.
18. Smile when you pick up the phone
Just do it. It works.
19. Don’t pick up calls from 800 numbers
Don’t do it. It’s never a client.
20. Go all in
If you’ve decided to go for it, go for it. Don’t hold back. Don’t create safety plans in case you fail. Don’t go easy, so you have an excuse if you do fail. Giving it all you have is the best safety plan, and it’s the best excuse to have if you fail. Half in, half out never gets you anywhere.