Marketing is the business
of imagination.

The Studio Source helps you build an extraordinary business by focusing on approach—how you show your work, how you connect with your customers, and how you can make great marketing without selling your creative soul.

photo.

Stacey Cornelius
I'm a writer, jargon translator, idea junkie & creative entrepreneur with a Fine Art degree. I have years of professional experience in retail, theatre, fine craft and information technology.  Read More

Take your talent and run

February 28, 2012

cirque performer
Image by whoalse by Allen

The headlong rush for attention
Technology has lowered the barrier for entry for publishing, for selling, and for rapidly expanding your audience across the globe. Creatively speaking, that’s a good thing.

The problem with a low barrier to entry is the number of people tripping over it.

I know creatives who are dismayed at the growing crowd of hacks out there. So dismayed that they’ve nearly given up on trying to promote their work. They believe they’ll be lost in the crowd, drowned out in the noise.

They want to run. The wrong way.

“Cheap” is not your competition
People who buy their “art” at the mall aren’t interested in one of a kind pieces. Some might only need their horizons broadened, but others don’t get what you do and never will. Poor quality materials, bad design and shaky execution shouldn’t be on your radar, period.

Your customer is not stupid
Fear, especially money fear, turns sensible people into hair-tearing lunatics. Customers committed to quality won’t go galloping for the cheap stuff just because it’s cheap. A tightened budget is one thing. Sudden disintegration of good taste? That doesn’t happen.

Now is not the time to pull back. You may have to adjust to the current economic climate—nudge some prices down a few percentage points, or create quality pieces that fit with a slightly lower price tag—but shuffling out of the arena is exactly the wrong move.

Take your talent and run
This is the time to step fully into the spotlight. To stretch your creative muscles.  Promote your work. Talk to your audience. Start a real conversation. Listen. Quiet confidence is classy, especially in a world filled with screaming infomercials.

Your best customers want quality. The more low-rent work is out there, the happier they’ll be to find creatives who are committed to the best work they can possibly make.

The hacks give you leverage. Use it.

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Comments (4)

Great post! It was the first thing I read today, and a great way to center myself. As a photographer, it can be frustrating when everyone under the sun is running out buying cameras and immediately professing themselves to be “photographers”, undercutting prices, flooding the place with low quality work and drowning out those who have spent years building their brand and business.

So reading this reminded me of what I’d always try to keep in mind: That is not my market. Those are not the kinds of clients I want. That is not the way I present my work. It can be dismaying at times but I try to keep focused, stay creative and produce professional work.

In today’s world where anyone can become anything overnight, without having the chops or experience, the proof is still in the pudding when you show the end product.

Quality trumps quantity when it really matters. Great article – thank you for sharing!

Stacey Cornelius Reply:

Quality over quantity is a mantra of mine. You’re dead right, the tools don’t make the artist, no matter what the medium. Thanks for dropping in!

Stacy-
Great post! I totally agree, and approach my work with a “there’s plenty for everyone” attitude. The best clients DO want quality.

Thanks for the positive perspective on our creative businesses.

Rock

Stacey Cornelius Reply:

There is plenty, Rock, you’re absolutely right. We can’t afford to waste time and energy spent staring at the cheap seats.

Nice to see you here.