Episode 5 of The 10k Creator is out now! You can watch or listen to the episode here.
Through this process of doing the 10k Creator show with my friend Joe Pulizzi, I've had a number of breakthroughs.
Recently, the breakthrough has been a mindset shift, specifically around how creative or content entrepreneurs run their businesses.
Most creators think that their job is to do the work - to write the newsletter, record the podcast, film weekly YouTube videos, or service their clients.
Yes, while that is correct, Joe says it should only represent around 20% of the work you do.
Yes, I reacted similarly. While I vaguely understood the concept and have been doing a lot to put this principle into practice, here are three business activities creative entrepreneurs need to think about each and every week.
- Finding predictable sources of audience and revenue
- Creating systems to help you grow
- Saying no!
Successful business owners know how to "read the dials"
Predictable Sources of Audience and Revenue
Too many creators - my past self included - focus too much on the so-called "if you build it they will come", or Field of Dreams approach to creative work.
It looks like this:
- Post 7 times a day on Instagram
- Consistently publish your youtube show or blog
- improve your headlines or your titles
- work more/hustle harder
We think that the answer to growth as an artist is to do more art.
Instead, as mentioned before, the "art" or "craft" of your business - writing, videos, podcasts, art, design, etc - should only be 20% of your work.
Your creative business needs two things, an audience and revenue.
Your job as the owner of that business is to find predictable sources of that audience and revenue!
What that means is that you're spending time testing different audience acquisition strategies.
Ads, sponsorships, affiliates, guest blogging or podcasts, collaborations & partnerships, and more.
Do you know where your next 100 subscribers are going to come from?
If your answer is "no" or "the algorithm", then you need to rethink your strategy and create a better system.
The same goes for revenue. How do people become customers? What does that process look like in your business? What do you want it to look like?
You need to understand the system that is your business better than anyone else, remove the constraints, and have a steady flow of new customers (revenue) and audience members so that your business can grow.
Derek Sivers coined an incredible phrase when making a decision, "it's either a Hell Yeah! or it's a No"
When you approach your business like a Craftsman, you think of the outcome you want to achieve first. Then, part of your job as the business owner is to say no to everything that won't help you get that outcome!
For example, I recently worked with a consulting client who wants to ultimately be creating documentaries and narrative TV content.
However, they keep saying Yes to the client work they've been doing for years, so they have no time to spend on new concepts, raising money, or getting these projects off the ground.
They're stuck, because they can't say No.
Now, they still have to pay the bills, right? Yes, of course. But they simultaneously have to carve out time to start saying Yes to the future they want, rather than hoping that it somehow magically appears.
The way to get that future is to say No to the things that won't help them achieve it.
As you look at your own business, what responsibilities are not getting any or enough of your time as the business owner? What systems can you create that will help your business grow? What do you need to start saying No to so that you can create the future you want for yourself and your business?
Now: Schedule a strategy call with me to discuss your business, identify the main constraint that's holding you back, and give you actions to take today to grow your audience and revenue.
1-3 Months: Learn how to build a six-figure creative business with my book, Craftsman Creative which outlines the principles and systems that help you grow.
This Year: Join the Society of Independent Creators, a new online community for supporting, teaching, and even investing in each other's creative projects.
(Your Business Here)
I've opened up a single sponsor slot in each week's newsletter. If you'd like to get your business in front of over 1,000 creative entrepreneurs and artists, head here to grab one of the remaining slots for 2022.
LINKS FOR THE WEEK
Loved this breakdown on Twitter of how Jack Abraham looks at investing in and building new businesses.
At 24, Jack Abraham sold his company to eBay for $75 million Since then, he's launched 33 businesses earning billions What's his secret? He will NEVER start a business unless it passes this test👇: pic.twitter.com/Ujg1z88SXr
October 25th 2022
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