A SNAPSHOT ON BEING A CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR
My jourey into becoming a Creative Communicator:
In order to get my foot in the door, I volunteered a lot of my time during college and grad school (and outside of paid internships) to learn the ropes of Public Relations and Communications. In college I was asked to be the assistant firm director for the student-rum PR firm under the national umbrella of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I got my real training there working with real clients and real deadlines. After undergrad, I took on a few related internships which strengthened my skill set within communications and creative project management.
Gaining momentum and relevance moved me to join a couple of advisory boards within the next 2 years post undergrad as the Public Relations Chair for the National Coalition for 100 Black Women and the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. Very quickly I learned that my skill set was worth getting paid for and my freelance career began. I started taking on clients of my own and eventually my passion for brand management, creative direction and event planning grew stronger.
My role as a Content Manager in the creative field:
In addition to digital marketing, I use Social Media for other clients as a means to educate the public on what products, projects and services are being offered. I often organize content and schedule posts using Hootsuite. I also gauge what content is most effective and make judgement calls on best practices. Essentially, I’ve become the content manager for all things social media including Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.
Positives and Negatives of being a Freelance Creative:
– Positives –
- I can influence our audiences through digital media and recommend incentives for audience participation.
- I can be creative about outreach tactics and have time to research how to best implement my ideas.
- I can strengthen existing relationships and establish new ties with stakeholders and artists on a regional scale.
- I can create my own schedule.
- I receive first-hand notice about art happenings across the city.
- I work with hardworking people & ambitious people.
– Negatives –
- Long hours must be committed to develop a consistent income.
- Constant effort is necessary to stay relevant using any online platform.
- You’re not the only player in the game.
What is required to be successful in this field:
I consider myself an entrepreneur first and an employee second. I may have a full-time job currently, but I recognize that a true hustler is one who does not allow a title to override my creative ideas. Realizing this, I always aim to adopt the mindset of someone who is passionate enough to do both diligent research and execution of my ideas. If I am not good at something, I empower someone else to help. Or if necessary, dedicate some time to dig deeper on a subject. Knowing these things, it is very important to incorporate habits that ensure positive outcomes, including but not limited to:
- Discipline to accomplish a task or acquire necessary knowledge
- Empathy towards the skill sets of others
- Dedication to your own skill sets in order to master them (develop a niche that you can deliver with excellence)
- Flexibility and willingness to change plans in order to reach a goal
What guarantees success in this field is to have a visionary mindset with an attitude of gratitude. In other words, know where you are going but remember to appreciate the present moments. Although I am new to this field, I realize that the exploration of my gifts and executing them with excellence is the best way to instigate success. The creative industry is all about invoking emotion with happiness as the running theme. So why not start from within? Make sure that what you are pursuing adds to your wellbeing and no matter how tough the journey gets as a “solopreneur”, its always worth it because you are being creative.
[Originally published on my personal blog on Thanksgiving Weekend 2015]