My Mistakes You Can Learn From
When delving into the business world the main goal is sales you need and want “clients/customers”. Any sale is a victory worth celebrating. I still remember the first tapestry I ever sold. I felt so seen and appreciated. As my business grew I began to create custom tapestries, they were in higher demand than my personal pieces so they soon began to take over.
I fell into the creation trap. As my business and instagram grew I saw what people were responding to and I began to create more of that. It was not until about a month ago I realized how much I had truly lost myself and my artwork. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but the reason I began creating was because of the great sense of freedom I felt from working with fiber.
I had moved towards floral tapestries, but I have learned that even though I find joy in creating those pieces, they leave me feeling drained. After I finish one I need a week at least to recoup and gather my inspiration and creativity.
I have had to do a huge pause. I felt so blessed that the commission were streaming in, but when I sat down and thought about it, I began to dread it. Knowing the many tedious hours I would soon be undertaking with each new piece.
I was chasing the money, I was chasing the likes and follows, but not chasing what my soul knew I wanted. I simply wanted to create without boundaries. My ego was living it up, basking in this new found recognition, but my creative soul was slowly dying.
It wasn’t until I was forced to pause in this first trimester of pregnancy that I really was given the time to truly think about what I wanted my life and business to look like. I know that I am going to change direction in my work and return to what I previously began with. Abstract shapes and allowing my creativity to take control, allowing flow to happen.
It is going to be hard for my ego, but I know it is the right thing to do. Because I have got caught up in the cycle. So let my story be an eye-opener for you.
What is the cycle you ask? The client-centered cycle. This is not a terrible place to be, but it is easy to loose yourself as a result. When running a business as a creative it is so easy to follow the recognition. I took it as a sign that as doors opened that was the path I should continue on.
But as I walked through those doors and took on more floral commissions, that soon became by feed. So other potential clients now look at my feed, see the tapestries, and think that I want to create more of that style. (and to be honest I did think that was what I wanted to do). But when you began to dread creating something it is a sure sign to step back and take time for reflection.
So the cycle looked like this: I created a floral tapestry, the audience loved the tapestry and I got a lot of orders for other floral tapestries, so I took those orders and created more floral tapestries which I then added to my feed, and the cycle continued.
All the while my true passion is abstract art. As the floral commissions grew, the abstract commissions dwindled. No one was seeing that previous work.
Do What You Love!
So, if you want to reach your ideal client, you need to create what YOU love. Do not chase the likes and follows. Follow your passion, follow your joy. Fill your life with that, and as your build that business the right people will find you.
Don't Make Yourself Cheap Out of Fear
Price yourself properly. If a client wants something done for cheap, ask yourself if that is something you want to continue to do. Is the time you put into your work worth it? What about your supplies? Think about your future. It is so easy to tell yourself “just this once” but that is one way of telling yourself that you are not worth what you charge.
There will always be someone out there willing to pay your price point for what you create. It all comes down to finding that client (which often takes time and effort and time making things without anyone caring for a while). You can not create silently though. You must put your work out there, put in the effort to be seen, if you want your ideal client to find you and to pay your price you need to put yourself in their shoes.
What website would they be drawn to? How should you present your work? What platform do they like?
Market Yourself & Have The Mentality of Successful You
You need to market yourself. You can not work silently in the shadows and hope that you will miraculously be found. It takes work. When running a business it is not just about the product, it is about the experience.
People do not buy from a business, they buy from a brand. What is your brand? What are your values? Do you engage with your ideal client? Even if you have no one reaching out to you or engaging with your content, act as though you are already in that position.
If you were making “x” dollars, if you had “x” clients or “x” followers, how would you be engaging with your clients/customers differently? People want to buy from YOU, show them who you are.
Stop worrying about getting the wrong clients, focus on creating your business and brand and take the time and effort to put in the work. When you stop worrying and start doing, taking control of your business and the results you want to see, everything begins to change.