Your gifted creativity can shape into a thriving career and there are some key steps involved in the process.
Few things can change the free flow of a creative session like an administrative interruption. The last thing anyone wants to see in the middle of working on a book, recording a vocal, completing a design or climbing up the stairs to go onstage, is a piece of paperwork that needs to be signed or an incoming e-mail requiring the activation of a different part of the brain.
But at some point, these things considered tedious can become important. Words like ‘copyright’, ‘split letters’, ‘royalties’ and ‘residuals’, ‘terms and conditions’, ‘pending’ and ‘paid’ can change the temperature in a once warm room, in record time when we side-step the details. There are many instances (I’ve experienced firsthand) where no formal agreement was signed, mentioned or needed but in general, implementing some or all of the steps mentioned in this post is recommended to put your creative business in a brand new gear for growth.
The word ‘documentation‘ in and of itself, sounds about as full of flavour as a dry biscuit, but it’s a key factor in supporting the operation of a business – creative or administrative. In the video coming up, we’ll go through a few of the many bonuses related to logging business activity for your freelance career.
Admin Tips For The Artistically Inclined
When I sent the first invoice, murmurs of disbelief rippled around small circles island-wide and the news returned to me from another country. A financial transaction logged for a creative service? I remember the nerves and awkwardness I felt at printing and hand-delivering it after a session. It wasn’t until I realized that indie artists are in fact already creative entrepreneurs (whether consciously or not) that the practice eventually became and has become a part of the protocol of owning a business.
When we go to the supermarket, ATM, a cafe or boutique the related bills and bank balance slip are automatically given, whether kept or not. It’s standard; it’s a processing thing – not a personal thing.
Very often, clients, colleagues and customers take their cue from us; if we don’t take our businesses seriously and show up to provide products or services professionally, how can they be encouraged or prompted to do the same?
Here are some tips to get organized and upgrade your creative career with a documentation boost.
Tip: Not a fan of cash conversations over the phone or in person? How about talking through contract or formal agreement terms in group meetings? Paperwork and digital documentation come in handy for overriding things like that. In fact, it’s best to incorporate them one-time in case of fuzzy memories or “I never agreed to pay that” hiccups happen along the way. That reminds me: here is a recent blog post on ‘Finding Your Ideal Client.
Documentation isn’t meant to enable any nerves we might encounter when it comes to speaking about certain topics – but it does come in very handy as a communication vehicle, and (when digital) is also an efficient as an organizational tool and tracking method for:
- business transactions
- job requests and agreements
- confirmed bookings
- accounting info
- blog/social/podcast content
- your client/customer/vendor database
- calendar of events
- e-mail and design templates
- team communication archives and file sharing forums
Find a structure and set a tempo that works well for your business, team and clients. Implementing some sort of monitoring and business operating method can:
- give a better perspective on your most in-demand services/products and time it takes to do them
- show any figurative hems that need mending in the fabric of the biz
- remind you of how far you’ve come and encourage you forward in a more clear state of mind
Congratulations in advance on building another muscle to help grow your business and serve others better.
Which muscle group do you more nurture and exercise?