Have you seen the
Starving Enterprising Artist Survey? If not, click here!
What is the Enterprising Artist Survey?
Dan Johnson from RightBrainRockstar.com and Helen Aldous from Artonomy have put together a survey to find out what the artistic community needs and wants. I’m one of more than a dozen other bloggers sponsoring this survey to help the artistic community as a whole better understand:
- how to get more from the Web
- what is the current status of the artist community as it relates to the Internet
- what tools and services to focus on
- the current mindset of artists who are doing well in their career vs. those who are still starving
What Do You Get if You Take the Survey?
All participants get a copy of the survey results if they leave their contact information. In other words, you’ll get a first hand view into what other artists are doing with their careers. Seeing how other artists are finding success could help you do the same.
Every artists who leaves their name will get also get a mention in a follow up blog post by Dan at RightBrainRockstar.com.
And check out this post on my partner Cory Huff’s site, The Abundant Artist, because he’s holding a contest for survey participants!
The survey will close on Thursday 1st March at around 10am UK time.
If you’ve been here awhile you know that my superpower is helping people live the creative lives of their dreams. In other words, I’m a creativity incubator, not a biz dev expert.
I do, however, sometimes touch on topics related to creativity, business and entrepreneurship, because for many of us, running a creative business is part of living a creative life.
If you’re in business (and if you sell what you do or make in any way, shape or form, you are in business), it really helps to know what your customers and potential customers (clients, fans, followers) want.
As Creatives, our job is not to mold ourselves into puppets for our clients’ benefit (been there, done that — no fun). Our job is, however, to find the intersection between our unique gifts, skills and talents — what we absolutely adore doing — and what people are willing to pay (and pay well) for.
That’s the sweet spot:
Example: I’m really good at proofreading other people’s stuff, and I could throw up WordPress blogs in my sleep, but if I had to do that all day long I’d probably shoot myself.
On the other hand, if you’d be happy to spend your days doing something that nobody has any interest in paying for it, you might have a great hobby, but not a business.
As an artist (in the larger sense of that word), your job is to use your gifts to create what your inner muse tells you to create. If you’re in business, you then need to find the people who will love what you do and buy it — your Right People.
As an entrepreneur, your job is to use your gifts to create what your Right People want to buy.
As a smart cookie, your job is to find the spot where those things intersect.
It’s an ongoing balance, but a smart artist will always aim for that sweet spot — feeding your soul while also feeding your belly.
Finding the Sweet Spot
Figuring out what you adore doing and are good at is presumably fairly straightforward. If you don’t know what you love to do and what your skills are, you may have to do some inner work to get clear around it, but the info is there inside you, waiting to be mined.
What other people want, though, that’s a bit more opaque. Where a lot of entrepreneurs (creative and otherwise) go wrong is in assuming that what they’re excited about creating is what their fans, followers, clients and customers are excited about buying.
This is not always the case.
What to do? How is a Creative supposed to know what her Right People want from her?
Two words: Ask them.
Yep. It’s that simple. Just ask, and you will discover a wealth of info.
That’s what the Enterprising Artist Survey is about, and that’s what my own recent survey a couple of weeks ago was all about.
I asked my peeps just 3 questions (though granted, one had several parts…) and the answers were very revealing. Even more revealing, though, are the short feedback chats I’ve been doing via phone and Skype, which fully half of my survey respondents opted to do with me.
(Are my peeps awesome, or what? I’m still doing those chats, and in fact will be for the next few weeks. Big thanks to Tara Mohr for giving me the idea to do these chats in her recent Abundant Launch course!)
Asking people what challenges they face, what they’d love to learn from me, what they’d love to talk to me about if we met for a couple of hours over a cup of coffee, opened up a world of ideas I never would have gotten to on my own. The wheels are spinning double-time on several goodies to roll out over the coming months — right at the sweet spot of what I adore doing, and what my people are telling me they want.
(A lot of this stuff will have limited availability, fyi, and the people on my list will get first crack, so if you’re interested, sign yourself up by filling in the form at the upper right. Just sayin’.)
All of this is a big experiment, of course, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m hugely grateful to the wonderful people who filled out the survey and shared their thoughts with me over the phone and Skype. (You know who you are — big, virtual hugs!)
And if you’re in business, I highly recommend you get to know Google Docs or SurveyMonkey, and get comfy talking on the phone. What you learn may take you places you never dreamed.
I’m curious, is being in business part of your creative life?
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!