A 'Quick Chat': My skills aren't free
When you find your passion and become successful in it, quite often you find yourself rambling about your methods, techniques, and sources.
I have worked and 'almost-worked' with so many clients over my 9 years of experience. Unfortunately, with social media being a free platform, it is sometimes expected to provide without any compensation.
"How do you do this?"
"Where do you get these from?"
"How did you make this?"
If we answered these questions, I reveal things that have taken me years to learn and perfect. Meeting up for a coffee or a meal with a potential client, your boundaries can get blurred. Suddenly, you're sprouting countless tidbits of information, whilst your next paycheck is noting it down, with no intention of hiring you.
I've gotten stern about it over the years, and it can come across as standoffish at times. No, I don't want to sit with you for 3 hours and not have any income at the end of it. I once spent almost 2 months working with a friend; setting up their brand and social strategy. Their brand was a consumable, so I reasoned to myself that despite no initial income, I can do it pro bono, being paid in the product until they are on their feet. Those documents remain unopened and the messages unresponded, as soon as I stated I required payment to continue. Their business is now afloat and potentially earning, I wouldn't know.
Nowadays, I try to keep initial conversations brief, meetings short, and a report is provided with my fee if we want to continue. I am still contacted to this day by almost strangers, sending me documents & requesting conversations. Pay a professional. It is a service.
Creatives don't work for exposure. We don't work to make more friends or to achieve higher social status. We work to earn an income, just like the rest of the world. Creativity can't be measured. However, most creatives I know aim to provide KPIs and similar goals when you hire us, so you can see the benefits of our work.
Over the last few days, my mind has floated like the snowflakes in my new Romanian home. I have scrambled, I have hit blocks, I have my diary open 24/7. I fear I will drop the ball. I manifest and meditate to myself the sentences that have helped me in the past.
"I am talented."
'I am smart"
"I have valuable skills"
"I am worthy to myself and that makes me worthy to others"
"I am successful."
"Happy, healthy, wealthy"
"I have made it through every bad day"
I go for a walk, and I get back to what has made me a success.
Never let doubt stick around too long.