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BUSINESS GROWTH

How to Grow a Creative Business

If you’re a creative in business, then one of the many questions on your lips is probably how do you grow a creative business?

When it comes to growth, it’s worth bearing in mind that not all growth is good.

In fact, growth can sometimes come at a price. It can feel hard won. Which means the money doesn’t always justify the sacrifice.

Growth can be exhausting. It can take up a lot of time, and physical and emotional energy. For example, you find yourself working into the small hours or it becomes difficult to step away and take a holiday.

Grow a Creative Business

What Does Sustainable Growth Look and Feel Like?

Now, I can’t promise there won’t be times when you grow a creative business, that it will be hard work. Because there will be seasons or reasons that you need to put in the hard yards.

However, when it comes to building a sustainable business there are certain principles that will stand you in very good stead. And the reason you want a sustainable business? Well, you want to love and stay in love with your business. You want to feel good about doing working in and on it every day. Otherwise, it’s back to freelance or agency mac monkey status for you.

And I’m guessing the whole reason you’re working to grow your creative business in the first place is so you don’t have to do that. Because you want to be in control of your own time, earning potential and creativity.

What Does Sustainable Growth Look and Feel Like?

 

Now, I can’t promise there won’t be times when you grow a creative business, that it will be hard work. Because there will be seasons or reasons that you need to put in the hard yards.

However, when it comes to building a sustainable business there are certain principles that will stand you in very good stead. And the reason you want a sustainable business? Well, you want to love and stay in love with your business. You want to feel good about doing working in and on it every day. Otherwise, it’s back to freelance or agency mac monkey status for you.

And I’m guessing the whole reason you’re working to grow your creative business in the first place is so you don’t have to do that. Because you want to be in control of your own time, earning potential and creativity.

The 4 Key Things to Honour in Your Creative Business

When you grow your creative business in a way that makes it sustainable, consistent and manageable for the long term, there are 4 key things you honour.

 

1. You.

Don’t let anyone tell you that YOU are not the most important thing in your business. Your client is not king or queen. You are. If you fall out of love with your business, and become creatively, emotionally, or physically exhausted, that isn’t a good place to be.

 

2. Your Creativity.

As a creative, it’s essential in my view that your creative integrity and your creative mojo are protected. If you don’t feel that your able to do your best work, creative burnout is just around the corner.

 

3. Your Clients.

Of course, it’s important that your clients get what they need and deserve from you in exchange for their investment. You want to be able to offer them an outcome and an experience that has them singing your praises and racing back for more.

 

4. Your Coffers.

Aka your treasure chest, money pot, stash, bank balance. Your profit. If the money isn’t flowing consistently and abundantly, what actually is the point?

My 5 Key Pillars to Grow a Creative Business

So, how do you go about creating this beautiful, sustainable creative business you love?

The Creative Meet Business Method is my signature approach to grow a creative business. It has been developed and honed over my 25+ years in the creative industry. Both as a leader in corporate agencies and when building my own successful business over the last 7 years (as of 2022). And it’s what I work through with my clients in my Creative Business Insider coaching.

So if you’re wondering how you’re going to get your creative business firing, here are my 5 key pillars for growth.

Grow a Creative Business
Self - How to Grow a Creative Business

1. SELF: Find Magnetic You and Master Your Mindset

 

As creatives, we often hide behind our creative outputs. After all, your clients aren’t interested in you, are they? They only want what you can creative for them, right? Wrong.

When you master your mindset, stop hiding behind your design-work and step out as a savvy creative business owner it’s a bit of a game-changer.

Find what makes you unique and magnetic – your Unique Creative Persona. Because we all have one. When you see yourself as the leader and not the doer, and you embrace the authentic you, that’s when you’ll start making confident decisions for your client, your work and your business.

Strategy - How to Grow a Creative Business

2. STRATEGY: Showcase Your Value Through Your Message & Your Method

 

There’s magic AND money in the method. When you embrace your strategic side and showcase the value in your approach, it will be a pivotal point in your business journey.

Clients want transformation. They want the big, beautiful outcomes that impact their sense of self, their self-worth, their success and their place in the world.

When you ‘package’ and sell your unique methodology and talk about how you craft powerful outcomes for your clients, you elevate yourself from creator to creative consultant. And that means better quality clients and client relationships, premium pricing and more reward and fulfillment from the work you produce.

Studio - How to Grow a Creative Business

3. STUDIO: Build Solid Mechanics & Take Care of the Money

 

No creative agency grew successfully on a wing and a prayer. To get things running beautifully on the outside, they need to run like clockwork on the inside.

You need to build an efficient, seamless engine room when you grow a creative business. And that means, systems and procedures that will give you back time and peace of mind. I’m talking about project, client relationship and money management systems, that give you the headspace and creative space to build your clients and cashflow.

Serve - How to Grow a Creative Business

4. SERVE: Create a Client Service Lovefest to Manage and Bring the Magic

 

Now’s the time to make client service your superpower. The name of the game here is happy clients, happy you. Critically, this is about serving not slaving.

When you have watertight processes that take your client on a journey better orchestrated than a royal tour of the Caribbean, and you deliver amazing client experiences, it’s a win-win. Not only do you amplify your growth through dedicated client fans that drive repeat and referral. It also feels easy, breezy for you to manage.

What you want is value filled, peer-to-peer, productive relationships. Not a master / servant dynamic that leaves you feeling used and doesn’t actually give your client the outcome they need.

Scale - How to Grow a Creative Business

5. SCALE: Grow with Aligned Marketing & Sustainable Momentum

 

You can’t escape marketing. And once you get your head around that bombshell, I want to add that you don’t have to do marketing that doesn’t feel aligned to you either. If dancing on reels and lip-syncing aren’t your thing, we are good.

There are umpteen ways to market and build profile in your business. You will grow most effectively and sustainable when you do what feels good for you. Ultimately you need to love and stay in love with your business.

One of the key models I talk about with my coaching clients is the 5Rs for building momentum: Referral, Repeat, Retainer, Rewards and Results. How are to leveraging these in your creative business?

If you’d like to know more about how we can apply the Creative Meet Business Method to grow your creative business, let’s chat. My Creative Business Insider Coaching is for Creatives in Business who want to take back control of their creativity, time and finances. This tailored one:one coaching, focuses on how to grow a creative business without compromising your creative mojo or sacrificing your sanity. Want to know more? Let’s book in a virtual coffee and talk it through.

Bec Hughes Creative Business Insider Coaching

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