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An Open Letter
... to my former self.
Not a Standard "About" Page (TL;DR)
Working with creatives means learning to do things differently. That said, the world is a fast-moving place and we could all use some of our time back. So here's the short version:
I help make your art profitable.
If you're interested in hearing more about the kind of clients I work with... read on.
Dear Mr. Mercer
Welcome to the world of marketing and advertising! You're going to like it here. The skills you learn in the next few years will carry you through the next decade and beyond.
I'm purposely going to embrace generality. I've consumed too much scifi media to feel comfortable messing with space-time in any meaningful way. (No stock tips or lotto numbers, McFly.)
To keep things relevant, I'm going to focus on the aspect of your life you care most about in this moment. Your financial status.
Generally speaking, you're going to do very well. Here's a few helpful tips that will keep you moving in the right direction.
Most people won't be a good fit for your work...
Short-Term Decision Making
There's going to be opportunities so lucrative that you would never dream of saying no. Think twice.
Ask yourself if you're the type of person that would trade your integrity for money. Then measure how much you'll have to compromise your values to accept.
If the answer is anything more than zero, you shouldn't take that deal. Not even if you're dead broke and wondering how you're going to make your mortgage payment.
When you look for people to work with, look for the ones that don't settle. Those with a vision so strong it sweeps people up and brings them along.
Building a body of work takes many things. The first of which is world-class skill in your craft. Whether that's rooted in talent or grit is something you'll have to discover.
When in doubt, choose grit.
Making a stable income requires work. Many times it's front-loaded and the rewards are delayed. Stick with the folks that are patient and love the process, not the outcome.
Confusing Ethics With Tactics
If you ever have a client that tells you that "advertising is a tax on a bad product," stop working with them immediately. Seriously, walk away.
What you don't know yet... is that finding a repeatable sales process is the linchpin that will take you to 7-figures and beyond. Everything else is vanity or shady.
The direct marketing toolkit is full of things that can be misused. Your job is to understand the difference between the scam and the impact. Keep it above board.
All of the loopholes, exploits, and schemes are temporary. The platforms being abused will always catch up. The house always wins.
Don't build your foundation on sand.
Selling people exponential growth in bite-size increments will be more difficult. It's also the only way your clients will stay in business long enough to afford you.
Lack of Follow Through
I saved this for last because it's the most challenging for those who are creative. Which you are, whether you've realized it yet or not.
Bright and shiny objects are everywhere. The ability to finish things is a skill worth cultivating. Particularly as the noise increases dramatically over the years.
When you find something worth exploring, commit to it. Be thorough and don't get distracted by the promise of a shortcut. Ideas aren't worth anything without execution.
One of your superpowers is the ability to watch 99% of everything you do fail miserably. While others would be demoralized and shut down, you learn to let it roll off your back and discover that hidden 1%.
When you find it, go all in.
Good things take time. If you start a project, let it prove itself out. Don't walk away at the first sign of failure. Push through... and only work with those who do the same.
Still With Me?
Remember when I said you were creative? You are, even though you're steeped in tech and believe that the future is in the machine.
Good news, what you're practicing right now is a transferable skill. Working with developers is a great deal like working with creatives. They're opposite ends of the same spectrum (of crazy).
Keep doing what you do best. Develop strategies that will help organizations grow. Then make very direct offers with no hesitation.
The most important thing is filtering so you're only talking to the people who want to hear from you. If you're delivering that much goodwill, eventually you'll build a dedicated tribe.
They'll understand what you're worth because you've already helped them make progress. That's what everyone will call the "value exchange" someday. Embrace it and thrive.
Your Future Self
How Can I Help?
Let's talk and find out.
© 2018 Gabriel Mercer - All Rights Reserved.