As an expert or modern creator, there are two sides to the coin. Two forces that must be aligned before you can blissfully unleash any lingering stress and uncertainty in your daily business operations.
There's more to it, of course (skills, strategy, talent, persistence) but when you boil everything down - these are the bare-bone ingredients for a beautiful career and a fulfilling lifestyle business that gives you ultimate freedom; doing what you love, for those that love what you do.
I have to say that every client I've ever worked with who was struggling - had for one reason or another misplaced, or had somehow forgotten the profound meaning this fundamental point makes.
Sometimes everyone needs a reminder, and/or at least a more effective strategy. You cannot sacrifice either of the two. They are required components in this equation.
By the time you truly figure this out you will have found The Creators Paradise. You will be living your heaven on earth.
But if we dig a little deeper, i think you might be surprised to find whats really at the core.
Let’s get practical for a second… Obviously, a performer needs a crowd. A musician, band, speaker or comedian needs an audience to listen. But what is it that attracts them? What is it that holds them together? Is there some fan scented ointment or body spray? perhaps a magnetic undergarment you could wear?
Well… There is.
It’s not a fan scented hand lotion, but it will attract your fans like a bacon strip brings my pup to attention.
That secret sauce is Authenticity.
authentic |ôˈθentik| (abbr.: auth.) adjective 1 of undisputed origin; genuine : the letter is now accepted as an authentic document | authentic 14th-century furniture. See note at genuine . • made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original: the restaurant serves authentic Italian meals | every detail of the movie was totally authentic. • based on facts; accurate or reliable : an authentic depiction of the situation. It is how we build trust and rapport, the glue that makes our content, and the value we provide them with, meaningful.
No acting here! 110% Authentic...
Phil X of Bon Jovi engaging with concert-goers
It is sort of counter intuitive to think about, but wouldn’t you say that AUTHENTICITY is something of higher value than talent alone?
Why is it that the most “skilled” artist isn’t necessarily the most popular? It’s because authentic meaningful story has a greater intrinsic value to us.
You see, the biggest reason why brands and businesses fail online (especially with social media) is because they don’t realize that we are living in an age where CONNECTION and INTRINSIC VALUE are the most valued factors in society, as well as for branding and engagement.
It’s how humans work. It’s what life is all about.
Those who fail to embrace the power of story and communicating the unique expression of who they are and who they serve are going to either need to compete strictly on price (however "price" is defined in your industry), or will eventually fizzle out.
Building an audience or a tribe, connecting and engaging and delivering exceptional value to them is the model that is here to stay.
Our minds and our attention is splintered, too fragmented, too cluttered because of all the bumbling communications that attack our psyche from every which direction… But we know when we see authenticity. We remember peoples story and the experience we had in dealing with them.
As a DIY Artist, Comedian, or Expert Brand owner it is part of your job to define your brands message by telling your story in everything you do.
To be congruent in the way you conduct every aspect, every transaction, every interaction, and every element of what it is you contribute to the world.
Those who do this will find success. Brands that remain vague, undefined, incongruent, and never understand this for themselves will never breakthrough and service their clients/fans/audience on the highest and deepest levels.
Make a commitment to cater to and contribute to your clients/customers/audiences highest levels of well-being and happiness.
People crave CONNECTION Most.
For Modern Creators - you see - it’s not really even about having a superior product. Don't get me wrong, in almost all cases, that helps, but it is NOT a requisite to being successful in the New Economy.
The great news is that more people have MORE opportunity to live their dreams doing what they love, living the way they choose. So yes, you are very talented, and should never stop improving and developing your crafts and skills-but just remember what matters most.
It’s about CONNECTION. And ultimately, the EXPERIENCE.
You build the relationship with your audience as well as your customers/clients through connection; ultimately delivering an outstanding experience.
The experience needs to be the focus. You must deliver on the promises you make, as well as continually elevate the level of engagement that you are offering throughout the entire relationship building process.
If you are not offering different levels of access and engagement than you are doing THEM a disservice, as well as yourself.
Offer your audience a window into your REAL life… I mean we don’t want to follow, be inspired, or take advice from just ANYONE
People want to know who you are, understand your perspective, they want to see where you live, how you spend your Friday nights, and what you value most.
We can’t help it. We are curious creatures.
People want you to peel the layers back and share part of YOUR world with them. Not just the what, they want to know WHY you do what you do, and they want to see HOW. Make sense?
Seeing the three sides of your brand, the What, the Why, and the How (style or the way) you do what you do adds DIMENSION to your brand, to their experience, and THAT is a whole new level of value we’ve never really been able to embrace at this scale and at this level of convenience before.
It’s all about The Experience and The Story.
We all live off of emotions. They are what we need to know we are alive. People are driven by and addicted to emotions. They are the fuel of human life.
But when we get stuck in our own artistic bubble, we often fail to see through the lens of our fans.
Allowing them to see the whole, integrated story of you, your brand, your message, your content is what is going to build you a Loyal Audience that loves you for life. One of the best examples I may have seen of talented artists understanding and utilizing the dynamic is Jersey Based Country Duo, Williams Honor. These two can't have an ice cream cone without sharing their experience with their legion of growing fans and when it's time to take us into the more privileged areas of their artistic lives, fans get a front row seat to Radio interviews via Facebook Live or videos taken from backstage as they perform. You will also get a reply and a "Like" to comments you leave on their posts across all social media networks. And I've only just scratched the surface of how these two understand the value of connection.
Ultimately, you have to create something that people want, and the best way to do that is to use your imagination and creativity to find a way to do that around what you are passionate about, something that aligns with your purpose, and in actually doing that the best you can, both because it’s inherently motivating, as well as highly valued by your audience, EVERYONE actually wins!
You have to embrace the entrepreneurial aspects of being able to sense and discover opportunities where there's a need or a want for a solution you can, or would be committed to actually providing; and you can use your creativity and imagination to deliver and LOVE the entire process itself.
You actually get to be artistic on a very deep and rewarding level about how you can do all this.
It’s all an artistic, active journey that’s internally and externally motivating. The art lives in the decisions and unique momentary choices you make as a unique expression that’s aligned with your values and vision.
Creativity - for us - is our biggest asset. It’s a uniquely human superpower, let’s use it!
I think that it’s both ironic and profound to see that the “intangible things,” i.e creativity, imagination, relationships, perspective, insight, experience the things we cannot see or hold, the things that make us the dominant species, are actually the most valuable, and it’s the “tangible” assets such as money or lack of it that we’ll use to acquire it.
So that’s the Artistic Side…
But there is another side to this. Remember.
And commerce has never been about you, or your content. It’s about the person who is going to support you so you can create it. What is the value you provide THEM?
Sometimes you get lucky and the type of sound and style and look you have appeals to a lot of people… Sometimes the product you “think” people need is one they want and will actually buy… Sometimes not.
You can either create something and then go see how people respond, or find something that people want and go create it…
There is a balance, and it’s part of your journey to find that. But know that you DON’T have to compromise. You just have to LOVE what you’re doing. and be persistent until you find a way.
Money is just one form of value exchange. Your content IS your currency.
How much value are you providing to those who you are creating it for?
One final point, that no matter what, you must never forget…
You are a Modern Creator. You are in control. YOU ARE IN FREAKING CONTROL. You are a CREATOR. Do something with it.
It’s about whether you believe what you want can be real for you… Or not.
You are very talented, but remember what matters most.