Written by: Chrissy Metge, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Up-to-date branding: As a creative, you are often at the front of what you do, which means people want to see you. This means photographs of yourself. It's better to lead the way with the pictures you want on the internet than some random photos that people grab off your social media. Getting a professional photo can seem daunting, but it makes a big difference. You don't need to spend a fortune on this or get dozens. Aim for 2-5 high-quality photographs to get you going and get new ones every 3-5 years. This keeps you and your branding fresh.
Knowing about the latest trends within your field:
You don't have to have in-depth knowledge about every topic, but you need to know about the latest trends. AI right now is a massive topic in the creative sector that is touching almost every business. Listen to podcasts or read some articles; this allows you to enter conversations and build relationships.
Social and being interactive in like-minded communities:
You need to be present; out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. People will forget to include you or recommend you to new clients if you are not around. The new year is a perfect time to do this, loop back to your clients from last year, wish them a Happy New Year, or if you have completed a project, send them the latest work you have done or your updated portfolio.
Are there new events taking place or cafe chats? Attend any social gatherings to build those relationships and talk about what you are doing.
Give your time willingly to up-and-coming students, schools, and communities:
Being generous with your time to those starting out is great for a fresh perspective and keeping you grounded; it's also good for your reputation. These communities talk, and who you are will spread quickly, especially if you do a good job. Get in touch with your local universities, colleges and schools and offer to be a guest lecturer. Go to your local community centre or library and offer to do workshops. Get out there and be seen.
The foundation of building good relationships is being approachable. Then ideas and trust can grow. How do you achieve this? Adopt open body language, make eye contact, smile and create space. If that's not working, try wearing something that sparks a conversation or bring in something for morning or afternoon tea to have an excuse to hang out.
Ask questions and keep learning:
This also ties in with keeping up with the latest trends. Asking questions is another way to show people you are engaged with what they are saying and contributing to being part of a team. By asking questions, it is also important to know what your project is missing or to create a space for others to speak. Learning is vital, we are naturally curious, and our brains need to be utilised. This can be short courses, nonfiction books, articles or attending seminars. As creatives, we must keep our minds fed with new and innovative ideas.
Give yourself space to be a creative:
As a creative, we need to fill our well to be inspired, and if you don't create space for this, you will find yourself unmotivated and lacking in new ideas or enthusiasm. It helps if you book ways to fill your inspiration in advance and give you something to look forward to, whether it's that trip to a museum or art gallery to see a new exhibition coming up, or to the theatre or even a trip overseas, put them into the calendar. Also, be aware of how often you need to do this. If you need something every other day, go for a walk at lunchtime and try a new cafe or visit your local bookshop to get inspiration quickly in other ways.
Chrissy Metge, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Chrissy Metge has been a producer and leader in the animation film and TV industry for over 20 years. As well as making movies, Chrissy is an author, publisher, mentor, career coach, and lecturer to many creatives. Her love for storytelling and recognising and mentoring creative talent is her driving force for being a creative entrepreneur.