I belong to a website called Alignable, and how often do I hear small business owners complaining about “not getting ranked” and how all the “big business” is killing small business. After a while, your humble narrator has to jump in and open a can of whoop ass. Maybe you will find this interesting, as what I wrote seems to be generating muchos buzz about it on the site itself. more “The Most Common Misconception About “Web Magic””
The scams on us creative types never ceases to amaze me. We are often seen as people bordering homelessness who will do any “make money quick” scheme, as long as it involves being creative.
This is just an overview of a phone conversation I had this evening with someone trying to work that shtick.
First of all, the guy owns a real estate company, which should have been my first clue that the lines were about to get greasy. He said he had a bunch of videos he needed to edit which had “great potential” to make a lot of money for individuals. So basically, he was saying he had a “gimmick”, like he was a motivational speaker of some sort. Mind you, I have never heard of this guy. He said he knew someone I used to work with that “praised” my ethics, and got the referral from them. Ethics were pretty high in demand for this guy, because he said he could really “monetize” on these videos. Of course, I have learned to interpret this over the years as follows: “I want someone who has some ethics, because I don’t have many myself.” more “I’m A Creative, Not An Idiot”
I recently watched this Abbott & Costello video, and figured out the math some clients try to use on creative people. Go ahead and watch it…I’ll wait.
Now you see what happened there? At the time, it makes perfect sense. And most clients who utilize our services talk about how they aren’t making enough to afford your regular rates. Since you are tired of eating Ramen and Peanut Butter and Jelly every day, you think to yourself, “At least some money is better than none.”
You give in. You want to be seen as the nice and understanding one, and quite frankly, rent is due. You think, “Gee…Maybe I will get some exposure, and then the money will roll in.”
Clients count on this. While they go shopping at Whole Foods, get $120 hair cuts, and go home to a house with a view of the city, you are in your one bedroom apartment eating Ramen and Peanut Butter and Jelly. more “Creative Folk: You Are Worth It”
We know. We have all been there. You want to develop a portfolio. You want to get your work recognized. You want to excel in your field so you can be set when you graduate. But I am here to appeal to you from your future. Stop under-cutting those of us working in the field.
Now, you might say, “Pfft! Of course he is going to say that. He’s not in my shoes. He’s already in the business.”
Well, you’re right. I’m trying to pay bills, have a life, afford gas…But I am telling you that YOU are going to be doing this in the future. And you are soon going to hear “Why should I have you do it when I can get a student to do it for next to nothing?”
That is when it becomes real. When your rent is due. When your bills need paid. When you want to go out on a date on a Saturday night. When you should be a self-sufficient adult. By under-cutting those people working in the field, you are under-cutting your own future in this business. That is what they don’t teach you in school. So I am going to try and teach you Designing Life 101 right here.