In the final part of our series on learning how to navigate the world of creative talks and events, and how to make the most of them, we turn our attention to using them for growth - both in terms of your business and personal prospects. If you have missed the previous articles in the series, make sure you visit our Fiasco Design profile to read more on how to make the most of creative talks and events.
Don’t overthink it
Strategy, growth plans, long term goals, lead generation….all of these are very important, but it is also important to recognise that a solid structure is only so good...you have to invest passion, soul, energy, creativity and flexibility into your business plan as well. Don’t overthink it and make sure you save time to be reactive and have enough flexibility in your growth plans to adapt to the unexpected. Go with the flow to some extent, and be open to new and leftfield ideas.
Drop the excuses
At the end of the day, when it comes to your own business growth, it’s only you that can help yourself. There are thousands of excuses, but as Matt Miller from ustwo demonstrated in his talk at last week’s thread, there’s no substitute for just getting out there and just doing it. Live your dreams, think big and realise them, drop the excuses and make yourself accountable by setting up deadlines, routines and habits you can stick to.
Learn from your network
Your network and the people you’ve met at creative talks (read our third article talking about how to make the connection!) aren’t there to give you a job or work with you at the drop of a hat, they’re also there to learn from and take advice from. Many people in successful businesses now will say that having someone to learn from, or a mentor, was paramount to making sure they put the best foot forward in business. It can also help them in personal growth, supporting them socially and in other ways unrelated to business growth.
Listen - use your analytics
In this digital, socially driven world, the numbers matter. Engagement and interaction with your online presence and your content is really vital, and you can use these as comfortable metrics to determine how you should pitch your social schedule, digital tone of voice and brand message. Use your analytics to help grow your brand, and use social to learn from what your potential customers are saying. Much like networking and getting out there and making connections, the key here is to listen.
Learn from your mistakes
A big of a theme in our creative talks at thread, is that our speakers talk freely and openly about what went wrong, as well as what worked. Part of growing and expanding your business is making sure you’re aware of the routes you go down that aren’t necessarily worth pursuing, and finding another direction if that’s the case.
Retention - your best clients are the ones you know
We have to thank Jamie from Supple Studio for this one - his nugget of knowledge that really resonated with the crowd at last week’s thread. Sometimes, growth doesn’t have to be new and exciting all the time. Sometimes, that feels good, but true business growth can come from the most familiar of sources. Keep your existing clients happy and facilitate as many requests from them as possible, even if that squashes immediate business growth. It may be a longer term strategy, but it's likely you'll reap the rewards further down the line.
Take time for yourself
To grow a successful business from scratch, you really have to build a successful lifestyle and it’s important to take time out for yourself and growth personal projects or ambitions, and know where and how to draw the distinction. There’s a clear link between personal, individual projects and aspirations and the success and productivity of your business and those around you. You’ll run a much better company, and make better decisions, if you’re happy, relaxed and pursuing things outside of what just brings the money in - especially if it's in a completely different field of interest.
Be interested in everything and try out new ideas
In whatever you do, whether you are happy being a freelancer or would like to grow your own business and begin hiring, involve yourself with people that help you grow by having an interest in everything. It doesn’t hurt to try out new ideas, and in many ways businesses and careers can grow and prosper in different directions to that in which you intended.
In our four part series on Creativepool, we've gone through the stages of making the most out of creative talks and events with thread Bristol as an example. Here at Fiasco Design we really think that having such a great community around you is so helpful in helping grow, shape and build your career or business.
For the next thread, we've organised a super special music themed event in collaboration with Simple Things Festival, taking place on Weds 19th October in Bristol City Centre (BS1).
Tickets are limited, and now on sale! Visit http://threadbristol.com/event.html to find out more and buy.
Join the conversation at @threadBristol and Thread on Facebook