Let's face it. Us artist have a reputation for not being the best with financial matters. Many of us tend to focus more on the creative aspects than on the money making aspects. We don't enjoy paperwork, and such things like cold calling and hard networking aren't things that normally fall into our favorites category.
Still, these, among several others, happen to be things that fall within the "necessary evil" category. Here's a few tips to help your day stay balanced and productive:
1. Make your calls early. Who cares if every single call ends up in utter rejection, humiliation, etc? Well, actually, you should care, and that's something we will cover on another post, but, get these calls made early. Decision makers are usually most prone to having phone conversations early in the day, before the demands of daily business consume them. Get them early, while they are fresh, and a bit more at ease.
2. Plan plan plan! My wife chuckles at me. I have a yearly goal list. And a quarterly. And a monthly. And a weekly. And a daily. And oftentimes, an hourly. Don't beat yourself up if you don't stick to it 100%, because as we all know, those last minute meetings, shoots, opportunities, are often coveted...but for the rest of the time. Get yourself on track, and do your best to stay on it.
3. Finances. This is such a broad, intense subject, I could literally spend the rest of the year writing exclusively about finances for artist, and not even cover a small minority of this theme. Again, this is another post for another day, but bottom line is this: the pressures of being a successful working artist in today's society are already difficult enough. The last thing you need to worry about is an accounting error, bills being paid, invoices in or out. Stay on top of this as much as you possibly can.
4. Schedule. Back to the plan plan plan part. Set some time aside, every single day, to sit down with someone new. A new potential client. Art director. Portfolio reviews. Even if you don't book a job that same day, those small investments can amount to larger long term gains.
5. Invest. I just said it in #4. Invest your time. Invest in further educating yourself...more training...more dedication to your craft. Obviously, financial investments are a necessity, as there's not many of us that have pensions waiting at the end of the rainbow.
There's so many things I could put on here, but this should get you started.
What have you tried that has worked? What has helped you come along in your career, that you can pass on to others?