In today’s creative landscape, it’s all too easy to become just another face or voice in the crowd. The abundance of one-size-fits-all business and creative advice can be overwhelming, leading you down paths that may not align with your vision or the qualities that make you and your creative work so unique.
Along the way, you may have forgotten the one thing that will always, without a shadow of a doubt, help you stand out…YOU!
You are the secret sauce behind your business.
No one can paint, write, perform, teach, or, heck, even show up on Instagram in exactly the same way you do!
Your unique voice, perspective, and individuality can be mimicked but can never truly be reproduced.
In this week’s blog post, we’ll explore the concept of finding your unique voice and how it can set you apart in a crowded creative marketplace so you can break free from the ordinary and thrive as an exceptional creative entrepreneur.
We live in an era where everyone seems to have an opinion on:
Misleading advice often dictates that we should follow a predefined formula, playing it safe by replicating what has worked before.
BUT- when you fall into this trap, you are betraying the single thing, the X factor, that can make you and your business truly successful!
Your unique voice is a product of your life experiences, skills, opinions, and resources. It’s your personal perspective that, quite simply, can’t be replicated.
Take one of my coaching clients for example.
This client set out to create a business, unlike anything she had ever seen before.
Her goal is to make everyday life more beautiful. She believes art shouldn’t just be confined to gallery walls!
The inspiration for her business was a unique fusion of fine art, design, and commercial work where she could ask big questions and pursue deep investigations, but also ensure her work could be enjoyed in the gallery setting and beyond.
Despite following all the business “shoulds” and advice for over a decade, she found herself frustrated and demoralized.
No matter what she seemed to do or how hard she tried, she felt further away from her vision than she had at the start!
Eventually, she (incorrectly) concluded that SHE was the source of the issue since “clearly” these methods appeared to work for everyone else.
The truth was, the business she was building was NOTHING like everyone else’s. So it was no wonder the tricks, tips, and strategies weren’t working for her. It’s crazy to believe that a copy-paste method could work for her anything-but-cookie-cutter business!
If you follow someone else’s blueprint, whether it’s their formula for sales or even something as personal and specific as your creative voice, how can you expect to end up with a wildly different business, beyond what that person, coach, or guru built or accomplished??
Quite simply, you can’t.
Following someone else’s blueprint is unlikely to lead you to a different destination than where they ended up. If your business is exactly like theirs, sure– the formulas could work.
But will you be happy running the business of someone else’s dreams, instead of blazing a trail of your own?
It was abundantly clear that a different approach was needed. Together, we determined that she had to chart her own course, crafting a business plan rooted in her voice, her distinct approach, and what set her apart from everyone else in her industry.
So now you understand why your unique approach and voice matter so much when it comes to the success of your business.
But you’re probably still scratching your head wondering how you can actively and intentionally begin to uncover your unique voice as a creative entrepreneur.
Establishing your voice can pose quite a challenge for creatives. You may find yourself wrestling with the tug-of-war between adhering to trends and advice while staying loyal to your genuine creative instincts.
Balancing authenticity with market adaptability is the core of the creative challenge you face.
Let’s explore actionable tips that strip away the fluff so you can find and maintain your distinctive creative voice in a crowded marketplace.
Not all advice is created equal. Consider the source’s motivation and qualifications when accepting feedback. When push comes to shove, trust your instincts.
Sometimes, you need to tune out the noise. Turn off online comments, ignore your inbox, and immerse yourself in your creative process. I’m a big advocate of creating before you consume, meaning, tap into your own source of inspiration before allowing yourself to be influenced by others!
While it’s important to be aware of trends, don’t let them dictate your creative direction. If you do feel like a certain trend is in alignment with you and your unique perspectives, go for it! It’s equally as okay to ignore, break, or go against the “rules” of “fads” as much as it is to embrace and double down on them – whatever genuinely feels best!
Don’t fear failure! Experimentation can lead to unexpected discoveries and innovations. I encourage my clients to actively pursue wrong answers as much as right answers. You might just uncover something that works that you’ve never tried or seen before! Learn from every experiment and “failure.”
Regularly expose yourself to diverse influences, techniques, and mediums. Whether you make time for your passion projects or try something creative outside of your comfort zone, I can just about guarantee you’ll walk away with a new idea or way of seeing things! Carve out Creative Time on your calendar specifically dedicated to letting inspiration flow! Maybe this is a daily practice, something you do at the beginning of each week, or even a quarterly creative retreat!
Consistency is likely what helped you become so skilled in your creative work in the first place. You showed up day in and day out, even when it was hard or less-than-glamourous. The same principle applies to cultivating your authenticity as a creative. Consistency helps you refine your voice over time; it’s like steadily sculpting your very own unique creative voice.
Never stop learning and growing. Make it a practice to regularly invest in personal and professional development to truly understand your craft (learn the rules before you break them). Don’t be afraid to change your mind or pivot as you learn! When you know better, you can do better!
Dedicate time for self-reflection through journaling, sketching, or meditation. Understand what sets you apart as a person and a creative entrepreneur including your core convictions, your quirks, and your true message.
In a creative world that often tries to fit us into predefined boxes, finding and maintaining your unique voice is the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace and attracting perfect-for-you clients.
Your individuality, shaped by your experiences, skills, and perspective, is your most valuable asset.
Embrace it, nurture it, and use it to guide your creative journey. You’ll not only stand out but you’ll also find you’re better able to create work that is authentically and uniquely yours, resonating with your audience on a deeper level.
Are you tired of blending in with the crowd and ready to make your creative business truly stand out?
Unleash the power of your business’ secret sauce– YOU!
In my upcoming course, ‘Business Building for Creatives,‘ I’ve dedicated an entire module to help you uncover what makes your business exceptional so you can confidently lean into your X-factor and lay the foundation of your business.
With this knowledge, you’ll market, sell, and serve your clients with effortless confidence.
Your creative journey to success starts here!