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What to do when you aren’t booking “portfolio” work?

It’s Two Cents Tuesdays ep 7! Each week I’ll be answering audience submitted questions over on my YouTube Channel!

Today’s question comes from Robyn. She asks : 

“A wedding is a life-changing events for two families. I try my best to remember that I’m here to help my client and make beautiful flowers for their event. But when I do simple, almost Pinterest copycat weddings, it is hard to remember that the work I do matters. There is work and then there is art. I’m getting closer to my work being art, but what do you do in the meantime?”

Robyn, this is such a great question and one I know a lot of creatives feel. We all have to grow our audience and clientele. What do you do when you feel your work isn’t the caliber of work or art you want to be doing?

Here’s my two-cents :

A long time ago my friend Kaitie explained how it can be hard sometimes to appreciate all different types of beauty and differing aesthetics but then to decipher which one is “me” or “my brand”, my particular aesthetic. But determining your “look” is as important as your work to establish a cohesive, recognizable brand.

What to do when you aren’t booking “portfolio” work?

As an artist or floral designer, our clients have an aesthetic and we have an aesthetic, and sometimes those two things don’t match. It’s really hard in business to take on work that isn’t necessarily inspiring to you. But at the same time remember, it’s not about you, it’s about your client.

1.

Take on the client

I really encourage, especially in those first few years of business when you’re finding your style, your voice, your brand aesthetic, to not worry so much about taking on lots of different type of work. We all have to do work that pays the bills! The great part about that is to learn along the way. Get better as you go! We can learn something from every client and improve our process as we go. This will help as you continue to book new clients that eventually have a more similar aesthetic to you!

Related : Should I discount my price to book the client?

2.

Only show work you’d want to repeat

With that said, I also want to encourage you Robyn to not show all the work you’re doing to the public eye just to seem “busy”. This is something I see a lot especially with new business owners trying to build traction. This is really important to know as I recommend only putting out visuals of work you actually would want to do again!

3.

Conduct a brand photoshoot

In the meantime, if you aren’t booking “portfolio weddings” just yet then by all means love and serve those clients really well. Make their dreams come true and nail the design that meshes with their aesthetic. Though they may not have the same taste as you artistically, they will still be giving you a customer review publicly and definitely to their friends and family! You want that to be a good one!

But instead of showing those images, I highly recommend conducting what I call a “brand photoshoot” to get images you can use on your website and/or marketing that reflect your aesthetic and the brand you want to build.

Shop : Jumpstart your Brand in the Creative Money Academy

During the meantime, take on the client! Gain experience. You don’t have to put that work out into the world, but remember just because you don’t think it’s necessarily beautiful doesn’t mean your clients don’t think it is! Over time as you get better and establish your aesthetic and brand, I promise you’ll start to attract clients who have a more similar aesthetic to yours! And when you do, you’ll be ready! Geared with loads of experience and raving customer reviews!

That’s when your art and your work start to become one!

Are you wondering how to build a consistent portfolio of work when the jobs you are getting don’t all look the same?

Dive deeper into this topic in this one-hour class → How to Jumpstart your Brand

Have a question you’d love for Shanna to weigh in on? Email us.  

What to do when you aren’t booking “portfolio” work? | Here’s my two-cents on this great question from Robyn! Click here to watch. | shannaskidmore.com #twocentstuesday #booking #idealclient

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