One of the biggest traps I see artists and designers falling into is that they are so worried on their own personal success, that they don't end up sharing anything of real value to their audience.
Let's say you recently shared a new personal project in hopes of gaining validation and attention on your work. Maybe you felt like you inched slightly closer to accomplishing your goal (attracting new clients, selling products, etc.) but in reality it was just a flash in the pan – a short term boost in happiness that quickly faded away with no noticeable results.
Today I want to share with you 3 ways you can approach your work to make it more valuable and make real steps toward your goals. But first, why does this even matter?
We live in a noisy world.
Congratulations, you are part of the 1% that actually makes stuff instead of only passively consuming. That's good enough, right? I think you know where this is going.
Your audience won't care about you unless you care about them first.
Here's a good question to ask yourself, "Does my work actually do something for the viewer? Does it make them emote? Does it make them better than they were before?" A small shift in thinking that can lead to drastic results.
1. Give Educational value
Yup, that's Bob Ross. He's the guy who taught us how to paint a sneaky little tree with just a few brush strokes. I'm sharing about Bob (and the others below) as an extreme example, but can you imagine how much less success he would have had if he didn't share his process?
This is basically what I talked about in my post from a couple weeks back - Why You Should Teach Along the Way. I just want to emphasize again that you don't need to know everything to start teaching. On that same note, you shouldn't pretend like you know everything, but rather just share what works for you.
Examples and ideas:
- share the process of how you made something.
- note something you learned recently or in the last few years.
- call yourself out on a mistake and using it as a teaching opportunity.
- gather and share resources on a topic.
2. Give Entertainment Value
Be like The Rock (the people's champ)
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson always makes me smile when I saw him on TV or in movies. This is his "wow factor". (That's why they call him The People's Champ.) He's constantly focused on adding flare and comic relief to everything he did. You can do this with your work too. If your goal is to simply brighten someone's day, that's a great goal.
Examples and ideas:
- Tell a joke, poem or funny anecdote through your work.
- Create visually stunning content. Eye candy is entertaining in itself.
- Add an element of cleverness or surprise.
- Dogs, cats and babies (I don't always recommend this one).
3. Give Inspiring / Emotional Value
We all love an inspiring story. Oprah Winfrey not only has one herself, but her team gathers them daily and shares these magic moments for everyone to enjoy. While the first two types of value are more focused more on the viewer's mind, this one cuts to the core. Emotional value touches our hearts.
Examples and ideas:
- Share a compelling story about how you (or someone else) overcame the odds
- Inject your own emotions or deep thoughts into your work.
- Create from a place of vulnerability so people can relate to your struggles. This is what real connection is all about.
Focus on one at a time.
Of course, these different types of value are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to accomplish all three of them in one fell swoop. However, it is more effective to determine a goal and aim for that one, rather than trying to catch three turkeys at once (is that a saying or did I just make that up?).
Whatever you do, don't promote your work only for selfish reasons
Are you focusing on taking attention away from others? Or are you actually trying to improve the experiences and lives of the people your audience?