"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
Most artists are trained in art school to swim with the sharks in an ocean of blood unconsciously competing for the scarce kill. But only a few will ever feed.
The alternative is to swim in a blue ocean far away from the kill zone, making the competition irrelevant. How? By creating a Blue Ocean Strategy.
What’s this? It’s when a business creates unique value to serve a target, making the competition irrelevant
When I’m working with artists to help define their Blue Ocean Strategies we have to first get to what’s unique.
The only place to start is the artist’s life purpose, passions, interests, and values so that we know who they are as an artist and a person.
This is not life coaching this is the beginning of defining truly unique value.
Take a jeweler I've been coaching for example. This creative, like many, had to work a long while before we arrived at her new Blue Ocean Strategy.
The first thing that she had to learn was that she had to get out of the business of selling jewelry, a Red Ocean, and get into the business of celebrating friendships.
What? Are you scratching your head?
After much exploration she realized that one of the most important aspects to her life is her long-standing and close relationships with her best friend and other women in her life.
They all have stories and a history that they have shared over the years. And they have been her main collectors.
Her Blue Ocean Strategy? To create a line of unique charms that mark the most meaningful milestones in a women’s life.
What’s different? You can collect the charms, customize the bracelet or necklace, and an individual story is beautifully packaged with each charm.
You then give a bracelet or necklace to yourself and one to your friend, or friends, to celebrate the history of your friendships.
Rather than one sale she has built in two or more immediate sales and ongoing charm sales as new milestones are celebrated.
Notice we didn’t start with how to build in multiple sales. We started with the artist's unique value. The unique value is a reflection of this artist’s very personal purpose, interests, and values.
This Blue Ocean Strategy is something she's passionate about and her excitement is giving her the energy to execute on this strategy.
It took time, effort, and patience to arrive at this Blue Ocean Strategy.
She's had to work through some key frustrations that had limited her thinking. But she stuck with it until she was open to exploring marketing solutions in non-convention ways.
What happens if artists come sniffing around her waters to copy her? We'll create more unique value and they'll will sink to the bottom of the ocean because they won't be able to match her energy.
"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland
Many artists are desperate to arrive at an answer. So they put the cart before the horse. If an artist is not open, patient, and trusting in the process, or they are clinging desperately to the traditional scarcity and permission based model, I just can't help them. I can't get past that negativity.
It takes trust to surrender the fight for the kill when you’re hungry.
But in order to sustain your drive to be an artist and to build a business you must first know your purpose, passions, interests, and values.
You must “know thyself” so that you can know what unique value you can offer the world.
Note. Your compensation will be in direct proportion to the value you offer.