EVOLVING YOUR PRACTICE - VIA CORZO CENTER BLOG

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Typically an artist selects one discipline to study and practice. As they say, “you can be anything, just not everything.” Suggesting sound logic is to pick a lane and stick with it. Makes sense. The goal is to master the discipline so you can enjoy the benefits, right? A steady income and professional recognition are what most artists want. So what happens when an artists feels the desire to change disciplines? Making this type of change isn’t just professional. As you develop and strengthen your craft, at some point it intertwines with your life. It can even become how people define you.

Switching your medium or discipline may feel scary. But know that it’s totally nature to evolve your practice into something else. You mustn’t let fear or doubt dictate your future choices. The best word of advice is to stay productive and follow your own creative flow. The work will find its way into your profession...if you allow it. Listen how Brian Pineda, a UArts graduate, change up his practice and his clients because he followed his gifts and his intuition. 

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HOW TO SPOT OPPORTUNITIES - VIA CORZO CENTER BLOG

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‘Opportunity’ is a noun. Defined as favorable circumstances. Sounds great but if you’re not careful you may associate opportunity with luck. The key difference between them is the role you play. A lucky moment happens regardless of your actions meanwhile an opportunity is what you make happen in a moment.

No two opportunities are alike so spotting them can be a challenge. The good news is that there is a way to train yourself to be more aware. Look to entrepreneurs! They are infamous for identifying opportunity. They understand that most “problems” are actually opportunities in disguise. The trick is to notice when folks aren't getting what they want. Ask yourself, “who do I want to buy my work?”. Now listen for when they voice frustration. That’s your cue to be creative and take your shot. Listen to Susie Babchick talk through the various times she spotted opportunities in her life and career.

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THE FEELING OF SUCCESS - via Corzo Center Blog

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Achieving your dreams is solely your responsibility. It’s a lonely grind! Wake, work, innovate, sleep, repeat. Once you develop an effective ‘goal setting’ strategy, professional progress can come to you quick. You might even start living out your dreams. But some artists have said that success doesn’t always feel good as imagined. Strange, right? Welcome to what’s called the “imposter syndrome”. 

When you are still trying to “make it”, you might not be aware of this syndrome. And let me be frank, to “make it” as an artist is simply to have enough money to eat and pay rent. But once you start to gain success, you may unexpectedly experience despair. Imposters syndrome is a psychological reaction to one’s never ending crave for satisfaction. Long story short: Success is a state of mind. You have to decide to feel successful. This insight isn’t meant to discourage you but to encourage you to have a deeper relationship with yourself. Listen to designer and painter, Kris Chau describe how it felt when it happened to her.

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Distinguishing brand language

The best definition of branding is,

"recognition without definition."

The phrase is succinct but has layers of meaning. In semiotic terms, branding is the umbrella that contains all professional communication. Marketing, Advertising, PR, social platforms, and content creation are all tools of branding. These tools use visuals and text as a combined language. Together they create meaning that does not need explicit definition. If done well, your target audience can recognize the significance of your brand on their own.

Companies often spend less energy on their brand's text. They put their focus on the visuals. It's true, consumers notice images first but weak text can kill a sale. Every brand must build a list of adjectives, emotions, and traits. Once you have your cache, find ways to constantly use them.

Now let's take it deeper. Your brand should have a personality. The reason is that humans personify inanimate things. As a brand, you want consumers to build an emotional connection (read: a willingness to buy).

Here's how you separate brand identity from brand personality. Your identity is concrete and objective. It's a matter of fact. Your personality is abstract and subjective. Its an interpretation. LIFEWORK designed this worksheet to expand on the use of text in your brand language.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact us with follow-up questions.

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LIVE YOUR MISSION

Sounds simple, because it is. If your brand identity feels misguided, revisit your mission statement. Who does your business serve?

An important element of brand building is "authenticity". You can't afford to miss that target. Consumers can research almost anything on the web and social media. Product & service reviews weigh on the consumers' mind. Businesses that lead with their mission have the clarity to make solid choices. They also gain loyal customers. A repeat customer is cost effective! So open up that old business plan because your mission has a return on investment.

Here is a case study about Patagonia to prove this point. 

 

Photo by Elizabeth Santry

Photo by Elizabeth Santry

VALUE PROPOSITION

If you are not familiar with the term, value proposition, don't worry. If you have an existing business you will understand faster. For those constructing and testing a business idea, this will help get your mindset on track.

Entrepreneurship is about one thing. Your customer, client, or consumer. Providing them a quality product or service will keep your business running. Think of the "value proposition" as the headline to your business. It spells out the who, what, and how of your operation. The good people of Strategyzer made a 'fill-in-the-blank' template to help. LIFEWORK redesigned it to make it simple to use. As you can see, we also repurposed it to refine your elevator pitch. 

Try it! This exercise will provide you insight on your clientele, your product, and your market. Even established entrepreneurs need to revisit the core elements of their business. Feel free to reach out to us for follow-up questions.

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