The Real Truth About Being a Creator

Here’s the real truth about being a creator (designer, video expert, photographer, illustrator etc…)  who sells their creative services:

You could be the ABSOLUTE best in your field, studied your craft the finest schools, won tons of awards for your work BUT you’d go broke without a steady stream of new customers.

Being a GOOD creative is NOT good enough.

We all know this shouldn’t be true, but it is.  

The fact is - being a successful creative entrepreneur today has more to do with marketing your services that it has to do with making good work.

You can fight this - and go broke.

Just because you can DO the work, doesn’t mean you can run a successful business.

When I first started my creative studio, I will NEVER forget the misery, frustration and failure I had to endure before I finally figured it out.

The growing credit card bills.

The growing anxiety.

Telling myself that things are going to turn around soon:

“A really huge deal is right around the corner!”

Getting up early - staying up late.  

The endless hours of sitting in the office, watching youtube videos about marketing, cold emailing clients.  Trying to find a way in.

Expending enormous amounts of efforts, just to get a few coffee dates with prospective clients.  Having really great interactions with people, but nothing concrete (ie sales) coming out of it.

And I will NEVER forget what it was like when it finally started to turn around. When the sales resistance began to melt and disappear.

When my messages started filling up with customers who knew my company and wanted my help.

I’ll never forget the elation and the relief.  

Getting use to the idea that: “yes, I really am going to be successful.  This REALLY is going to work”

I don’t think anyone should have to live through what I lived through.

I don’t think anyone who wants to be successful in their creative business should have to stay uninformed as long as I did.

I know I’ve got the tools to help you improve your business.  I know that the technology, methods, and strategies exist so that you don’t have to ever make a cold call or worry about how to fill your business with work.

But you aren’t going to learn those methods unless someone is available to teach you.

Which brings us to the Creative Business Codex.  

Please allow me to explain.

The Creative Business Codex is a mentored training program for creators looking to start/grow a hyper-profitable creative business.

It helps creatives double, triple even 4x their business by attracting more clients, closing more leads, charging more money, properly managing projects, and multiplying their  time with all-star roster of freelancers.

Obviously this isn’t for everyone.  In fact, you have to qualify to be accepted.

So if you’re just a “wantrepreneur” type person who dreams about being financially independent in a great business, but not absolutely serious as a raging forest fire about owning a real business, then this is just not for you.

And obviously if you are not willing to invest appropriately in such a business, this isn’t for you either.

Now you may have heard similar promises in the past but….

Here’s what makes The Creative Business Codex so different, and so much more profitable than anything else you’ve ever seen.

Most training gives you the same old rehash of outdated, scammy marketing and sales techniques.  

OR they’re written by marketers based on theories that have never been proven to work...NOT actual creatives like you and I who are in the trenches day in and day out.

What’s so different about The Creative Business Codex is that it consists completely of tested and proven strategies and techniques using direct response case studies.  Every strategy, script, template, and technique has withstood the most demanding test possible: it has proven extremely profitable in the marketplace!

Click here to find out more:

P.S. Don’t miss out on booking the free mentored strategy session call - at a value of $500 (with no obligation on your part to purchase anything), it’s one of the best offers we’ve ever made.  

To receive yours, simply fill out the application form after watching the video.  

We're opening up the program on April 1st if you're interested in learning more.

Brett Morris
Horizontal VS Vertical Growth

When we think about scaling our creative businesses the typical advice is to do MORE of what’s working. Go to the moon they say. Go vertical they say. In fact, we should be going horizontal. Let me explain.

Going vertical in our business means "doing the same but more.” If we make videos for landscaping companies we might be advised to prospect EVERY landscaping company in the city, and then the state, and then the country. This conventional method absolutely works, but it typically hits a point of atrophy where you’ve exhausted your target market without any room for creative freedom.

The second path to grow your business is to look horizontally. This means finding prospects that are closely related to your existing customers. If I make videos for landscapers, why can’t I make videos for general contractors, interior designers, or architects? These businesses are closely related because they all rely on forms of “art” in their business, and sell direct to consumer.

We’ve found at our agency Cafeteria, and in teaching others at that it’s much easier to think in terms of “look-alikes” when prospecting new customers.

Look at the past work that you’ve done and make a list of similar businesses in closely related industries. Think hard about what your existing customers do, who they serve, what problems they solve and most likely there will be a garden full of similar companies you never thought to approach.

The truth is, potential clients want the confidence in knowing that you’ve done similar work for similar companies. It’s harder to sell a dentist your creative services you if the only work you’ve done is for scuba schools. Conversely, if you’ve done work for a plastic surgeon, getting the dentist to jump on a 15-minute phone call with you is a much easier proposition.

Expanding horizontally can open your mind up to new market possibilities, while also making the barrier to entry much smoother.

Brett Morris
Reciprocity Decay

Today’s concept can be summed up as “strike while the iron is hot” but it’s much more fun to use scientific research to see why this colloquialism is so powerful.

Reciprocity is the human need (and tendency) to want to give something back when something is received. People feel a sense of obligation to do something for you when you've done something for them.

New research just released found that if we don't trigger reciprocity within a given timeframe, the sense of obligation may be lost, Reciprocity Decay.

The study tracked hospitals and the window of time between when a patient had received a visit, and when the hospital asked for a donation.  If the hospital canvassed within 30 days of the patient’s last visit, there was a 1.5% chance of receiving a donation. Waiting over 30 days brought the likelihood of a donation down to a measly .4% chance.  When they waited two months they found a pitiful .2% probability of donation.

There’s a “Goldilocks” window of time when it’s appropriate to make your ask in return.  Not SO soon as to create discomfort and make it seem like it was just a transactional relationship, but not SO long that people forget about you.

It’s not that the receiver didn’t find value in your gift, it’s just that their memory of the feeling has diminished and life's Present Bias simply gets in the way. They have to feed their kids, pay the bills, book a vacation. We simply forget what you gave.

So how does this apply to you? If you’re sending out a value campaign in your business, you shouldn’t send a follow up immediately the next hour...but you also shouldn’t wait a whole month because the chances are they’ve likely forgotten about you. Be in that sweet spot of follow up, and be top of mind.  

The real way to compound the value you provide and skyrocket your chances of booking clients is by using frequency. Impressions count in marketing and you must use this to your advantage.  Frequency + value is a concept I outline fully in my case study found here.

Brett Morris
The Risk of Bundling

I want to share some really interesting research that has been published so you can apply the findings to your business immediately. 

It’s called “the risk of bundling.” 

Let’s say you’re a yoga studio and each class costs $20. Purchased individually 10 classes would cost $200, but instead you decide to bundle the classes into a package of 10 for only $150.

In the immediate future you’ll make more revenue because the cost savings to a client is enticing, but in the long term, you won’t see repeat business.  Why?

Studies have shown that when purchasing experiences or services, customers value the product less when bundled together rather than purchasing them individually. Over the long term, people are less likely to show up for your service/event because the package as has a perceived less value.  The package seems disposable.

In products, the same theory applies, for example in the wine market.  A single bottle of wine we’ll enjoy slowly, but when we buy a case of wine we’ll consume faster as it seems more expendable.

Depending on what you’re selling and what your objectives are, take note of the “risk of bundling” when pricing your next offer.

For further reading:

Transaction Decoupling: How Price Bundling Affects the Decision to Consume

The Red and the Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt

Brett Morris