My top three takeaway learnings from the professional studies lectures led by Jackie Elliman, Percy Emmett and Anna Moutney (producer from frantic).

As someone who has run my own business and been self employed for 17 years it was interesting to get an insight as to how I could have started my business all that time ago with right guidance. The scale I started at and still am is testimony only to  what I haven’t explored and the avenues I haven’t taken. I’m not unhappy I’ve ticked along and had my share of successes.  But I have missed opportunities, maybe down to lack of knowledge and insight or even just not being fired up enough to be pursuing the next thing. It’s hard when you are on your own to keep that going. The discussions made me realise the importance of finding the right business set up.

No#1 The plan

First, is really looking at what it is I want to do and why should people care? This is a sound mantra that Percy looks at. Especially given the nature of our industry and the huge variety of interests there are. This ties in with being able to formulate a business model. And as Jackie Elliman spoke about giving yourself Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic targets. This is the heart of any business, that has your vision but also needs to have the research to take you forward with your strategies and actions. Anna Moutney, producer from Frantic Assembly was the epitome of what is to work hard and work harder as in words “nothing comes for free”. One of her standalone comments ties in with all of the takeaway learnings from our industry experts and that is about getting organised- pro active and getting people involved.

no#2 Press release

If I want to go forward in business however, looking at press releases and my ability to engage with social media and make it work for me is one clear way forward. I need to fully get to grips with this powerful tool, with the potential of reaching  the right audience and exploring other possibilities along side that are what can really build an audience and a business. Making friends with the media, getting organised enough to be ready to have something of interest. Finding angles to get you noticed.

This is something I really need to engage in and exploit.

No#3 Funding

Looking at the nature of the beast, funding is something that you will need to get your head around. I’ve been successful in applying for pots of money in the past and there is a knack to it. Getting my head around the possibility of doing this again all ties in with the venture of how to pursue the right avenues. Tying in the “what do you do” and “why should people care?” aspect  once more. Not being shy to reach out to those who lend themselves to getting funding for groups and projects could be a way forward and aiming yourself at the right trends. If I want to make work I need to be prepared to explore what it is I can create. I can still get to create how I want, I may just need to taper the market to get on with the creative business of making art happen.

Looking at reinvigorating the business plan  is certainly something I plan to action given some of the ways forward from our discussions. I shall be having  conversations as to how myself and others see themselves involved in creating work. What benefits and opportunities we create, part of that plan for me is to engage with social media. To network the journalists that even at this point in my plan will an essential part of banging the drums to get the right attention.

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