When I was starting my journey of being a professionally creative person, I felt really unsure about “what EXACTLY makes up my music *business*?” I’m betting that some of you can relate to the feeling. I hear my clients say, “Oh, I teach, I compose, I perform, I write, I run a non-profit, I host concerts, etcetera, etcetera…” Then, when I ask them to tell me about how they run their business, they’re unsure. It’s not because they don’t understand what a business is. Or, that they don’t know how to run their own. It’s often because they don’t think of their creative work in those terms even if they tell me that they want to make more money, gain more visibility in their field, or have systems in place to avoid burning out year after year.
Your 29 Days to Diva – Day 3 Assignment: List your offers
An offer is the product, service, or experience offered by an individual/business to their customers. This can be goods, services, or information. When I work with clients or workshop participants, I usually like to say that “your offers are all the verbs that you want to get paid for.” That’s the exercise I’m having you do today. Here we go with the lists again… (I know, I know, I can hear the chorus from here.)
Make a list of all of the verbs that you want to get paid for.
Do you have some “umbrella offers” in which many related offers might fall under one heading? Go ahead and list them that way. If you think of them as all separate, that’s fine too. Here are some that I often encounter:
- Stage productions
- Studio work
- Other voiceover
- (Sometimes I’ll even break this out by project or by program rather than type of performance/presenter/venue.)
- Synch licensing
- Private lessons
- Recording assistant
- Ebooks/training materials
- Anthologies/method books
Okay, to be fair, this is a hasty list off the top of my head. I love sharing this list (“101 Ways to Make Money as a Musician”) with people to help prompt them to think more broadly about their music offers. Plus, I don’t want you to only think about your music offers. If you code, or work as a sommelier, or happen to make money as a professional gambler, then by all means, write those down on your offers list.
There are three major components to an offer.
Remember how I was saying that my clients or participants will say, “Yeah, I teach, I compose, I perform, I write, I run a non-profit, I host concerts…” They seemingly understand their offers. But, do they? There are three major components of an offer: product, price, and service. When you finish writing your list of offers, I want you to have a short, one-paragraph description for each offer you would like to make publicly available this year.
Next, determine whether or not you know the price/fee of each offer (and if you really want to get fancy with it figure out your “at cost” number for each offer.) If you don’t know the price/fee right now, we’ll cover that in future days during the series. Let’s take it one step at a time for the moment.
How will your next client, student, or collaborator find you?
As a bonus, I’d like for you to consider whether or not people can easily figure out how to hire you for each of your publicly available offers. If someone in your field that you didn’t already know wanted to hire someone who has the exact skills you have, would they be able to find you, the description of your services, and how to take the next step with you?
Okay, divas! Your offers are the foundation of your professionally creative business. You are “offering” your creative work to the world this way. When you clearly understand what you’re offering to others, then it’s a lot easier for them to understand what you do and whether or not you’re a good fit for working together.